In my journey to know the Lord, one thing that has been consistent is being reminded over and over again how the Lord is in all things and even in the details. He is so aware of each person and aware of any and all groups of people. He is the great covenant keeper. He is no respecter of persons and is extending His hand to anyone that will repent and come unto Him. I have come to personally know that anything less is a manifestation of unbelief.
This post is part of a series and personal assignment titled, “Unveiling the Covenant Path in the Book of Mormon.” Through this we have revealed the Book of Mormon for what it really is. It started with featuring the Savior’s own witness of the doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon. Then starting from the beginning, we have demonstrated how other Book of Mormon prophets have taught and shared their own personal witness of the true covenant path (“the Doctrine of Christ”).
Today, I will share yet another witness of the Doctrine of Christ from the Sons of Mosiah (specifically Ammon) in Alma 17-19. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 17-19) on your own first and use the spirit of the Lord to help you see the doctrine of Christ with new eyes. Then feel free to supplement your own reading with mine if you would like. There is so much to comment on in each chapter, but I will try to limit my comments to only those things that are relevant to the doctrine of Christ and this specific project. I invite you to seek the spirit to teach you their meaning. If you have the proper context of the doctrine of Christ, it should be easier. Use the spirit to discern any of my personal messages. My comments are only there to help clarify the simplicity and beauty of Christ’s true saving doctrine.
The Witness of the Sons of Mosiah—Ammon in the Land Ishmael
1 And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.
2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy [a “prophet”], and the spirit of revelation [a “revelator”], and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God [the gifts of the spirit].
[Things like “prophet” or “revelator” are not offices; rather they are merely the evidence (fruits) of gifts of the spirit. Offices or organizational appointments themselves offer only organizational authority. On the other hand, gifts of the spirit are received as one progresses in their personal journey/relationship with the Lord through the doctrine of Christ. Within the gifts of the spirit one will find divine authority (as opposed to organizational authority.) (See also Gifts of the Spirit)]
4 And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth [what truth is this?]; yea, by the power of their words [not just their words, but their words through the gifts of the spirit] many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him [repentance].
5 Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit.
6 Now these were their journeyings: Having taken leave of their father, Mosiah, in the first year of the judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them, and also this was the minds of the people;
7 Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness [not supported by the church].
8 And thus they departed into the wilderness with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God unto the Lamanites.
9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God [sign of true servants] to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct [what traditions?].
10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted. [the sign of true servants that have petitioned for the Lord’s gifts of the spirit and then receive the assurance by revelation they will have them.]
11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. [This is a prophecy and foreshadowing of the Lord. Look for the fulfillment of this promise of salvation. Take note that this is the purpose that the Lord sends servants, which is to teach the doctrine of Christ unto the actual receiving of personal salvation from the Lord.]
12 And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God [The “word of God” is literally the words that God would have the people know, by prophecy and revelation (gifts of the spirit), that would direct them to receive personal redemption/salvation—”the way” or “the doctrine of Christ.”].
13 And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken.
14 And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God [“the way” to salvation] to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands. [All worldly things that keep a person from seeing the Lord as their personal Savior (blinding).]
15 Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding the promises of the Lord [the Everlasting Covenant] were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance [Part of repentance is to stop believing that the world (its things and its people) can offer everlasting peace like personal salvation. It is to then turn to the true God that does actually offer it with an eye single to His glory.].
16 Therefore, this was the cause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption [the means of personal redemption—the doctrine of Christ].
17 Therefore they separated themselves one from another, and went forth among them, every man alone, according to the word and power of God which was given unto him [totally dependent upon the Lord through the gifts of the spirit].
18 Now Ammon being the chief among them, or rather he did administer unto them, and he departed from them, after having blessed them according to their several stations, having imparted the word of God unto them, or administered unto them before his departure; and thus they took their several journeys throughout the land.
19 And Ammon went to the land of Ishmael, the land being called after the sons of Ishmael, who also became Lamanites.
20 And as Ammon entered the land of Ishmael, the Lamanites took him and bound him, as was their custom to bind all the Nephites who fell into their hands, and carry them before the king; and thus it was left to the pleasure of the king to slay them, or to retain them in captivity, or to cast them into prison, or to cast them out of his land, according to his will and pleasure.
