Alma 10:1 - 10:5
Alma 10:1 Now these are the words which Amulek preached unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah, saying:
Now Amulek addresses the people of Ammonihah.
Alma 10:2 I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God.
First he gives his genealogy. He is the son of Giddonah, the grandson of Ishmael, who in turn was a descendant of Aminadi. This was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing on the Temple wall that had written by the finger of the Lord.
This incident is not recorded in the Book of Mormon. However, it must have meant something to the people of Ammonihah or maybe to all the Nephites for Amulek to mention it. I’m sure that this introduction was to show the crowd that he, Amulek, was a reparable individual and his words should have some weight with the people.
Alma 10:3 And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.
Amulek continues to with his genealogy. Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, the son of Lehi, the same who came out of Jerusalem in the first place to come to the promised land. Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh, the son of Joseph, the same Joseph who was sold into slavery by his older brothers.
Not sure this was in impress the crowd of his ancestry and therefore cause the crowd to pay more attention to him or if it was to remind them of the fact that the Lord has had a large roll in their history and that they need to realize that He still has a major roll in their lives and therefore need to be aware that He is trying to influence them as He has influenced their ancestors in the past as recorded in scripture.
Alma 10:4 And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry.
Amulek continues with his personal qualifications to speak to them. They know him by reputation as he is a very influential business man, active in the community with a large family and a large network of friends and business associates. He is also a very rich man because of his business dealings.
This would be like one of Forbes’ very rich men in the country getting up and telling the people who he is and why he should be listened too. People tend to listen to rich people and not to poor people. It seem ironic that the gospel is to be brought to the world by meek and lowly and not the rich. I guess if people can accept the word of a poor man, they are more likely converted to the gospel and not to the man hoping for some influence.
Alma 10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Amulek confesses that in spite of the rich history of his family and of the Nephites, he did not know of the ways of the Lord. At least that’s what he said to himself. Actually he had seem much of the Lord’s power by personal witness in the saving of the Nephites from time to time as they have fought with the Lamanites over the years.
It is one thing to read the history of how the Lord has saved the people over the years, but another to have seen it or have known people who saw and testified of it. I think this was a call for the people to wake up to the fact that the Lord has done much for them but they are so caught up in what they proceed as their own abilities to control their own destiny that they forget that what they have is directly attributed to the power of the Lord to control events. Thinking one has the ultimate control over his life is a fatal error. All that we have is because of the Lord blessing us, not necessarily, because of our own abilities.