And the Lord said unto Ammon: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word…
And as Ammon entered the land of Ishmael, the Lamanites took him and bound him. And thus Ammon was carried before the king, who was over the land of Ishmael; and his name was Lamoni. And it came to pass that king Lamoni was much pleased with Ammon; and he would that Ammon should take one of his daughters to wife. But Ammon said: Nay, but I will be thy servant.
Therefore Ammon was sent among other servants to watch the flocks of Lamoni. And as Ammon and the servants of the king were driving forth their flocks to the place of water, behold, a number of the Lamanites stood and scattered the flocks of Ammon and the servants of the king, and they scattered them insomuch that they fled many ways.
Now the servants of the king began to murmur, and they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was filled with joy; for said he, I will show the power which is in me, restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may lead them to believe in my words. And Ammon said unto his brethren, I go and contend with these men who do scatter our flocks.
Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling, and thus he slew a number of them insomuch that they began to be astonished at his power; nevertheless they were angry, and they came forth with clubs to slay him. But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword.
And when he had driven them afar off, his fellow servants went in unto the king, bearing the arms which Ammon had smitten off.
And when king Lamoni inquired of his servants, saying: Where is this man that has such great power? They said: He is feeding thy horses. Now when the king heard this, he was more astonished, saying: Surely there has not been any servant… so faithful as this man.
After Ammon had made ready the horses, he went in unto the king and saw that his countenance was changed. He was about to leave when one of the king’s servants said unto him. The king desireth thee to stay.
And Ammon did preach unto the people of king Lamoni; and he did teach them all things pertaining to righteousness.
Abridged by Arnold Friberg from the Book of Alma
In the words of the artist:
The hero in the next picture, AMMON DEFENDS THE FLOCKS OF KING LAMONI is Ammon. He is described as, “a strong and mighty man.” He had to be, to do the superhuman deeds he accomplished.
It takes just such a man to stand alone against an enraged mob and to conquer them. It is a scene almost reminiscent of Samson standing alone against the Philistines. Each stood forth in the strength of the Lord! Such pictures as this, or such men as this, are the basis for all hero stories, from Moses to Tarzan. For that lone hero figure strikes some- thing deep within us, something to which we aspire, something larger than we can ever achieve. One man viewing this painting told the artist, “If! were there, that’s the way I’d stand, true and faithful.” I have here chosen to depict the tense moment just before the actual fight. The ensuing action described in the book is too gory [to depict] —the hacking off of every arm lifted against him, then laying the stack of arms before the king as evidence of his faithful service.Apparently that’s the way they did missionary work in those days.”
All 12 Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon lithographs are currently available as a signed and numbered set for $5300.