21 And thus Ammon was carried before the king who was over the land of Ishmael; and his name was Lamoni; and he was a descendant of Ishmael.
22 And the king inquired of Ammon if it were his desire to dwell in the land among the Lamanites, or among his people.
23 And Ammon said unto him: Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die [until the Lord revealed unto him something different].
24 And it came to pass that king Lamoni was much pleased with Ammon, and caused that his bands should be loosed; and he would that Ammon should take one of his daughters to wife.
25 But Ammon said unto him: Nay, but I will be thy servant. Therefore Ammon became a servant to king Lamoni. And it came to pass that he was set among other servants to watch the flocks of Lamoni, according to the custom of the Lamanites.
26 And after he had been in the service of the king three days, as he was with the Lamanitish servants going forth with their flocks to the place of water, which was called the water of Sebus, and all the Lamanites drive their flocks hither, that they may have water—
27 Therefore, as Ammon and the servants of the king were driving forth their flocks to this place of water, behold, a certain number of the Lamanites, who had been with their flocks to water, stood and scattered the flocks of Ammon and the servants of the king, and they scattered them insomuch that they fled many ways.
28 Now the servants of the king began to murmur, saying: Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men. And they began to weep exceedingly, saying: Behold, our flocks are scattered already.
29 Now they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words [credibility to be able to share the doctrine of Christ].
30 And now, these were the thoughts of Ammon, when he saw the afflictions of those whom he termed to be his brethren.
31 And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us.
32 And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water.
33 And those men again stood to scatter their flocks; but Ammon said unto his brethren: Encircle the flocks round about that they flee not; and I go and contend with these men who do scatter our flocks.
34 Therefore, they did as Ammon commanded them, and he went forth and stood to contend with those who stood by the waters of Sebus; and they were in number not a few.
35 Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord; therefore they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king. [They lacked base knowledge of the divine nature of God. Therefore they lacked hope (belief and confidence) in the true God. These are primary principles of the doctrine of Christ.]
36 But Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling; yea, with mighty power he did sling stones amongst them; and thus he slew a certain number of them insomuch that they began to be astonished at his power; nevertheless they were angry because of the slain of their brethren, and they were determined that he should fall; therefore, seeing that they could not hit him with their stones, they came forth with clubs to slay him.
37 But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword; for he did withstand their blows by smiting their arms with the edge of his sword, insomuch that they began to be astonished, and began to flee before him; yea, and they were not few in number; and he caused them to flee by the strength of his arm.
38 Now six of them had fallen by the sling, but he slew none save it were their leader with his sword; and he smote off as many of their arms as were lifted against him, and they were not a few.
39 And when he had driven them afar off, he returned and they watered their flocks and returned them to the pasture of the king, and then went in unto the king, bearing the arms which had been smitten off by the sword of Ammon, of those who sought to slay him; and they were carried in unto the king for a testimony of the things which they had done.
…4 And now, when the king heard these words, he said unto them: Now I know that it is the Great Spirit; and he has come down at this time to preserve your lives, that I might not slay you as I did your brethren. Now this is the Great Spirit of whom our fathers have spoken.
5 Now this was the tradition of Lamoni, which he had received from his father, that there was a Great Spirit. Notwithstanding they believed in a Great Spirit, they supposed that whatsoever they did was right; nevertheless, Lamoni began to fear exceedingly, with fear lest he had done wrong in slaying his servants;
11 Now I surely know that this is the Great Spirit, and I would desire him that he come in unto me, but I durst not.
13 And one of the king’s servants said unto him, Rabbanah, which is, being interpreted, powerful or great king, considering their kings to be powerful; and thus he said unto him: Rabbanah, the king desireth thee to stay.
[They had knowledge of the existence of a God (the Great Spirit) but did not know the true divine nature of this God. This is also why they had mistaken Ammon for the Lord God and called him by these titles. (See also the Divine Nature of God Deep Roots and Shallow Roots.)]
…16 And it came to pass that Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts of the king [Gift of the spirit]. And he said unto him: Is it because thou hast heard that I defended thy servants and thy flocks, and slew seven of their brethren with the sling and with the sword, and smote off the arms of others, in order to defend thy flocks and thy servants; behold, is it this that causeth thy marvelings?
