Alma 22:1 Now as Ammon was thus teaching the people of Lamoni continually, we will return to the account of Aaron and his other 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.
Alma 22:2 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.
Alma 22:3 And now, O king, if thou wilt spare our lives, we will be thy servants. And the king saith 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.
Alma 22:4 And Aaron saith unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord hath called him another way; he hath gone to the land of Ishmael to teach the people of Lamoni.
Alma 22:5 Now the king saith unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.
Alma 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.
Alma 22:7 And Aaron answered him and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? And the king saith: I know that the Amlicites say that there is a God. And I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they might assemble themselves together to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold, I will believe.
Alma 22:8 And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice and he saith: Behold, assuredly as thou livest, O king, there is a God.
Alma 22:9 And the king saith: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?
Alma 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?
Alma 22:11 And he saith: 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.
Alma 22:12 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.
Alma 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.
Alma 22:14 And since man had fallen, he could not merit any thing of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atoneth for their sins through faith and repentance—etc.--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.
Alma 22:15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king saith: 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, saith he, I will give up all that I possess; yea, I will forsake my kingdom that I may receive this great joy.
Alma 22:16 But Aaron saith unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou will bow down before God—yea, if thou 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.
Alma 22:17 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, saying:
Alma 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.
Alma 22:19 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.
Alma 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, behold, one of them is mightier than us all? Therefore we shall fall before them.
Alma 22:21 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.
Alma 22:22 Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen—and 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.
Alma 22:23 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of his 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.
Alma 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.
Alma 22:25 But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And it came to pass that they were pacified towards Aaron and those which were with him.
Alma 22:26 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.
Alma 22:27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land amongst all his people which was in all his land, which was 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.
Alma 22:28 Now the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness and lived 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.
Alma 22:29 And also there was 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.
Alma 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 had been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing.
Alma 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 was filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.
Alma 22:32 And now it was only the distance of a day and a half 's journey for a Nephite on the line between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla was nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.
Alma 22:33 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.
Moreover, they were a nation of savages that dwelt in the back-woods and the wilderness round about the states of Georgia, Tennessee, and the Mississippi Territory.
Alma 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.
Alma 22:35 And now I after having said this return again to the account of Ammon, and Aaron, Omner, and Himni, and their brethren.