When the father of King Lamoni stops Ammon, the word desire shows up a number of times. Take a look:
24 Now when Ammon saw that he had wrought upon the old king according to his desire
, he said unto him: If thou wilt grant that my brethren may be cast out of prison, and also that Lamoni may retain his kingdom, and that ye be not displeased with him, but grant that he may do according to his own desires
in whatsoever thing he thinketh, then will I spare thee; otherwise I will smite thee to the earth.
25 Now when Ammon had said these words, the king began to rejoice because of his life.
26 And when he saw that Ammon had no desire
to destroy him, and when he also saw the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Because this is all that thou hast desired
, that I would release thy brethren, and suffer that my son Lamoni should retain his kingdom, behold, I will grant unto you that my son may retain his kingdom from this time and forever; and I will govern him no more—
27 And I will also grant unto thee that thy brethren may be cast out of prison, and thou and thy brethren may come unto me, in my kingdom; for I shall greatly desire
to see thee. For the king was greatly astonished at the words which he had spoken, and also at the words which had been spoken by his son Lamoni, therefore he was desirous
to learn them.
Seeing desires in this story highlight a theme in the Book of Mormon prescribed in Alma 29.
4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire
, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.
Interestingly, both good and evil desires tend to be granted. Agency seems powerful enough to actually be able to will someone to a result. But ultimately, desires are granted.
Back to the story of Ammon… all of the desires expressed were granted.
- Ammon wished for his brothers to be released from prison, which they were
- The King was desirous to see and learn from Ammon, which he did
This theme becomes an interesting study elsewhere in the Book of Mormon like with Amalickiah who desired to lead the Lamanite armies, and does.
Knowing God is willing to grant what I desire (good or bad), means I need to keep my desires in check.