Alma’s primary goal when he gave up the office of chief judge was to address the issue of inequality among his people:
He saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted….
And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble followers of God, and the persecutions which were heaped upon them by the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful.Alma 4:12, 15
After preaching and organizing the church in Zarahemla, Gideon, Melek, Ammonihah, and Sidom, he returned to his home. In spite of the horrific tragedy in the city of Ammonihah, Alma had accomplished his goal:
And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his comingAlma 16:16
What does it mean for there to be “no inequality” among a group of people? I think it means that they treat one another with respect, and that none of them thinks of themselves as better than the others. I think it means that they avoid dividing themselves into groups and that they serve each other without regard for any differences between them. “And as many as would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, without any respect of persons, continually” (Alma 16:14, italics added).
President Russell M. Nelson and three leaders of the NAACP—Derrick Johnson, Leon Russell, and the Reverend Amos C. Brown—recently published an article in which they called for greater understanding and respect. They offered the following advice to help us overcome divisiveness:
Unitedly we declare that the answers to racism, prejudice, discrimination and hate will not come from government or law enforcement alone. Solutions will come as we open our hearts to those whose lives are different than our own, as we work to build bonds of genuine friendship, and as we see each other as the brothers and sisters we are — for we are all children of a loving God.“Locking Arms for Racial Harmony in America,” Medium.com, 8 Jun 2020
Today, I will strive for Alma’s ideal of equality. I will open my heart to people who are different than me and will treat all of God’s children with respect and love.