The Witness of the Sons of Mosiah Part 5— Ammon & His Brethren (Alma 26-27)

Another Witness

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 in Alma 26-27. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 26-27) 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—

Chapter 26

And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?

Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness [Not just lacking personal redemption but having not the knowledge of the divine nature of God and the doctrine of Christ.], yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work [The “great work” is literally His work and His glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). They were instruments only as far as they were teaching the correct doctrine of Christ, witnessing as first-hand witnesses of their own personal redemption, and pointing people to Christ so they can also receive. Teaching an alternative doctrine or pointing them to another person or institution would have kept this “great work” from being accomplished. These are the fruits of true servants.]

Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God [The “fold of God” is not a temporal religious institution. It goes by the name of “The Church of Christ.” Members of this fold are “spiritual sons and daughters of Jesus Christ” having received personal redemption/salvation from the Lord through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. They have been both sanctified and justified through the redeeming power of God (Moses 6:59-62). (See The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide)]

Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.

Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them. [This is symbolic language used by Ammon to describe the new spiritual condition of these people—having been individually redeemed—now able to withstand the bonds of the adversary that previously bound them prior to their redemption. Notice the deep meaning of storm, whirlwinds, and fierce winds–being under Satan’s influence feels very much like that. The Savior becomes your refuge.]

But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.

8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.

For if we had not come up out of the land of Zarahemla, these our dearly beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved us, would still have been racked with hatred against us, yea, and they would also have been strangers to God [They would not have been converted to the Lord through personal redemption, and therefore would not have become spiritual sons and daughters of the Savior, Jesus Christ.]

10 And it came to pass that when Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting.

11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things [through His gifts of the spirit]; yea, behold, many mighty miracles [only possible through gifts of the spirit] we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice? [Notice that they are talking about a sincere change of heart that was only possible through the Lord. This does not happen by simply being baptized into a church/religious institution. He is talking about a Baptism of fire and Holy Ghost (personal redemption). Who did the “loosing?” A person? A church leader? No! It was the Lord, being in the details, that led each person the point in which they did receive their own Baptism of fire and Holy Ghost experience.]

14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell [Personally redeemed them from the telestial bond that held them “chained.”].

15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction [spiritual destruction/death because they had not yet been redeemed by the Lord]; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light [personally redeemed each one], yea, into everlasting salvation [Does it get any more plain and simple than this?]; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love [through the gift of the Holy Ghost which they now have through their own baptism of fire and Holy Ghost]; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full [Again, joy is the equivalent of receiving personal redemption. (See Witness of Lehi—Men Are, That They Might Have Joy)]; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

17 Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state? [Remember, that prior to going to embark on these missions, the Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah each received their own conversion to the Lord through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. This is also what the Lord, through Joseph Smith, commanded early missionaries to go and receive first before embarking into the world. He called it their “endowment of power” which would serve them well like the Sons of Mosiah to be able to exercise gift of the spirit and bear witness of the Lord with great power. This is what made the Sons of Mosiah so influential—because they had first received and they were first-hand witnesses to the greatness and mercy of the Lord’s redeeming power.]

18 Behold, we went forth even in wrath, with mighty threatenings to destroy his church.

19 Oh then, why did he not consign us to an awful destruction, yea, why did he not let the sword of his justice fall upon us, and doom us to eternal despair? [This is spiritual death without ever receiving personal redemption from the Lord.]

20 Oh, my soul, almost as it were, fleeth at the thought. Behold, he did not exercise his justice upon us, but in his great mercy hath brought us over that everlasting gulf of death and misery, even to the salvation of our souls [After all the explanation of how the Book of Mormon invites each person to come unto the Lord and receive personal redemption/salvation from Him—and now these sweet words. Can this get any more plain and simple? This is the doctrine of Christ and the Book of Mormon is the means of boldly declaring it over and over again. (See Do You Really Believe? The Right and Wrong of the Book of Mormon)].

21 And now behold, my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things [Personal redemption/salvation burns off this natural man through sanctification and justification (Moses 6:59-62)]? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent.

