“Now We See That Ammon Could Not Be Slain”

Brant Gardner

Redaction: The Lord had promised Mosiah: “I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites” (Mosiah 28:7). Since the Lord had prefaced this sentence with the assurance that they would have “eternal life,” the promise of deliverance could just as easily be interpreted to mean that, if the Lamanites killed them, these faithful missionaries would be delivered from the power of mortals and receive guaranteed eternal life. Mormon, however, seems to take the promise as absolutely literal. Since Ammon has twice been vulnerable to being killed by Lamanites (perhaps three times, if we count his initial capture), but was spared each time, Mormon seems to believe that Ammon could not be killed. There is no indication that Ammon believed any such thing, although, in terms of fulfilling his mission, he must have hoped that his life would continue to be spared.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4