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A Library Tour of Alma 50-54
1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or
to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should
commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that
they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout
all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
2 And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers,
yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities.
3 And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets
built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high.
4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and
he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the
arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.
5 And they were prepared that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according
to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him who should attempt to approach
near the walls of the city.
6 Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round
about every city in all the land.
7 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his armies should go forth into the
east wilderness; yea, and they went forth and drove all the Lamanites who were in
the east wilderness into their own lands, which were south of the land of Zarahemla.
8 And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.
9 And it came to pass that when Moroni had driven all the Lamanites out of the east
wilderness, which was north of the lands of their own possessions, he caused that
the inhabitants who were in the land of Zarahemla and in the land round about should
go forth into the east wilderness, even to the borders by the seashore, and possess
10 And he also placed armies on the south, in the borders of their possessions, and
caused them to erect fortifications that they might secure their armies and their
people from the hands of their enemies.
11 And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness,
yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites,
between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi, from the west sea, running by
the head of the river Sidon -- the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea,
even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure.
12 Thus Moroni, with his armies, which did increase daily because of the assurance
of protection which his works did bring forth unto them, did seek to cut off the
strength and the power of the Lamanites from off the lands of their possessions,
that they should have no power upon the lands of their possession.
13 And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they
called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the
south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites.
14 And they also began a foundation for a city between the city of Moroni and the
city of Aaron, joining the borders of Aaron and Moroni; and they called the name
of the city, or the land, Nephihah.
15 And they also began in that same year to build many cities on the north, one in
a particular manner which they called Lehi, which was in the north by the borders
of the seashore.
Claim Three: There existed a populous American civilization in antiquity
This is certainly well-known today, as school children learn about the Aztec, the
Inca, and the Maya civilizations. “This claim has been so well authenticated by
recent investigations that it seems almost a waste of time to defend it. Yet, when
one recalls that in 1830 when the Book was first published the knowledge of prehistoric
America was very limited, this claim becomes important in proving the Book of Mormon
to be of divine origin.”
Nevertheless, Brother Widstoe quotes many authors in describing not only numbers
in the civilizations, ranging from South America to the Great Plains, but also aspects
of their technology which coincide with Book of Mormon references.
“There is a tradition (among the Indians) that Florida had once been inhabited by
white people, who had the use of iron tools, which, and the subterranean wall found
in North Carolina go very far to show that they (the white people) had a knowledge
of iron ore and consequently knew how to work it, or they could not have had iron
tools. . .
Priest tells of the finding of axes and hammers made of iron in the saltpeter caves
of the Gasconade country in Missouri and that Dr. Beck ‘considers the circumstance
of finding those tools in the nitre caves as furnishing a degree of evidence that
the country of Gasconade river was formerly settled by a race of men who were acquainted
with the use of iron, and exceeded the Indians in civilization and a knowledge of
16 And thus ended the twentieth year.
17 And in these prosperous circumstances were the people of Nephi in the commencement
of the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
18 And they did prosper exceedingly, and they became exceedingly rich; yea, and they
did multiply and wax strong in the land.
19 And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the
fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his
words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi, saying:
20 Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they
shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch
as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of
21 And we see that these promises have been verified to the people of Nephi; for
it has been their quarrelings and their contentions, yea, their murderings, and their
plunderings, their idolatry, their whoredoms, and their abominations, which were
among themselves, which brought upon them their wars and their destructions.
22 And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered
at all times, whilst thousands of their wicked brethren have been consigned to bondage,
or to perish by the sword, or to dwindle in unbelief, and mingle with the Lamanites.
23 But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the
days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty
and first year of the reign of the judges.
24 And it came to pass that the twenty and second year of the reign of the judges
also ended in peace; yea, and also the twenty and third year.
25 And it came to pass that in the commencement of the twenty and fourth year of
the reign of the judges, there would also have been peace among the people of Nephi
had it not been for a contention which took place among them concerning the land
of Lehi, and the land of Morianton, which joined upon the borders of Lehi; both of
which were on the borders by the seashore.
