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A Library Tour of Alma 43-45
1 And now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to
declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also
2 Now we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached
the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation; and
they preached after the holy order of God by which they were called.
3 And now I return to an account of the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites,
in the eighteenth year of the reign of the judges.
4 For behold, it came to pass that the Zoramites became Lamanites; therefore, in
the commencement of the eighteenth year the people of the Nephites saw that the Lamanites
were coming upon them; therefore they made preparations for war; yea, they gathered
together their armies in the land of Jershon.
5 And it came to pass that the Lamanites came with their thousands; and they came
into the land of Antionum, which is the land of the Zoramites; and a man by the name
of Zerahemnah was their leader.
6 And now, as the Amalekites were of a more wicked and murderous disposition than
the Lamanites were, in and of themselves, therefore, Zerahemnah appointed chief captains
over the Lamanites, and they were all Amalekites and Zoramites.
7 Now this he did that he might preserve their hatred towards the Nephites, that
he might bring them into subjection to the accomplishment of his designs.
8 For behold, his designs were to stir up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites;
this he did that he might usurp great power over them, and also that he might gain
power over the Nephites by bringing them into bondage.
9 And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses,
and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands
of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges,
yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.
10 For they knew that if they should fall into the hands of the Lamanites, that whosoever
should worship God in spirit and in truth, the true and the living God, the Lamanites
11 Yea, and they also knew the extreme hatred of the Lamanites towards their brethren,
who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, who were called the people of Ammon -- and
they would not take up arms, yea, they had entered into a covenant and they would
not break it -- therefore, if they should fall into the hands of the Lamanites they
would be destroyed.
12 And the Nephites would not suffer that they should be destroyed; therefore they
gave them lands for their inheritance.
13 And the people of Ammon did give unto the Nephites a large portion of their substance
to support their armies; and thus the Nephites were compelled, alone, to withstand
against the Lamanites, who were a compound of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael,
and all those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites,
and the descendants of the priests of Noah.
14 Now those descendants were as numerous, nearly, as were the Nephites; and thus
the Nephites were obliged to contend with their brethren, even unto bloodshed.
15 And it came to pass as the armies of the Lamanites had gathered together in the
land of Antionum, behold, the armies of the Nephites were prepared to meet them in
the land of Jershon.
16 Now, the leader of the Nephites, or the man who had been appointed to be the chief
captain over the Nephites -- now the chief captain took the command of all the armies
of the Nephites -- and his name was Moroni;
17 And Moroni took all the command, and the government of their wars. And he was
only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain over the armies
of the Nephites.
18 And it came to pass that he met the Lamanites in the borders of Jershon, and his
people were armed with swords, and with cimeters, and all manner of weapons of war.
19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni,
had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields
to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing --
20 Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only
their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their
slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins;
yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites;
21 But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields -- therefore, they were
exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding
their number being so much greater than the Nephites.
22 Behold, now it came to pass that they durst not come against the Nephites in the
borders of Jershon; therefore they departed out of the land of Antionum into the
wilderness, and took their journey round about in the wilderness, away by the head
of the river Sidon, that they might come into the land of Manti and take possession
of the land; for they did not suppose that the armies of Moroni would know whither
they had gone.
23 But it came to pass, as soon as they had departed into the wilderness Moroni sent
spies into the wilderness to watch their camp; and Moroni, also, knowing of the prophecies
of Alma, sent certain men unto him, desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord
whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
24 And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto Alma, and Alma informed
the messengers of Moroni, that the armies of the Lamanites were marching round about
in the wilderness, that they might come over into the land of Manti, that they might
commence an attack upon the weaker part of the people. And those messengers went
and delivered the message unto Moroni.
25 Now Moroni, leaving a part of his army in the land of Jershon, lest by any means
a part of the Lamanites should come into that land and take possession of the city,
took the remaining part of his army and marched over into the land of Manti.
26 And he caused that all the people in that quarter of the land should gather themselves
together to battle against the Lamanites, to defend their lands and their country,
their rights and their liberties; therefore they were prepared against the time of
the coming of the Lamanites.
27 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his army should be secreted in the
valley which was near the bank of the river Sidon, which was on the west of the river
Sidon in the wilderness.
28 And Moroni placed spies round about, that he might know when the camp of the Lamanites
29 And now, as Moroni knew the intention of the Lamanites, that it was their intention
to destroy their brethren, or to subject them and bring them into bondage that they
might establish a kingdom unto themselves over all the land;
30 And he also knowing that it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their
lands, and their liberty, and their church, therefore he thought it no sin that he
should defend them by stratagem; therefore, he found by his spies which course the
Lamanites were to take.
31 Therefore, he divided his army and brought a part over into the valley, and concealed
them on the east, and on the south of the hill Riplah;
32 And the remainder he concealed in the west valley, on the west of the river Sidon,
and so down into the borders of the land Manti.
33 And thus having placed his army according to his desire, he was prepared to meet
34 And it came to pass that the Lamanites came up on the north of the hill, where
a part of the army of Moroni was concealed.