17 I say unto you, what is it, that thy marvelings are so great? Behold, I am a man, and am thy servant; therefore, whatsoever thou desirest which is right, that will I do.
18 Now when the king had heard these words, he marveled again, for he beheld that Ammon could discern his thoughts; but notwithstanding this, king Lamoni did open his mouth, and said unto him: Who art thou? Art thou that Great Spirit, who knows all things?
19 Ammon answered and said unto him: I am not.
[This entire experience reminds me of Cornelius approaching Peter (Acts 10). Cornelius was in awe of Peter. Peter explains that God is no respecter of persons and asked Cornelius to honor the Lord, not Peter. This would have been so easy for Ammon to set himself up as a light for gain and even take advantage of the people for personal gain (praises, honor, glory, etc.). Instead he was quick to do as Peter did and made nothing of himself and everything of the Lord. This is a sign of a true servant throughout time and especially today. Even notable men or women of office or appointment are no greater or less than any other. Do you believe it? Or do you have unbelief? (See also God is no respecter of persons)]
20 And the king said: How knowest thou the thoughts of my heart? Thou mayest speak boldly, and tell me concerning these things; and also tell me by what power ye slew and smote off the arms of my brethren that scattered my flocks—
21 And now, if thou wilt tell me concerning these things, whatsoever thou desirest I will give unto thee; and if it were needed, I would guard thee with my armies; but I know that thou art more powerful than all they; nevertheless, whatsoever thou desirest of me I will grant it unto thee.
22 Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni: Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee.
23 And the king answered him, and said: Yea, I will believe all thy words. And thus he was caught with guile.
24 And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?
25 And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.
26 And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit? [A question of knowledge and the degree of hope (belief, confidence) that he had.]
27 And he said, Yea.
28 And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?
29 And he said: Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens. [“Well let me teach you how you can literally know the heavens!” Now Ammon will expand on King Lamoni’s current knowledge and help increase his hope (belief & trust) in the true God. (see also Faith, Hope & Why Charity Never Faileth)]
30 And Ammon said unto him: The heavens is a place where God dwells and all his holy angels.
31 And king Lamoni said: Is it above the earth?
32 And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.
33 And king Lamoni said: I believe all these things which thou hast spoken [Sufficient hope]. Art thou sent from God? [Faith to ask]
34 Ammon said unto him: I am a man; and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true [Knowledge of the things which are “just and true” pertains to the doctrine of Christ. (See also The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide.)];
35 And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God [This is the gift of the Holy Ghost which for Ammon was received as part of the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost experience that occurred at the same time with the other Sons of Mosiah. (See also Mosiah 27)].
36 Now when Ammon had said these words, he began at the creation of the world, and also the creation of Adam, and told him all the things concerning the fall of man, and rehearsed and laid before him the records and the holy scriptures of the people, which had been spoken by the prophets, even down to the time that their father, Lehi, left Jerusalem. [Ammon is rehearsing the Everlasting Covenant from the beginning even to explaining how and why King Lamoni and his people came to be upon the face of this promised land.]
37 And he also rehearsed unto them (for it was unto the king and to his servants) all the journeyings of their fathers in the wilderness, and all their sufferings with hunger and thirst, and their travail, and so forth [the consequences of rejecting the knowledge of the Everlasting Covenant and the doctrine of Christ since Laman and Lemuel led many away from the truth.].
38 And he also rehearsed unto them concerning the rebellions of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, yea, all their rebellions did he relate unto them; and he expounded unto them all the records and scriptures from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem down to the present time.
39 But this is not all; for he expounded unto them the plan of redemption [the doctrine of Christ], which was prepared from the foundation of the world [the Everlasting Covenant]; and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ [the means by which the Everlasting Covenant will be fulfilled and the the means by which a person can fulfill the doctrine of Christ.], and all the works of the Lord did he make known unto them.
40 And it came to pass that after he had said all these things, and expounded them to the king, that the king believed all his words [King Lamoni had exercised sufficient hope and faith in the Lord].
