“I Should Shed Innocent Blood”

Brant Gardner

Textual: We do not know who recorded this interchange, but certainly we suspect that Ammon recorded it, and would clearly have recorded it after the fact. Such records of events that are recorded after the fact have tenuous connections to the actual facts, and particularly to conversations, but this particular account has the ring of accuracy to it. Lamoni’s father’s response is a turn of a phrase in Ammon’s plea.

In verse 18 Ammon is suggesting that Lamoni is an innocent man. The over-king responds that he knows that his son is innocent, and that it is Ammon’s fault that he has been corrupted. This turn of the phrase, with the literate continuation of the socially ingrained hatred is suggestive that this exchange made such an impression on Ammon that he remembered it with reasonable accuracy. Even though the over-king was hateful and murderous, he nevertheless was able to turn Ammon’s words, and that must have had enough of an impression on Ammon that he remembered them long enough to write them for us.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon