Ammon Defends the Flocks of King Lamoni (Alma 17:19-39; Alma 18)
Behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword. (Alma 17:37)
Ammon went to the land of Ishmael to teach the gospel to the Lamanites. When he entered the land, the Lamanites tied him up and took him before King Lamoni. (Alma 17:19-21) Ammon told the king he wanted to live with Lamoni's people. King Lamoni was pleased and freed Ammon. Ammon told the king he wished to be his servant, so King Lamoni sent him to tend his flocks. (Alma 17:22-25)
Not long after, some Lamanite robbers scattered King Lamoni's flocks. Lamoni's servants were upset because they knew the king would have them put to death for losing his flocks. (Alma 17:26-28)
Ammon realized this was an opportunity to be a missionary. He invited the servants to help him find the flocks. (Alma 17:29-31)
After Ammon and the others had gathered the animals, however, the robbers came again. Ammon told his fellow servants to keep the flocks together while he fought the robbers. The robbers thought they could kill Ammon, but he had the Lord's protection. (Alma 17:33-35)
Ammon used his sling to throw stones at the robbers, killing six. The men were astonished. They tried to kill him with stones but could not hit him. Then they came at him with clubs. But every time a robber lifted a club, Ammon cut off the man's arm with his sword. The remaining robbers became scared and ran away. (Alma 17:36-38)
When King Lamoni learned what had happened, he was amazed. He thought Ammon was the Great Spirit. He asked where Ammon was. The servants said that Ammon was feeding the king's horses and preparing the chariots. King Lamoni was even more astonished. (Alma 18:4, Alma 18:8-10)
The king was afraid to ask Ammon to come to him because he thought Ammon was a god. When Ammon finished his work, he went to the king and asked what the king desired of him. But King Lamoni did not know what to say. (Alma 18:11-15)
With the help of the Holy Ghost, Ammon knew the king's thoughts. Ammon asked King Lamoni if what he had done in defending the flocks was causing the king to marvel. The king wondered how Ammon could know his thoughts and asked if he was the Great Spirit. Ammon said he was not; then the king asked him about the power he used against the robbers. (Alma 18:16-20)
Ammon taught King Lamoni and his servants about Heavenly Father, the Creation of the earth, the scriptures, and the plan of salvation. The king believed Ammon. He prayed to the Lord for mercy. (Alma 18:24-41)
Ammon served a mission to the Lamanites. He offered to be King Lamoni's servant and was sent to help guard the king's flocks. Wicked men scattered the flocks. The other servants were afraid, but Ammon convinced them to gather the animals. When the robbers came again, Ammon fought them, cutting off the arm of each man who lifted a club to attack him. The robbers became frightened and fled. King Lamoni was amazed at Ammon's power. Ammon told the king his power came from God. He taught King Lamoni the gospel, and the king believed.
Artist, Arnold Friberg
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Burying Their Swords (Alma 23-24)
They took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man's blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth. (Alma 24:17)
The four sons of King Mosiah—Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni—went among the Lamanites as missionaries. Many Lamanites believed their teachings and were converted, including the king. He told his people not to hurt or imprison the missionaries. They were free to preach the gospel throughout the land. (Alma 23:1-3)
Thousands of Lamanites joined the Church of God and became a righteous people. These converts laid down their weapons of war and refused to fight against God or anyone else anymore. (Alma 23:5-7) These people no longer wanted to be called Lamanites, so they named themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They became a hardworking people and friends of the Nephites. (Alma 23:16-18)
Many Lamanites, however, had not been converted to the truth. These Lamanites became angry, rebelled against the king, and decided to fight the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. (Alma 24:1-2) At this time, having conferred the kingdom upon his son Anti-Nephi-Lehi, the old king died. When the sons of Mosiah saw the Lamanites preparing for war, they met with the new king to decide what could be done to defend the people. (Alma 24:3-5)
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not take up weapons to fight the Lamanites. The people had repented of their past sins and murders, and God had forgiven them. If they were to kill again, they would not be forgiven. (Alma 24:6-13)
