1 And it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and
his brethren were gathered together against their brethren.
2 And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined
to slay them.
3 Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a
strong man; and his name was Amalickiah.
4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were
also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them
the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support
him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.
6 Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching
of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over
the church, for they were high priests over the church.
7 And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah,
therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people
of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory
which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had
had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord.
8 Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how
quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.
9 Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take
place among the children of men.
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man
of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly;
yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty
which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of
the land for the righteous' sake.
11 And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies
of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote
upon it -- In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives,
and our children -- and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded
on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof
his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the
earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon
his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the
14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of
God, called by those who did not belong to the church.
15 And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were
true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians
as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.
16 And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and
the freedom of the land might be favored.
17 And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all
the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land,
both on the north and on the south -- A chosen land, and the land of liberty.
18 And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we
take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring
it upon us by our own transgressions.
19 And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the
rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had
written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying:
20 Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth
in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their
rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.
21 And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people
came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments
in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in
other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression,
and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even
as they had rent their garments.
22 Now this was the covenant which they made, and they cast their garments at the
feet of Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even
as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea,
he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy
feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression.
From chapter Ten - Supporting Church Leaders: A Celestial Strategy
In reading Alma 46, I have been intrigued by the drawing power of a torn coat known
as the title of liberty. Even though our culture has traditions that show great
respect for the flag, the custom Captain Moroni chose to rally his people is one
that Americans would be hard pressed to relate to. Each country and each culture
throughout history has had its own unique customs and purposes that strengthen its
people’s loyalty. In this story, the prophet Mormon introduces us to a custom from
long ago with roots in a land far from our own.
It would be difficult to envision a military leader in our time, marching about in
any city in America, dressed in full battle array, waving a shredded portion of a
coat on which is written a message of freedom. Added to this improbable latter-day
scene would be his parading through town giving a patriotic speech in a loud voice,
while waving this homemade banner. In our society, this behavior would probably
draw more laughter than patriotism from those witnessing the performance. In fact,
even though someone in our day might have full military authority, he might find
himself trading his pole and flag for a pair of handcuffs and a ride in a police
In Alma 46, the reaction of the Nephites to Moroni’s title of liberty was much different
than if today’s chief commander over the American armed services performed the same
scenario in front of the citizens in our nation’s capital. The Book of Mormon account
says that “the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins.”
The scriptures don’t even hint that the Nephites questioned Captain Moroni’s behavior.
Not only did they not see his behavior as extreme, they mirrored it to the extent
of dressing in like manner and “rending” or tearing their clothing as a token of
support. These Nephites identified with a custom Moroni was not inventing but was
using to arouse the feelings of patriotism among the citizens of Zarahemla. Their
spontaneous response as a group is evidence that they were reacting to some behavior
on Moroni’s part that was not only understood but also accepted by them. It would
be similar to the immediate expectation within our culture for every patriot to stand
when hearing the “Star Spangled Banner” or to instantly place the hand over the heart
during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
As a teacher, I have struggled to satisfactorily explain the background of Moroni’s
title of liberty, which was obviously not a part of Joseph Smith’s America, or our
own, for that matter. However, in 1990 while teaching at BYU, I had an experience
that opened the door of understanding for me.
With my limited background, I was teaching Alma 46 to a Book of Mormon class. Sensing
my lack of cultural understanding on the subject, an Iranian student who was not
of our faith and who had never before been exposed to the Book of Mormon raised his
hand and said that he understood what Captain Moroni had done and why the people
reacted the way they did.
He related to the class that he had demonstrated many times during the Iranian Revolution
of 1979 using this custom we were calling the title of liberty. I invited him to
come forward and share with the class his understanding of the custom. He began
by drawing what looked like a wagon wheel on the board, fully equipped with a hub
and spokes extending from the middle, tied to a rim surrounding the spokes. Het
then told the class that this was an aerial view of the city of Isfahas, which is
laid out with streets that resemble a wagon wheel, with all major streets intersecting
in the middle of the wheel, and extending to a major street that circled the city
like the rim of the wagon wheel. The hub of the wheel is known as the government
gate or city square. He explained that the outskirts of the city extended about
one mile in all directions from the hub or city square.
He told how he and his companions made a cloth banner, approximately fifteen feet
by three feet, and attached it to poles on both ends to be held overhead as the protesters
marched through the streets. The purpose of this march was to protest Pahlavi, the
Iranian Shah. A group of about fifty people divided into four to seven processions
and marched from the outskirts of town down the streets that connected to the city
square. Carrying a banner, each procession walked the one-mile distance in approximately
an hour and a half. He indicated that with the use of these banners they typically
gathered a group of 100,000 to 150,000 to the city square.
He explained that the purpose of the poles was not just to hold the banner, but this
custom of “raising the pole” was used to gather an army. I asked him why then was
there a need for banner. “To state the cause,” he responded.
I inquired, “What was written on these banners that would bring so many people together
in such a short time?”
“Liberty” was his simple reply.
He paused as all of us recognized the obvious similarities between the word he chose
and its tie to the title of liberty. He continued, “We would write in the Persian
language: Liberty, Independence, and Islamic Law.”
I then asked, “What is the origin of the custom?”
He responded, “I don’t know; it is a widely understood custom among my people. My
grandfather used the same custom to gather people to demonstrate four decades earlier.”
. . .
Are we not gathered together as members of the Church in a spiritual army through
the symbolic act of raising our right arm to the square as a united body in support
of our leaders? Elder Angel Abrea said, “The raised hand becomes a symbol of the
covenant we make to support [our leaders]. Each time we criticize or condemn them,
we become literally covenant breakers.” (Ensign, Nov. 1981, p. 24.)
The followers of Captain Moroni showed their allegiance by mirroring his appearance
and his behavior, with the exception that rather than placing their torn cloaks on
a pole they “cast their [torn] garments at the feet of Moroni.” By doing these things
they were illustrating to Moroni, each other, and their God that they had given total
allegiance to Moroni and his cause. From this point on, each time they criticized
or condemned Moroni, they literally became covenant breakers. . .
23 Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; yea, we
are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many
pieces; yea, and now behold, let us remember to keep the commandments of God, or
our garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we be cast into prison, or be sold,
or be slain.
24 Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember
the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant
of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said -- Even as this
remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed
of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder
of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment.
25 Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son,
because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God.
26 Now behold, this was the language of Jacob.
27 And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish
as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves
if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ.
28 And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and
also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered
together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against
Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites.
29 And it came to pass that when Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more
numerous than the Amalickiahites -- and he also saw that his people were doubtful
concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken -- therefore, fearing
that he should not gain the point, he took those of his people who would and departed
into the land of Nephi.
30 Now Moroni thought it was not expedient that the Lamanites should have any more
strength; therefore he thought to cut off the people of Amalickiah, or to take them
and bring them back, and put Amalickiah to death; yea, for he knew that he would
stir up the Lamanites to anger against them, and cause them to come to battle against
them; and this he knew that Amalickiah would do that he might obtain his purposes.
31 Therefore Moroni thought it was expedient that he should take his armies, who
had gathered themselves together, and armed themselves, and entered into a covenant
to keep the peace -- and it came to pass that he took his army and marched out with
his tents into the wilderness, to cut off the course of Amalickiah in the wilderness.
32 And it came to pass that he did according to his desires, and marched forth into
the wilderness, and headed the armies of Amalickiah.
33 And it came to pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the
remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken back into the
land of Zarahemla.
34 Now, Moroni being a man who was appointed by the chief judges and the voice of
the people, therefore he had power according to his will with the armies of the Nephites,
to establish and to exercise authority over them.
35 And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter
into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free
government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant
36 And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon
every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus
Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites.
37 And they began to have peace again in the land; and thus they did maintain peace
in the land until nearly the end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges.
38 And Helaman and the high priests did also maintain order in the church; yea, even
for the space of four years did they have much peace and rejoicing in the church.
39 And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their
souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing.
40 And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were
very frequent in the land -- but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent
qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause
of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate --
41 But there were many who died with old age; and those who died in the faith of
Christ are happy in him, as we must needs suppose.
The author lists over six dozen major stories in the Book of Mormon, including the
story “The Lamanites begin a series of wars. Moroni arms the Nephites and raises
the title of liberty to his people (Alma 43-46).
“These marvelous stories are filled with intrigue, adventure, good and evil, murder,
political assassination, ethnic and cultural conflict, warfare, miracles, great missionary
labors, and prophetic leadership. The underlying theme in virtually all these stories
is the conflict between good and evil, between prophets and strong and influential
evil leaders. . .
“And above all, there is the surpassing and transcendent visit of Jesus the Christ
to the people in Bountiful. Any author who could create such memorable characters
and such extraordinary events in his or her entire literary career would be justified
in any plaudits received.”
1 Now we will return in our record to Amalickiah and those who had fled with him
into the wilderness; for, behold, he had taken those who went with him, and went
up in the land of Nephi among the Lamanites, and did stir up the Lamanites to anger
against the people of Nephi, insomuch that the king of the Lamanites sent a proclamation
throughout all his land, among all his people, that they should gather themselves
together again to go to battle against the Nephites.
