The King Was Greatly Astonished at the Words of Ammon

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

In full expectancy of death, the king awaited Ammon's blow. But it did not come. He thought the Nephite seducer of his son would seize upon this opportunity to repay in kind the abuse he, himself, had heaped upon Lamoni's companion. But when the king saw that Ammon did not desire to destroy him, he rejoiced in his magnanimity. Lamoni's father now began to see the true being of the hated Nephite. He wondered at Ammon's loftiness of spirit that enabled him to bear the wrongs he, the king, had inflicted; Ammon, he saw, disdained revenge, and under the most distressing circumstances had made sacrifices to attain worthy ends. Those ends astonished the king, but not so much as did the Nephite, himself. The king was not used to such generosity as was exhibited by Ammon, his manly love for Lamoni filled the king's heart with joy. Ammon sought only the good of the king's son, and the welfare of his own brethren.

Ammon's patience under trial greatly troubled the old king; his love for Lamoni, his self-denial of all worldly awards, his thoughts of others before thinking of himself, perturbed what otherwise was a self-sufficient old man. Without further hesitation the king granted all Ammon had requested. All thoughts in the king's heart, of taking the Kingdom of Ishmael from Lamoni, were banished, and in their place his father resolved to be Lamoni's overseer no longer, but to let him do whatsoever he pleased. Nor, was that all! The objective of Ammon's and Lamoni's journey to Middoni was also granted by the king. By royal command Ammon's brethren were ordered released from prison, and what was still more, the erstwhile prisoners were bade by the king, "Come," with Ammon, "unto me in my kingdom; for I shall greatly desire to see thee." The aged king was troubled in his heart concerning certain expressions of Ammon on doctrinal points, which opened up vast ideas that were entirely new to his mind. He also wondered about the meaning of some of the words spoken by his son, Lamoni, and as he went on his way to the Kingdom of Ishmael, he thought, over and over again, of the Nephite's courage, and that, in his old age, he had perchance fallen upon what was greater than life itself.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3