Read it HERE.
Aaron teaches Lamoni’s father about the creation, the fall of Adam, and the plan of redemption through Christ—The king and all his household are converted—How the land was divided between the Nephites and the Lamanites. Between 90 and 77 B.C.
This is one of my favorite stories from the Book of Mormon. I always wonder what it would have been like to be there when some of these great teachings happened.
King Lamoni's father had heard of the "generosity and greatness" of Aaron's brother Ammon, so when Aaron came, he immediately asked Aaron to teach him. This must have taken Aaron by surprise--he went there asking to be the King's servant, and was instead asked to begin teaching.
Here is some good background information, taken from the Institute manual:
Aaron needed some common understanding from which to start teaching the gospel to King Lamoni’s father. The Lamanites believed in a Great Spirit who had created all things (see Alma 22:11 ), so Aaron began with this basic principle in teaching the king.
Concerning the Lamanite’s belief in the Great Spirit, Elder BruceR. McConkie said: “According to Lamanite traditions, God is the Great Spirit . It is obvious that by this designation the Lamanites had in mind a personal being, for King Lamoni mistakenly supposed that Ammon was the Great Spirit. ( Alma 18:2–28 ; 19:25–27 .) Both Ammon and Aaron, using the same principle of salesmanship applied by Paul on Mars Hill ( Acts 17:22–31 ), taught that the Great Spirit was the God who created the heavens and the earth. ( Alma 18:8–29 ; 22:8–11 .)” ( Mormon Doctrine, p.340).
When Aaron begins talking with King Lamoni's Father about God, King Lamoni's Father almost immediately trusts what he says:
"And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold I will believe."
They go on to discuss who God is, what Christ's mission is, and the Plan of Redemption. Aaron must have been thrilled that King Lamoni's Father believed him so readily. What a person to convert! This is a King over an enormous kingdom.
But my favorite, favorite part of this whole chapter is the King's prayer. I cannot imagine a prayer that is more child-like and full of honest faith than this one.
He begins by asking Aaron "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. "
Then, when Aaron tells him to pray for forgiveness of his sins, the King throws himself on the ground and cries,
"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."
This makes me teary each time I read it because it is inspiring to read what this man is willing to do in order to gain Eternal Life. He is King of many lands and could probably have anything he wanted, but he realized that true happiness comes from following the Lord. Am I willing to give up all my sins? Am I willing to give up my "favorite" sins, the ones I have the hardest time getting the motivation to keep from committing? WHAT am I willing to do? Am I willing to do enough?
After this prayer, the King falls down under the power of the Lord. His wife discovers what looks like his lifeless body and asks that the servants slay Aaron. They shrink away because they fear his power. Aaron knows the nature of the people, and knows they would do him harm and become unteachable if they thought Aaron killed their king, so he extends his hand to the King and asks him to stand.
The King does, the people are amazed, his whole household is converted, and the King sends out a proclamation throughout the entire land.
What a blessing! We know, of course, that these people become some of the most righteous people in the Book of Mormon, and this happens all because Aaron teaches one man, and does it with the power of the Lord.
This chapter gives me a lot to think about. What did you find especially touching in this chapter?