2 And it came to pass that when the proclamation had gone forth among them they were
exceedingly afraid; yea, they feared to displease the king, and they also feared
to go to battle against the Nephites lest they should lose their lives. And it came
to pass that they would not, or the more part of them would not, obey the commandments
of the king.
3 And now it came to pass that the king was wroth because of their disobedience;
therefore he gave Amalickiah the command of that part of his army which was obedient
unto his commands, and commanded him that he should go forth and compel them to arms.
4 Now behold, this was the desire of Amalickiah; for he being a very subtle man to
do evil therefore he laid the plan in his heart to dethrone the king of the Lamanites.
5 And now he had got the command of those parts of the Lamanites who were in favor
of the king; and he sought to gain favor of those who were not obedient; therefore
he went forward to the place which was called Onidah, for thither had all the Lamanites
fled; for they discovered the army coming, and, supposing that they were coming to
destroy them, therefore they fled to Onidah, to the place of arms.
6 And they had appointed a man to be a king and a leader over them, being fixed in
their minds with a determined resolution that they would not be subjected to go against
7 And it came to pass that they had gathered themselves together upon the top of
the mount which was called Antipas, in preparation to battle.
8 Now it was not Amalickiah's intention to give them battle according to the commandments
of the king; but behold, it was his intention to gain favor with the armies of the
Lamanites, that he might place himself at their head and dethrone the king and take
possession of the kingdom.
9 And behold, it came to pass that he caused his army to pitch their tents in the
valley which was near the mount Antipas.
10 And it came to pass that when it was night he sent a secret embassy into the mount
Antipas, desiring that the leader of those who were upon the mount, whose name was
Lehonti, that he should come down to the foot of the mount, for he desired to speak
11 And it came to pass that when Lehonti received the message he durst not go down
to the foot of the mount. And it came to pass that Amalickiah sent again the second
time, desiring him to come down. And it came to pass that Lehonti would not; and
he sent again the third time.
12 And it came to pass that when Amalickiah found that he could not get Lehonti to
come down off from the mount, he went up into the mount, nearly to Lehonti's camp;
and he sent again the fourth time his message unto Lehonti, desiring that he would
come down, and that he would bring his guards with him.
13 And it came to pass that when Lehonti had come down with his guards to Amalickiah,
that Amalickiah desired him to come down with his army in the night-time, and surround
those men in their camps over whom the king had given him command, and that he would
deliver them up into Lehonti's hands, if he would make him (Amalickiah) a second
leader over the whole army.
14 And it came to pass that Lehonti came down with his men and surrounded the men
of Amalickiah, so that before they awoke at the dawn of day they were surrounded
by the armies of Lehonti.
15 And it came to pass that when they saw that they were surrounded, they plead with
Amalickiah that he would suffer them to fall in with their brethren, that they might
not be destroyed.
Now this was the very thing which Amalickiah desired.
16 And it came to pass that he delivered his men, contrary to the commands of the
king. Now this was the thing that Amalickiah desired, that he might accomplish his
designs in dethroning the king.
17 Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to
appoint the second leader to be their chief leader.
18 And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer
poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.
19 Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader
and their chief commander.
20 And it came to pass that Amalickiah marched with his armies (for he had gained
his desires) to the land of Nephi, to the city of Nephi, which was the chief city.
21 And the king came out to meet him with his guards, for he supposed that Amalickiah
had fulfilled his commands, and that Amalickiah had gathered together so great an
army to go against the Nephites to battle.
22 But behold, as the king came out to meet him Amalickiah caused that his servants
should go forth to meet the king. And they went and bowed themselves before the king,
as if to reverence him because of his greatness.
23 And it came to pass that the king put forth his hand to raise them, as was the
custom with the Lamanites, as a token of peace, which custom they had taken from
24 And it came to pass that when he had raised the first from the ground, behold
he stabbed the king to the heart; and he fell to the earth.
25 Now the servants of the king fled; and the servants of Amalickiah raised a cry,
26 Behold, the servants of the king have stabbed him to the heart, and he has fallen
and they have fled; behold, come and see.
27 And it came to pass that Amalickiah commanded that his armies should march forth
and see what had happened to the king; and when they had come to the spot, and found
the king lying in his gore, Amalickiah pretended to be wroth, and said: Whosoever
loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue his servants that they may be slain.
28 And it came to pass that all they who loved the king, when they heard these words,
came forth and pursued after the servants of the king.
29 Now when the servants of the king saw an army pursuing after them, they were frightened
again, and fled into the wilderness, and came over into the land of Zarahemla and
joined the people of Ammon.
