Following their return to fellowship in the Church, the sons of Mosiah—Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni—desired more than anything else to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ to “every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble”. With the permission of their father and the blessing of the Lord, they embarked on a missionary journey among the Lamanites that was to last fourteen years.
Ammon journeyed to the land of Ishmael, where he won the respect of Lamoni, the Lamanite king of the land, by serving as a fearless defender of the royal flocks and herds. The king, overcome by the Spirit, fell into a stupor.
Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God.
For two days and two nights, Lamoni lay as if dead. The queen summoned Ammon for counsel, for she had heard from her servants that he was a prophet of God. Ammon assured the queen that her husband was not deceased, “but he sleepeth in God” and that he would be restored the next day. In fulfillment of this prophecy, King Lamoni arose the next day to his former self and testified to his wife of the coming Messiah and His divine mission. “For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name”.
Immediately he was again overcome by the Spirit and collapsed. The queen fell into a daze as well, being overpowered by the Spirit. As Ammon offered thanks to the Lord for these blessings, he, too, collapsed for a time, being “overpowered with joy”. When the three regained their strength, they and other witnesses of the miraculous events ministered to the people and testified of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thereafter the Spirit was poured out in abundant measure upon the entire royal household and those who gathered to learn more of the happenings being rumored about. Many were converted by the miraculous events, and a church was established for the people in that part of the land. “And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites”.
History: The missionary travels of the sons of Mosiah took place in the general time frame of 90 BC to 77 BC. Ammon’s service at the court of King Lamoni occurred toward the beginning of this period. Soon after that, Ammon was sent by the Lord to rescue Aaron and his companions, who had been imprisoned in the land of Middoni. En route with King Lamoni, he encountered Lamoni’s father, king over all the Lamanite territories, who became furious with Ammon and tried to take his life. But Ammon subdued the elder king, who was touched by “the great love he Ammon] had for his son Lamoni”. In this way, Ammon set the stage for the king’s later conversion through the teachings of Aaron and the conversion of many thousands of Lamanites.
Later, Ammon and his brethren assisted the converted Lamanites—who adopted the name “Anti-Nephi-Lehies” to distinguish themselves from their hard-hearted Lamanite kinsmen —by gathering them to a place of protection and security in the [land of Jershon, east by the sea, south of Bountiful. There they were known by the Nephites as “the people of Ammon”. It was the valiant sons of these converts who became the 2,000 stripling warriors under Helaman—faithful youth who were the decisive factor in protecting the people from Lamanite attacks several decades later, around 64 BC to 62 BC.