#LDSConf – Alma 22

CLICK HERE to read Alma 22.

Ammon continued teaching the king Lamoni’s people (verse 1), so this chapter through chapter 26 follows the account of his brother Aaron, now released from prison and back on his mission.  Aaron had many grand adventures, and some of his sermons are recorded for us in these chapters.

Aaron followed the Spirit for where and who to teach, and this led him to king Lamoni’s father (verse 1).   He first approached the king and bowed before him, introducing himself as the one that the king released from prison on behalf of Ammon (verse 2).  Then he formally asks for his life to be spared, demonstrating respect for the king and submission to cultural laws, and offers to be his servant so as to honor the debt they owe to the king (verse 3).  This is a marvelous teaching of the atonement that Aaron is demonstrating to the king.

The king grants Aaron and the other missionaries their lives, but will not let them be his servants; however, he does want them to teach him “for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon” (verse 3).  The king wants to know more, and is confused about why Ammon has not come back to teach him more.

Aaron explains that the Spirit has called Ammon to teach elsewhere, to teach the people of Lamoni (verse 4).  This catches the king’s attention, because that’s his very question “What’s the Spirit of the Lord?” (verse 5).  He also wants to know about what Ammon said about repentance, and what that means (verse 6).

Aaron answers the king by asking him if he believes there is a God (verse 7).  The king answers that he knows some people say there is a God, and that he lets his people build sanctuaries to their Gods (verse 7).   Then he says, “if now thou sayest there is a God, behold I will believe” (verse 7).  This is a great step of faith, of believing the words of prophets, of understanding before knowledge fully comes.  It shows the king’s heart is soft and responsive, and that he really wants to know the truth.  He is willing to submit to something greater than himself, and willing to believe before he fully understands.  Like any other relationship, our relationship with God unfolds over time – but the relationship cannot begin until we are willing to admit God exists.

“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” (verse 8).

The king asked if God is the same as “the Great Spirit”, just as Lamoni had asked (verse 9).

Aaron says that this is God, and that God “created all things both in heaven and in earth” (verse 10).

The king then replies that he believes this, even that the Great Spirit created all things, and he wants to know more and that he will believe what he is taught (verse 11).

“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” (verse 12).

This, Aaron taught him, was part of the plan all along, because we cannot know what is good if we do not learn also what is bad.  We cannot experience joy without also experiencing sorrow.  But God did not abandon us in this fallen state, and so from the beginning – before any of us even were born – redemption from that fall was also part of the plan, and it was Christ who would provide that redemption (verse 13).

“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 Aaron did expound all these things unto the king” (verse 14).

As the king listened and learned, he asked questions.  He asked how to obtain this eternal life, and I love how he phrased it, for I have felt the same:

“… 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…. Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy” (verse 15).

Aaron says that all it takes is a little humility:  “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” (verse 16).

And that’s what the king did, literally, right then and there: “the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees, yea, even did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

“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.”

I love this prayer, because there is no presumption in it, and it is humble and honest and true.  He is still relying on the testimony of the prophet, still believing only because he trusts someone who has told him it is true.  That is the starting place.  But then he does honestly want to make it is his own, asking God to manifest Himself, to make Himself known, so that he can have his own testimony, his own believe, that does not only rely on the words of others.

But he also demonstrates his understanding of who God is, having faith that if God is real (even though he is still learning) that God can do what God has promised.  So he acts in response to knowing who God is by saying he will give up that which is not of God, let go of habits and old ways that are against what God has ordered for his children, turn away from sins and transgressions that grieve God and His children.  This is the beginning of repentance, of humility, of introducing himself to God.

This is great faith, and a bold prayer.

The king is so overcome that he falls, just as Lamoni did (verse 18).  The servants run to tell the queen, who finds Aaron and his friends standing near the king.  She thinks they killed him, and order the servants to take them out to be killed for murdering the king (verse 19).   But the servants had witnessed what happened, and plead with the queen not to harm these mighty men (verse 20).  When she realizes they are afraid of the prophet, then she is also afraid, and so instead orders the servants to call the people to come and kill the prophet (verse 21).

