Missionary Methods used by Ammon and His Companions




By Kevin V.  Hunt

                Ammon and the other sons of Mosiah had desires to serve a mission.  They persuaded their father to let them serve among the Lamanites.  They went the extra mile as they served for fourteen years.  As they were returning from their mission they met their good friend, Alma, as he traveled and preached throughout the land.  They rejoiced as they saw each other again.  “And what added more to [their] joy was that they were still … brethren in the Lord.”  (Alma 17:2)

As the missionaries met with Alma on that occasion, they acknowledged the Lord’s blessings unto them.  Through their missionary service, challenges and trials “they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.”  They had learned and applied the Lord’s formula for success.  As they reported their missionary labors, they noted what they had done to be successful missionaries. These principles are detailed in Alma Chapter 17-27 and subsequent chapters.  A careful study of Alma Chapters 17 through 27 provides many insights that teach of what the Lord would have his servants do in the missionary effort.  These same principles are applicable to the missionary labor of today.  If followed, these steps will bring a missionary close to the Lord and will bring success in the Lord’s missionary labor.  They are also applicable to future missionaries who now labor as member missionaries in preparation for full-time service.

Ammon and his brethren were successful because:

  1. They were brethren in the Lord, obedient to the commandments, united in purpose and effort. (Alma 17:2)
  2. [waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth] and developed strong testimonies, which they bore to the people. (Alma 17:2)
  3. They developed a “sound understanding” as they heeded the promptings of the Holy Ghost. (Alma 17:2)
  4. They searched and pondered the scriptures diligently to know the word and will of God. (Alma 17:2)
  5. They “gave themselves” to much prayer. (Alma 17:3)
  6. They fasted for the work. (Alma 17:3,9)
  7. They had the spirit of prophecy and revelation (obtained by scripture study, prayer and fasting). (Alma 17:3)
  8. They taught by the Spirit. (Alma 17:3, 10; Alma 18:35)
  9. They taught with power and authority from God and they used their priesthood to bless the lives of others. (Alma 17:3,18; Alma 18:34)
  10. They made a long-term service commitment (and then served for 14 years). (Alma 17:4)
  11. They worked to bring many to the truth. (Alma 17:4)
  12. Their brought their converts “to the altar of God” (Sacrament table and the Temple) (Alma 17:4)
  13. They taught repentance. (Alma 17:4, 16)
  14. They sacrificed for the work and for the people among whom they served “For they had many afflictions; [and] they did suffer much both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue,”
  15. They labored “much in the spirit.” (Alma 17:5)
  16. They left behind family and friends to serve. (Alma 17:6)
  17. They sacrificed worldly fame and position in order to serve. (Alma 17:6)
  18. They worked to pay their own way and to provide for themselves while on the mission. (Alma 17:7)
  19. They were desirous to serve even among a foreign people. (Alma 17:8)
  20. They fasted and prayed for the Spirit (Alma 17:9)
  21. They saw themselves as instruments of God and recognized their dependence upon Him.  (Alma 17:9)
  22. They had a desire to share the truth. (Alma 17:9)
  23. They received comfort of the Lord. (Alma 17:10)
  24. After spiritual preparation they heard the voice of the Lord. (Alma 17:10-11)
  25. They went on the Lord’s errand as they heard, “Go Forth and establish my word.”  (Alma 17:11)
  26. They provided a righteous example to those they worked with. (Alma 17:11)
  27. They were patient and long-suffering in their afflictions. (Alma 17:11)
  28. They were instruments in the hands of the Lord unto the salvation of souls. (Alma 17:11)
