In this post, I'd like to lay out evidence that Alma-2 also studied the teachings of Lehi found on Nephi's small plates.
Perhaps the best example of this is found by comparing Lehi's words to Jacob found in 2 Nephi 2 with Alma-2's teachings found in the second half of Alma 12 and Alma 42. The concentration of concepts and wording make it clear that Alma was quite familiar with Lehi's teachings. I haven't found any other sections in the Book of Mormon that cluster these phrases to this degree.
Before reviewing the table below, I want to share the verses that I believe make it highly likely that Alma-2 is referencing Lehi's words. Let's compare Alma 42:16-22--
16 Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul....with 2 Nephi 2:10-13--
17 Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?
18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.
19 Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?
20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
21 And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement.
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.Spend a little time rereading these passages a few times each and notice that the central ideas are very similar and very specific--the idea of affixing a punishment in order to bring about happiness. That is the connection that first caught my attention. As I studied more, I found numerous additional common themes. I made the table below, and upon reading Alma 12 a few days later, noticed the obvious similarities in there and added them. See below for the details. Far too many similarities to dismiss as coincidence, and yet the wording Lehi chooses in distinct from the wording Alma-2 chooses, even when they are talking about the same topics.
13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.