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, Aaron, Muloki, Ammah) in Alma 20-21. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 20-21) 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—Aaron in Jerusalem; Muloki and Ammah in Ani-Anti; and Ammon in Ishmael
[This entire chapter outlines the experience of Ammon and king Lamoni encountering Lamoni’s father on the road to Middoni, which almost didn’t turn out so well, but was completely orchestrated by the Lord and allowed for the release of Ammon’s brothers from prison. Rather than commenting on this entire chapter, I’ll include just a point or two in regard to salvation as it pertains to the doctrine of Christ. Notice that when Ammon and Lamoni met Lamoni’s father, Ammon drew special attention to the spiritual condition of young king Lamoni:]
17 But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.
18 And again, it is expedient that thou shouldst forbear; for if thou shouldst slay thy son, he being an innocent man, his blood would cry from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee; and perhaps thou wouldst lose thy soul.
[This is not only a distinction of Lamoni’s spiritual condition (“saved”—having received personal redemption/salvation from the Lord), but also a loving declaration to his father. Ammon sincerely wanted elder king Lamoni to also receive what young king Lamoni already had.]
1 Now when Ammon and his brethren separated themselves in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, behold Aaron took his journey towards the land which was called by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the land of their fathers’ nativity; and it was away joining the borders of Mormon.
2 Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great city, which was called Jerusalem.
3 Now the Lamanites of themselves were sufficiently hardened, but the Amalekites and the Amulonites were still harder; therefore they did cause the Lamanites that they should harden their hearts, that they should wax strong in wickedness and their abominations.
4 And it came to pass that Aaron came to the city of Jerusalem, and first began to preach to the Amalekites. And he began to preach to them in their synagogues, for they had built synagogues after the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors. [If you have forgotten the doctrine of Nehor, I would recommend that you refresh yourself. (See also witness of Nephi, Alma, Alma & Amulek Part 1 & Part 2)]
5 Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people? [The Book of Mormon makes it plain that those who are not experiencing the gifts of the spirit, and specifically the gift of the ministering of angels, is due to unbelief and not understanding or seeking the gifts of the spirit. Many times, those who don’t experience these gifts mock, belittle, and discredit those who do.]
6 Thou also sayest, except we repent we shall perish [spiritually perish; not be able to be redeemed]. How knowest thou the thought and intent of our hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? [See also the doctrine of Nehor.] Behold, we have built sanctuaries, and we do assemble ourselves together to worship God. We do believe that God will save all men. [The doctrine of Nehor taught that God would offer salvation to all. Contrast that with the doctrine that Aaron was teaching (and what the correct doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon teaches) that each person was commanded “to work out their own salvation with the Lord” (Mormon 9:27; Alma 34:37).]
7 Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins?
8 And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing. We do not believe in these foolish traditions. We do not believe that thou knowest of things to come, neither do we believe that thy fathers and also that our fathers did know concerning the things which they spake, of that which is to come [did not believe in the gifts of the spirit].
9 Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood. [This is the core of the doctrine of Christ. It also means that you cannot receive personal salvation by any other means than “in and through” the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you really believe this?]
[Notice where Aaron went to teach the correct doctrine of salvation to these people. He went directly to the scriptures. These people that were believers in the doctrine of Nehor had removed the scriptures from their teachings and instead relied heavily upon the flatteries of men who sought for influence and priestcrafts. (See also the doctrine of Nehor.) Now ask yourself, why Mormon would include this among the stacks of records for the latter days?]
10 And it came to pass as he began to expound these things unto them they were angry with him, and began to mock him; and they would not hear the words [doctrines] which he spake [Partly because the scriptures were so far from their understanding or were unfamiliar or uncomfortable to hear.].
11 Therefore, when he saw that they would not hear his words, he departed out of their synagogue, and came over to a village which was called Ani-Anti, and there he found Muloki preaching the word [the doctrines of salvation] unto them; and also Ammah and his brethren. And they contended with many about the word.
12 And it came to pass that they saw that the people would harden their hearts, therefore they departed and came over into the land of Middoni. And they did preach the word unto many, and few believed on the words which they taught. [The doctrines of Nehor made the people very comfortable. Nephi 28 comes to mind.]
13 Nevertheless, Aaron and a certain number of his brethren were taken and cast into prison, and the remainder of them fled out of the land of Middoni unto the regions round about.
14 And those who were cast into prison suffered many things, and they were delivered by the hand of Lamoni and Ammon, and they were fed and clothed.
15 And they went forth again to declare the word, and thus they were delivered for the first time out of prison; and thus they had suffered.
16 And they went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching the word of God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the Lamanites where they could be admitted.
17 And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct. [I hope you see by now that one of the themes of the Book of Mormon is trying to establish the correct doctrine of Christ among peoples. For without the correct doctrine of Christ, people would not know how to receive personal redemption. There were always competing doctrines. Do you believe this is a parallel for our days?]
18 And it came to pass that Ammon and Lamoni returned from the land of Middoni to the land of Ishmael, which was the land of their inheritance.
19 And king Lamoni would not suffer that Ammon should serve him, or be his servant.
20 But he caused that there should be synagogues built in the land of Ishmael; and he caused that his people, or the people who were under his reign, should assemble themselves together.
21 And he did rejoice over them, and he did teach them many things. And he did also declare unto them that they were a people who were under him, and that they were a free people, that they were free from the oppressions of the king [free to individually work out their own salvation with the Lord as opposed to being forced to follow the beliefs of a king or even the philosophies of a few.], his father; for that his father had granted unto him that he might reign over the people who were in the land of Ishmael, and in all the land round about.
22 And he also declared unto them that they might have the liberty of worshiping the Lord their God according to their desires, in whatsoever place they were in, if it were in the land which was under the reign of king Lamoni. [It is so important to distinguish between this freedom. This includes freedom from the an organized church trying to administrate one’s salvation. This takes the “personal” out of “personal salvation.” Even with a church and meeting places established (synagogues), the church fulfilled a limited role. It was to only maintain and teach the correct doctrine of Christ. From there, it was always up to the individual person to work out the details of their salvation “in and through” a personal relationship with the Lord. This was not something that Ammon or king Lamoni could administrate or be an intermediary. The Lord God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is no respecter of persons. Do you really believe what Mormon is teaching and highlighting here?]
23 And Ammon did preach unto the people of king Lamoni; and it came to pass that he did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness. And he did exhort them daily, with all diligence; and they gave heed unto his word, and they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God. [This is the role of a true servant—to teach, exhort (lift) with diligence. It is not to be the go-between, but simply point people to the Lord for salvation and not to one’s self. A true servant will do this, because they have such unwavering faith in the Lord. After all, is there anything that the Lord is incapable of doing for any person? No!]
Yet again, this is another witness that may challenge what a person really believes is contained in the Book of Mormon. What is the role of a church? Of a true servant? Of the Savior? Over and over again, the doctrine of Christ points to the Lord, God Jehovah, who died to save us all. He is the beginning and the end, the author and finisher of our faith. Rely on Him and his grace and forgiveness. Call out to Him. He will redeem you.
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.
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.