  29. They went forth with courage. They preached with boldness to           “declare unto them the Word of God” – not going to be preached to.  (Alma 17:12, Alma 18:24)
  30. They went forth to serve in separate areas as assigned. (Alma 17:13)
  31. They trusted in the Lord (Alma 17:13)
  32. They believed in the great work that they had undertaken. (Alma 17:13)  They were able to see the “big picture” of the work and their mission.  (Alma 17:3)
  33. They believed in the Atonement of Christ – that even with gross sins, their potential converts could be forgiven through Christ. (Alma 17:14)
  34. They feared not the people or the political things going on around them. (Alma 17:14)
  35. They trusted in the promises of the Lord as they invited their investigators to repent. (Alma 17:15)
  36. They taught the Plan of Redemption. (Alma 17:16)
  37. They “went forth among them … according to the word and power of God which was given unto [them]”. (Alma 17:17)
  38. They were set apart by their Priesthood leader prior to their service. (Alma 17:18)
  39. They followed the counsel of their leaders who were over them. (Alma 17:18)
  40. They received missionary preparation training prior to their departure. (Alma 17:18)
  41. They received transfers as “they took their several journeys throughout the land.” (Alma 17:18)
  42. Missionaries headed off to their assigned areas. (Alma 17:19)
  43. Ammon found a way to visit with the king of the land. (Alma 17:21)
  44. Ammon desired to live among the people and to be one with the nation. (Alma 17:23)
  45. They looked forward to (and enjoyed) living and being with the people.  (Alma 17:23)
  46. Ammon was gracious and exercised other missionary traits. (Alma 17:24)  (See also D&C 4)
  47. Ammon’s first missionary approach was that of service to the king and to his country and he served for three full days. (Alma 17:25)
  48. Ammon was true and loyal to the local laws and leaders. (Alma 17:27)
  49. Ammon’s “heart was swollen within him with joy” as he labored to win the hearts of those he served.”  (Alma 17:29)  They looked forward to           (and enjoyed) living and being with the people.  (Alma 17:23)
  50. Ammon viewed himself as a “fellow servant” with those whom he labored for. He was not above them.  (Alma 17:29)
  51. Ammon used service as a way to “win the hearts of these” … that “I may lead them to believe in my words.” (Alma 17:29)
  52. Ammon saw all around him “to be his brethren”. (Alma 17:30)
  53. Ammon boosted and inspired the people as he encouraged them “to be of good cheer” and to go forward. (Alma 17:31)
  54. Ammon was a leader and showed others the way. (Alma 17:33)
  55. Ammon set an example of how to come unto Christ as he encircled the flocks round about “that they flee not”. (Alma 17:33)
  56. Parents and others at home prayed for their safety. (Alma 17:35)
  57. “Ammon stood forth … with mighty power”. (Alma 17:36)
  58. Ammon continued his labors undaunted by threats of danger and uprising around him. (Alma 17:36)
  59. Ammon went forward with the protection of the Lord. (Alma 17:37)
  60. People witnessed to others relative to the power and strength of the missionaries. (Alma 18:1)
  61. Ammon was faithful and zealous in the cause of righteousness. (Alma 18:2)
  62. Ammon was protected by the Lord and the people recognized this protecting influence. (Alma 18:3)
  63. They showed genuine friendship and concern for their investigators and all of the people. (Alma 18:3)
  64. Missionaries served in support to, “and as a friend” to local civil authorities.  (Alma 18:3)
  65. The local leaders and people recognized something special in Ammon the missionary. They saw that the Spirit was with Ammon (the missionaries) and felt of this power through Ammon.  (Alma 18:4)
  66. Unbelievers gave harassment but the missionary (Ammon) went forth boldly still committed to his cause. (Alma 18:7)
  67. Ammon was strictly “obedient” in all things. Gave attention to detail in his service.    “He doth remember all my commandments to execute them.”  (Alma 18:9-10)


