How can Alma the Younger repent if he remembered his father’s lectures when growing up when he actually murdered and flattered many others (don’t tell me the story, just help me to understand the situation). What if I did the same thing Alma did, will I be able to repent? (I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ just like Alma the Younger did). I’m sure Alma the Younger had the priesthood when he was in his youth. How about Cain, King David, Saul (Paul)? They were all murders and they gained salvation.
First of all, perhaps we need to be a little careful in calling some of these people murderers. The Bible tells us that Saul consented unto the death of Stephen. There is no record that he participated in the stoning. Alma the Younger also persecuted the church, but there is no record of him murdering anyone. It is recorded in Alma 2:31, that he slew the wicked Amlici, but at that time he was the presiding high priest and the chief judge over the people, and he was acting in the office of a judge when he dispatched justice on Amlici.
The repentance of both Saul and Alma was sincere, adequate and acceptable before the Lord. But how can you say that Cain and King David, both of whom were murderers, gained salvation? Neither Cain nor David repented, although each could have done. To Cain the Lord said—
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door (Gen 4:7).
So Cain had the opportunity to repent and to do well, but he did not. David also was sorrowful, but not repentant. Nor was he saved. Of him the scriptures state—
He hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion (D&C 132:39).
However, the Lord has pled with all sinners to repent and be saved.—
Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel (3 Ne 30:2).
You will note that this plea also includes repentance from the sin of murder.