41 And he began to cry [a genuine, authentic and sincere personal voice out loud (“knocking”)] unto the Lord, saying: O Lord [the only means by which the King could receive personal redemption/salvation], have mercy; according to thy abundant mercy which thou hast had upon the people of Nephi, have upon me, and my people [“asking”].
[Notice the evidence of King Lamoni exercising necessary principles of righteousness to this point (e.g. sufficient hope, faith, seeking, knocking, asking).]
42 And now, when he had said this, he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead [“receiving”].
43 And it came to pass that his servants took him and carried him in unto his wife, and laid him upon a bed; and he lay as if he were dead for the space of two days and two nights; and his wife, and his sons, and his daughters mourned over him, after the manner of the Lamanites, greatly lamenting his loss.
1 And it came to pass that after two days and two nights they were about to take his body and lay it in a sepulchre, which they had made for the purpose of burying their dead.
2 Now the queen having heard of the fame of Ammon, therefore she sent and desired that he should come in unto her.
3 And it came to pass that Ammon did as he was commanded, and went in unto the queen, and desired to know what she would that he should do.
4 And she said unto him: The servants of my husband have made it known unto me that thou art a prophet of a holy God, and that thou hast power to do many mighty works in his name;
5 Therefore, if this is the case, I would that ye should go in and see my husband, for he has been laid upon his bed for the space of two days and two nights; and some say that he is not dead, but others say that he is dead and that he stinketh, and that he ought to be placed in the sepulchre; but as for myself, to me he doth not stink.
6 Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God [king Lamoni was “receiving”]; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God—[Ammon king Lamoni was “receiving” a personal experience with the Lord in the heavenly realms. This is what some might call an “ascension experience.” It means for a portion of your spirit to leave your body while your body remains living. In this experience in the heavenly realms, a person will engage in a one-on-one experience with the Lord. (See also Second Comforter experience in The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide).]
7 Therefore, what the queen desired of him was his only desire. Therefore, he went in to see the king according as the queen had desired him; and he saw the king, and he knew that he was not dead [gift of the spirit made this known].
8 And he said unto the queen: He is not dead, but he sleepeth in God, and on the morrow he shall rise again; therefore bury him not.
9 And Ammon said unto her: Believest thou this? And she said unto him: I have had no witness save thy word, and the word of our servants; nevertheless I believe that it shall be according as thou hast said [having exercised great hope and faith].
10 And Ammon said unto her: Blessed art thou because of thy exceeding faith; I say unto thee, woman, there has not been such great faith among all the people of the Nephites.
11 And it came to pass that she watched over the bed of her husband, from that time even until that time on the morrow which Ammon had appointed that he should rise.
12 And it came to pass that he arose, according to the words of Ammon; and as he arose, he stretched forth his hand unto the woman, and said: Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou.
13 For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit [like king Lamoni had experienced].
[Notice the witness of king Lamoni—he just finishes an ascension experience with the Lord and returns and gives a first-hand witness of the power of God. King Lamoni does not use the title of “Redeemer” lightly here. The Lord literally “redeemed” him. The Lord gave him personal redemption through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost, which is what enabled his spirit to ascend to the heavenly realms for a second and personal witness of the Lord. What does king Lamoni witness to about redemption?—that “he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name.” Did king Lamoni say that people will be redeemed by joining a specific church or religion? Did he say that a person needed to attend a temple and participate in certain rituals? No. Instead, he witnesses that redemption is more plain and simple—for those “who believe on his name.” This is a summarization of the fulfillment of the doctrine of Christ. You will need to study this out further, but if you have studied The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide you will have a head start. Just as it says that a person must be born again by being baptized “in the name of the Son” (by fire and Holy Ghost), a person is redeemed by “believing on His name.” To “believe on His name” is the story of one’s personal journey “in and through” the Lord. It encompasses the exercising of principles of righteousness within the doctrine of Christ and literally guided by the Lord to the point in which they will receive a “baptism in the name of the Son” (fire and Holy Ghost; personal redemption/salvation.) This is also a witness of how personal your salvation is with the Lord.]
14 Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth.