22 [Ok, here we go with the Sons of Mosiah witnessing of the doctrine of Christ in plainness.] Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance. [Those who serve the Lord as true servants have first received a conversion to the Lord through personal redemption, even to know the Lord. They are saying that this is how they are able to actually have power to do “the Lord’s work and glory” (Moses 1:39). The power of God is manifested through the gifts of the spirit. (See Gifts of the Spirit Part 1 and Part 2)]

23 Now do ye remember, my brethren, that we said unto our brethren in the land of Zarahemla, we go up to the land of Nephi, to preach unto our brethren, the Lamanites, and they laughed us to scorn?

24 For they said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that ye can [The Nephites were right, the Sons of Mosiah themselves could never do this. Only the Lord can through His amazing means.] convince the Lamanites of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers, as stiffnecked a people as they are; whose hearts delight in the shedding of blood; whose days have been spent in the grossest iniquity; whose ways have been the ways of a transgressor from the beginning? Now my brethren, ye remember that this was their language.

25 And moreover they did say: Let us take up arms against them, that we destroy them and their iniquity out of the land, lest they overrun us and destroy us.

26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls [Enable them to receive personal salvation (“save”) from the Lord like they had experienced.].

27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

[v23-27: This is not boasting of themselves or positioning themselves as elite. This is actually a very sincere gesture of praise and astonishment for “how truly great, amazing and magnificent the Lord really is.” This is looking back in hindsight and seeing the hand of the Lord in all things and even the hand of the Lord in the details. This is exactly how the Lord works with you, whether you realize it or not. He is there. He is trying to guide and direct you. Recognizing it requires “belief,” which is the opposite of the spiritual plague repeated through the Book of Mormon—which is “unbelief.” What “unbelief” do you have that is keeping you from recognizing the Lord, from being converted to the Lord, and even keeping you from knowing the Lord?]

28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God [The Lord God working through other people who were softened through ministering of angels that prepare the way for the Lord’s work.].

29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them [Christ’s doctrine], and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again [First spiritually delivered, then also temporally delivered].

30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

32 For behold, they had rather sacrifice their lives than even to take the life of their enemy; and they have buried their weapons of war deep in the earth, because of their love towards their brethren.

33 And now behold I say unto you, has there been so great love in all the land? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, there has not, even among the Nephites.

34 For behold, they would take up arms against their brethren; they would not suffer themselves to be slain. But behold how many of these have laid down their lives; and we know that they have gone to their God, because of their love and of their hatred to sin.

35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name. [Another plain and simple witness of the doctrine of Christ—it is everywhere! All are invited. He is no respecter of persons. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I assure you that this is our great God! It is an ironic habit for us to mock our born again Christian friends whose mantra states that in order to be saved, we must repent and believe on the name of Christ. Ammon very much sounds like a born again Christian.]

36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land. [This is such a great spiritual reminder. If you ever think or even believe that you are too far from the Lord, that you might be too insignificant to the Lord, that you might be not good enough for the Lord, then you have embraced “unbelief.” These ideas are not ideas of light, but darkness.]

37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

[Mormon is so intentional in everything He included in this beautiful record. This is also a powerful witness from Mormon. Keep in mind that this truth extends in all situations. If you, for example, believe that the Lord cannot and does not offer spiritual redemption to people outside of your religious sect, then I declare that you do not know the Lord or that you even have not been personally converted to the Lord. I witness that great is His power, His mercy, His designs, His attention to detail, His knowledge, His wisdom, His greatness, and His majesty. The Lord is doing His work right now through His means and among peoples that have no knowledge of your religious sect, institution or your missionaries. Yes, He even does His work of redemption among people that do not have the Book of Mormon. For the Lord is greater than all these things (sects, institutions, books, etc.) He is mindful of every soul. Do you doubt that the Lord has this power to know each soul? Do you doubt that the Lord has power to guide, direct and to redeem any soul? If so, that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Put aside your false traditions. Yes, put aside your “unbelief.”]

Chapter 27

Now it came to pass that when those Lamanites who had gone to war against the Nephites had found, after their many struggles to destroy them, that it was in vain to seek their destruction, they returned again to the land of Nephi.

And it came to pass that the Amalekites, because of their loss, were exceedingly angry. And when they saw that they could not seek revenge from the Nephites, they began to stir up the people in anger against their brethren, the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi; therefore they began again to destroy them.

Now this people again refused to take their arms, and they suffered themselves to be slain [Because of their commitment to the Lord which came about because of their conversion to the Lord. They had great confidence in their relationship with the Lord having already received personal redemption.] according to the desires of their enemies.

