6 Comments

The People of Ammon

In the Book of Alma, we learn of the people of Ammon. Theirs is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring stories from all the Book of Mormon. They were Lamanites, converted to the Gospel through the teaching and example of the Sons of Mosiah, and they were so appalled by their past sins that they buried their swords deep in the earth and swore an oath that they would never again raise the sword against anyone; that they would never again, for any reason whatsoever, shed the blood of another human being. (Alma 24:16, Alma 27:28)
We are also told that none of them ever broke that oath, and that none of them ever fell away even unto at least the second generation’s Army of Helaman. (Alma 23:6, Alma 58:39) Where did their strength come from? This holy people, who left behind a brutal life of war and indigence, became one of the most, if not the most, faithful people since Enoch’s City of Zion. What was the secret to their amazing faith? How did they manage to keep their oath so flawlessly? Initially, we might think that the energy of conversion and the bond of their new brotherhood strengthened them even to the point of surrendering their backs to the swords of their brethren. (Alma 24:21-24) Over the years, though, this surely wore off. Is there perhaps a hidden lesson to be learned from the People of Ammon?
I believe the secret of their faith is that they were totally dependent on the Lord for their temporal protection. They were industrious to be sure, and we are told that they thrived economically, but they had to depend totally on the Lord for protection from the violence that perpetually threatened their borders, even their homes and families. One is reminded of the story of Gideon, whose 300 defeated a great army of Midianites (Judges 7:2-22). After this great victory, no one could possibly suggest that it was anything but the strength of the Lord that gave them victory. Likewise, the People of Ammon could in no way claim that they were surviving on their own strength; their very existence each and every day was a testimony to the tender mercies of the Lord. Even after all they could do, they were forced to rely on the Lord for their temporal survival; for protection against those who would subject them to the tyranny of the sword. They looked to Him for everything in their lives. He was truly their comfort, their strength, their salvation.
But are we really less challenged than these, our heroes of old? After all, theirs was truly “a clear and present danger”. If we truly understood the threat to our own survival, would we more readily realize that even, no especially, in this day, we are equally dependent upon the Lord for survival? There was nothing insidious about the threats to the people of Ammon. Even the secret combinations of their day, the Gadianton Robbers, (the Lamanites were really quite overt about their intentions) swooped down from their mountain stronghold with blood in their hearts, blatantly gorging themselves on riches of the land. (3 Nephi 2:11) But the secret combinations of our day have until recently been far removed from our daily lives. Their threat has been nothing if not insidious. The Book of Mormon warns us clearly of the threat in our midst, (Ether 8:24) but still it takes great faith, study, and vision to truly believe that such a shadowy enemy even exists.
As we look around us, though, it won’t be long before their presence, their impact, and their very real threat becomes more obvious. We’ve all heard of the Bilderbergs, the Rothschilds, the CFR, Skull and Bones, etc. – supposedly secret societies bent on taking over the world’s banks by promoting war and destruction with an ultimate goal of implementing a “New World Order” with themselves in charge. The United Nations, rather than fulfilling its mission of peaceful coexistence has materialized instead as a major tool in Satan’s timeless arsenal of suppression. Organizations such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and The Southern Poverty Law Center cunningly undermine the morals of society, cleverly calling what is wrong, right, promoting intolerance in the name of tolerance, and ironically marginalizing the rights of significant groups of people, both living and unborn.
By far the greatest threat to the individual liberty for which Christ Himself died is government itself. H. Verlan Andersen’s “Great and Abominable Church of the Devil”, in the name of peace and security, threatens the liberty of individuals throughout the world. Government-sponsored “safety net” programs lure millions into their modern brand of slavery. Government debt, incurred largely to support these programs as well as endless foreign wars and national “security” initiatives, promises to subjugate the rest of us to the afore-mentioned secret banking societies. Regulatory agencies such as the FDA, the FAA, the FTC, and the FCC are increasingly encroaching on individual rights and exercising control over every aspect of our daily lives. The People of Ammon faced no such threats in their day.
Our challenge, then, in this 21st century is to find it within ourselves to pull close to the Lord through a splendid faith and steadfast obedience. We must come to know that the threats arrayed against us are genuine and dangerous, and that only by adherence to the laws, commandments and ordinances of the gospel can we hope to prevail against this most powerful of enemies and enjoy the promise of the Lord’s rest in this life. Even this, though, won’t be enough. We must fight. We must plead with the Lord for guidance that we might learn how we can best resist this evil encroachment on our liberties. We must come to realize that we, just like the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, are totally dependent upon the Lord for our temporal as well as spiritual survival. We will find ourselves helpless against these forces of Satan unless we call daily upon the power of the Lord. With it, we can and will stand against everything. Perhaps, once we learn this, we, too, will have gained the faith to match that of the people of Ammon.

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6 comments on “The People of Ammon

  1. I believe that as we call upon and submit our will to our Heavenly Father we will be able to see clearly the path that leads to a place that faith will no longer be required. The great truth is that we have always been dependant on The Lord for our temporal welfare and the great awakening as the people of Ammon discovered was to acknowledge that truth and claim it as our own. When our will can be surrendered to HIM, then we are able to and given the ability to love and be loved without boundaries. Boundaries that we create ourselves.

    • Thank you, Melanie, for your comment. I, like you, have wondered why we are blinded and prideful. But we are, and that’s part of our challenge on this earth. I think that when faith turns to knowledge, and our will is surrendered to His….that is the definition of sanctification.

  2. I finally got around to reading this post and I am grateful for the truth spoken in it. Thank you Scott for not passing over the need for learning about, so that we may stand against the Gadianton Robbers (Secret Combinations) of our day. To pretend that we need not worry about them is to bury our heads in the sand but leaves our backsides exposed! In order to properly exercise moral agency, one must know and comprehend both sides of the coin.

    Quick question concerning your reply to Melanie. I question whether we have to give our will away! Do we surrender our will to His, or do we simply synchronize our will with His?

  3. You are right, Greg – we must become the type of person whose will is naturally the same as His. My example, a hero of mine, is Nephi the son of Helaman, who whom the Lord said in Helaman 10:4 (to paraphrase) anything you ask for shall be done, because I know that you would never ask for anything that is not right. That is my goal, but I stand far from reaching it.

  4. […] is a plea to remember that the example of the Anti-Lehi-Nephis, whom I’ve written about before, is included in the Book of Mormon for a reason. It’s not just […]

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