3 And so great were their afflictions that every soul had cause to mourn; and they believed that it was the judgments of God sent upon them because of their wickedness and their abominations; therefore they were awakened to a remembrance of their duty.
The Book of Mormon repeatedly points out how conversion based solely on circumstances can be superficial and shallow. Worse, such conversion can even be deeply destructive.
Many join the church because of the circumstances in society. They feel that God is punishing them and so feel duty bound to become more religious. But this clearly isn’t motivated out of a sincere religious conversion. And so soon after these new members quickly turn back to old habits and beliefs. And they cause internal strife and dissension in the Church halting its progress.
It isn’t enough to have people convert based on their circumstances. They must instead be truly and deeply converted to the Lord.
Alma understood that these members who had begun to be lifted up in the ways of the world could only be redeemed in one way. It was only through bearing down in pure testimony against them that they could be truly converted.
We must make sure our conversion is rooted in Christ rather than circumstance or else we will be unable to withstand trials and challanges.