35 And as the Lamanites had passed the hill Riplah, and came into the valley, and
began to cross the river Sidon, the army which was concealed on the south of the
hill, which was led by a man whose name was Lehi, and he led his army forth and encircled
the Lamanites about on the east in their rear.
36 And it came to pass that the Lamanites, when they saw the Nephites coming upon
them in their rear, turned them about and began to contend with the army of Lehi.
37 And the work of death commenced on both sides, but it was more dreadful on the
part of the Lamanites, for their nakedness was exposed to the heavy blows of the
Nephites with their swords and their cimeters, which brought death almost at every
38 While on the other hand, there was now and then a man fell among the Nephites,
by their swords and the loss of blood, they being shielded from the more vital parts
of the body, or the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes
of the Lamanites, by their breastplates, and their arm-shields, and their head-plates;
and thus the Nephites did carry on the work of death among the Lamanites.
39 And it came to pass that the Lamanites became frightened, because of the great
destruction among them, even until they began to flee towards the river Sidon.
40 And they were pursued by Lehi and his men; and they were driven by Lehi into the
waters of Sidon, and they crossed the waters of Sidon. And Lehi retained his armies
upon the bank of the river Sidon that they should not cross.
41 And it came to pass that Moroni and his army met the Lamanites in the valley,
on the other side of the river Sidon, and began to fall upon them and to slay them.
42 And the Lamanites did flee again before them, towards the land of Manti; and they
were met again by the armies of Moroni.
43 Now in this case the Lamanites did fight exceedingly; yea, never had the Lamanites
been known to fight with such exceedingly great strength and courage, no, not even
from the beginning.
44 And they were inspired by the Zoramites and the Amalekites, who were their chief
captains and leaders, and by Zerahemnah, who was their chief captain, or their chief
leader and commander; yea, they did fight like dragons, and many of the Nephites
were slain by their hands, yea, for they did smite in two many of their head-plates,
and they did pierce many of their breastplates, and they did smite off many of their
arms; and thus the Lamanites did smite in their fierce anger.
45 Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not
fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their
liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of
worship and their church.
46 And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their
God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch
as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer
yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.
47 And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed.
Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend
themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights,
and their religion.
48 And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger
of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee from them. And Moroni, perceiving
their intent, sent forth and inspired their hearts with these thoughts -- yea, the
thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage.
49 And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one
voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage.
50 And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame
hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee
before them; and they fled even to the waters of Sidon.
51 Now, the Lamanites were more numerous, yea, by more than double the number of
the Nephites; nevertheless, they were driven insomuch that they were gathered together
in one body in the valley, upon the bank by the river Sidon.
52 Therefore the armies of Moroni encircled them about, yea, even on both sides of
the river, for behold, on the east were the men of Lehi.
53 Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon,
and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled
about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror.
54 Now Moroni, when he saw their terror, commanded his men that they should stop
shedding their blood.
1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni
said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood.
Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood
for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this
is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us
because of our religion.
3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered
you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto
us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot
destroy this our faith.
4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support,
and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith,
and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except
we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
5 And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has
strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion,
and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we
owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and
our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which
we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us --
6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life,
that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood,
but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against
7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my
men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies,
that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people;
yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.
8 And now it came to pass that when Zerahemnah had heard these sayings he came forth
and delivered up his sword and his cimeter, and his bow into the hands of Moroni,
and said unto him: Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto
you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that
we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that
we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will
perish or conquer.
9 Behold, we are not of your faith; we do not believe that it is God that has delivered
us into your hands; but we believe that it is your cunning that has preserved you
from our swords. Behold, it is your breastplates and your shields that have preserved
10 And now when Zerahemnah had made an end of speaking these words, Moroni returned
the sword and the weapons of war, which he had received, unto Zerahemnah, saying:
Behold, we will end the conflict.
11 Now I cannot recall the words which I have spoken, therefore as the Lord liveth,
ye shall not depart except ye depart with an oath that ye will not return again against
us to war. Now as ye are in our hands we will spill your blood upon the ground, or
ye shall submit to the conditions which I have proposed.
12 And now when Moroni had said these words, Zerahemnah retained his sword, and he
was angry with Moroni, and he rushed forward that he might slay Moroni; but as he
raised his sword, behold, one of Moroni's soldiers smote it even to the earth, and
it broke by the hilt; and he also smote Zerahemnah that he took off his scalp and
it fell to the earth. And Zerahemnah withdrew from before them into the midst of
13 And it came to pass that the soldier who stood by, who smote off the scalp of
Zerahemnah, took up the scalp from off the ground by the hair, and laid it upon the
point of his sword, and stretched it forth unto them, saying unto them with a loud
14 Even as this scalp has fallen to the earth, which is the scalp of your chief,
so shall ye fall to the earth except ye will deliver up your weapons of war and depart
with a covenant of peace.
15 Now there were many, when they heard these words and saw the scalp which was upon
the sword, that were struck with fear; and many came forth and threw down their weapons
of war at the feet of Moroni, and entered into a covenant of peace. And as many as
entered into a covenant they suffered to depart into the wilderness.