[It can seem so obvious now as you read the Book of Mormon today, but these people were held back primarily because of the lack of knowledge of the Everlasting Covenant and the doctrine of Christ. Yes, it was in their iniquities, but equally, it was their traditions. If the Book of Mormon is a restored book for our day, what iniquities or false traditions do you maintain that are keeping you (or others) from an understanding of the Everlasting Covenant and the doctrine of Christ (which is keeping you/them from receiving personal redemption/salvation)? Be very honest with yourself. (see also, Do You Really Believe? The Right and Wrong of the Book of Mormon.)]
15 Now, when the servants of the king had seen that they had fallen, they also began to cry unto God, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them also, for it was they who had stood before the king and testified unto him concerning the great power of Ammon.
16 And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father— [gift of the the spirit]
17 Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it known, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth, she knew that it was the power of God; and supposing that this opportunity, by making known unto the people what had happened among them, that by beholding this scene it would cause them to believe in the power of God, therefore she ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people.
18 And they began to assemble themselves together unto the house of the king. And there came a multitude, and to their astonishment, they beheld the king, and the queen, and their servants prostrate upon the earth, and they all lay there as though they were dead; and they also saw Ammon, and behold, he was a Nephite.
19 And now the people began to murmur among themselves; some saying that it was a great evil that had come upon them, or upon the king and his house, because he had suffered that the Nephite should remain in the land.
20 But others rebuked them, saying: The king hath brought this evil upon his house, because he slew his servants who had had their flocks scattered at the waters of Sebus.
21 And they were also rebuked by those men who had stood at the waters of Sebus and scattered the flocks which belonged to the king, for they were angry with Ammon because of the number which he had slain of their brethren at the waters of Sebus, while defending the flocks of the king.
22 Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead.
23 Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord.
24 And it came to pass that when the multitude beheld that the man had fallen dead, who lifted the sword to slay Ammon, fear came upon them all, and they durst not put forth their hands to touch him or any of those who had fallen; and they began to marvel again among themselves what could be the cause of this great power, or what all these things could mean.
25 And it came to pass that there were many among them who said that Ammon was the Great Spirit, and others said he was sent by the Great Spirit;
26 But others rebuked them all, saying that he was a monster, who had been sent from the Nephites to torment them.
27 And there were some who said that Ammon was sent by the Great Spirit to afflict them because of their iniquities; and that it was the Great Spirit that had always attended the Nephites, who had ever delivered them out of their hands; and they said that it was this Great Spirit who had destroyed so many of their brethren, the Lamanites.
28 And thus the contention began to be exceedingly sharp among them. And while they were thus contending, the woman servant [Abish] who had caused the multitude to be gathered together came, and when she saw the contention which was among the multitude she was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto tears.
29 And it came to pass that she went and took the queen by the hand, that perhaps she might raise her from the ground; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people! [Like king Lamoni, when his wife awakened, what was her personal witness that she received? Like king Lamoni, who did she say was responsible for this? Because of her joy, what did she wish for and for whom? Why? This account is quite remarkable, because this is the first account so far in the Book of Mormon outlining the particulars of a specific woman who received redemption, not to mention the great faith and conversion of Abish, who had already been converted to the Lord through her father’s vision. What a treasure to have these witnesses. The Lord is truly no respecter of persons.]
30 And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood [gift of speaking in tongues]; and when she had done this, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and behold he arose and stood upon his feet.
31 And he, immediately, seeing the contention among his people, went forth and began to rebuke them, and to teach them the words which he had heard from the mouth of Ammon; and as many as heard his words believed, and were converted unto the Lord. [To whom or what were the believing people converted? This seems so obvious, but also it might fly in the face of what you might have already been taught. Does this say that they were converted to a church/institution? Does it say they were converted to Ammon?—and that they should now be followers of Ammon? Think about the plainness of the doctrine of Christ and the power of God may be contradictory to what or who you have been taught that offers you redemption or even exaltation.]
32 But there were many among them who would not hear his words; therefore they went their way. [Think about this. After everything that happened and after all the first-hand witnesses (including their king, his wife, their servants, etc.), why would these people not hear their words? Their unbelief was thick like mud. They could not believe in a God of this power, of this glory and this magnitude. They had been taught for generations to place their faith in mankind—in their kings, in their mortal leaders, in what they could only see, touch and sense physically. Learning of such a great God was beyond them at this time. The idea that God was so personal and so capable was also so foreign to them. This is the plague of unbelief shared throughout the Book of Mormon.]
