Alma and Amulek, and many more who had been chosen, were priesthood holders. The blessings of the priesthood and the Spirit of the Lord, or the Holy Ghost, would bring about the sanctification process as Alma had earlier taught the people of Ammonihah (see Alma 13:10–12). There being no iniquity among them (Alma 16:16) is evidence of their loving their neighbors as themselves, the second great commandment (see Matthew 22:34–40). To be grafted back into the true vine (Alma 16:17) is to “come to the knowledge of the true Messiah” (1 Nephi 10:14). Christ is the true vine and without receiving nourishment from him the fruit of eternal life cannot be produced (see John 15:1–5; and 1 Nephi 15:12–15). Being grafted back into the true vine also implies they became cognizant of the covenants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were certainly aware of the allegory of the house of Israel given by Zenos (Jacob 5). The Nephites were in a period of peace and joy as they prepared for the coming of Christ (Alma 16:16). Through the teachings of the Holy Ghost and the priesthood, the wickedness among them was overcome. (v. 18).
Although the birth of Christ was about 78 years away, his coming would be over one hundred years in the future. When he was to come to them was not made known, but they did know that it would not be until after his resurrection (v. 20). The people were being prepared well and the victory over the devil (v. 21) was decisive, at least for a short time.