Alma also provides a portrait of the fledgling Church which is still applicable to our day.
First, members were added upon condition of baptism “by the power and authority of God.” This was the gateway and none could be counted as a member without it.
Second, the Church was called the Church of God or the Church of Christ, making it clear whose Church it was.
Third, priests were ordained to minister to a relatively small number of members, to ensure that all received individual care and attention. And they were also called to preach, teach, and encourage.
Fourth, the priests were instructed to teach “nothing save it were the things which he had taught.” Prophetic guidance ensured doctrinal purity in the Church.
Fifth, teaching focused on basic and essential doctrines such as “repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.”
Sixth, there was to be no contention among them and the members should have “their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.”
Seventh, they were encouraged to preach and teach these things to one another
Eighth, they kept the sabbath day holy as a congregation
Ninth, they also remembered the Lord daily and not just on the sabbath day
Tenth, the priests were part time clergy and worked with their own labor. This was meant to strengthen their faith and to prevent dependency. They were to “teach with power and authority from God” rather than to get gain.
Eleventh, “they did walk uprightly before god, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants.” This pattern of service and welfare was essential to promote the unity spoken of earlier.
All of these principles are as essential in the Church today as they were anciently.