They Could Not All Be Governed by One Teacher – Mosiah 25:19-22

19 And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church.

20 Now this was done because there were so many people that they could not all be governed by one teacher; neither could they all hear the word of God in one assembly;
21 Therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches; every church having their priests and their teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma.
22 And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God.
Church attendance should be an active experience. When we attend church meetings, we should expect to interact with the people around us, not just to sit and listen. When Alma arrived in Zarahemla, the king authorized him to establish the church just as he had done after being converted to the gospel by the preaching of Abinadi. However, there were so many people in the land that it was not practical to simply establish a single “church.” They couldn’t all be governed by a single ecclesiastical leader, and they couldn’t realistically hold their meetings all together. So Alma established “churches,” or what we would call “wards and branches” today. This enabled all of the members to participate fully in church activities. To maintain consistency across these churches, local church leaders received training and guidance from Alma, who acted as high priest over the whole church. As we see in the following chapter, when local leaders didn’t know how to address a particular situation, they turned to Alma for clarification. Thus, the entire church could operate in an orderly and consistent way, while still providing a personal experience for each member.
Today, I will be grateful for the organization of the Church, and particularly for the opportunity I have to be part of a ward with leaders whom I know personally and with the opportunity to engage meaningfully in church services and other activities each week.
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