Alma 9:11 - 9:15
Alma 9:11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.
It is only because of the mercy of God that He has not given up on us. His deep regard for our eternal welfare has been His motivation as He is not interested in seeing us all in hell.
Part of the scripture says that it was “his matchless power” that kept something bad happening to them. It could be that He was referring to events He directly intervened that could have destroyed them but He kept that from happening. They would most certainly been destroyed otherwise.
Alma 9:12 Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all—he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away.
But this all off, Alma commands the people of Ammonihah to repent, now! Not only will their wickedness keep them from eternal life, but their very existence as a community is in peril. He will not prevent forces that are now moving, unknown to them, that, if they do not repent, He will not stop them from happening as He has done in the past.
Alma 9:13 Behold, do ye not remember the words which he spake unto Lehi, saying that: 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 reminds them of the promise, the Lord made to Lehi. That if he and his people would keep the commandments, they would have their physical needs met and then some. Otherwise, they would be cut off from the Lord’s protection and they would be on their own. That would be certain destruction as the Lord would not prevent any attacks on them to succeed .
Alma 9:14 Now I would that ye should remember, that inasmuch as the Lamanites have not kept the commandments of God, they have been cut off from the presence of the Lord. Now we see that the word of the Lord has been verified in this thing, and the Lamanites have been cut off from his presence, from the beginning of their transgressions in the land.
To see that this is the case, Alma asks the people to reflect on the condition of the Lamanites. Have they not been cut off from the presence of the Lord? Look at their condition, both spiritually and physically. This all started from the first, as Laman and Lemuel both rejected what Nephi tried to encourage them to do. If the people of Ammonihah do not repent they will end up just like the Lamanites.
Alma 9:15 Nevertheless I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment than for you, if ye remain in your sins, yea, and even more tolerable for them in this life than for you, except ye repent.
But in spite of the Lamanite’s wickedness, they are doing so in ignorance and that will be taken into account at the judgment day. However for the people of Ammonihah who know better, they will not get that brake.