Alma 6 is a short transitional chapter between sermons in Alma 5 and 7, where Mormon moves from quoting Alma's words on the plates of Nephi directly back to his narrative style. Having learned in recent years to pay close attention to words and phrases in the Book of Mormon, I discover things I never would see before. This is not a big thing and perhaps not interesting to everybody, but what I found in Alma 6 are just small signs of Mormon's work of abridgment shining through. I just like to envision the people in the Book of Mormon as individuals with distinct personalities, talents and writing styles. I see Mormon as a careful historian, with an eye for detail and concern for his future readers to learn important lessons from the Book of Mormon. Analyzing his words directly and reading between the lines, can not only help learn these lessons, but also get to know Mormon as a person.
In a post about Mosiah 5, written more than a year ago, we see that after King Benjamin's talk, several key words and phrases are quoted in the aftermath. The same thing is going on in the first three verses of Alma 6.
Consider how Mormon's narration refers back to Alma's talk in Alma 5.
For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the of God (Alma 5:44. Note: this is only one of several examples, including the chapter ingress which is part of the original text on the plates)
For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them (Alma 5:59)
I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance (Alma 5:62)
And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the , come ye out from the wicked, and be ye , and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be , that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous (Alma 5:57)
What does this say about Mormon? First of all, it is a strong indicator, evidence if you will, that there was a person called Mormon who was engaged in the abridgment of the Nephite records. The alternative explanation of Joseph Smith just making it up as he dictated it to a scribe with his face in a hat is problematic, because it implies that Joseph had to remember specific phrases to later bring them up. Doing so at this level of detail when you don't sit with notes or a manuscript is very difficult. It is easier for me to see a historian here, who has just spent time carefully engraving characters from one set of plates to another, who has the words of Alma before his eyes as he goes on to explain the proceedings of the church in Zarahemla.
This is where we see the careful historian. He has studied the words of Alma well as he has engraved them. He wants to demonstrate to his readers that Alma was not just giving a great sermon. He spoke the truth and he meant what he said. What he said actually had consequences and was implemented among the people that he had spoken to.