“The King Answered Him Not”

Brant Gardner

These short verses do little justice to the power of this moment. We have an entire court held captive to the king's silence for an hour, and then Ammon asks again. While we do not know for certain what the protocols of the Lamanite court were, many monarchies would consider it a great breach of etiquette for anyone to speak when it was clearly the king's "turn." In many courts in the history of the world, Ammon might have been killed on the spot for speaking without the king's express acknowledgement. We cannot suppose that any of this is accidental, because it follows such a long silence. There is an impasse here, and Ammon elects to move things forward as the king has proven incapable of that effort. While it is the next verse that explains that Ammon felt the promptings of the spirit, we may be assured that he felt them in order to have the temerity to speak in this remarkable situation.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon