An account of the sons of Mosiah, who rejected their rights to the kingdom, for the word of God, and went up to the land of Nephi, to preach to the Lamanites. Their sufferings and deliverance, according to the record of Alma.
And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon, southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met the sons of Mosiah, journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.
Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly, to see his brethren;
And what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth;
For they were men of a sound understanding, and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
But this is not all: they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting, therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority, even as with the power and authority of God.
And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years, among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth;
Yea, by the power of their words, many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name, and confess their sins before him.
Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions;
They did suffer much, both in body and in mind; such as hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit.
Now these were their journeyings: Having taken leave of their father Mosiah, in the first year of the reign of the Judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them; and also this was the mind of the people;
Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings;
And this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness:
And thus they departed into the wilderness, with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God unto the Lamanites.
And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much, and prayed much, that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them,
That they might be an instrument in the hands of God, to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth;
To the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them, Be comforted; and they were comforted.
And the Lord said unto them also, Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word;
Yet ye shall be patient in long suffering and afflictions, that ye may shew forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands, unto the salvation of many souls.
And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites, to declare unto them the word of God.
And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves, and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord, that they should meet again at the close of their harvest: for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken.
And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild, and a hardened, and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing, and plundering them;
And their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold, and silver, and precious stones;
Yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands:
Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding, the promises of the Lord were extended unto them, on the conditions of repentance;
Therefore this was the cause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption:
Therefore they separated themselves one from another, and went forth among them, every man alone, according to the word and power of God, which was given unto him.
Now Ammon being the chief among them, or rather he did minister unto them; and he departed from them, after having blessed them according to their several stations, having imparted the word of God unto them, or administered unto them before his departure: and thus they took their several journeys throughout the land.
And Ammon went to the land of Ishmael, the land being called after the sons of Ishmael, who also became Lamanites.
And as Ammon entered the land of Ishmael, the Lamanites took him and bound him, as was their custom, to bind all the Nephites who fell into their hands, and carry them before the king;
And thus it was left to the pleasure of the king to slay them, or to retain them in captivity, or to cast them into prison, or to cast them out of his land, according to his will and pleasure;
And thus Ammon was carried before the king who was over the land of Ishmael; and his name was Lamoni; and he was a descendant of Ishmael.
And the king inquired of Ammon if it were his desire to dwell in the land among the Lamanites, or among his people?
And Ammon said unto him, Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die.
And it came to pass that King Lamoni was much pleased with Ammon, and caused that his bands should be loosed; and he would that Ammon should take one of his daughters to wife.
But Ammon said unto him, Nay, but I will be thy servant; therefore Ammon became a servant to King Lamoni.
And it came to pass that he was set, among other servants, to watch the flocks of Lamoni, according to the custom of the Lamanites.
And after he had been in the service of the king three days, as he was with the Lamanitish servants, going forth with their flocks to the place of water, which was called the water of Sebus; (and all the Lamanites drive their flocks hither, that they may have water;)
Therefore as Ammon and the servants of the king were driving forth their flocks to this place of water, behold a certain number of the Lamanites who had been with their flocks to water, stood and scattered the flocks of Ammon, and the servants of the king, and they scattered them insomuch that they fled many ways.
Now the servants of the king began to murmur, saying, Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren, because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men.
And they began to weep exceedingly, saying, Behold our flocks are scattered already.
And they wept because of the fear of being slain.
Now when Ammon saw this, his heart was swollen within him, with joy; for, said he, I will shew forth my power unto these my fellow servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words.
Now these were the thoughts of Ammon, when he saw the afflictions of those whom he termed to be his brethren.
And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying, My brethren be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together, and bring them back unto the place of water;
And thus we will reserve the flocks unto the king, and he will not slay us.
And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness, and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again, to the place of water.
And those men again stood to scatter their flocks; but Ammon said unto his brethren, Encircle the flocks round about that they flee not: and I go and contend with these men who do scatter our flocks.
Therefore they did as Ammon commanded them, and he went forth and stood to contend with those who stood by the waters of Sebus;
And they were in number not a few; therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him, according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord;
Therefore, they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king.
But Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling; yea, with mighty power he did sling stones amongst them;
And thus he slew a certain number of them, insomuch that they began to be astonished at his power;
Nevertheless they were angry because of the slain of their brethren, and they were determined that he should fall;
Therefore, seeing that they could not hit him with their stones, they came forth with clubs to slay him.
But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword;
For he did withstand their blows by smiting their arms with the edge of his sword, insomuch that they began to be astonished, and began to flee before him;
Yea, and they were not few in number: and he caused them to flee by the strength of his arm.
Now six of them had fallen by the sling, but he slew none save it were their leader, with his sword; and he smote off as many of their arms as were lifted against him, and they were not a few.
And when he had driven them afar off, he returned, and they watered their flocks and returned them to the pasture of the king, and then went in unto the king, bearing the arms which had been smote off by the sword of Ammon, of those who sought to slay him;
And they were carried in unto the king, for a testimony of the things which they had done.
And it came to pass that King Lamoni caused that his servants should stand forth and testify to all the things which they had seen, concerning the matter.
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?
And they answered the king, and said, Whether he be the Great Spirit or a man, we know not, but this much we do know, that he can not be slain by the enemies of the king;
Neither can they scatter the king's flock when he is with us, because of his expertness and great strength; therefore, we know that he is a friend to the king.
And now, O king, we do not believe that a man has such great power, for we know that he can not be slain.
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.
Now this was the tradition of Lamoni, which he had received from his father, that there was a Great Spirit.
Notwithstanding they believed in a Great Spirit, they supposed that whatsoever they did, was right;
Nevertheless Lamoni began to fear exceedingly, with fear lest he had done wrong in slaying his servants;
For he had slain many of them, because their brethren had scattered their flocks at the place of water; and thus because they had had their flocks scattered, they were slain.
Now it was the practice of the Lamanites to stand by the waters of Sebus, to scatter the flocks of the people, that thereby they might drive away many that were scattered unto their own land, it being a practice of plunder among them.
And it came to pass that King Lamoni inquired of his servants, saying, Where is this man that has such great power?
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.
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.
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.
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;
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;
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.
And it came to pass that Ammon said unto him again, What desireth thou of me? But the king answered him not.
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?
I say unto you, What is it, that thy marvelings are so great?
Behold, I am a man, and am thy servant; therefore, whatsoever thou desirest which is right, that will I do.
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?
Ammon answered and said unto him, I am not.
And the king said, How knowest thou the thoughts of my heart?
Thou mayest speak boldly, and tell me concerning these things; and also tell me by what power ye slew and smote off the arms of my brethren, that scattered my flocks.
And now if thou wilt tell me concerning these things, whatsoever thou desirest, I will give unto thee:
And if it were needed, I would guard thee with my armies; but I know that thou art more powerful than all they: nevertheless, whatsoever thou desirest of me, I will grant it unto thee.
Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni, Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee.
And the king answered him and said, Yea, I will believe all thy words; and thus he was caught with guile.
And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him, Believest thou that there is a God?
And he answered, and said unto him, I do not know what that meaneth.
And then Ammon said, Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?
And he said, Yea.
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?
And he said, Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens.
And Ammon said unto him, The heavens is a place where God dwells, and all his holy angels.
And King Lamoni said, Is it above the earth?
And Ammon said, Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men: and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart: for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.
And King Lamoni said, I believe all these things which thou hast spoken. Art thou sent from God?
Ammon said unto him, I am a man; and man in the beginning, was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true;
And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power, according to my faith and desires which are in God.
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;
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 travel, etc.:
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;
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.
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.
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.
And now when he had said this, he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead.