As Alma preaches in Ammonihah, the people contend with him, because the devil has a strong hold of their hearts. Contention is always of the adversary. Their voices are taunting and full of mockery.
“Who art thou? Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony of one man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away?” (2)
They ridicule him and say their great city will never pass away.
Now they knew not that God could do such marvelous works, for they were a hart-hearted and a stiffnecked people.”Alma 9:5
They bring up that he is alone, so why should they listen to him?
Alma “stood with boldness” when they tried to lay their hands on him. (7) He chides them for being wicked and perverse and for forgetting the Lord. He commands them to repent, and reminds them of the promises made to their father Lehi. He tells them quite specifically how God will wipe them out—it will come in a day when they know not, and the Lamanites will sweep them from the earth (which is what happens later).
Our prophets forewarn us too. Are we listening?
Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land? And again it is said that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.”Alma 9:13
He compares the Lamanites to them and says the Lamanites are in a much better spiritual state because they have not willfully rebelled against truth. They have been taught incorrect traditions and God will be merciful to them in a future day to help them return to Him.
But behold, I say unto you that if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land…”Alma 9:18
Alma lists out a brief history of how God has provided and protected them in this land.
And now behold I say unto you, that if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.” / For “ye shall utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth?”Alma 9:23-24
He tells them of God’s attributes.
And not many days hence the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers.”Alma 9:26
The people are “wroth” with Alma for calling them “a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.” (31) Truth is hard to accept and people are usually blind to their own faults and weaknesses. They seek to “cast [him] into prison (32) But the Lord doesn’t suffer that he should be cast into prison at this time.
Now Amulek “stood forth, and began to preach unto them also.” A second witness is about to share his testimony and add to Alma’s witness and warnings.
God always gives us warnings.
Do I pay attention? Am I willing to stop doing things that He has warned me against? Am I willing to get on the right path so that I do not drive down the path of destruction?