Scriptural Giants: Abish, Lamanite Woman of God

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    (See Alma 19.)

    When Ammon taught the gospel to the Lamanite king Lamoni, Lamoni was filled with such joy that he fell to the earth. Lamoni’s wife, the queen, was also overjoyed, and she, too, seeing what had happened, fell down, “being overpowered by the Spirit.” Ammon poured out his heart in thanks to his Father in Heaven, and he likewise fell to the ground, overcome with joy.

    When the servants came in and saw the king and the queen and Ammon lying on the ground, they started to pray. As they prayed, they also were filled with the Spirit and were overcome with joy. All of them except one woman named Abish fell to the ground. Abish was a Lamanite who had been converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ many years before “on account of a remarkable vision of her father.”

    When Abish saw everyone lying on the ground, she knew that it was the Spirit that had overcome them, and she was very happy. She thought that if the other Lamanite people in Lamoni’s kingdom could see this great thing that had happened, they would also know that the gospel was true, and they would be converted.

    Quickly Abish ran from house to house, calling the people to come to the house of the king. Soon many people had gathered there. They were astonished to see the king and the queen and their servants lying upon the ground as if they were dead. When the people saw Ammon, a Nephite, there, too, they thought that he had committed some great evil against King Lamoni and his household. The people argued about what to do, and one man drew his sword to kill Ammon. But as he lifted the sword, he fell dead. Seeing that, the others were filled with such fear that they did not dare touch any of those who had fallen with joy. They marveled at the great power that caused these things. Some said that Ammon was the Great Spirit; others said that he was sent by the Great Spirit. But others said that he was a monster who had been sent from the Nephites to torment them.

    As they argued, Abish returned. She had thought that this wonderful event would convert the people, but the people were fighting! She began to cry. Hoping that she might raise the queen from the ground, Abish took her by the hand. The queen immediately arose 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!”

    The queen said other things that were not understood. Then she took King Lamoni by the hand, and he arose too.

    Seeing the contention among his people, the king began to rebuke them and to preach the gospel, which Ammon had taught to him. How happy Abish must have been as she watched Lamoni teach the people that she had gathered. And she must have been even happier when many who heard the king believed his words, repented, and joined the Church of Jesus Christ!

    [illustration] Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett