"And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them; for when I heard the words--If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God--I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more."
I think that this was a very effective message from God. He could have had his angel plead with Alma to come back to him and to do what is right... he could have told him how much he loved him and wanted him back. But instead he respected Alma's decisions and told him basically... okay, if you want to live apart from me and destroy yourself, that's your choice. But I need you to stop hurting others with your actions. And I think that we occasionally have such wake-up calls in our lives as well. God often does tell us or show us how much he loves us and pleads with us to come back to him... but when we've stopped listening and gone far enough away that we can't hear those kinds of messages anymore, sometimes he communicates with us as he did with Alma... telling us that he will respect our choice to destroy ourselves if we continue down that path, but that we need to stop harming others through our actions. And actually, we're amazingly lucky if we get a dramatic message like that, because someone cares enough to try to pull us back from the brink of destruction. Kind of like an intervention. Alma's angelic intervention came because his father prayed and prayed and prayed for his son... and Alma was able to repent and go back and heal as much as he could of the damage that he had caused.
I think it is also interesting that Alma was amazed that he was facing destruction. Sometimes when we make bad choices and start tuning out the spirit that we also work to convince ourselves that what we are doing isn't really that bad... and then when we've convinced ourselves of that, that it isn't really bad at all. We tell ourselves lies in order to salve our consciences and continue down the path that we've chosen... so much so that a strong reminder of the consequences of our actions can amaze us.
Today, let's be honest with ourselves about where we're headed. If we're already well off the path, then let's take this one last chance to turn around and save ourselves from dire consequences. If we're headed in the wrong direction, but still able to hear God, let's stop and talk to him and really work at understanding his plan of happiness... not just happiness for others, but for us, individually. And if we're firmly on the path, let us pray for and help those who aren't, because we need them too. We're all brothers and sisters, and there are no throwaways in a Zion society.