“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 disturbance among them; therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth…” (verse 22).  When the queen and the servants saw this, they “greatly marveled”, and Aaron was able to teach them so that the whole household was converted (verse 23).

Many people had gathered after the queen had called them (verse 24), but Aaron ministered unto them so they were pacified (verse 25).  When the king saw this, he asked Aaron to preach to the people of all the land (verses 26-35).

#LDSConf – Alma 21

CLICK HERE to read Alma 21.

Since Ammon found out that his brother and their friends were falsely imprisoned while on their mission, he pleaded with the king to get them released.  They were very happy to see each other again, though Ammon noticed all the injuries the men had.  This chapter tells their story, as if we are eavesdropping while Ammon and his brother Aaron catch up while walking the road back home.  Then the next chapter, through chapter 26 follows the adventures of Aaron as he continues his mission.

Back when all the men began their mission, they separated when arrive at the border of the Lamanite land (verse 1).  Ammon went one way for his mission, and Ammon went another way, toward a city named Jerusalem – which was named after the original Jerusalem their ancestors had left back at the beginning of the Book of Mormon (verse 2).

The people there were the Lamanites, of course, but also the Amelekites and the Amulonites, and they were rougher and harder even than the Lamanites.  So they negatively influenced the Lamanites “that they should harden their hearts, that they should wax strong in wickedness and their abominations” (verse 3).

The people there did have synagogues, but they were a false priesthood after the order of Nehor (verse 4), who was known for “evangelizing” in such a way that is confrontational instead of inviting, and leads to violence instead of peace.  So even the “good” people in this society are aggressive and violent.

When Aaron begins to speak to the people, someone starts a fight (verse 5).  There is no real purpose other than to stir up contention and drama.  He says, “thou also sayest, except we repent we will perish… How knowest thou that we have cause to repent?” (verse 6).  This guy is starting a fight just to start a fight, accusing Aaron of judging him – very similar to how our culture is today.  However, rather than being justified, this reveals the depth of the man’s false pride, because Aaron was teaching that the Savior was for all people and that we all are in a humble state of needing God.

Aaron asks him, “Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins?” (verse 7).

“And the man said unto him: … We do not believe in these foolish traditions…” (verse 8).

So Aaron began to teach them, because it is one thing not to believe because you have never thought of it or discussed or been open to the idea, and another thing to choose against it.  Aaron taught them the prophesies that Christ would be born, and the prophet teachings about the resurrection, and that we could not be resurrected (immortality) or have eternal life (the quality of that eternal life) without the atonement of Christ (verse 9).

But the people became angry, and mocked him, and would not listen (verse 10).  So he left them, and rejoined other friends on their missions so that they could spend their time and energy teaching those who did want to listen (verse 11).  But few would listen, and few would believe (verse 12).

This is when the men were arrested (verse 13), and “suffered many things” until being delivered by Lamoni and Ammon, who fed and clothed them (verse 14).  Un-conquered, these guys jumped right back into their mission (verse 15), and went wherever the Spirit led them to go (verse 16).

“And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct” (verse 17).

Knowing they were well, Ammon and Lamoni returned to Lamoni’s land (verse 18), but Lamoni would not let Ammon be his servant anymore (verse 19).   Instead, he built synagogues (verse 20), and taught the people (verse 21).  He also told the people they were free, and free from oppression from his father (verse 21).  He told them “that they might have the liberty of worshiping the Lord their God” each in their own way, where they lived and as they wanted to worship (verse 22).   Ammon preached to the people, and “he did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness.  And he did exhort them daily, with all diligence; and they gave heed unto his word, and they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God” (verse 23).

#LDSConf – Alma 20

CLICK HERE to read Alma 20.

Now that the church was established, king Lamoni wanted Ammon the prophet to accompany him to the land of Nephi so that Ammon could meet Lamoni’s father (verse 1).

