Alma 20:26 - 20:30
Alma 20:26 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—
The old king now realized that Ammon did not really want to kill him and that Ammon had great regard and love for his son Lamoni. The king then readily granted all that Ammon asked including giving Lamoni complete autonomy over his kingdom. The king would not interfere in the affairs of his son’s domain anymore.
It is interesting that one of Ammon’s demands was for Lamoni to be free to rule as he pleased. The church was being established in his realm and if Lamoni’s father got wind of it, he might have tried to put an end to it and would certainly destroyed what was in place and Ammon too for that matter.
Alma 20:27 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.
In addition, the king said that he would see to it that Ammon’s brethren were freed from prison in Middoni. Now, when they could the king wanted to have Ammon and his brethren come and visit him in his kingdom. He was greatly impressed by what Ammon was telling him about his desire for his son and his kingdom, that he wanted to have it all explained to him as well.
I thinking that Ammon was not the stereotypical impression the king had for all Nephites. Here was a Nephite that was concerned for the welfare of a Lamanite. He must have thought that Nephites looked down on Lamanites and only wanted to destroy them. The king must have then thought he might be wrong in his thoughts concerning Nephites and wanted to find out the truth. After all, he might have been one of the kings that had sent out armies to destroy the Nephites only for them to be badly defeated experiencing a large loss of fighters and wondering why they could never beat the Nephites in war.
Alma 20:28 And it came to pass that Ammon and Lamoni proceeded on their journey towards the land of Middoni. And Lamoni found favor in the eyes of the king of the land; therefore the brethren of Ammon were brought forth out of prison.
Ammon and Lamoni continued their trip to Middoni. They were able to get the king of that land to free Ammon’s brother and his friends from prison.
Alma 20:29 And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords. And they also had suffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless they were patient in all their sufferings.
The condition of the prisoners was not good. They had been tried up for a long period of time and food and water was withheld from them as well. They were naked and it was apparent that they had suffered humiliation and physical abuse while in prison. However, they did not complain to the Lord over their afflictions and were patience.
Alma 20:30 And, as it happened, it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more stiffnecked people; therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out, and had smitten them, and had driven them from house to house, and from place to place, even until they had arrived in the land of Middoni; and there they were taken and cast into prison, and bound with strong cords, and kept in prison for many days, and were delivered by Lamoni and Ammon.
When the brethren had split up, Aaron and his friends had decided to go towards Middoni to begin their labors. Unfortunately the Lamanites of that area were not very interested in their message and they were driven from house to house and city to city. When they found themselves in Middoni they were thrown into prison and had been there many days.
One must have to wonder why Aaron and his friends found themselves in such difficult circumstances while Ammon did not. Did Aaron had need of the experiences he went through while Ammon did not? Was Aaron a harder case than was Ammon when they went through the repenting process? I think the reason that Ammon was directed to Lamoni was because of the personality of Ammon would be the good one for be able to work with Lamoni and his family and the Lamanites of his city. Aaron on the other hand may have needed some more work on the becoming more humble.