Book of Mormon
“Converted unto the Lord”
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies are converted to the Lord.
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies seek safety among the Nephites.
Ammon and Alma rejoice in the accomplishment of the Lord's work.
A study of this lesson will encourage us to strengthen our conversion and
increase our desire to help others become converted.
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 26 Handout (PDF)
Introduction to Lesson 26
Follow-up notes from Lesson 25.
Lamoni wished for Ammon to go with him to the land of Nephi, that he might
present Ammon to his father.
Ammon was instructed by the Lord not to go up to the land of Nephi because
the king would seek his life.
Ammon was further instructed to go to the land of Middoni because his brethren
were in prison there.
Lamoni volunteered to go with Ammon. The king of that land was a friend of Lamoni.
On the journey to Middoni, Lamoni and Ammon met the king of the land, Lamoni's
The king questioned Lamoni as to why he did not come up to the feast and
as to why he was traveling with Ammon, the Nephite.
After Lamoni responded, the king commanded Lamoni that he should slay Ammon
and return with him to the land of Ishmael.
Lamoni's response: "I will not slay Ammon, neither
will I return to the land of Ishmael, but I go to the land of Middoni that
I may release the brethren of Ammon, for I know that they are just men
and holy prophets of the true God" (v15).
The king was angry at Lamoni's response and ready to slay his
Ammon warned the king that if he slew his son he would be committing a
great sin against an innocent man. The king agreed and attempted
to slay Ammon.
Ammon "withstood his blows" and rendered the king helpless.
"Now when the king saw that Ammon
could slay him, he began to plead with Ammon that he would spare his life.
"But Ammon raised his sword,
and said unto him: Behold, I will smite thee except thou wilt grant unto
me that my brethren may be cast out of prison.
"Now the king, fearing
he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto
thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.
"Now when Ammon saw that
he had wrought upon the old king according to his desire, he said unto
him: If thou wilt grant that my brethren may be cast out of prison, and
also that Lamoni may retain his kingdom, and that ye be not displeased
with him, but grant that he may do according to his own desires in whatsoever
thing he thinketh, then will I spare thee; otherwise I will smite thee
to the earth.
"Now when Ammon had said
these words, the king began to rejoice because of his life." (v21-25)
The king granted Ammon his request.
He also requested that the brethren of Ammon come and teach him because
he "was greatly astonished at the words which had been
spoken by his son Lamoni, therefore he was desirous to learn them" (v27).
Lamoni and Ammon continued to the land of Middoni and were successful in having Ammon's brethren
released from prison.
Aaron went to the great city Lamanite city called Jerusalem.
Among the residents of the city of Jerusalem were Amalekites and Amulonites
(desenters from the Nephite nation).
"Now the Lamanites of themselves were sufficiently
hardened, but the Amalekites and the Amulonites were still harder; therefore
they did cause the Lamanites that they should harden their hearts, that
they should wax strong in wickedness and their abominations"
Many of these people were after the order of Nehors (Nehor is the
anti-Christ found in Alma 1).
The people contended with Aaron and he left the land.
Amid all the missionary success in the land of Nephi only one Amalekite
and none of Amulonites were converted. WHY?
Those who have known the truth and then fall away are more hardened and
less receptive to the truth than those who have never known it.
In Alma 24, these same people persuaded the unconverted Lamanites to go to war
against their brethren, those that had been converted to the gospel.
WHY DO THOSE WHO APOSTATIZE OFTEN BECOME BITTER OPPONENTS TO THE LORD'S
"And thus we can plainly discern,
that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and
have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then
have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened,
and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these
things." (Alma 24:30)
When a member of the Church in Illinois promised to never cause the Church
any harm if he were to leave it, the Prophet Joseph Smith replied: "You
don't know what you would do.... Before you joined the Church you
stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil
were set before you inviting you to serve them. When you joined this
Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the
neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake
the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigation of the
evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant."
(quoted in Joseph Smith the Prophet, p52)
Alma 22 & 23
Aaron was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, to the house of the king.
As Ammon did with Lamoni, Aaron and his brethren offered to become the
servants of the king.
WHAT WAS THE KING'S RESPONSE?
The king stated that Aaron and his brethren did not need to serve as servants.
The king's request: "I will insist that ye shall
administer unto me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of
the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon"
Aaron taught about the existence of God.
The king asked, "Is God that Great Spirit that
brought our fathers out of Jerusalem?" (22:9).
Aaron responded, "Yea, he is that Great Spirit,
and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest
thou this?" (22:10).
Bruce R. McConkie: "According to Lamanite traditions,
God is the Great Spirit. It is obvious that by this designation the
Lamanites had in mind a personal being, for King Lamoni mistakenly supposed
that Ammon was the Great Spirit. Both Ammon and Aaron, using the
same principle of salesmanship applied by Paul on Mars Hill, taught that
the Great Spirit was the God who created the heavens and the earth."
(Mormon Doctrine, p340)
Theologically, the concept of a Great Spirit was somewhat accurate. Recall that at this time the Lord had not received a physical body. Consequently, he was in fact the Great Spirit.
The king said that he believed the words of Aaron and desired to know more.
Aaron taught the gospel as spoken in the scriptures. He taught:
The fall of man.
The plan of redemption prepared from the foundation of the world.
The Atonement of Christ for the sins of men.
Recall that when the king met Ammon and Lamoni, he was willing to give
up half his kingdom to preserve his life.
When Aaron told the king about eternal life, he was willing to relinquish
all of his kingdom and all of his possessions to receive eternal life.
After being taught the gospel, the king prayed, "O God . . . I will give
away all my sins to know thee."
HOW CAN WE GIVE AWAY OUR SINS TO KNOW GOD?
Neal A. Maxwell: "The heaviest load we feel is
often from the weight of our unkept promises and our unresolved sins, which
press down relentlessly upon us. In any genuine surrendering to God,
one says, 'I will give away all my sins to know thee.' To whom shall
we give our sins? Only Jesus is both willing and able to take them."
(CR, Oct 1989)
HOW CAN WE BECOME MORE COMMITTED TO REPENTANCE?
Recall the account from
Mosiah 4 and what happened to the people:
They listened to the words of God as delivered by King Benjamin.
We find this in the scriptures and through the words of our Church leaders.
After hearing the word of God they recognized their sinful and carnal state.
They cried to God, in faith, for forgiveness of their sins.
"And it came to pass that after they had spoken
these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled
with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of
conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ
who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken
unto them" (Mosiah 4:3).
After the Lamanite king had spoken these words (22:16-18), like his son, he collapsed
as if he were dead.
When the queen saw her husband she ordered the servants to slay Aaron and
The servants, having seen the fall, refused to obey the queen.
Great fear came upon the queen and she commanded the servants to go and
call the people that they might slay Aaron and his brethren.
Aaron recognized a problem developing, so he took his hand and raised the
king in the presence of the queen and the servants.
The king stood forth and began to minister and his whole household was
converted to the Lord.
The king administered to the multitude that had gathered and they were
pacified towards Aaron and his brethren.
He then caused Aaron and his brethren to preach unto the people.
The king sent a proclamation throughout the whole land that Ammon, Aaron,
and their brethren should be free to go forth and preach throughout the
land and preach the gospel (23:1-3).
Aaron and his brethren went from city to city preaching the word of God.
They had great success - thousands were converted to the Lord (23:4-5).
ALMA 23:5-7. The conversion of the Lamanites.
They came to believe the traditions of the Nephites - their prophecies.
Those that were converted never did fall away (v6).
They became so righteous that they laid down their weapons of war never
to pick them up again.
Whole cities were converted.
Only one Amalakite was converted and none of the Amulonites.
Those that were converted desired a name to distinguish them from their
They called themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehies.
Brother Daniel H. Ludlow: "The Lamanites converted
by the four sons of Mosiah and their missionary companions took upon themselves
the name of 'Anti-Nephi-Lehis.' The 'Nephi-Lehi' part of the title
probably had reference to the lands of Nephi and Lehi (or the people then
living in those lands) rather than to the descendants of Nephi or Lehi.
"However, Dr. Hugh Nibley
has found a Semitic and common Indo-European root corresponding to anti
and that means 'in the face of' or 'facing,' as of one facing a mirror,
and by extension either 'one who opposes' or 'one who imitates.' Thus the term 'Anti-Nephi-Lehis' might refer to those who imitate the teachings
of the descendants of Nephi and Lehi." (A Companion To Your
Study of the Book of Mormon, pp209-210)
"And they began to be a very industrious people;
yea, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open
a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them"
Those who were not converted were stirred up by the Amalekites and the
Amulonites to go to war against the Anti-Nephi-Lehis.
ALMA 24:5-6, 11-13.
WHY DID THE ANTI-NEPHI-LEHIS REFUSE TO TAKE UP THEIR SWORDS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES?
It was difficult to repent of their great sins and gain forgiveness and felt that should they again take up the sword they
may not again
be able to again obtain forgiveness of their sins.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE ANTI-NEPHI-LEHIS TO AID US IN KEEPING THE COVENANTS WE MAKE WITH GOD?
"And now it came to pass that when
the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled
together, 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. And this they did, it
being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they
never would use weapons again for the shedding of man's blood; and this
they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the
blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather
than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather
than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their
hands. And thus we see that,
when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they
were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin;
and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried
the weapons of war, for peace." (Alma 24:17-19)
- Are we willing to bury our sins, even to give up our lives not to take
up those sins again? A great challenge.