As a testimony to God, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies buried their swords and all their weapons of war deep in the earth. They covenanted that they would never kill again. Rather than shed the blood of others, they would give up their own lives. They also promised they would give to others rather than take, and instead of being idle, they would work hard. (Alma 24:17-18)
When the Lamanite warriors came to fight, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies went out to meet them. They knelt on the ground and began to pray. The Lamanites fell upon them and began killing them with their swords. They killed a total of 1,005 Anti-Nephi-Lehies. When the attacking Lamanites saw that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not fight back, they stopped killing them. Their hearts began to swell with sorrow for what they had done. Many of these Lamanites also repented, threw down their weapons, and joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. (Alma 24:21-25)
That day the number of Lamanites who repented and joined the people of God exceeded the number of Anti-Nephi-Lehies who had been killed. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies knew that those who died were righteous and would be saved in the kingdom of God. They also knew that they had given their lives to bring more people to the truth. (Alma 24:26-27)
Many Lamanites believed the teachings of the sons of Mosiah. They repented of their past sins and murders and were forgiven. These converts did not want to be known as Lamanites anymore and chose to be called Anti-Nephi-Lehies. The Lamanites who were not converted became angry and prepared to attack the believers. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies, however, buried their weapons of war and promised to never kill again. When the Lamanite army attacked, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies bowed to the ground and prayed. Over a thousand were killed. The Lamanites stopped killing them when they realized the Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not fight back. Many of the attacking Lamanites repented, threw down their weapons, and joined with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.
Artist, Del Parson
Captain Moroni Raises the Title of Liberty (Alma 46:1-37)
He rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. (Alma 46:12)
Amalickiah was a wicked man who wanted to be king of the Nephites. His promises and flattery persuaded many rich and power-hungry people to support him. Even many Church members were deceived into following Amalickiah. (Alma 46:1-7)
When Moroni, the chief commander of the Nephite armies, heard what Amalickiah was doing, he became angry. He tore his coat to make a flag. On it he wrote: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" (Alma 46:12; Alma 46:11). He fastened the flag to a pole and called it the title of liberty. Then, dressed in his battle armor, he prayed to God, asking Him to allow the people to keep the freedom they had. (Alma 46:12-13)
When Moroni finished praying, he went among the people, waving the title of liberty in the air. He cried out, "Whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them" (Alma 46:20; Alma 46:19).
The people came running, dressed in their armor and tearing their cloaks as a symbol of the covenant they were making to obey the Lord. They gathered around Captain Moroni, ready to defend their freedom. (Alma 46:21, Alma 46:28)
When Amalickiah saw that Moroni's army was larger than his, he was afraid. He and his followers left to join the Lamanites. Moroni tried to stop them because he did not want them to stir up the Lamanites to battle. Amalickiah and a few of his men escaped, but Captain Moroni captured the others and took them back to Zarahemla. (Alma 46:29-33)
Most of Amalickiah's captured followers were willing to covenant with Captain Moroni's people to defend freedom, and they were set free. Moroni placed a title of liberty on every tower in the Nephite land, and the Nephites again had peace. (Alma 46:35-37)
Amalickiah was a wicked Nephite who wanted to be king, and he convinced many people to support him. When Moroni, chief commander of the Nephite armies, learned of this, he became angry; he knew that the people were in danger of losing their freedom. He tore his coat, wrote a message of freedom on it, and raised it as a flag he called the title of liberty. Moroni prayed for the blessing of freedom in the land. He then went forth, waving the title of liberty and calling on the Nephites to join him in protecting their freedom. Amalickiah and his followers fled to join the Lamanites. He and a few others escaped, but Moroni captured the remainder. Most of the captured persons then promised to defend freedom.