Now when Ammon and his brethren saw this work of destruction among those whom they so dearly beloved, and among those who had so dearly beloved them—for they were treated as though they were angels sent from God to save them from everlasting destruction—therefore, when Ammon and his brethren saw this great work of destruction, they were moved with compassion, and they said unto the king:

Let us gather together this people of the Lord, and let us go down to the land of Zarahemla to our brethren the Nephites, and flee out of the hands of our enemies, that we be not destroyed.

But the king said unto them: Behold, the Nephites will destroy us, because of the many murders and sins we have committed against them.

And Ammon said: I will go and inquire of the Lord, and if he say unto us, go down unto our brethren, will ye go?

And the king said unto him: Yea, if the Lord saith unto us go, we will go down unto our brethren [Great hope and faith in the Lord from their conversion], and we will be their slaves until we repair unto them the many murders and sins which we have committed against them.

But Ammon said unto him: It is against the law of our brethren, which was established by my father, that there should be any slaves among them; therefore let us go down and rely upon the mercies of our brethren.

10 But the king said unto him: Inquire of the Lord, and if he saith unto us go, we will go; otherwise we will perish in the land.

11 And it came to pass that Ammon went and inquired of the Lord, and the Lord said unto him:

12 Get this people out of this land, that they perish not; for Satan has great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites, who do stir up the Lamanites to anger against their brethren to slay them; therefore get thee out of this land; and blessed are this people in this generation, for I will preserve them.

13 And now it came to pass that Ammon went and told the king all the words which the Lord had said unto him.

14 And they gathered together all their people, yea, all the people of the Lord, and did gather together all their flocks and herds, and departed out of the land, and came into the wilderness which divided the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla, and came over near the borders of the land.

15 And it came to pass that Ammon said unto them: Behold, I and my brethren will go forth into the land of Zarahemla, and ye shall remain here until we return; and we will try the hearts of our brethren, whether they will that ye shall come into their land.

16 And it came to pass that as Ammon was going forth into the land, that he and his brethren met Alma, over in the place of which has been spoken; and behold, this was a joyful meeting.

17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.

18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.

19 Now the joy of Alma in meeting his brethren was truly great, and also the joy of Aaron, of Omner, and Himni; but behold their joy was not that to exceed their strength.

20 And now it came to pass that Alma conducted his brethren back to the land of Zarahemla; even to his own house. And they went and told the chief judge all the things that had happened unto them in the land of Nephi, among their brethren, the Lamanites.

21 And it came to pass that the chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land, desiring the voice of the people concerning the admitting their brethren, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.

22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance [There is great spiritual symbolism here within the doctrine of Christ. Ponder on it.].

23 And behold, we will set our armies between the land Jershon and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land Jershon; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their many murders and their awful wickedness.

24 And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon; and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us that we may maintain our armies. [More spiritual symbolism.]

25 Now, it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he returned to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, and also Alma with him, into the wilderness, where they had pitched their tents, and made known unto them all these things. And Alma also related unto them his conversion, with Ammon and Aaron, and his brethren [This was a beautiful experience of sharing and rejoicing in the glory and mercy of the Lord for all the things He has done for them and among them. Among like-minded souls, they could share openly about their experiences with the Lord even their receiving personal redemption and for some even to already have “known the Lord.”]

26 And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of Jershon, and took possession of the land of Jershon; and they were called by the Nephites the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after.

27 And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.

28 And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.

29 Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or cimeter to smite them.

30 And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord. [Do you know anyone like these? You know, the ones that are truly “zealous” for the Lord?]

Conclusion

The sons of Mosiah testified of the greatness of the Lord demonstrated in His gifts of the spirit working through them. It would be such an easy thing to be prideful and boast of all their successes and baptisms, to allow the Lamanite converts to revere them and hold them up as a light; but being true servants, the sons of Mosiah not only knew in whom they trusted, they gave Him all the glory for it.

If you have yet to understand the doctrine of Christ, how long will you resist the plainness and the repetition of Christ’s doctrine taught throughout the Book of Mormon? It is there—and it is there over and over, from page to page, chapter to chapter. See it, then do something about it.


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 learnbelievelive 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.

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