But, the Lord warned Ammon not to go because Lamoni’s father would try to kill him, and so to go instead to the land of Middoni where Ammon’s brother and two friends were imprisoned (verse 2).

Ammon explained this to Lamoni (verse 3), and Lamoni decided to go with Ammon to help him get his brother and friends out of prison (verse 4).  Lamoni asked Ammon how he knew his brother and friends were in prison (verse 4), and Ammon told him that God had told him (verse 5).  This made Lamoni hurry and get ready to go quickly (verse 6), and to accompany Ammon to help get the men released from prison (verse 7).

As they traveled, they met Lamoni’s father (verse 8) who was already headed to them, upset that Lamoni did not show up for a feast day in his land (verse 9).  Lamoni’s father also asked Lamoni why he was traveling with “this Nephite”, giving Ammon a sideways glare (verse 10).  Lamoni explained, hoping not to offend his father (verse 11), telling even what all had just happened the last few days and that this is why he did not make it to the feast (verse 12).  Lamoni was testifying of his own conversion, but his father was angry with him and suspicious of Ammon (verse 13).

Lamoni’s father was so upset that he told Lamoni to kill Ammon with the sword, and then return home with him (the father) (verse 14).  But Lamoni refused to kill Ammon, saying that knew Ammon and his brother and friends “are just men and holy prophets of the true God” (verse 15).  This really made his father very angry, “and he drew his sword that he might smite him to the earth” (verse 16).

But Ammon commanded the father not to slay his son, though he stated it would be better for Lamoni to die than his father to die because at least Lamoni has repented of his sins (verse 17).  Ammon told Lamoni’s father that if he killed his son, “he being an innocent man, his blood would cry from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee; and perhaps thou wouldst lose thy soul” (verse 18).  This turned the father’s anger toward Ammon instead of to Lamoni, as he blamed Ammon for trying to destroy Lamoni (verse 19).

“And he stretched forth his hand to slay Ammon.  But Ammon withstood his blows, and also smote his arm that he could not use it” (verse 20).   When Lamoni’s father realized that Ammon could kill him, “he began to plead with Ammon that he would spare his life” (verse 21).  But Ammon raised his sword and said he would kill him if he did not promise to release his brother and friends from prison (verse 22). King Lamoni’s father agreed, saying that if Ammon let him live he would give Ammon anything, up to half the kingdom (verse 23).

Ammon lets king Lamoni’s father live, requesting nothing but his brother and friends be released from prison, and for king Lamoni to get to keep his land and rule his kingdom the way he wants (verse 24).  King Lamoni’s father rejoiced that his life was spared (verse 25), and recognized that Ammon did love his son, Lamoni, and agreed to the terms (verse 26).  He granted Ammon’s wishes, astonished that Ammon asked nothing for himself, and invited Ammon and his brother and friends to visit him in his kingdom (verse 27).

“For the king was greatly astonished at the words which he (Ammon) had spoken, and also at the words (the testimony) which had been spoken by his son Lamoni, therefore he was desirous to learn them (about the gospel)” (verse 27).

So Ammon and Lamoni were able to continue to their journey, and bring Ammon’s brother and friends out of prison (verse 28).

“And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords.  And they also had suffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless, they were patient in all their sufferings” (verse 29).

Ammon had gone on his mission to King Lamoni’s land, and the people had responded to him.  But his brother Aaron and their friends had a mission to a “more hardened and a more stiffnecked people; therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out, and had smitten them…” (verse 30) until delivered by Ammon and King Lamoni.

Chapters 21-26 will tell their story.

First Shiner

Barrett accidentally stepped back, knocking over the baby he didn’t see standing behind him.

She fell into the coffee table, getting her first black eye.

It’s been a hard day in Kyrie world.

More Good News

We have more and more good news, which seems a bit surreal after the last year!

First, my eyes they think maybe will be fine!  There is an infection, and something auto-immune going on, and so the eye doctor doesn’t think he can get rid of the infection entirely.  But, he has new drops for me, and they are working enough for most of the red to be gone and all of the pain.  I am okay with that!