  1. Ammon reported back to the King – did not forget him after a single visit. (Alma 18:12)
  2. Ammon was a willing servant and looked for continuing ways to be of service as he said, “What wilt though that I should do for thee?” (Alma 18:14)
  3. Ammon was “filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts” of those being taught and served. (Alma 18:16)
  4. Ammon looked for creative ways to help and to serve – used his own talents and special abilities. (Alma 18:16)
  5. Ammon was humble and recognized that his power was not of himself – but of God. (Alma 18:17)
  6. Ammon retained the attitude of complete charity as he said, “Whatosoever thou desirest which is right, that will I do.” (Alma 18:17)
  7. Missionaries maintained their personal standards as they taught – maintaining “that which was right”. (Alma 18:17)
  8. Ammon had the gift of discernment. (Alma 18:18)
  9. The investigators felt and saw the results of the goodness of the life of Ammon. (Alma 18:20)
  10. After Ammon provided service, he was invited: “Thou mayest speak boldly”  (Alma 18:20)
  11. Investigator felt of the Spirit through Ammon the missionary and wants to share with him. He said, “Whatsoever thou desirest I will give unto thee”.  (Alma 18:21)
  12. Ammon was “wise, yet harmless”. He had a sincere desire to share his message.  (Alma 18:22)
  13. Ammon wanted nothing but to be able to share the message. (Alma 18:22)
  14. Ammon taught with boldness as he taught discussions by the Spirit. He started with the basics with teaching about God.  (Alma 18:24)
  15. Ammon built upon the current knowledge of his investigator. (Alma 18:25)
  16. Ammon first taught the basic doctrines – The First Principles of faith, repentance, baptism and the need for the Holy Ghost. (Alma 18:28)
  17. Ammon taught that God is the creator of earth and “all things which are in the earth” (Alma 18:29)
  18. Ammon taught that God created all people and that man was created in the image of God. (Alma 18:34)
  19. Ammon admitted that he had been called of God to teach unto the people the true gospel. (Alma 18:34)
  20. Ammon tells investigators that by the Spirit he has been given “knowledge and also power according to his faith and desires which are in God.” (Alma 18:35)
  21. Ammon taught about the creation, the fall of Adam, using the scriptures. (Alma 18:36
  22. Ammon taught current teachings of modern prophets (Alma 18:36)
  23. Ammon taught of incorrect traditions of “the fathers” to bring the people current to the need for the Word of God. (Alma 18:38)
  24. Ammon taught the Plan of Redemption through Christ. (Alma 18:39)
  25. Ammon taught of “all the works of the Lord”. (Alma 18:39)
  26. The King believed the teachings of Ammon and cried unto the Lord for forgiveness and mercy. (Alma 18:41)
  27. The king wrestled long and hard to receive forgiveness of his sins. (Alma 18:43)  Ammon let the power of God work upon the people and did not rush the feelings and the spirit of the moment.
  28. Ammon was ready to teach family members of his investigators. (Alma 19:2-3)
  29. Investigators testified to their friends and family and shared the limited witness they had received. (Alma 19:4)
  30. Ammon let the Lord work his own plan and was patient as that plan unfolded. (Alma 19:5)
  31. Ammon recognized the hand of the Lord in the work and let the investigators bask in the “light of the glory of the Lord”. (Alma 19:6)  Ammon let the power of repentance work upon the investigator.  He supported the investigator in making the necessary commitments.
  32. Ammon continued to be available and came back for additional support visits as necessary. (Alma 19:7)
  33. Ammon made promises in the name of the Lord and had faith that they would come to pass. (Alma 19:8)
  34. Others believe the witness and testimony of those who had been taught previously. (Alma 19:9)
  35. Ammon compliments people for their past faith and their progress with knew knowledge. (Alma 19:10)
  36. Ammon recognized the power of the spirit in answer to his prayers for the investigators. (Alma 19:14)
  37. Ammon prayed for the people as “his brethren”. (Alma 19:14)
  38. Ammon “fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren”. (Alma 19:14)
  39. Ammon had great joy as he witnesses the effect of the Spirit and the power of God on behalf of the people. (Alma 19:14)
  40. Power of God – the Spirit – was felt by the circle of friends surrounding the investigators. (Alma 19:15)
  41. Less-actives were able to again feel the spirit and had rekindled fire even with minimal effort by the missionaries and soon testified boldly to all of the other people around her. (Alma 19:16)
  42. Non-members murmured and tried to get people unfocused and other non-members spoke up in defense of the missionaries and the message. (Alma 19:21)
  43. Ammon was kept safe and was unharmed because of promises made to Ammon’s father who had “trusted him unto the Lord.” (Alma 19:23)
  44. Less-actives received new courage and went about and helped to lift others. (Alma 19:29)