26 For behold, the people who possessed the land of Morianton did claim a part of
the land of Lehi; therefore there began to be a warm contention between them, insomuch
that the people of Morianton took up arms against their brethren, and they were determined
by the sword to slay them.
27 But behold, the people who possessed the land of Lehi fled to the camp of Moroni,
and appealed unto him for assistance; for behold they were not in the wrong.
28 And it came to pass that when the people of Morianton, who were led by a man whose
name was Morianton, found that the people of Lehi had fled to the camp of Moroni,
they were exceedingly fearful lest the army of Moroni should come upon them and destroy
29 Therefore, Morianton put it into their hearts that they should flee to the land
which was northward, which was covered with large bodies of water, and take possession
of the land which was northward.
30 And behold, they would have carried this plan into effect, (which would have been
a cause to have been lamented) but behold, Morianton being a man of much passion,
therefore he was angry with one of his maid servants, and he fell upon her and beat
31 And it came to pass that she fled, and came over to the camp of Moroni, and told
Moroni all things concerning the matter, and also concerning their intentions to
flee into the land northward.
32 Now behold, the people who were in the land Bountiful, or rather Moroni, feared
that they would hearken to the words of Morianton and unite with his people, and
thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation
for serious consequences among the people of Nephi, yea, which consequences would
lead to the overthrow of their liberty.
33 Therefore Moroni sent an army, with their camp, to head the people of Morianton,
to stop their flight into the land northward.
34 And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders
of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led
by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east.
35 And it came to pass that the army which was sent by Moroni, which was led by a
man whose name was Teancum, did meet the people of Morianton; and so stubborn were
the people of Morianton, (being inspired by his wickedness and his flattering words)
that a battle commenced between them, in the which Teancum did slay Morianton and
defeat his army, and took them prisoners, and returned to the camp of Moroni. And
thus ended the twenty and fourth year of the reign of the judges over the people
36 And thus were the people of Morianton brought back. And upon their covenanting
to keep the peace they were restored to the land of Morianton, and a union took place
between them and the people of Lehi; and they were also restored to their lands.
37 And it came to pass that in the same year that the people of Nephi had peace restored
unto them, that Nephihah, the second chief judge, died, having filled the judgment-seat
with perfect uprightness before God.
38 Nevertheless, he had refused Alma to take possession of those records and those
things which were esteemed by Alma and his fathers to be most sacred; therefore Alma
had conferred them upon his son, Helaman.
39 Behold, it came to pass that the son of Nephihah was appointed to fill the judgment-seat,
in the stead of his father; yea, he was appointed chief judge and governor over the
people, with an oath and sacred ordinance to judge righteously, and to keep the peace
and the freedom of the people, and to grant unto them their sacred privileges to
worship the Lord their God, yea, to support and maintain the cause of God all his
days, and to bring the wicked to justice according to their crime.
40 Now behold, his name was Pahoran. And Pahoran did fill the seat of his father,
and did commence his reign in the end of the twenty and fourth year, over the people
1 And now it came to pass in the commencement of the twenty and fifth year of the
reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, they having established peace between
the people of Lehi and the people of Morianton concerning their lands, and having
commenced the twenty and fifth year in peace;
2 Nevertheless, they did not long maintain an entire peace in the land, for there
began to be a contention among the people concerning the chief judge Pahoran; for
behold, there were a part of the people who desired that a few particular points
of the law should be altered.
3 But behold, Pahoran would not alter nor suffer the law to be altered; therefore,
he did not hearken to those who had sent in their voices with their petitions concerning
the altering of the law.
4 Therefore, those who were desirous that the law should be altered were angry with
him, and desired that he should no longer be chief judge over the land; therefore
there arose a warm dispute concerning the matter, but not unto bloodshed.
5 And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned
from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law
should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a
king over the land.
6 And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land
took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the
freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their
religion by a free government.