I did go see my regular doctor yesterday, and he had all kinds of labs drawn, just to be sure we have covered everything.  But other than some pain in my hands and hip, and being generally tired (which could be attributed to having eight thousand little children in the home), I am doing really well these days.

The other big news is for Kyrie, who made it through all three hours of church this week, for the first time ever.  She even went to nursery for the last ten minutes!  She slept the rest of the day, but that was huge for her!

We heard back from Utah this morning, and Kyrie will not be going there for a trach.  There are many pieces to this, but one is that we misunderstood what the hospital had said, or they told us differently what the doctor had said, or something.  If we went there, we would be starting from scratch with a new workup at that hospital, redo her testing, and let the team of specialists there decide what was next, even if we knew which ENT we preferred.

Medicaid won’t cover that, since she has had that in Cincinnati and locally, and won’t start over with a new hospital.  They, and we, had thought it could just happen and was just needed to be scheduled and contracted.  We misunderstood that.

Plus the nurse told us that the doctors know what they are doing now, and to trust them.

That leaves us resigned to following orders and letting her baseline be her baseline as it is, instead of thinking we can improve it.  I am pretty sure her pediatrician has already told us that, so maybe we should have listened then.  We were on a learning curve, and had a lot to soak in.

Her early intervention team thinks she still needs a trach, and that if she had a trach we would also not need the feeding tube ever – and for sure not a gtube – and that her gross motor skills would catch up.

But they are not the doctors.  They can’t make it happen.

We are convinced that if they had trached her in the beginning, a year ago, that she would not have had the hospitalizations that didn’t make sense, or have to battle the struggles she has endured – including a stroke because of being in a coma for two weeks, or medical cerebral palsy from waiting so long to get help breathing.

We fought hard, and we fought for a year, but now that year is over.

And maybe our vision is a little clouded by some kind of parental-medical-PTSD from the beginning of last year, when she was first born, and when we had no help at all.

And, everyone says that PRS babies get better after a year, because they finally grow and get stronger.

Maybe, we think, her mark of being a year is just coming a little late because she was born early and as a drug baby.

So maybe we are just now getting to her real year, and we will see improvements now.

Or maybe we have been in denial, and just caused a whole lot of problems by fighting for what we couldn’t really change.

We aren’t the doctors, and we don’t know anything, and there have been so many people telling us what to do or where to go or what would help or what never to do.

She has good doctors.  She really does.  We love them.  They are kind and patient.  They think we are crazy because we have tried too hard, but they love her and take good care of her.  They can’t change the fact that she wasn’t trached a year ago anymore than we can, but what we can do together is take care of her now.

So this is our baseline: sometimes we have a blue baby, with random desats that can be scary or not, severe incidents that no one can explain and after which she is usually fine but takes four days to recover from, and needing the ng tube from time to time to bounce back from illness or those inexplicable incidents.  Most of the time she holds her sats just fine, but needs more sleep to recover from any kind of activity.  Gross motor skills will always be behind because she doesn’t have the energy to practice them, and when she tries then she will pant like a little puppy.

She will battle problems caused by the last year, but the time to intervene to prevent them has passed.

So we will let her be, and do our best with what we have learned.

She will not be pink, and she will always be happier on the days she had oxygen the night before.

But she has two brown sisters, so being a little dusky will help her blend in.

And she is alive.

That’s the most important thing.

Maybe she just needs to be one: playing in the dirt, keeping up with bigger siblings, and dumping bowls of oatmeal on her head.

I might still be too afraid to take her to the splash pad, though, because I don’t know how to add thickener to water spraying out of the ground.

But otherwise, this is where we are at, and she is trying, and we are proud of her.

And so it is, and we will move forward through the second year in faith, hoping our best gets better, and praying that her airway keeps growing.

That’s good news, that her airway is growing.  There is hope there, even with the mantle of the battle being on her shoulders.  Breathe, baby.  Breathe.

