12 June 2014

Alma 19: Falling to the earth

By now the people were getting convinced that the king was actually dead. He had been laying motionless on his bed for two days, so the queen called for Ammon to ask him what to do.
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. 19.1 
Now the queen having heard of the fame of Ammon, therefore she sent and desired that he should come in unto her. 19.2 
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. 19.3 
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; 19.4

Nobody was quite sure whether or not the king was dead. The issue seemed to hinge on whether or not he stunk. You see, a person is only really, truly dead when they start stinking. Some people said that he stunk, but the queen didn't think so.
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. 19.5
Ammon knew that the king was merely in a sort of devil-detox mode, and that he would wake up the next day. He called this period of time "Sleeping in God". Ammon told the queen not to bury him just yet. He didn't mention anything about the odor of the king. 
Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; 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 -- 19.6 
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. 19.7 
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. 19.8

Ammon asked her if she believed him. She said, "Well, gee, it's your word against theirs. I guess I'll believe you." Ammon said, "Bless you for your faith. There isn't a single Nephite with stronger faith than you". 
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. 19.9 
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. 19.10 
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. 19.11
She waited by the king's bed until the next day, and then he woke up just like Ammon said he would. When he did, he said that he had seen Jesus, and that he would be born of of a woman, and that he would save everyone. Then he "sunk again" with joy, and the queen "sunk down" right along with him. They were overcome with the Spirit. 
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. 19.12 
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. 19.13
But they weren't the only ones doing the sinking. When Ammon saw what was going on, he was overpowered with joy and started praying to God, and thanking Him for everything. He also "sunk to the earth", so now all three of them were "sunk". 
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. 19.14
When the servants of the king saw that Ammon, the king and the queen had all fallen down, they started calling out to God, and then they also fell down to the earth. (I wonder if they fell on their faces..?) 
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. 19.15 
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 - 19.16a
Everyone fell down except Abish, who was already religious. You see, Abish's father had seen a vision, so she had already done the whole sink-down-and-call-out-to-God routine. She took the opportunity to run from house to house, telling people what was going on downtown. 
[E]ven 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 -- 19.16 
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. 19.17
A big group gathered, and they were pretty astonished by the huge group laying prostrate on the floor, playing dead. They were unsure what to make of it, but they were pretty sure there was some kind of wickedness going on.
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. 19.19 
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. 19.20 
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. 19.21

One of the members of the group was really angry at Ammon, because Ammon had killed his brother in the waters of Sebus incident. He pulled out his sword and ran towards Ammon, ready to kill him--but when he lifted his sword to strike Ammon, he fell down dead.
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. 19.22
Now the crowd was really confused. Some of them thought that he was the Great Spirit; some of them thought that he was sent by the Great Spirit, and others thought he was even more wicked than before.
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; 19.25 
But others rebuked them all, saying that he was a monster, who had been sent from the Nephites to torment them. 19.26

Everyone was arguing, and on the verge of fighting, so Abish (the woman who gathered everyone together in verse 17), walked up to the queen, and grabbed her hand to help her up. Immediately, the queen yelled out, "O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful Hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people!" Then she spoke in tongues for a while, and unfroze the king.
And thus the contention began to be exceedingly sharp among them. And while they were thus contending, the woman servant 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. 19.28 
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! 19.29
And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood; and when she had done this, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and behold he arose and stood upon his feet. 19.30
The king saw that the people were confused, and he tried to set the record straight about Ammon, God, the Great Spirit, and everything else. Most of the people believed him and were converted, but some didn't by it and they went away.
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. 19.31 
But there were many among them who would not hear his words; therefore they went their way. 19.32

A lot of Lamanites were converted that day. They stopped being wicked, and established a church.
[T]heir hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil. 19.33 
And it came to pass that there were many that did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them. 19.35

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