It's been awhile since I continued on in my quest to read and write about each and every chapter in the Book of Mormon, but, I'm still at it! I'm gonna finish! Here's Alma 18:
The first thing I notice this time around is something I don't think I've ever noticed before.
In order to feel badly about doing something, you have to at least have an inkling of a feeling that it's wrong - right? Why would anyone feel badly about doing something right? Well, I guess there's lots of reasons to feel badly, but feel repentant? I'm not sure. Anyway.. That's slightly besides the point - and it's warm outside. Anyway...
In verse 2, King Lamoni, upon thinking that Ammon was "more than a man", and possibly even God himself, he immediately turned to thinking that he had come to him as a punishment for his murdering of his servants. I guess King Lamoni must have had a conscience about that. Man, I'm rambling today.. Anyway.. The same sentiment is continued on in verse 4 - by his saying that he saved the lives of the servants with Ammon...
Interesting that in verse 5, it says they were taught that there was no wrong or right, yet, Lamoni's conscience was kicking in like crazy... How does the saying go? "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear
in verse 17, the caveat Ammon adds to the end of his statement to King Lamoni. I wonder if he had done that previous to this instance... "Whatsoever thou desireth which is right
, that will I do" Which is right
... Not sure why I love that so much... Maybe it's just the general strength of Ammon's testimony, or his gently weaving in gospel truths to the King. I mean, the king's traditions dictated that anything they did was considered "right", already, so - it probably wouldn't take much for Lamoni to take a saying like that and hear the, "which is right", part and think, "Hmm... Anything I do is right, so why would my servant be hinting that I may ask him something which isn't
right?" That might spark a theological conversation, for sure.
"Wise yet harmless" - sometimes you've got to use a bit of guile to get people cornered into listening to the word of God. This is precisely what Ammon did. Good stuff. Very wise, yet the guile was not used for anything other than to get King Lamoni to promise he would believe Ammon's words. Ain't nothing wrong with that, as far as I see it.
I've often wondered what the "boldness" was spoken of in verse 24. I guess I've never been too acute in understanding social situations, so it took me awhile to get that in verse 24, this is the first time Ammon has dared to ask anything personal of King Lamoni. Think what may happen if you asked the President of Iran about his beliefs in God - especially while being an infidel! Yeah, I'd say that was pretty bold.
Hmmm.... Expounding the plan of redemption to King Lamoni must have had a profound impact on his mind and spirit. Going through life having been taught, and even believing that anything you do is "right" is so against what is true - there must have been a constant battle going on in King Lamoni's soul.
When King Lamoni heard about Jesus Christ, repentance, and forgiveness, what hope that must have given him, yet at the same time, what pain! Knowing that all the murders and evils he had committed were indeed a sin!
I can totally understand why he collapsed at the first prayer he ever uttered.
Yup... I've got to keep this up. Let's see if I can't study a-chapter-a-day for this week. Great time to make a goal, anyway!