  45. Convert testifies to his friends and neighbors with boldness. (Alma 19:31)
  46. Ammon continued to administer unto the new converts. (Alma 19:33)
  47. Converts testified of their change of heart. (Alma 19:33)
  48. Angels came to new converts and told them “things of God, and of his righteousness”. (Alma 19:34)
  49. The converts became a righteous people. (Alma 19:35)
  50. The Church was established among the new converts. They became unified with the church.  (Alma 19:35)
  51. The Lord poured out his Spirit “upon them” and his arm was extended to all people. (The gospel is for all people who will repent and believe!) (Alma 19:36)
  52. After the conversion, Ammon remained friends with the convert and continued to spend time with him. (Alma Chapter 20)
  53. Ammon listened to the Spirit relative to what he should do next. (Alma 20:2)
  54. Ammon listened and heard the voice of the Lord and followed the instructions. (Alma 20:3)
  55. Ammon knew of the Spirit of the needs of his companions and how to help them. (Alma 20:3)  He worked to keep his companions safe.
  56. Ammon teaches convert how to recognize revelation when it comes. (Alma 20:5)
  57. Converts go with Ammon the missionary in service to other missionaries. (Alma 20:7)
  58. Converts testify boldly to family and friends without fear of what result may come. (Alma 20:11)
  59. Ammon defends the new convert when pressed upon by unbelieving family members. (Alma 20:17, 18)
  60. Ammon testifies of the changes made by the converts and helps others to see those changes in their family members. (Alma 20:24)
  61. Ammon had an ongoing love for his converts and this love radiated to the converts family members. (Alma 20:25)
  62. Missionaries “were patient in all their sufferings” and continued to preach in faith. (Alma 20:29)
  63. Missionaries went even to the “most hardened” with the hope that they might be changed through the gospel. (Alma 21:3)
  64. Preached in the synagogues of the community. (Alma 21:4)
  65. Aaron opened the scriptures and taught concerning the coming of Christ, the resurrection, and the plan of redemption through the Atonement of Christ. (Alma 21:9)
  66. The missionaries “contended with many about the word”. (Alma 21:11)
  67. The missionaries continued to “preach the word unto many,” even though “few believed on the words which they taught”. (Alma 21:12)
  68. Missionaries fed and clothed and “were delivered”. (Alma 21:14)
  69. In spite of opposition and set-backs, the missionaries “went forth again to declare the word”. (Alma 21:15)
  70. Missionaries “went forth whithersoever they were led by the spirit of the Lord” and preached where they could be admitted. (Alma 21:16)
  71. After much sacrifice, “The Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth.” (Alma 21:17)
  72. Converts cause synagogues to be built for the preaching of the word by the Elders. (Alma 21:20)
  73. Converted king grant new freedoms to his people. (Alma 21:21)
  74. People were granted religious freedom because of the way Ammon had served and “won over” the heart of the king. (Alma 21:22)
  75. Ammon continued to teach converts new member lessons as he “did exhort them daily, with all diligence.” (Alma 21:23)  He continued to nurture the converts by the Good Word of God.  (As also taught by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley)
  76. New converts were taught so well and felt the Spirit so strongly that “they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God.” (Alma 21:23)
  77. Aaron led by the spirit to the home where he should teach. (Alma 22:1)
  78. Ammon gave referrals to Aaron for family members of his converts and Aaron began teaching them. (Alma 22:1)
  79. “Generosity and Greatness” – charity and love by Ammon. (Alma 22:3)
  80. Aaron taught king how to feel the Spirit. (Alma 22:5)
  81. Aaron teaches repentance. (Alma 22:6)
  82. Aaron testifies to the king about the nature of God. (Alma 22:8)
  83. Aaron teaches about God and the creation of man, the plan of redemption and the Atonement and resurrection of Christ. (Alma 22:12-14)
  84. Aaron teaches the king of eternal life. (Alma 22:15)
  85. King recognizes the worth of the message taught by Aaron and is willing to give anything that he had to have the joy of the gospel and the opportunity to repent. (Alma 22:15)
  86. Aaron teaches faith, repentance. (Alma 22:16)
  87. Aaron teaches the king how to pray. (Alma 22:16-17)
  88. Aaron extended his hand and lifted up the king. (Alma 22:22)
  89. The king feels the spirit, prays for forgiveness, and then teaches his whole family “insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord.” (Alma 22:23)
  90. Aaron and his brethren stood forth in the midst of the multitude and preached the Word unto the people. (Alma 22:25)
  91. The king sent out a proclamation to all of the people. (Alma 22:27)  King tells his people that the missionaries are to have free access to their houses, and also their temples, and their sanctuaries.  (Alma 23:2)
  92. The converted king testified to all of his household and all of the people and teaches them the commandments he had learned. (Alma 23:3)