Genesis 2:7 makes her a real girl, no matter how tiny: “And the Lord God formed a man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Go, baby, go.  Go and live.

#LDSConf – Alma 19: The Lamanite Restoration

CLICK HERE to read Alma 19.  For further study of this chapter, and its teachings on marriage and the teachings of the temple, see THIS TALK.

King Lamoni is laying there, very nearly dead, and his wife and children are mourning him.  The servants prepare his sepulchre, ready to bury him (verse 1).  But the queen hears the story of Ammon the prophet, and of his great service to the King, and of what he taught the king – so she sends for Ammon to come to them (verse 2).

“And it came to pass that Ammon did as he was commanded, and went in unto the queen” (verse 3).  He asked the queen what he could do for her.  She told him that the servants had told her all that had happened, and that “thou art a prophet of a holy God, and that thou hast power to do many might works in his name” (verse 4).  She tells him that her husband is laying as if dead, and that the people are ready to bury him (verse 5).

Ammon patiently listens to all this, even though he already knows that King Lamoni is not dead but only overcome by the power of God as “the dark veil of unbelief” is “being cast away from his mind” (verse 6).  He describes it like this (verse 6):

and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness – yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and hew as carried away in God…”

He did as the queen asked, going in to check on the king, and he confirmed that the king was not dead (verse 7).  He told the queen that the king was not dead, and that he was only sleeping, and not to bury him because he would wake in the morning (verse 8).  Then Ammon addressed her directly, asking if she believed this; the queen replied that she did believe (verse 9).  Ammon told her she was blessed for her great faith (verse 10), and the queen exercised that faith by watching over her husband from that moment until it happened as the prophet promised, and the king awoke in the morning (verse 11).

When the king awoke, he reached out to his wife and said, “Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou” (verse 12).  Then he began to explain that he had seen the Redeemer, and he taught his wife what he knew, prophesying about the birth of Christ: he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name.  This filled both the king and queen with joy, and they were overcome by the Spirit (verse 13).

This was a miracle!  The gospel had come to the Lamanites!  These people had fought so long against the people of God, even though they were descended from the ancestors.  They denied the truth, fighting against it, calling it evil, killing the prophets of God – all because it was what they had been told, all because they were too focused on false traditions passed down to them – so much that they did not recognize the prophet of God right in front of them.

This is what happened when Jesus Christ ministered amongst the people of his day.  Many who had waited for Him and hoped in Him missed it, simply because they were so focused on being right, and so focused on what their parents had taught them that they missed the whole meaning behind the teaching, and missed seeing the Savior when He was right in front of them.

This happens in our day, when people are so focused on belonging to a certain branch of the original church that Christ established, that they miss the Savior re-planting the original seed.   They have truth, and many pieces, but they are growing in the wrong place and without the full story – much like seeds scattered in the wind.  The original church has been restored by the Savior Himself.  It had to be restored, re-planted, because of all those branches.  He didn’t create a church of branches.  He created one church, in His name.  Satan tried to stop that church, and did so by killing all the apostles who had the authority to organize that one true church.  The survivors did the best they could, but they lacked the authority to continue organizing the church.  Without the authority, and with other corruptions (which is what led to all the branches), the church was scattered and lost.   Truths remained, and pieces of the story were passed on.  These marvelous ancient saints did the very best they could to keep truth alive, and they sacrificed their very lives to pass on sacred writings and ordinances.  But that authority was lost, and so the church was no longer organized… it was scattered, like the wind, with all kinds of branches sprouting up from different pieces of truth that this saint or that saint had protected.   Some of them were corrupted and horrible.  Others were truly saints, sacrificing all they had (often their very lives), to hold on to the truths they did have, to protect them, and to pass them on.  But there was no longer one true church that held ALL the pieces of truth, and there was no longer the direct authority given by Christ to organize His church and act in His name.

This is why it had to be restored.

