The Spirit leads Aaron and his companions to King Ishmael (Lamoni's father)--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
Ishmael repents, falls to the ground, and appears to be dead--The queen thinks Aaron and his companions
killed King Ishmael, so she orders them to be killed--Aaron wakes the king up, everyone calms down, and
Aaron starts preaching again. (90-77 BCE)
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Aaron tells King Ishmael about the Great Spirit
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
As Ammon was teaching the people of Lamoni, the Spirit led Aaron and his brethren to the house
of King Ishmael (Lamoni's father) in the land of Nephi.
2 And 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: Behold, O king, we are the brethren of Ammon, whom
thou hast delivered out of prison.
When they arrived at the king's palace, Aaron introduced himself and said,
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
4 And Aaron said unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way; he has gone
to the land of Ishmael, to teach the people of Lamoni.
5 Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord?
Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.
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?
We'll be your servants if you don't kill us.
The king said he wouldn't kill them, but he had a few questions.
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,
behold I will believe.
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.
Aaron asked him,
Do you believe in God?
The king said,
If you say there's a God, I believe there's a God.
9 And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?
The king said,
Is God the Great Spirit? 
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?
Yes, God is the Great Spirit.
Do you believe in the Great Spirit?
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.
The king said,
Yes, I believe in the Great Spirit.
Tell me more. I'll believe everything you say.
12 And 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.
When Aaron heard that the king would believe anything he said, he told him about God, the Bible, the creation,
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.
the fall of Adam, hell, the redemption of Christ,
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.
15 And 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? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I
possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.
When the king heard all this, he said to Aaron,
How can I get this wicked spirit out of my chest?
If you tell me that, I'll give you everything in my kingdom.
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.
Aaron said to him,
Bow down to God and repent.
The king falls down and appears to be dead
17 And 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,
Then the king prostrated himself on the ground and said,
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
O God, Aaron told me that there is a God, and if there is a God, and if you are God, then let me know that.
I'll give away all my sins to know you so I can be saved on the last day.
Then the king fell down as if he were dead.
19 And 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.
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
behold one of them is mightier than us all?
Therefore we shall fall before them.
21 Now when the queen saw the fear of the servants she also began to fear
exceedingly, 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.
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
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.
Aaron feared that the people might kill him, so he touched the king and said to him, "Stand up."
And the king stood up.
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.
Everyone was amazed.
But the king calmed them down, and even managed to convert everyone in his household.
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.
25 But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were pacified towards Aaron
and those who were with him.
But still there were great murmurings among the people.
26 And 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.
The king asked Aaron and his brethren to preach to the people,
27 And 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
p>33 And 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.
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
35 And now I, after having said this, return again to the account of Ammon and Aaron, Omner and Himni,
and their brethren.
while he wrote a proclamation
about something and distributed it throughout the land. 
- The Great Spirit (v.9, 10, 11)
Wouldn't you just know it? The Lamanites (Native Americans) refer to God as "the Great Spirit."
- The king sent a proclamation throughout all the land (v.27)
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.)
And it came to pass: 22:2, 12, 15, 17,
19, 26, 27, 33
Behold: 22:2, 4, 5,
7, 8, 15, 20
Yea: 22:10, 11, 15(2), 16, 17,
- The Annotated Book of Mormon
- Alma 22