  93. Missionaries went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another. (Alma 23:4)
  94. New converts are ordained to the Priesthood. (Alma 23:4)
  95. “And thus they began to have great success.” (Alma 23:4)  “And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord.”  (Alma 23:5)
  96. Missionaries teach from the scriptures and the importance of records. (Alma 23:5)
  97. New converts were retained and were totally converted and never did fall away. (Alma 23:6)
  98. Converts who had been a hardened people, became a righteous people. (Alma 23:7)
  99. Entire cities were converted. (Alma 23:8-13)
  100. People are taught about covenants and lay down their weapons of war with a covenant not to fight any more. (Alma 23:13)
  101. Converts were adopted in as if born in the covenant “And the curse of God did no more follow them”. (Alma 23:18)
  102. Converts taught to be industrious and self-reliant. (Alma 23:18)
  103. Converts “opened a correspondence” with other church members. (Alma 23:18)
  104. Converts admitted that the long traditions of their fathers were incorrect. (Alma 24:7)
  105. Sins of the converts were remembered no more by the Lord and the Church. (Alma 24:10)
  106. Converts wanted to remain clean and pure and to sin no more. (Alma 24:13)  They were true to their covenants.
  107. People taught by angels of the plan of salvation. (Alma 24:14)
  108. People make new covenants with the Lord. (Alma 24:15-18)
  109. The converts remained firm in the faith and then became stalwarts in building up the kingdom in their own area and with their own people after the departure of the missionaries. (Alma 24:19)
  110. Missionaries continued in prayer and “The Lord … granted unto them according to their prayers, and … had verified His word unto them in every particular.” (Alma 25:17)
  111. Missionaries rejoiced in the blessing of the Lord and their opportunity to serve. (Alma 26:1-3)
  112. Missionaries were instruments in the hand of God and brought about a great work. (Alma 26:3)
  113. Missionaries did thrust in the sickly and did reap with might. They labored all the day long and rejoiced in their sheaves.  (Alma 26:5)
  114. After the conversions the missionaries trusted their converts unto the Lord of the Harvest. (Alma 26:7)
  115. Missionaries gave thanks to God and recognized Him as the source of their success. (Alma 26:8)  They rejoiced in God and had great joy.  (Alma 26:11-12)
  116. Missionaries wrought many miracles in the land and gave thanks to God for them. (Alma 26:12)
  117. Missionaries ignored the scoffers and had much success. (Alma 26:24)
  118. Missionaries had not the spirit of hate but came with the intent to save souls. (Alma 25:26)
  119. Missionaries were depressed and ready to turn back but were patient in afflictions and success came. (Alma 25:27)
  120. Missionaries had continuing joy throughout their lives because of their missionary labors and the fruits of those labors. (Alma 26:5)
  121. Traveled from house to house relying on the mercies of God. (Alms 26:28)
  122. Entered into houses, taught in the streets, taught on the hills, taught in temples and synagogues. (Alma 26:29)
  123. Suffered for the Word and were delivered. (Alma 26:29)
  124. Missionaries felt great joy with their converts. (Alma 26:31)  They were forever after loved by the people whom they had taught and baptized.
  125. Promises of the Lord fulfilled. (Alma 26:36)
  126. Lord was mindful of them – even as they wandered in a strange land. (Alma 26:36)
  127. God knows his children in all lands and gives them the gospel when they are ready to receive it. (Alma 26:37)
  128. Missionaries treated as angels from heaven because of the work of salvation that they did among the people. (Alma 27:4)
  129. The missionaries returned home and reported their missionary labors and again found great joy in their service. (Alma 27:16-17)
  130. Converts were cleansed by the Holy Ghost, became new creatures and fully committed themselves to the work of the Lord. “They were distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things, and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end”.  (Alma 27:27)
  131. The converts taught their children in the light and truth that they had received – thus creating a very strong 2nd generation of young people in the church – who grew up ready to take on even greater responsibility in the Church and Kingdom (than had their parents). (Alma 53:20-21)
  132. Ammon and his brethren were blessed with great success as they applied the above principles in their missionary labors.  They were able to bring many thousands unto the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  Missionaries today who apply the same principles can expect to likewise be successful in their own missionary labors.s

Compiled by Kevin V. Hunt from the writings of Alma in the Book of Mormon.

Send comments to Kevin at kvhunt54@gmail.com or info@missionaryintraining.com


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