7 And it came to pass that this matter of their contention was settled by the voice
of the people. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came in favor of
the freemen, and Pahoran retained the judgment-seat, which caused much rejoicing
among the brethren of Pahoran and also many of the people of liberty, who also put
the king-men to silence, that they durst not oppose but were obliged to maintain
the cause of freedom.
8 Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought
to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over
9 But behold, this was a critical time for such contentions to be among the people
of Nephi; for behold, Amalickiah had again stirred up the hearts of the people of
the Lamanites against the people of the Nephites, and he was gathering together soldiers
from all parts of his land, and arming them, and preparing for war with all diligence;
for he had sworn to drink the blood of Moroni.
10 But behold, we shall see that his promise which he made was rash; nevertheless,
he did prepare himself and his armies to come to battle against the Nephites.
11 Now his armies were not so great as they had hitherto been, because of the many
thousands who had been slain by the hand of the Nephites; but notwithstanding their
great loss, Amalickiah had gathered together a wonderfully great army, insomuch that
he feared not to come down to the land of Zarahemla.
12 Yea, even Amalickiah did himself come down, at the head of the Lamanites. And
it was in the twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges; and it was at the
same time that they had begun to settle the affairs of their contentions concerning
the chief judge, Pahoran.
13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that
the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts;
and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and
also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites
were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the
stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve;
yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto
the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni)
power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
16 For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among
the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction.
And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those
king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth,
or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did
pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons
of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were
hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were
taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth
by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the
title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence
of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by
the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride
of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to
humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom
22 Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and
contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization,
and making regulations to prepare for war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites
had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.
23 And it came to pass that the Nephites were not sufficiently strong in the city
of Moroni; therefore Amalickiah did drive them, slaying many. And it came to pass
that Amalickiah took possession of the city, yea, possession of all their fortifications.
24 And those who fled out of the city of Moroni came to the city of Nephihah; and
also the people of the city of Lehi gathered themselves together, and made preparations
and were ready to receive the Lamanites to battle.
25 But it came to pass that Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against
the city of Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore, leaving men in
every city to maintain and defend it.
26 And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and
the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city
of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore.
27 And thus had the Lamanites obtained, by the cunning of Amalickiah, so many cities,
by their numberless hosts, all of which were strongly fortified after the manner
of the fortifications of Moroni; all of which afforded strongholds for the Lamanites.
28 And it came to pass that they marched to the borders of the land Bountiful, driving
the Nephites before them and slaying many.
29 But it came to pass that they were met by Teancum, who had slain Morianton and
had headed his people in his flight.
30 And it came to pass that he headed Amalickiah also, as he was marching forth with
his numerous army that he might take possession of the land Bountiful, and also the
31 But behold he met with a disappointment by being repulsed by Teancum and his men,
for they were great warriors; for every man of Teancum did exceed the Lamanites in
their strength and in their skill of war, insomuch that they did gain advantage over
32 And it came to pass that they did harass them, insomuch that they did slay them
even until it was dark. And it came to pass that Teancum and his men did pitch their
tents in the borders of the land Bountiful; and Amalickiah did pitch his tents in
the borders on the beach by the seashore, and after this manner were they driven.
33 And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole
forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep
had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors
and heat of the day.
34 And it came to pass that Teancum stole privily into the tent of the king, and
put a javelin to his heart; and he did cause the death of the king immediately that
he did not awake his servants.
35 And he returned again privily to his own camp, and behold, his men were asleep,
and he awoke them and told them all the things that he had done.
36 And he caused that his armies should stand in readiness, lest the Lamanites had
awakened and should come upon them.
37 And thus endeth the twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges over the
people of Nephi; and thus endeth the days of Amalickiah.
1 And now, it came to pass in the twenty and sixth year of the reign of the judges
over the people of Nephi, behold, when the Lamanites awoke on the first morning of
the first month, behold, they found Amalickiah was dead in his own tent; and they
also saw that Teancum was ready to give them battle on that day.