33 And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil. [This is internal evidence that is manifested outwardly of people that have been “born again”—that have received personal redemption/salvation.]
34 And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness. [This is the purpose of the gifts of the spirit—to manifest the greatness of God in light of man’s fallen state, not to extoll the greatness of man (and good men/women) for the sake of worldly praises.]
35 And it came to pass that there were many that did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized [baptism of repentance]; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them [If you have read previous posts (about King Benjamin, Alma Sr., Alma the Younger, and Amulek), you will understand that the church existed in the Book of Mormon only to maintain and teach the correct doctrine of Christ, which is the one and only way (means) to personal redemption/salvation. From there, each person was accountable to the Lord through a personal relationship with Him. Why? Because once they had entered into the covenant (through baptism of repentance), they were to focus on their relationship with the Lord until they would receive a complete “baptism in the name of the Son.”] (See also The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide for more understanding.)
36 And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites [the work of the Lord is helping people fulfill the doctrine of Christ]; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name. [So why did Mormon include this account and these multiple witnesses in the Book of Mormon? Because it testifies of how the Lord works with each person on earth—that He is the same yesterday, today and forever—that He is no respecter of persons.]
I sometimes wonder how people can read chapters in the Book of Mormon like these (Alma 17-19) and see some things, but not see others. I have heard people exclaim how powerful Ammon’s missionary methods are in offering himself as a servant to the king in order earn his trust and establish credibility. Sure, this is true. But, I hope you see now that it was simply a means to an end. And I fear that we might be blind to “that end.”
What in the world was Ammon doing there in the first place? Was he not there to bring these fallen people into redemption with the Lord? In order to do so, didn’t he have to teach the Everlasting Covenant and the doctrine of Christ? Of course! This is that end that he sought for—the Lord’s redemption.
I hope you can overcome any unbelief you might have by seeing the small, yet significant, details of this experience. There are so many details to ponder in these chapters, including:
- What name did they call upon?
- Who did they pray to and ask for redemption?
- What were the requirements for redemption?
- Notice here in the Book of Mormon the personal witnesses of the fulfillment of the doctrine of Christ, and even how it is repeated—first with king Lamoni, then with his wife, then Ammon, then the servants of the king, then with other believers of the people.
- Notice that not all were handled the same by the Lord. Yet, each was known to the Lord and they were dealt with as they needed to be at that specific time. Notice how this is the same as it works for each person today. This is a witness that the Lord God truly is perfectly just and merciful, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and full of glory. Notice that there were many who witnessed all these events who did not believe and walked away.
- This is a history that witnesses of the power of God. Do you really believe that the Lord really did do these things among this people? Or do you believe this is fiction? Do you really believe God has this power—even to maintaining the life in the body but call one’s spirit into the heavenly realms? Does he not have power to first redeem and save? Is there any “unbelief” or even false traditions within you that keeps you from “crying out to the Lord for His mercy to come upon you” (18:41) like king Lamoni?
Ammon was a simple teacher and personal witnesses of the doctrine of Christ. He was led by the gift of revelation in this entire experience in the land of Ishmael. What made it so powerful, is that it challenged understanding of the divine nature of the Lord. When a person learns, understands and believes in the divine nature of the Lord, not only does everything just work the way it is supposed to, but everything and anything is possible through the Lord. It enables a person to exercise faith, which is seeking for personal revelation and acting on the words of the Lord. It leads a person to repent and begin their personal journey with the Lord. This correct version of the doctrine of Christ (covenant path) is so powerful!
For more understanding of this covenant path and its milestones taught throughout the scriptures, you are welcome to begin your personal study and your own journey in and through the doctrine of Christ through The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. Also, to help you increase your confidence in personal revelation and develop your own gift of discernment, I invite you to study The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.
The Witness of the Sons of Mosiah Part 2
JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on free, online study guides to help you learn, believe, live and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and to even literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).
Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides. Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation. Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to literally “come unto Christ” while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org.