Artist, Arnold Friberg
Two Thousand Young Warriors (Alma 53:10-21; Alma 56:44-56; Alma 58:39)
And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him. (Alma 53:20-21)
The people of Ammon, who were called the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, had covenanted with God never to kill, even in war. They lived in the land of Zarahemla, where Nephite armies protected them from the Lamanites. (Alma 53:10-12)
However, as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies saw the danger and everything the Nephites suffered for them, they wanted to break their covenant and fight to defend themselves. But Helaman, the leader of the Church, persuaded them not to fight. He worried that they might lose their souls if they broke their covenants. (Alma 53:13-15)
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies had many sons who had not made the covenant not to go to war. Two thousand of these young men gathered together and promised to defend the liberty of their people and the Nephites. They asked Helaman to be their leader. (Alma 53:16-19)
Although they were young, these men were strong and brave. Most important, they were trustworthy and obeyed God's commandments; "they were men of truth" (Alma 53:21; Alma 53:20). Helaman called them his sons, and they called him father. When Helaman asked them if they were willing to go to battle, they answered, "Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth" (Alma 56:46; Alma 56:44-45).
These brave young men did not fear death. They valued the freedom of their people more than their own lives. Their mothers had taught them that if they trusted in God, He would protect them. (Alma 56:47-48)
Helaman led his young warriors in a terrible battle against the Lamanites. With the help of Helaman's army, the Nephites won the battle. Helaman feared that many of his sons had been killed, but to his great joy, he found that not one had been killed. The young men had fought with the strength of God, and He had protected them. (Alma 56:49, Alma 56:54-56; Alma 58:39)
The people of Ammon, or the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, had made a covenant never to kill. They lived in the land of Zarahemla under Nephite protection. Seeing what the Nephites suffered to defend them from the Lamanites, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies thought they should help and were about to break their covenant. Helaman, the leader of the Church, convinced them not to do this. However, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies had many sons who had not made the covenant, and 2,000 of them decided to fight for the liberty of the Nephites. They asked Helaman to lead them in battle. They fought the Lamanites with great courage and faith, trusting in the Lord. With the help of Helaman's army, the Nephites won a terrible battle. To Helaman's great joy, not one of the young warriors was killed.
Artist, Arnold Friberg
Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall (Helaman 13-15; Helaman 16:1-8)
But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows. (Helaman 16:2)
At a time when the Lamanites were more righteous than the Nephites, a Lamanite prophet named Samuel preached repentance to the Nephites. After the Nephites cast Samuel out of the city, he started back to his own land. However, the Lord told him to return and say whatever the Lord put into his heart. (Helaman 13:1-3)
The people would not let Samuel back into their city, so he climbed on top of the city wall. From there Samuel foretold the destruction of the Nephite nation in about 400 years. He said that if the Nephites did not repent, they would be destroyed by war, famine, and pestilence. (Helaman 13:4-11)
Samuel said that if it were not for the few righteous people in the city, they would be destroyed by fire (Helaman 13:12-14). He told the people that they did not remember the Lord. Instead, they remembered their riches. (Helaman 13:17-22) The people were so wicked they made fun of the prophets and murdered them (Helaman 13:24-26).
Samuel declared that in five years a sign would indicate that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had been born. There would be a day, a night, and a day without darkness. A new star would appear, and there would be other signs in heaven. (Helaman 14:2-6)
Samuel also told them the signs of Jesus' death. Following Jesus' death, there would be total darkness for three days, until Jesus was resurrected (Helaman 14:20). There would also be thundering and lightning, violent earthquakes, and tempests. Entire cities would be destroyed. (Helaman 14:21-24) After Christ's Resurrection, many righteous dead would be resurrected (Helaman 14:25).
Many Nephites believed Samuel. Those who did not believe threw stones and shot arrows at him as he stood on the wall, but they could not hit him. When some realized the Spirit of the Lord was protecting him, they too believed. (Helaman 16:1-3)
Most Nephites, however, did not believe Samuel. When they saw the stones and arrows were not hitting him, they tried to capture him. Samuel jumped down from the wall and left the land. The Nephites never heard from him again. (Helaman 16:6-8)
Samuel, a Lamanite prophet, preached repentance to the Nephites in Zarahemla, but they threw him out of the city. The Lord told Samuel to return. The Nephites would not let Samuel back into the city, so he climbed on the city wall. From there he preached repentance. He also prophesied about the signs that would accompany Jesus Christ's birth and death and told of His Resurrection. Some people believed. Others were angry and threw stones or shot arrows at Samuel, but the Lord protected him. When the Nephites tried to capture him, he jumped from the wall and fled to his own land.
Artist, Arnold Friberg
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