Ammon


What would you ask for if a powerful king were to say to you, “Spare my life, and I will give you whatever you wish, even half of my kingdom”?

Ammon knew just what he wanted. He and Lamoni, king of the land of Ishmael, were on their way to the land of Middoni, where Ammon’s brothers were being held as prisoners.

King Lamoni had wanted Ammon to go with him to the land of Nephi, that he might show him unto his father. But the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying, “Do not go to the land of Nephi, for the king will seek your life; but go to the land of Middoni, for your brother Aaron and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.”

So Ammon told Lamoni he could not go to the land of Nephi with him. “My brothers are in prison,” he said. “I must deliver them.”

Lamoni answered: “I know, with the strength of the Lord, you could save them yourself. But I will go with you, because the king of the land of Middoni is a friend.” Then he asked, “But who told you your brothers are in prison?”

“No one,” said Ammon, “save it be God who told me to go to Middoni and deliver them.”

Lamoni had his servants make ready his horses and chariots, and they set forth. On the way they met Lamoni’s father, who was king over all the lands. He was very angry with Lamoni.

“Why did you not come to the feast that I planned for you?” he asked. “And where are you going with this Nephite?”

Lamoni explained how Ammon had saved his flocks from the Lamanites at the waters of Sebus; then he told his father how he, Lamoni, and his people had received the word of God and had been baptized.

Lamoni’s father became very angry. He declared that Ammon was surely a thief and a liar, and he commanded Lamoni to slay Ammon with the sword.

Although Lamoni was sorry to disobey his father, he said, “I will not slay Ammon, and I will help release his brothers from prison, for I know they are just men and holy prophets of the true God.”

Ammon could see that Lamoni’s father was even more angry at these words. The old king drew his sword to kill Lamoni as well as Ammon. But Ammon withstood his blows. He knocked the sword from the king’s hand and soon had the king at his mercy. When the king saw that Ammon could slay him, he began to plead, “Spare my life, and I will give you anything you wish, even half my kingdom.”

Ammon answered, “First, grant that my brothers be brought out of prison. Then, be not displeased with your son, King Lamoni, but grant that he may govern his kingdom according to what he thinks is best for his people.”

The old king was much surprised that Ammon asked nothing for himself. He rejoiced that Ammon had saved his life; he was also pleased that this strong and mighty man had so much love for Lamoni. All of Ammon’s wishes were granted. Then the old king added, “When you have rescued your brothers, come and see me, for I am desirous to learn more of your words.”

Ammon’s unselfishness and bravery had saved his friend and his brothers, and another door for the missionary work was opened unto him.

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Harston