2 And now, when the Lamanites saw this they were affrighted; and they abandoned their
design in marching into the land northward, and retreated with all their army into
the city of Mulek, and sought protection in their fortifications.
3 And it came to pass that the brother of Amalickiah was appointed king over the
people; and his name was Ammoron; thus king Ammoron, the brother of king Amalickiah,
was appointed to reign in his stead.
4 And it came to pass that he did command that his people should maintain those cities,
which they had taken by the shedding of blood; for they had not taken any cities
save they had lost much blood.
5 And now, Teancum saw that the Lamanites were determined to maintain those cities
which they had taken, and those parts of the land which they had obtained possession
of; and also seeing the enormity of their number, Teancum thought it was not expedient
that he should attempt to attack them in their forts.
6 But he kept his men round about, as if making preparations for war; yea, and truly
he was preparing to defend himself against them, by casting up walls round about
and preparing places of resort.
7 And it came to pass that he kept thus preparing for war until Moroni had sent a
large number of men to strengthen his army.
8 And Moroni also sent orders unto him that he should retain all the prisoners who
fell into his hands; for as the Lamanites had taken many prisoners, that he should
retain all the prisoners of the Lamanites as a ransom for those whom the Lamanites
9 And he also sent orders unto him that he should fortify the land Bountiful, and
secure the narrow pass which led into the land northward, lest the Lamanites should
obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side.
10 And Moroni also sent unto him, desiring him that he would be faithful in maintaining
that quarter of the land, and that he would seek every opportunity to scourge the
Lamanites in that quarter, as much as was in his power, that perhaps he might take
again by stratagem or some other way those cities which had been taken out of their
hands; and that he also would fortify and strengthen the cities round about, which
had not fallen into the hands of the Lamanites.
11 And he also said unto him, I would come unto you, but behold, the Lamanites are
upon us in the borders of the land by the west sea; and behold, I go against them,
therefore I cannot come unto you.
12 Now, the king (Ammoron) had departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and had made
known unto the queen concerning the death of his brother, and had gathered together
a large number of men, and had marched forth against the Nephites on the borders
by the west sea.
13 And thus he was endeavoring to harass the Nephites, and to draw away a part of
their forces to that part of the land, while he had commanded those whom he had left
to possess the cities which he had taken, that they should also harass the Nephites
on the borders by the east sea, and should take possession of their lands as much
as it was in their power, according to the power of their armies.
14 And thus were the Nephites in those dangerous circumstances in the ending of the
twenty and sixth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
15 But behold, it came to pass in the twenty and seventh year of the reign of the
judges, that Teancum, by the command of Moroni -- who had established armies to protect
the south and the west borders of the land, and had begun his march towards the land
Bountiful, that he might assist Teancum with his men in retaking the cities which
they had lost --
16 And it came to pass that Teancum had received orders to make an attack upon the
city of Mulek, and retake it if it were possible.
17 And it came to pass that Teancum made preparations to make an attack upon the
city of Mulek, and march forth with his army against the Lamanites; but he saw that
it was impossible that he could overpower them while they were in their fortifications;
therefore he abandoned his designs and returned again to the city Bountiful, to wait
for the coming of Moroni, that he might receive strength to his army.
18 And it came to pass that Moroni did arrive with his army at the land of Bountiful,
in the latter end of the twenty and seventh year of the reign of the judges over
the people of Nephi.
19 And in the commencement of the twenty and eighth year, Moroni and Teancum and
many of the chief captains held a council of war -- what they should do to cause
the Lamanites to come out against them to battle; or that they might by some means
flatter them out of their strongholds, that they might gain advantage over them and
take again the city of Mulek.
20 And it came to pass they sent embassies to the army of the Lamanites, which protected
the city of Mulek, to their leader, whose name was Jacob, desiring him that he would
come out with his armies to meet them upon the plains between the two cities. But
behold, Jacob, who was a Zoramite, would not come out with his army to meet them
upon the plains.
