17 May 2014

Alma 18: Ammon converts King Lamoni

After the King Lamoni had heard the story about Ammon defending the flocks (and seen the Lamanite arms that he cut off), he was very impressed. So impressed, in fact, that he announced that Ammon wasn't merely a man, but the Great Spirit himself. His servants weren't so sure, but the king had made up his mind. 
And when they had all testified to the things which they had seen, and he had learned of the faithfulness of Ammon in preserving his flocks, and also of his great power in contending against those who sought to slay him, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Surely, this is more than a man. Behold, is not this the Great Spirit who doth send such great punishments upon this people, because of their murders? 18.2
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. 18.4 

But Ammon wasn't around for the king's praise. He was busy feeding the king's horses, and getting the chariot ready for the king's upcoming trip to the Land of Nephi. When the king heard what Ammon was up to, be exclaimed:

"What a guy! I've never had such a faithful servant who not only remembers my orders, but OBEYS them! I'd like to speak to him, but what will I say? "
And it came to pass that king Lamoni inquired of his servants, saying: Where is this man that has such great power? 18.8 
And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land. 18.9 
Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished, because of the faithfulness of Ammon, saying: Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them. 18.10 
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. 18.11
When Ammon was done with the horses, he went in to talk to the king. When he entered the chamber, though, the king's expression changed, so he immediately turned around and started to leave.
And it came to pass that when Ammon had made ready the horses and the chariots for the king and his servants, he went in unto the king, and he saw that the countenance of the king was changed; therefore he was about to return out of his presence. 18.12

But then, before he left the room, Lamoni's servant asked Ammon to stay. He even called him "Rabbanah", which was a very special name that meant "Powerful King". He told him that the King wanted him to stay. Ammon turned around and asked the King what he could do for him. For some reason, the King didn't respond for an entire hour, and Ammon just stood there waiting.  Eventually he asked again, "What can I do for you?"
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. 8.13 
Therefore Ammon turned himself unto the king, and said unto him: What wilt thou that I should do for thee, O king? And the king answered him not for the space of an hour, according to their time, for he knew not what he should say unto him. 8.14
But still, he didn't get an answer. So he had to turn to his mind-reading skills. Was the King dumbfounded because he was so awesome? That had to be it.

And it came to pass that Ammon said unto him again: What desirest thou of me? But the king answered him not. 18.15 
And it came to pass that Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts of the king. 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? 18.16 
And this amazed the King even more. So the king finally spoke, asking Ammon if he was the Great Spirit. Ammon said no, and they have a nice discussion about the subtle differences between God, the Great Spirit, Zeus, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the Great JuJu Under the Sea. Ammon convinces the king the following things:

1.) He wasn't the Great Spirit
2.) God and the Great Spirit were the same thing
3.) God created heaven and Earth (Although the king was a little confused about where heaven was, since he had never seen it himself).
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? 18.18 
Ammon answered and said unto him: I am not. 18.19 
And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? 18.24 
And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth. 18.25 
And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit? 18.26 
And he said, Yea. 18.27 
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? 18.28 
And he said: Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens. 18.29 
And Ammon said unto him: The heavens is a place where God dwells and all his holy angels. 18.30  
And king Lamoni said: Is it above the earth? 18.31
After the discussion, Ammon told the king every story that he knew, everything from the creation Adam up to the present time. The king believed it all, and cried out to the Lord for mercy. I'm sure there was a weeping, and a moaning, and a gnashing of teeth.
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. 18.36 
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. 18.37 
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. 18.38 
But this is not all; for he expounded unto them the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world; and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and all the works of the Lord did he make known unto them. 18.39 
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. 18.40 
And he began to cry unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, have mercy; according to thy abundant mercy which thou hast had upon the people of Nephi, have upon me, and my people. 18.41
Then the king fell down, as if dead. His servants put him on his bed, and everyone thought he was dead for two days. His family even started to mourn his death (I'm sure Ammon knew that he was okay, though.)
And now, when he had said this, he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead. 18.42 
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. 18.43

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