That’s why we are called “The Church of Jesus Christ”, because it is His church (with all the pieces), under His authority (to truly act in His name, instead of just going through the motions of what people remembered from before the apostasy).  He added the “of Latter-day Saints” onto the title of the church when it was restored because these are the latter days, closer to His second coming that the former days when He was here for His earthly ministry and the great atoning sacrifice He provided for all of us.

So this is huge, this conversion of the king and queen of the Lamanites.  Remember the beginning of the Book of Mormon, back when Lehi was given a vision and instructed to leave Jerusalem?  Remember his son Nephi, who was faithful and obedient, and his rebellious brothers Laman and Lemuel?  Remember how all those, regardless of ancestors, who followed the Lord were called “Nephites” and those who were rebellious were called “Lamanites”?   This is the very restoration of the gospel to the Lamanites that Lehi himself did pray for, did forsee, to hope for, did wait for back long ago in those days of wandering the wilderness.

Ammon, the prophet, knows this is what is happening.  He sees “the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites” (verse 14).  He is so overwhelmed with awe and joy and gratitude that he falls on his knees, and begins “to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God” (verse 14).  Ammon himself is also overcome with joy, just like the king and queen!

When the servants see this, they also begin to “cry unto God” (verse 15).  These servants did also convert, turning to the Lord as they did “call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth” (verse 16).  All of them collapsed in prayer and joy, except for one woman who had already converted because of the teaching of her father (verse 16).  She was already a convert but had never shared it, yet when she saw that the king and the queen and the prophet all lay prostrate in prayer, “she knew it was the power of God” (verse 17).  This was her opportunity to explain to the people what was happening, to testify to them of God.  And so she did!  She went door to door, house to house, explaining to the people what was happening.

The people came to the house of the king, “and to their astonishment, they beheld the king, and the queen, and their servants… and they also saw Ammon…” (verse 18).  The people began to murmur, discussing whether or not this was all because of some evil happening because the Nephite prophet had come into their land (verse 19).  Others wondered if it was evil happening because the king had killed the servants who scatted the flocks Ammon was trying to protect (verse 20).  Others were angry because they were relatives of those who had been killed (verse 21).

One of these was so angry that when he saw Ammon laying prostrate in prayer, he lifted his sword to kill Ammon while he had the chance, but he himself fell down dead instead (verse 22).

But again, just like back in chapter 17, the guy trying to kill Ammon does not know or understand that the Lord has already promised protection of Ammon’s life (see Mosiah 28).  “Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith – therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord” (verse 23).

All the people saw this.  They witnessed the man trying to kill Ammon but falling down dead himself instead.  This made them afraid to even touch those who had been overcome by the Spirit, “and they began to marvel again among themselves what could be the cause of this great power, or what all these things could mean” (verse 24).   Many said Ammon was “the Great Spirit”, and others said Ammon was sent by “the Great Spirit” (verse 25).  Others said he was a monster sent to torment them (verse 26).  Others said Ammon was sent by “the Great Spirit”, but sent “to afflict them because of their iniquities” (verse 27).

These arguments stirred up the contention, which was the situation the woman servant found herself in after trying to testify to the people.  Instead of hearing her testimony, they had gotten lost in their own ideas of what was happening and what to do about it or not.  Instead of responding to her words with soft hearts, their hard hearts had stirred up drama and contention that distracted from the testimony and missed the whole point of what was happening – and left them in confusion, still, because they had not understood her explanation (verse 27).

The woman began to cry, and went back to the queen she had served, and took the queen’s hand.  As soon as she touched the queen’s hand, the queen jumped up “and cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!  O blessed God, have mercy on this people!” (verse 29).   She said many things, then reached for the king, who immediately stood to his feet as well (verse 30).

When the king saw the contention among the people, he rebuked them.  He taught them the words of the prophet, and “as many as heard his words believed, and were converted unto the Lord” (verse 31).

But many did not believe, and went on their way (verse 32).

Ammon did minister to them all, and all the people declared the same thing: “that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil” (verse 33).

“And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness” (verse 34).

And many believed, and those new believers were baptized, and became a righteous people (verse 35).

“And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name” (verse 36).