21 And it came to pass that Moroni, having no hopes of meeting them upon fair grounds,
therefore, he resolved upon a plan that he might decoy the Lamanites out of their
22 Therefore he caused that Teancum should take a small number of men and march down
near the seashore; and Moroni and his army, by night, marched in the wilderness,
on the west of the city Mulek; and thus, on the morrow, when the guards of the Lamanites
had discovered Teancum, they ran and told it unto Jacob, their leader.
23 And it came to pass that the armies of the Lamanites did march forth against Teancum,
supposing by their numbers to overpower Teancum because of the smallness of his numbers.
And as Teancum saw the armies of the Lamanites coming out against him he began to
retreat down by the seashore, northward.
24 And it came to pass that when the Lamanites saw that he began to flee, they took
courage and pursued them with vigor. And while Teancum was thus leading away the
Lamanites who were pursuing them in vain, behold, Moroni commanded that a part of
his army who were with him should march forth into the city, and take possession
25 And thus they did, and slew all those who had been left to protect the city, yea,
all those who would not yield up their weapons of war.
26 And thus Moroni had obtained possession of the city Mulek with a part of his army,
while he marched with the remainder to meet the Lamanites when they should return
from the pursuit of Teancum.
27 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did pursue Teancum until they came near
the city Bountiful, and then they were met by Lehi and a small army, which had been
left to protect the city Bountiful.
28 And now behold, when the chief captains of the Lamanites had beheld Lehi with
his army coming against them, they fled in much confusion, lest perhaps they should
not obtain the city Mulek before Lehi should overtake them; for they were wearied
because of their march, and the men of Lehi were fresh.
29 Now the Lamanites did not know that Moroni had been in their rear with his army;
and all they feared was Lehi and his men.
30 Now Lehi was not desirous to overtake them till they should meet Moroni and his
31 And it came to pass that before the Lamanites had retreated far they were surrounded
by the Nephites, by the men of Moroni on one hand, and the men of Lehi on the other,
all of whom were fresh and full of strength; but the Lamanites were wearied because
of their long march.
32 And Moroni commanded his men that they should fall upon them until they had given
up their weapons of war.
33 And it came to pass that Jacob, being their leader, being also a Zoramite, and
having an unconquerable spirit, he led the Lamanites forth to battle with exceeding
fury against Moroni.
34 Moroni being in their course of march, therefore Jacob was determined to slay
them and cut his way through to the city of Mulek. But behold, Moroni and his men
were more powerful; therefore they did not give way before the Lamanites.
35 And it came to pass that they fought on both hands with exceeding fury; and there
were many slain on both sides; yea, and Moroni was wounded and Jacob was killed.
36 And Lehi pressed upon their rear with such fury with his strong men, that the
Lamanites in the rear delivered up their weapons of war; and the remainder of them,
being much confused, knew not whither to go or to strike.
37 Now Moroni seeing their confusion, he said unto them: If ye will bring forth your
weapons of war and deliver them up, behold we will forbear shedding your blood.
38 And it came to pass that when the Lamanites had heard these words, their chief
captains, all those who were not slain, came forth and threw down their weapons of
war at the feet of Moroni, and also commanded their men that they should do the same.
39 But behold, there were many that would not; and those who would not deliver up
their swords were taken and bound, and their weapons of war were taken from them,
and they were compelled to march with their brethren forth into the land Bountiful.
40 And now the number of prisoners who were taken exceeded more than the number of
those who had been slain, yea, more than those who had been slain on both sides.
1 And it came to pass that they did set guards over the prisoners of the Lamanites,
and did compel them to go forth and bury their dead, yea, and also the dead of the
Nephites who were slain; and Moroni placed men over them to guard them while they
should perform their labors.
2 And Moroni went to the city of Mulek with Lehi, and took command of the city and
gave it unto Lehi. Now behold, this Lehi was a man who had been with Moroni in the
more part of all his battles; and he was a man like unto Moroni, and they rejoiced
in each other's safety; yea, they were beloved by each other, and also beloved by
all the people of Nephi.
