Ammon (Book of Mormon missionary)
||This article improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. (December 2009)|
|Part of a series on|
|The Book of Mormon|
|Historical authenticity and criticism|
|Prophets and People|
|Book of Mormon portal|
This article is about the prominent Book of Mormon missionary. For the Book of Mormon explorer, see Ammon (Book of Mormon explorer)
According to the Book of Mormon, Ammon was a prominent Nephite missionary, and son of King Mosiah. He was originally opposed to the church but, along with his brothers and Alma the Younger, was miraculously converted. Following his conversion he served a mission to the Lamanites and converted Lamoni and his people.
According to Hugh Nibley, Amon (or Ammon) ( ) is the most common proper name in the Book of Mormon, and also the most common and most revered name in the Egyptian Empire (which embraced Palestine at Lehi's time). The reverence shown the name of Amon in no way indicates the slightest concession to paganism on the part of the Jews, since Amon is no less than the Egyptian version of their own universal, one, creator-God, the Great Spirit (see ).
Early life and conversion
As one of the four sons of King Mosiah, Ammon had tremendous influence among his people, the Nephites. He rejected the Church and attempted to turn the people from the teachings of the prophets. Because of the fervent prayers of their parents, Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah had a conversion experience much like that of Saul of Tarsus. An angel appeared to them on the road and rebuked them for their wickedness. The shock put Alma the Younger into an insensible state for a time; the specific effect upon Ammon is not recorded, but he became fully converted to the Gospel and desired to serve as a missionary to the Lamanites.
Ammon and his brothers spent several years teaching the Gospel to the Lamanites. Ammon chose to go first to the land of Ishmael. He was captured by the Lamanites and taken before their king, Lamoni. Lamoni asked his purpose in straying so far from Nephite lands. When Ammon replied that he wanted only to serve, the king, impressed, offered him one his daughters. Ammon refused but became a servant in the king's household, assisting others in caring for his sheep.
When bandits attacked their flocks one day, Ammon directed the others to encircle the flock so they wouldn't scatter and confronted those who had stolen them. As he was seemingly outnumbered, the thieves attacked Ammon. From a distance, he initially slew several with his sling, and then in hand-to-hand combat cut off the arms of each robber who continued to attacked him. His defending the King's flock convinced the servants and the king that he was favored of God. The king, his household, and the entire kingdom were converted to the Gospel.
Later, Ammon's love and respect for Lamoni impressed Lamoni's father, the king of all the Lamanites. As a result, the Lamanite king accepted the teachings of Aaron, Ammon's brother, and was converted. The Lamanites converted as a result of Ammon's ministry were called the "Anti-Nephi-Lehies" until they changed their name to the People of Ammon after their migration to the Nephite land of Jershon. They swore never to take up arms again, and never did, although the two thousand stripling warriors were recruited from among their sons.
- Williams, Clyde J. (1992). "Instruments in the Hands of God: The Message of Alma 17–27". In Nyman, Monte S.; Tate, Charles D., Jr. The Book of Mormon: Alma, the Testimony of the Word. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. p. 89–105. ISBN 0-8849-4841-2.
- Rees, Robert A. (June 1977), Ammon, Ensign