Wicked Nephites, Righteous Lamanites

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Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord:
The people of the Lamanites who were in the land of Ishmael;
And also of the people of the Lamanites who were in the land of Middoni;
And also of the people of the Lamanites who were in the city of Nephi;
And also of the people of the Lamanites who were in the land of Shilom, and who were in the land of Shemlon, and in the city of Lemuel, and in the city of Shimnilom.

Alma 23:8-12

In Alma 23, the Lamanites start being converted. That’s a good thing for two reasons. First, having more believers is always a cause for celebration! Second:

And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had appointed priests and teachers over the churches that there arose a dissension among them, and they would not give heed to the words of Helaman and his brethren;
But they grew proud, being lifted up in their hearts, because of their exceedingly great riches; therefore they grew rich in their own eyes, and would not give heed to their words, to walk uprightly before God.

Alma 45:23-24

While people are being converted all around, people are becoming proud and wicked among the Nephites! And it just gets worse:

And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.

Alma 51:13

They have got possession of the land, or the city, of Zarahemla; they have appointed a king over them, and he hath written unto the king of the Lamanites, in the which he hath joined an alliance with him; in the which alliance he hath agreed to maintain the city of Zarahemla, which maintenance he supposeth will enable the Lamanites to conquer the remainder of the land, and he shall be placed king over this people when they shall be conquered under the Lamanites.

Alma 61:8

Now when those people who were desirous that he should be their governor saw that he was condemned unto death, therefore they were angry, and behold, they sent forth one Kishkumen, even to the judgment-seat of Pahoran, and murdered Pahoran as he sat upon the judgment-seat.

Helaman 1:9

And because of their iniquity the church had begun to dwindle; and they began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face.

Helaman 4:23

And it came to pass that when the sixty and second year of the reign of the judges had ended, all these things had happened and the Lamanites had become, the more part of them, a righteous people, insomuch that their righteousness did exceed that of the Nephites, because of their firmness and their steadiness in the faith.

Helaman 6:1

…until the Lamanites are way more righteous than the Nephites. Because Ammon and his brothers converted so many Lamanites, those Lamanites taught the gospel to their children who taught it to theirs and so on and so on. Meanwhile, the Nephites become proud and angry. They teach their children to be proud, angry, and hating the government too. And the people in government are the righteous people. So they hate the gospel. And then we get to where Samuel the Lamanite had to preach to the Nephites.

I’m not saying it’s good for the Nephites to become wicked–I’m really sad about that–but, because of Ammon, Alma, Amulek, and their brethren’s work, once the Nephites are righteous, there are still people to help them know the truth.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/alma/23?lang=eng&verse=#p

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