“Ammon Being the Chief Among Them”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

The missionaries were presided over by Ammon, who was the second son of King Mosiah, Aaron was the first. It appears that Ammon held the highest office in the Priesthood, but of this we are not sure. However, under his guidance the several rites of the Church were administered unto his fellow co-laborers. After blessing each one of them he departed and went to the Land of Ishmael. The Land of Ishmael was named after the sons of Ishmael, which Ishmael was the father of Laman's and Lemuel's wives, and who accompanied Lehi in his exodus from Jerusalem 500 years previously. Lehi's sons, Laman and Lemuel, together with Ishmael's sons and daughters, were the progenitors of those whom we call original Lamanites. Since that time many Nephite apostates went over to, and became Lamanites. Also, Lamanites who accepted the Gospel thereafter were numbered as Nephites. The sons of Ishmael followed Laman and Lemuel when Lehi's family separated into two groups.

In the Land of Ishmael, Lamoni was the chief ruler under his father who was the king of all the Lamanites. Ammon was no sooner discovered among them than he was taken, bound with cords, and conducted into the presence of Lamoni. It was the custom of the Lamanites so to use every Nephite whom they captured, and it rested with the whim of the king whether the captive should be slain, imprisoned, or sent out of the country. The king's will and pleasure appear to have been the only law on such matters.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3