30 And the army which pursued after them returned, having pursued after them in vain;
and thus Amalickiah, by his fraud, gained the hearts of the people.
31 And it came to pass on the morrow he entered the city Nephi with his armies, and
took possession of the city.
32 And now it came to pass that the queen, when she had heard that the king was slain
-- for Amalickiah had sent an embassy to the queen informing her that the king had
been slain by his servants, that he had pursued them with his army, but it was in
vain, and they had made their escape --
33 Therefore, when the queen had received this message she sent unto Amalickiah,
desiring him that he would spare the people of the city; and she also desired him
that he should come in unto her; and she also desired him that he should bring witnesses
with him to testify concerning the death of the king.
34 And it came to pass that Amalickiah took the same servant that slew the king,
and all them who were with him, and went in unto the queen, unto the place where
she sat; and they all testified unto her that the king was slain by his own servants;
and they said also: They have fled; does not this testify against them? And thus
they satisfied the queen concerning the death of the king.
35 And it came to pass that Amalickiah sought the favor of the queen, and took her
unto him to wife; and thus by his fraud, and by the assistance of his cunning servants,
he obtained the kingdom; yea, he was acknowledged king throughout all the land, among
all the people of the Lamanites, who were composed of the Lamanites and the Lemuelites
and the Ishmaelites, and all the dissenters of the Nephites, from the reign of Nephi
down to the present time.
36 Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of
the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless,
it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened
and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites -- drinking
in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner
of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God.
1 And now it came to pass that, as soon as Amalickiah had obtained the kingdom he
began to inspire the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi; yea, he
did appoint men to speak unto the Lamanites from their towers, against the Nephites.
2 And thus he did inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the
latter end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having accomplished
his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the Lamanites, he sought also
to reign over all the land, yea, and all the people who were in the land, the Nephites
as well as the Lamanites.
3 Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the
Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he
had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.
4 For he was determined, because of the greatness of the number of his people, to
overpower the Nephites and to bring them into bondage.
5 And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted
with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts
of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies.
6 And it came to pass that they took their camp, and moved forth toward the land
of Zarahemla in the wilderness.
7 Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud
and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people
to be faithful unto the Lord their God.
8 Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts,
or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies,
and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities
and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.
9 And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and
thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
10 And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives,
and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their
God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause
11 And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding;
yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty
and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
12 Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges
and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly
for the welfare and safety of his people.
13 Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with
an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even
to the loss of his blood.
14 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even
to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never
to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy,
except it were to preserve their lives.
15 And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land,
or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that
he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war,
according to their danger;
16 And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend
themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and
this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding
of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments
of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
17 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would
be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever;
yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
18 Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other
sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.
19 Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people
than was Moroni; for they did preach the word of God, and they did baptize unto repentance
all men whosoever would hearken unto their words.
20 And thus they went forth, and the people did humble themselves because of their
words, insomuch that they were highly favored of the Lord, and thus they were free
from wars and contentions among themselves, yea, even for the space of four years.
21 But, as I have said, in the latter end of the nineteenth year, yea, notwithstanding
their peace amongst themselves, they were compelled reluctantly to contend with their
brethren, the Lamanites.
22 Yea, and in fine, their wars never did cease for the space of many years with
the Lamanites, notwithstanding their much reluctance.
23 Now, they were sorry to take up arms against the Lamanites, because they did not
delight in the shedding of blood; yea, and this was not all -- they were sorry to
be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal
world, unprepared to meet their God.
24 Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives
and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were
once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them
and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites.
25 Yea, they could not bear that their brethren should rejoice over the blood of
the Nephites, so long as there were any who should keep the commandments of God,
for the promise of the Lord was, if they should keep his commandments they should
prosper in the land.
1 And now it came to pass in the eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth
day of the month, the armies of the Lamanites were seen approaching towards the land
2 And behold, the city had been rebuilt, and Moroni had stationed an army by the
borders of the city, and they had cast up dirt around about to shield them from the
arrows and the stones of the Lamanites; for behold, they fought with stones and with
3 Behold, I said that the city of Ammonihah had been rebuilt. I say unto you, yea,
that it was in part rebuilt; and because the Lamanites had destroyed it once because
of the iniquity of the people, they supposed that it would again become an easy prey
4 But behold, how great was their disappointment; for behold, the Nephites had dug
up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could
not cast their stones and their arrows at them that they might take effect, neither
could they come upon them save it was by their place of entrance.
5 Now at this time the chief captains of the Lamanites were astonished exceedingly,
because of the wisdom of the Nephites in preparing their places of security.
