Journey through the Book of Mormon: Alma 20 (Sons of a Liar)

13 And now when Lamoni had rehearsed unto him all these things, behold, to his astonishment, his father was angry with him, and said: Lamoni, thou art going to deliver these Nephites, who are sons of a liar. Behold, he robbed our fathers; and now his children are also come amongst us that they may, by their cunning and their lyings, deceive us, that they again may rob us of our property.

King Lamoni’s father was gripped by a powerful cultural understanding of the wickedness of the Nephites and so he was not ready at that time to listen to the gospel. His hatred for the messenger blinded him to the message. Therefore his bias had to be broken down by seeing Ammon’s goodness and genuine desire to help his son. For similar reasons, Ammon had to show his goodness through serving Lamoni. And he also had to teach him n alternative take on Nephite history.

Serving in Russia I saw this at work. Some were so full of anti-American sentiment that they were simply unwilling to listen to anything we had to say. It was only when we broke through these barriers and helped those we spoke to see us as fellow human beings that we could begin to teach them. Ammon moderation this principle masterfully.

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