Mosiah 8:11 - 8:15
Mosiah 8:11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate?
Also brought old swords that were covered in rust and deteriorated hilts. And since the language on the plates was unknown to Limhi he was asking Ammon if he could translate languages. [Swords must have been made of iron or steel as copper and brass do not rust. The hilts were gone which probably meant that they had completely rusted which also indicates that they had not been used in many years.]
Mosiah 8:12 And I say unto thee again: Knowest thou of any one that can translate? For I am desirous that these records should be translated into our language; for, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people who have been destroyed, from whence these records came; or, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of this very people who have been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their destruction.
Since Ammon said he could not translate the plates, king Limhi asked if he knew of anyone who could? Limhi was very anxious to learn of the people in that land. He wanted to know why they were destroyed and if the record mentioned any survivors and what had happened to them.
Mosiah 8:13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.
Ammon can’t translate but he knows someone who can. The ability to translate is a gift from God via use of translators called interpreters. However one must be commanded by the Lord to use the interpreters or they will be killed. This individual who has permission to use the interpreters is called a seer.
Mosiah 8:14 And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.
The king back in Zarahemla is a seer and will be able to translate the plates when they get them to him.
Mosiah 8:15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
King Limhi asks if a seer is greater than a prophet?