6 Now the leaders of the Lamanites had supposed, because of the greatness of their
numbers, yea, they supposed that they should be privileged to come upon them as they
had hitherto done; yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with
breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea,
very thick garments to cover their nakedness.
7 And being thus prepared they supposed that they should easily overpower and subject
their brethren to the yoke of bondage, or slay and massacre them according to their
8 But behold, to their uttermost astonishment, they were prepared for them, in a
manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi. Now they were prepared
for the Lamanites, to battle after the manner of the instructions of Moroni.
9 And it came to pass that the Lamanites, or the Amalickiahites, were exceedingly
astonished at their manner of preparation for war.
10 Now, if king Amalickiah had come down out of the land of Nephi, at the head of
his army, perhaps he would have caused the Lamanites to have attacked the Nephites
at the city of Ammonihah; for behold, he did care not for the blood of his people.
11 But behold, Amalickiah did not come down himself to battle. And behold, his chief
captains durst not attack the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah, for Moroni had altered
the management of affairs among the Nephites, insomuch that the Lamanites were disappointed
in their places of retreat and they could not come upon them.
12 Therefore they retreated into the wilderness, and took their camp and marched
towards the land of Noah, supposing that to be the next best place for them to come
against the Nephites.
13 For they knew not that Moroni had fortified, or had built forts of security, for
every city in all the land round about; therefore, they marched forward to the land
of Noah with a firm determination; yea, their chief captains came forward and took
an oath that they would destroy the people of that city.
14 But behold, to their astonishment, the city of Noah, which had hitherto been a
weak place, had now, by the means of Moroni, become strong, yea, even to exceed the
strength of the city Ammonihah.
15 And now, behold, this was wisdom in Moroni; for he had supposed that they would
be frightened at the city Ammonihah; and as the city of Noah had hitherto been the
weakest part of the land, therefore they would march thither to battle; and thus
it was according to his desires.
16 And behold, Moroni had appointed Lehi to be chief captain over the men of that
city; and it was that same Lehi who fought with the Lamanites in the valley on the
east of the river Sidon.
17 And now behold it came to pass, that when the Lamanites had found that Lehi commanded
the city they were again disappointed, for they feared Lehi exceedingly; nevertheless
their chief captains had sworn with an oath to attack the city; therefore, they brought
up their armies.
18 Now behold, the Lamanites could not get into their forts of security by any other
way save by the entrance, because of the highness of the bank which had been thrown
up, and the depth of the ditch which had been dug round about, save it were by the
19 And thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb
up to enter the fort by any other way, by casting over stones and arrows at them.
20 Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords
and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of
security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves
against the Lamanites.
21 And it came to pass that the captains of the Lamanites brought up their armies
before the place of entrance, and began to contend with the Nephites, to get into
their place of security; but behold, they were driven back from time to time, insomuch
that they were slain with an immense slaughter.
22 Now when they found that they could not obtain power over the Nephites by the
pass, they began to dig down their banks of earth that they might obtain a pass to
their armies, that they might have an equal chance to fight; but behold, in these
attempts they were swept off by the stones and arrows which were thrown at them;
and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they
were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.
23 Thus the Nephites had all power over their enemies; and thus the Lamanites did
attempt to destroy the Nephites until their chief captains were all slain; yea, and
more than a thousand of the Lamanites were slain; while, on the other hand, there
was not a single soul of the Nephites which was slain.
24 There were about fifty who were wounded, who had been exposed to the arrows of
the Lamanites through the pass, but they were shielded by their shields, and their
breastplates, and their head-plates, insomuch that their wounds were upon their legs,
many of which were very severe.
25 And it came to pass, that when the Lamanites saw that their chief captains were
all slain they fled into the wilderness. And it came to pass that they returned to
the land of Nephi, to inform their king, Amalickiah, who was a Nephite by birth,
concerning their great loss.
26 And it came to pass that he was exceedingly angry with his people, because he
had not obtained his desire over the Nephites; he had not subjected them to the yoke
27 Yea, he was exceedingly wroth, and he did curse God, and also Moroni, swearing
with an oath that he would drink his blood; and this because Moroni had kept the
commandments of God in preparing for the safety of his people.
28 And it came to pass, that on the other hand, the people of Nephi did thank the
Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands
of their enemies.
29 And thus ended the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people
30 Yea, and there was continual peace among them, and exceedingly great prosperity
in the church because of their heed and diligence which they gave unto the word of
God, which was declared unto them by Helaman, and Shiblon, and Corianton, and Ammon
and his brethren, yea, and by all those who had been ordained by the holy order of
God, being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach among the people.