“Ammon Being Wise, Yet Harmless”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

Ammon understood Lamoni’s offer to exchange the things of the world for what are the things of God. Yet Ammon—by experience had partaken of both while Lamoni knew nothing of the latter—nevertheless took no advantage of the king’s ignorance. The riches offered to Peter by the Jews at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost meant nothing to Peter. The price Lamoni was willing to pay Ammon served no purpose in fixing the value of the truths Ammon made ready to deliver to the king without money and without price.

The thing that Ammon most desired, above all else, was that if he told Lamoni of the power whereby he performed the feats of which his fellow servants testified, “Will you hearken unto my words?” That was the sole basis for any negotiation between Ammon and the king.

“Yea, I will believe all thy words,” is the answer Lamoni gave to Ammon’s well thought-out question. The king rather hurriedly made his reply because nothing apparently would stop him in the quest for the secret of Ammon’s power. There were none who could successfully question the king’s yes, or no, and he, himself, thought that peradventure “I might find it.” The Sacred Record says, “And thus he was caught with guile.” Guile means deceitful cunning; craft and treachery. A strategem; a trick. An old usage of the word is to beguile. (Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3