President Spencer W. Kimball: "I remember that,
without being pressured by anyone, I made up my mind while still a little
boy that I would never break the Word of Wisdom.... Having made up
my mind fully and unequivocally, I found it not too difficult to keep the
promise to myself and to my Heavenly Father.... If every boy and
girl would make up his or her mind, 'I will not yield,' then no matter
what the temptation is: 'I made up my mind. That's settled'."
(Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p205)
- DO WE SOMETIMES REPENT, SIMPLY HOPING THE TEMPTATION WILL NOT SHOW UP AGAIN?
- We need to follow the counsel of President Kimball and simply make up our
minds in advance. When we do so, and temptation rears its ugly head,
the decision is made.
The Lamanites came up against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
- The Anti-Nephi-Lehis offered no resistance.
- They prostrated themselves on the ground and called upon the Lord.
- 1005 died.
- When the Lamanites saw the actions of the people they stopped their slaughter
and threw down their weapons of war.
- More than a thousand joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehis.
Ammon speaks of great success in the missionary work among the Lamanites.
"And it came to pass that when
Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon,
I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting." (Alma 26:10)
ALMA 26:11-16. Ammon responds to Aaron's rebuke.
CAN YOU REJOICE AS AMMON?
My joy is full.
My heart is brim with joy.
I will rejoice in my God.
Great reason to rejoice.
We will glory in the Lord.
I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
"Adam fell that men might be; and
men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)
Joseph Smith: "Happiness is the object and design
of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that
leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness,
and keeping all the commandments of God." (TPJS, p. 255)
Consider the contrast in the lives of the sons of Mosiah from their
former lives to the rejoicing which they now feel. They had clearly
learned about the plan of happiness.
"Who could have supposed that our
God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful,
sinful, and polluted state? Behold, we went forth even in wrath,
with mighty threatenings to destroy his church. Oh then, why did he not consign us to an awful
destruction, yea, why did he not let the sword of his justice fall upon
us, and doom us to eternal despair? Oh, my soul, almost as it were, fleeth at the
thought." (Alma 26:17-20)
This is what the Book of Mormon holds for us.
It teaches us the path to happiness and gives us both positive and negative
WHY DO WE SOMETIMES PREJUDGE OTHERS RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL, NOT ALLOWING
THEM TO ACCEPT OR REJECT IT ON THEIR OWN?
HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THIS?
Ammon made an inquiry of the Lord and was instructed to lead the Anti-Nephi-Lehis
to the land of Zarahemla.
Ammon and his brethren returned to the land of Zarahemla to ask the Nephites if
they would accept the immigration of these Lamanites.
The Nephites offered to give up the land of Jershon to the Anti-Nephi-Lehis
and defend it for them.
They came down and took possession of the land and became known among the
Nephites as the people of Ammon.
Alma 28 tells of a great battle between the Lamanites and Nephites.
After recounting the recent history of Ammon and his brethren, and the wars
under the reign of the judges, Mormon makes the following commentary,
"And thus we see how great the inequality of man
is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which
comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts
of men. And thus we see the great
call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus
we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing--sorrow because
of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ
unto life" (Alma 28:13-14).
Consider the great desire of Alma to bring all to righteousness and happiness:
"O that I were an angel, and
could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with
the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto
every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with
the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they
should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow
upon all the face of the earth." (Alma 29:1-2)
This seems to be the desire of all prophets and righteous men and women
throughout the ages.
President Spencer W. Kimball: "When I come
in contact almost daily with broken homes, delinquent children, corrupt
governments, and apostate groups, and realize that all these problems are
the result of sin, I want to shout with Alma: 'O ... that I might go forth
... with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people'."
(The Miracle of Forgiveness, preface)
After making that great declaration, Alma goes on to say, "But
behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with
the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me" (v3).
WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT ALMA FELT THAT HE SINNED IN HIS WISH?
"I ought not
to harrow up in my desires, the firm decree of a just God, for I know that
he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death
or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them
decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto
salvation or unto destruction" (v4).
We have our agency, to choose good or evil. Alma saw much of the sorrow of men and desired to save them from that sorrow,
but the only way to do that would be to take away our agency. Alma
knew the importance of agency in the great plan and thus his mixed feelings.
seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform
the work to which I have been called?"
Do we sometimes desire other callings than that which
we have been given? Should we not strive to magnify our current callings
rather than long for some other?
We should strive to exemplify Alma's further words: "I know that which the Lord hath commanded
me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which
the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may
be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance;
and this is my joy" (v9).
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on experiences and feelings of Alma and
the sons of Mosiah. What can you do in your life to gain this great love for
those around you?
Resources Used In This Lesson
A Companion To Your Study of the Book of Mormon by Daniel H. Ludlow.
Conference Reports (CR).
Joseph Smith the Prophet by Truman G. Madsen.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS).
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
09 May 2016