3 And it came to pass that after the Lamanites had finished burying their dead and
also the dead of the Nephites, they were marched back into the land Bountiful; and
Teancum, by the orders of Moroni, caused that they should commence laboring in digging
a ditch round about the land, or the city, Bountiful.
4 And he caused that they should build a breastwork of timbers upon the inner bank
of the ditch; and they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork of timbers;
and thus they did cause the Lamanites to labor until they had encircled the city
of Bountiful round about with a strong wall of timbers and earth, to an exceeding
5 And this city became an exceeding stronghold ever after; and in this city they
did guard the prisoners of the Lamanites; yea, even within a wall which they had
caused them to build with their own hands. Now Moroni was compelled to cause the
Lamanites to labor, because it was easy to guard them while at their labor; and he
desired all his forces when he should make an attack upon the Lamanites.
6 And it came to pass that Moroni had thus gained a victory over one of the greatest
of the armies of the Lamanites, and had obtained possession of the city of Mulek,
which was one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi; and thus
he had also built a stronghold to retain his prisoners.
7 And it came to pass that he did no more attempt a battle with the Lamanites in
that year, but he did employ his men in preparing for war, yea, and in making fortifications
to guard against the Lamanites, yea, and also delivering their women and their children
from famine and affliction, and providing food for their armies.
8 And now it came to pass that the armies of the Lamanites, on the west sea, south,
while in the absence of Moroni on account of some intrigue amongst the Nephites,
which caused dissensions amongst them, had gained some ground over the Nephites,
yea, insomuch that they had obtained possession of a number of their cities in that
part of the land.
9 And thus because of iniquity amongst themselves, yea, because of dissensions and
intrigue among themselves they were placed in the most dangerous circumstances.
10 And now behold, I have somewhat to say concerning the people of Ammon, who in
the beginning, were Lamanites; but by Ammon and his brethren, or rather by the power
and word of God, they had been converted unto the Lord; and they had been brought
down into the land of Zarahemla, and had ever since been protected by the Nephites.
11 And because of their oath they had been kept from taking up arms against their
brethren; for they had taken an oath that they never would shed blood more; and according
to their oath they would have perished; yea, they would have suffered themselves
to have fallen into the hands of their brethren, had it not been for the pity and
the exceeding love which Ammon and his brethren had had for them.
12 And for this cause they were brought down into the land of Zarahemla; and they
ever had been protected by the Nephites.
13 But it came to pass that when they saw the danger, and the many afflictions and
tribulations which the Nephites bore for them, they were moved with compassion and
were desirous to take up arms in the defence of their country.
14 But behold, as they were about to take their weapons of war, they were overpowered
by the persuasions of Helaman and his brethren, for they were about to break the
oath which they had made.
15 And Helaman feared lest by so doing they should lose their souls; therefore all
those who had entered into this covenant were compelled to behold their brethren
wade through their afflictions, in their dangerous circumstances at this time.
16 But behold, it came to pass they had many sons, who had not entered into a covenant
that they would not take their weapons of war to defend themselves against their
enemies; therefore they did assemble themselves together at this time, as many as
were able to take up arms, and they called themselves Nephites.
17 And they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea,
to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted
that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to
protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage.
18 Now behold, there were two thousand of those young men, who entered into this
covenant and took their weapons of war to defend their country.
19 And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites,
they became now at this period of time also a great support; for they took their
weapons of war, and they would that Helaman should be their leader.
20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and
also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all -- they were men who
were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
21 Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the
commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.
22 And now it came to pass that Helaman did march at the head of his two thousand
stripling soldiers, to the support of the people in the borders of the land on the
south by the west sea.
23 And thus ended the twenty and eighth year of the reign of the judges over the
people of Nephi.
1 And now it came to pass in the commencement of the twenty and ninth year of the
judges, that Ammoron sent unto Moroni desiring that he would exchange prisoners.
2 And it came to pass that Moroni felt to rejoice exceedingly at this request, for
he desired the provisions which were imparted for the support of the Lamanite prisoners
for the support of his own people; and he also desired his own people for the strengthening
of his army.
