Mission to the Lamanites

Ammon and the King’s Flocks

Alma 17:26

Three days later, Ammon is charged with tending Lamoni’s flocks at a watering spot called Sebus.

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—

Alma 17:27

On the way to the watering spot, Ammon runs into some other Lamanites who had been watering their flocks; they maliciously scatter Lamoni’s flocks.

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.

Alma 18:7

Scattering flocks was a common practice among competing Lamanite groups; it was means of obtaining the resources of the others.

Now it was the practice of these 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.

Alma 17:28–29

Ammon’s co–servants begin crying over the scattered flocks.

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.”

Now they wept because of the fear of being slain.

Alma 18:6

Prior to this, other servants had been sentenced to death for allowing flocks to be scattered.

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.

Alma 17:29–30

Ammon, seeing an opportunity to gain trust and respect, gets very excited.

Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he,

“I will show 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.”

And now, these were the thoughts of Ammon, when he saw the afflictions of those whom he termed to be his brethren.

Alma 17:31–32

Ammon encourages the other servants to join him in rounding up the flocks.

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 preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us.”

Alma 17:32

Ammon and the servants gather all the flocks.

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.

Alma 17:33

The hostiles who scattered the flock initially return; Ammon tells the servants to encircle the flocks as he goes to confront them.

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.”

Alma 17:34

Ammon steps up to the hostile band of Lamanites.

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.

Alma 17:35

The hostile Lamanites, unaware of Ammon’s divine commission, are not afraid.

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.

Alma 17:36

Ammon begins attacking, and strikes a few of the hostiles with his sling; the survivors charge at him in retaliation.

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.

Alma 17:37

As the gang members approach Ammon to hit him, he slices off their arms; the hostiles run away in fear after seeing this.

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.

Alma 17:38

Six hostiles are knocked out with the sling, their leader is killed with a sword, and many dismembered arms remain.

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.

Alma 17:39

With the conflict over, Ammon brings the king’s flocks back to the pastures, carrying the severed arms of the attackers.

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 smitten 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.