16 Now it came to pass that Zerahemnah was exceedingly wroth, and he did stir up
the remainder of his soldiers to anger, to contend more powerfully against the Nephites.
17 And now Moroni was angry, because of the stubbornness of the Lamanites; therefore
he commanded his people that they should fall upon them and slay them. And it came
to pass that they began to slay them; yea, and the Lamanites did contend with their
swords and their might.
18 But behold, their naked skins and their bare heads were exposed to the sharp swords
of the Nephites; yea, behold they were pierced and smitten, yea, and did fall exceedingly
fast before the swords of the Nephites; and they began to be swept down, even as
the soldier of Moroni had prophesied.
19 Now Zerahemnah, when he saw that they were all about to be destroyed, cried mightily
unto Moroni, promising that he would covenant and also his people with them, if they
would spare the remainder of their lives, that they never would come to war again
20 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that the work of death should cease again
among the people. And he took the weapons of war from the Lamanites; and after they
had entered into a covenant with him of peace they were suffered to depart into the
21 Now the number of their dead was not numbered because of the greatness of the
number; yea, the number of their dead was exceedingly great, both on the Nephites
and on the Lamanites.
22 And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and
they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea.
23 And the armies of the Nephites, or of Moroni, returned and came to their houses
and their lands.
24 And thus ended the eighteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people
of Nephi. And thus ended the record of Alma, which was written upon the plates of
1 Behold, now it came to pass that the people of Nephi were exceedingly rejoiced,
because the Lord had again delivered them out of the hands of their enemies; therefore
they gave thanks unto the Lord their God; yea, and they did fast much and pray much,
and they did worship God with exceedingly great joy.
2 And it came to pass in the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges over the
people of Nephi, that Alma came unto his son Helaman and said unto him: Believest
thou the words which I spake unto thee concerning those records which have been kept?
3 And Helaman said unto him: Yea, I believe.
4 And Alma said again: Believest thou in Jesus Christ, who shall come?
5 And he said: Yea, I believe all the words which thou hast spoken.
6 And Alma said unto him again: Will ye keep my commandments?
7 And he said: Yea, I will keep thy commandments with all my heart.
8 Then Alma said unto him: Blessed art thou; and the Lord shall prosper thee in this
9 But behold, I have somewhat to prophesy unto thee; but what I prophesy unto thee
ye shall not make known; yea, what I prophesy unto thee shall not be made known,
even until the prophecy is fulfilled; therefore write the words which I shall say.
10 And these are the words: Behold, I perceive that this very people, the Nephites,
according to the spirit of revelation which is in me, in four hundred years from
the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest himself unto them, shall dwindle in unbelief.
11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed,
even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct --
12 Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of
darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities; yea, I say unto you,
that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge, yea, I say unto
you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away before
this great iniquity shall come.
13 And when that great day cometh, behold, the time very soon cometh that those who
are now, or the seed of those who are now numbered among the people of Nephi, shall
no more be numbered among the people of Nephi.
14 But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day,
shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save
it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord; and them shall the Lamanites
pursue even until they shall become extinct. And now, because of iniquity, this prophecy
shall be fulfilled.
15 And now it came to pass that after Alma had said these things to Helaman, he blessed
him, and also his other sons; and he also blessed the earth for the righteous' sake.
16 And he said: Thus saith the Lord God -- Cursed shall be the land, yea, this land,
unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, unto destruction, which do wickedly,
when they are fully ripe; and as I have said so shall it be; for this is the cursing
and the blessing of God upon the land, for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the
least degree of allowance.
17 And now, when Alma had said these words he blessed the church, yea, all those
who should stand fast in the faith from that time henceforth.
18 And when Alma had done this he departed out of the land of Zarahemla, as if to
go into the land of Melek. And it came to pass that he was never heard of more; as
to his death or burial we know not of.
19 Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad
in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord,
even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself;
and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself; therefore,
for this cause we know nothing concerning his death and burial.
20 And now it came to pass in the commencement of the nineteenth year of the reign
of the judges over the people of Nephi, that Helaman went forth among the people
to declare the word unto them.
21 For behold, because of their wars with the Lamanites and the many little dissensions
and disturbances which had been among the people, it became expedient that the word
of God should be declared among them, yea, and that a regulation should be made throughout
“At Alma 45:21 Oliver writes down an incoherent phrase while taking down the dictation,
and in the next verse Joseph takes over mid-sentence to write twenty-eight words
(this is the only time Joseph’s handwriting appears in the manuscript). Apparently,
Oliver was momentarily incapable of continuing, which required Joseph himself to
transcribe those words so they wouldn’t be lost.” – Introduction
22 Therefore, Helaman and his brethren went forth to establish the church again in
all the land, yea, in every city throughout all the land which was possessed by the
people of Nephi. And it came to pass that they did appoint priests and teachers throughout
all the land, over all the churches.
23 And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had appointed priests
and teachers over the churches that there arose a dissension among them, and they
would not give heed to the words of Helaman and his brethren;
24 But they grew proud, being lifted up in their hearts, because of their exceedingly
great riches; therefore they grew rich in their own eyes, and would not give heed
to their words, to walk uprightly before God.