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-Book of Alma




THE BOOK OF ALMA

CHAPTER 22

Aaron and the King
The Spirit leads Aaron and his companions to King Lamoni--They offer to become his servants--The king asks them to teach him some religion instead--Aaron tells him that God exists and reads scripture to him--King Lamoni repents, falls to the ground, and appears to be dead--The queen thinks Aaron and his companions killed King Lamoni, so she orders them to be killed--Aaron wakes the king up, everyone calms down, and Aaron starts preaching again.


LDS.org Cartoon Version - Chapter 25: Aaron Teaches King Lamoniís Father
22:1 Now, as Ammon was thus teaching the people of Lamoni continually, we will return to the account of Aaron and his brethren; for after he departed from the land of Middoni he was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, even to the house of the king which was over all the land save it were the land of Ishmael; and he was the father of Lamoni. (22:1-1-3a) Behold, O king, we are the brethren of Ammon, whom thou hast delivered out of prison.
After Aaron and his brethren were released from prison, they decided to pay a thank-you visit to Lamoni's father, who was king of all the land.

So the Spirit led them to Lamoni's palace. When they arrived, they went up to him, bowed, and offered to become his servants.

22:2 aAnd it came to pass that he went in unto him into the king's palace, with his brethren, and bowed himself before the king, and said unto him: bBehold, O king, we are the brethren of Ammon, whom thou hast delivered out of prison.
22:3 And now, O king, if thou wilt spare our lives, we will be thy servants. And the king said unto them: Arise, for I will grant unto you your lives, and I will not suffer that ye shall be my servants; but I will insist that ye shall administer unto me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon; and I desire to know the cause why he has not come up out of Middoni with thee. (22:3b-4) I will not suffer that ye shall be my servants.
He didn't accept their offer. Instead, he asked why Ammon wasn't with them, and Aaron told him that Ammon was in the land of Ishmael, preaching, and he was too busy to make the trip.
22:4 And Aaron said unto the king: bBehold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way; he has gone to the land of Ishmael, to teach the people of Lamoni.
22:5 Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord? bBehold, this is the thing which doth trouble me. (22:5-6) Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.
The king had a few questions for Ammon. What was the whole "Spirit of the Lord" thing again? And do I have to repent or not? It's all very confusing.
22:6 And also, what is this that Ammon said -- If ye will repent ye shall be saved, and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?
22:7 And Aaron answered him and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? And the king said: I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, bbehold I will believe. (22:7) If now thou sayest there is a God, bbehold I will believe.
Aaron answered him, and then asked him if he believed in God. The king gave a real wishy-washy answer, but ended by saying that he would believe if Aaron said that there was a God (and if Aaron pinky-swore).
22:8 And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice, and he said: Behold, assuredly as thou livest, O king, there is a God.
22:9 And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?
22:10 And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this?
22:11 And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.
22:12 aAnd it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures unto the king -- how God created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that because of transgression, man had fallen. (22:12-14) He began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures.
Aaron told him that God did indeed exist, and then he went on to tell him all about God and the scriptures, going all the way back to the creation of Adam.
22:13 And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.
22:14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.
22:15 aAnd it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? bBehold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy. (22:15-16) Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast?
Then the king asked Aaron about the whole eternal life thing. What would it take for him to join that club? He said that he'd give up his whole kingdom if Aaron could get him into heaven. But Aaron gave him the good news: all he had to do was to bow down before God and repent.
22:16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.
22:17 aAnd it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying: (22:17-18) O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God.
So that's what he did. He lay prostrate upon the floor and made a little speech to God, and then was suddenly struck as though he was dead.
22:18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.
22:19 aAnd it came to pass that his servants ran and told the queen all that had happened unto the king. And she came in unto the king; and when she saw him lay as if he were dead, and also Aaron and his brethren standing as though they had been the cause of his fall, she was angry with them, and commanded that her servants, or the servants of the king, should take them and slay them.
22:20 Now the servants had seen the cause of the king's fall, therefore they durst not lay their hands on Aaron and his brethren; and they pled with the queen saying: Why commandest thou that we should slay these men, when bbehold one of them is mightier than us all? Therefore we shall fall before them. (22:20) They durst not lay their hands on Aaron.
All of the kings servants saw this, and they ran to tell the queen what had happened. She was angry with Aaron--she thought he killed her husband. She ordered her servants to kill Aaron and his friends. None of them were willing, because they knew how powerful Aaron was.
22:21 Now when the queen saw the fear of the servants she also began to fear eexceedingly, lest there should some evil come upon her. And she commanded her servants that they should go and call the people, that they might slay Aaron and his brethren. (22:21-22) He put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth.
Then the queen told her chicken-shit servants to round up a mob who would do the job. But before she could get her lynch-mob together, Aaron decided to just wake the king up.
22:22 Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he, also knowing the hardness of the hearts of the people, feared lest that a multitude should assemble themselves together, and there should be a great contention and a disturbance among them; therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him: Stand. And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.
22:23 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord. (22:23) His whole household were converted.
Everyone was pretty amazed, and they became a little afraid of Alma. But the king calmed them down, and even managed to convert everyone in his household. Quick work!
22:24 Now there was a multitude gathered together because of the commandment of the queen, and there began to be great murmurings among them because of Aaron and his brethren. (22:24-26) There began to be great murmurings.
Around that time, the crowd was starting to gather. The king spoke to them and calmed them down, and then told Alma to start preaching.
22:25 But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were pacified towards Aaron and those who were with him.
22:26 aAnd it came to pass that when the king saw that the people were pacified, he caused that Aaron and his brethren should stand forth in the midst of the multitude, and that they should preach the word unto them.
22:27 aAnd it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west -- and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.
22:28 Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore.
22:29 And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful.
22:30 And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing.
22:31 And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.
22:32 And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward. (22:32) A day and a half's journey ... from the east to the west sea.
Then the king made a proclamation throughout all the land. We never get to hear what exactly the proclamation is, because the author gets sidetracked with a long geography lesson, but that's okay.

The rest of the chapter is pretty dull, unless you're into Book of Mormon geography, in which case you should note that it only took a day and a half to walk from the "East Sea" to the "West Sea." So I guess this story pretty much had to be in Central America. (Unless, you know, this stuff is all just made up.)

22:33 aAnd it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.
22:34 Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions only in the land of Nephi, and the wilderness round about. Now this was wisdom in the Nephites -- as the Lamanites were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and also that they might have a country whither they might flee, according to their desires.
22:35 And now I, after having said this, return again to the account of Ammon and Aaron, Omner and Himni, and their brethren.

And it came to pass (22:2, 12, 15, 17, 19, 26, 27, 33)

Behold (22:2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 20)

Exceedingly (22:21)

(22:9-12) The Great Spirit
Wouldn't you just know it? The Lamanites (Native Americans) refer to God as "the Great Spirit."


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The Annotated Book of Mormon
Alma 22