3 Now the Lamanites had taken many women and children, and there was not a woman
nor a child among all the prisoners of Moroni, or the prisoners whom Moroni had taken;
therefore Moroni resolved upon a stratagem to obtain as many prisoners of the Nephites
from the Lamanites as it were possible.
4 Therefore he wrote an epistle, and sent it by the servant of Ammoron, the same
who had brought an epistle to Moroni. Now these are the words which he wrote unto
5 Behold, Ammoron, I have written unto you somewhat concerning this war which ye
have waged against my people, or rather which thy brother hath waged against them,
and which ye are still determined to carry on after his death.
6 Behold, I would tell you somewhat concerning the justice of God, and the sword
of his almighty wrath, which doth hang over you except ye repent and withdraw your
armies into your own lands, or the land of your possessions, which is the land of
7 Yea, I would tell you these things if ye were capable of hearkening unto them;
yea, I would tell you concerning that awful hell that awaits to receive such murderers
as thou and thy brother have been, except ye repent and withdraw your murderous purposes,
and return with your armies to your own lands.
8 But as ye have once rejected these things, and have fought against the people of
the Lord, even so I may expect you will do it again.
9 And now behold, we are prepared to receive you; yea, and except you withdraw your
purposes, behold, ye will pull down the wrath of that God whom you have rejected
upon you, even to your utter destruction.
10 But, as the Lord liveth, our armies shall come upon you except ye withdraw, and
ye shall soon be visited with death, for we will retain our cities and our lands;
yea, and we will maintain our religion and the cause of our God.
11 But behold, it supposeth me that I talk to you concerning these things in vain;
or it supposeth me that thou art a child of hell; therefore I will close my epistle
by telling you that I will not exchange prisoners, save it be on conditions that
ye will deliver up a man and his wife and his children, for one prisoner; if this
be the case that ye will do it, I will exchange.
12 And behold, if you do not this, I will come against you with my armies; yea, even
I will arm my women and my children, and I will come against you, and I will follow
you even into your own land, which is the land of our first inheritance; yea, and
it shall be blood for blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle even
until you are destroyed from off the face of the earth.
13 Behold, I am in my anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and
we have only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us more
we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the land of our first
14 Now I close my epistle. I am Moroni; I am a leader of the people of the Nephites.
15 Now it came to pass that Ammoron, when he had received this epistle, was angry;
and he wrote another epistle unto Moroni, and these are the words which he wrote,
16 I am Ammoron, the king of the Lamanites; I am the brother of Amalickiah whom ye
have murdered. Behold, I will avenge his blood upon you, yea, and I will come upon
you with my armies for I fear not your threatenings.
17 For behold, your fathers did wrong their brethren, insomuch that they did rob
them of their right to the government when it rightly belonged unto them.
18 And now behold, if ye will lay down your arms, and subject yourselves to be governed
by those to whom the government doth rightly belong, then will I cause that my people
shall lay down their weapons and shall be at war no more.
19 Behold, ye have breathed out many threatenings against me and my people; but behold,
we fear not your threatenings.
20 Nevertheless, I will grant to exchange prisoners according to your request, gladly,
that I may preserve my food for my men of war; and we will wage a war which shall
be eternal, either to the subjecting the Nephites to our authority or to their eternal
21 And as concerning that God whom ye say we have rejected, behold, we know not such
a being; neither do ye; but if it so be that there is such a thing, we know not but
that he hath made us as well as you.
22 And if it so be that there is a devil and a hell, behold will he not send you
there to dwell with my brother whom ye have murdered, whom ye have hinted that he
hath gone to such a place? But behold these things matter not.
23 I am Ammoron, and a descendant of Zoram, whom your fathers pressed and brought
out of Jerusalem.
24 And behold now, I am a bold Lamanite; behold, this war hath been waged to avenge
their wrongs, and to maintain and to obtain their rights to the government; and I
close my epistle to Moroni.