Why did an angel come to help such vile sinners? Why would there be a miraculous intervention on behalf of those who were willfully rebelling and therefore apparently unworthy of heavenly intercession? The angel was sent because of the mighty prayers of many righteous members of the Church—especially the prayers of two fathers, the king and the prophet. One immediately recalls the feelings of the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:10–32), which are a thinly veiled reflection of our Heavenly Father’s feelings for each of us. One can imagine the intensity of affection possessed by Alma and Mosiah for their sons.
There is great power in the prayer of faith and in the pleading of the righteous. God answered their prayers, and he will answer our prayers—not always exactly like we would hope and expect but “in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will” (D&C 88:68). Like the prodigal son, the sons of Alma and Mosiah would feel the Spirit and come to themselves (Luke 15:17). Thus, we know that even those in the deepest throes of wickedness can feel the Spirit of the Lord.