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A Library Tour through Ether 14-15
1 And now there began to be a great curse upon all the land because of the iniquity
of the people, in which, if a man should lay his tool or his sword upon his shelf,
or upon the place whither he would keep it, behold, upon the morrow, he could not
find it, so great was the curse upon the land.
2 Wherefore every man did cleave unto that which was his own, with his hands, and
would not borrow neither would he lend; and every man kept the hilt of his sword
in his right hand, in the defence of his property and his own life and of his wives
3 And now, after the space of two years, and after the death of Shared, behold, there
arose the brother of Shared and he gave battle unto Coriantumr, in which Coriantumr
did beat him and did pursue him to the wilderness of Akish.
4 And it came to pass that the brother of Shared did give battle unto him in the
wilderness of Akish; and the battle became exceedingly sore, and many thousands fell
by the sword.
5 And it came to pass that Coriantumr did lay siege to the wilderness; and the brother
of Shared did march forth out of the wilderness by night, and slew a part of the
army of Coriantumr, as they were drunken.
6 And he came forth to the land of Moron, and placed himself upon the throne of Coriantumr.
7 And it came to pass that Coriantumr dwelt with his army in the wilderness for the
space of two years, in which he did receive great strength to his army.
8 Now the brother of Shared, whose name was Gilead, also received great strength
to his army, because of secret combinations.
9 And it came to pass that his high priest murdered him as he sat upon his throne.
10 And it came to pass that one of the secret combinations murdered him in a secret
pass, and obtained unto himself the kingdom; and his name was Lib; and Lib was a
man of great stature, more than any other man among all the people.
11 And it came to pass that in the first year of Lib, Coriantumr came up unto the
land of Moron, and gave battle unto Lib.
12 And it came to pass that he fought with Lib, in which Lib did smite upon his arm
that he was wounded; nevertheless, the army of Coriantumr did press forward upon
Lib, that he fled to the borders upon the seashore.
13 And it came to pass that Coriantumr pursued him; and Lib gave battle unto him
upon the seashore.
14 And it came to pass that Lib did smite the army of Coriantumr, that they fled
again to the wilderness of Akish.
15 And it came to pass that Lib did pursue him until he came to the plains of Agosh.
And Coriantumr had taken all the people with him as he fled before Lib in that quarter
of the land whither he fled.
16 And when he had come to the plains of Agosh he gave battle unto Lib, and he smote
upon him until he died; nevertheless, the brother of Lib did come against Coriantumr
in the stead thereof, and the battle became exceedingly sore, in the which Coriantumr
fled again before the army of the brother of Lib.
17 Now the name of the brother of Lib was called Shiz. And it came to pass that Shiz
pursued after Coriantumr, and he did overthrow many cities, and he did slay both
women and children, and he did burn the cities.
18 And there went a fear of Shiz throughout all the land; yea, a cry went forth throughout
the land -- Who can stand before the army of Shiz? Behold, he sweepeth the earth
19 And it came to pass that the people began to flock together in armies, throughout
all the face of the land.
20 And they were divided; and a part of them fled to the army of Shiz, and a part
of them fled to the army of Coriantumr.
21 And so great and lasting had been the war, and so long had been the scene of bloodshed
and carnage, that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead.
22 And so swift and speedy was the war that there was none left to bury the dead,
but they did march forth from the shedding of blood to the shedding of blood, leaving
the bodies of both men, women, and children strewed upon the face of the land, to
become a prey to the worms of the flesh.
23 And the scent thereof went forth upon the face of the land, even upon all the
face of the land; wherefore the people became troubled by day and by night, because
of the scent thereof.
24 Nevertheless, Shiz did not cease to pursue Coriantumr; for he had sworn to avenge
himself upon Coriantumr of the blood of his brother, who had been slain, and the
word of the Lord which came to Ether that Coriantumr should not fall by the sword.
25 And thus we see that the Lord did visit them in the fulness of his wrath, and
their wickedness and abominations had prepared a way for their everlasting destruction.
26 And it came to pass that Shiz did pursue Coriantumr eastward, even to the borders
by the seashore, and there he gave battle unto Shiz for the space of three days.
27 And so terrible was the destruction among the armies of Shiz that the people began
to be frightened, and began to flee before the armies of Coriantumr; and they fled
to the land of Corihor, and swept off the inhabitants before them, all them that
would not join them.
28 And they pitched their tents in the valley of Corihor; and Coriantumr pitched
his tents in the valley of Shurr. Now the valley of Shurr was near the hill Comnor;
wherefore, Coriantumr did gather his armies together upon the hill Comnor, and did
sound a trumpet unto the armies of Shiz to invite them forth to battle.
29 And it came to pass that they came forth, but were driven again; and they came
the second time, and they were driven again the second time. And it came to pass
that they came again the third time, and the battle became exceedingly sore.
30 And it came to pass that Shiz smote upon Coriantumr that he gave him many deep
wounds; and Coriantumr, having lost his blood, fainted, and was carried away as though
he were dead.
31 Now the loss of men, women and children on both sides was so great that Shiz commanded
his people that they should not pursue the armies of Coriantumr; wherefore, they
returned to their camp.
1 And it came to pass when Coriantumr had recovered of his wounds, he began to remember
the words which Ether had spoken unto him.
2 He saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his
people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions
of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.
3 He began to repent of the evil which he had done; he began to remember the words
which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets, and he saw them that they
were fulfilled thus far, every whit; and his soul mourned and refused to be comforted.
4 And it came to pass that he wrote an epistle unto Shiz, desiring him that he would
spare the people, and he would give up the kingdom for the sake of the lives of the
5 And it came to pass that when Shiz had received his epistle he wrote an epistle
unto Coriantumr, that if he would give himself up, that he might slay him with his
own sword, that he would spare the lives of the people.
6 And it came to pass that the people repented not of their iniquity; and the people
of Coriantumr were stirred up to anger against the people of Shiz; and the people
of Shiz were stirred up to anger against the people of Coriantumr; wherefore, the
people of Shiz did give battle unto the people of Coriantumr.
7 And when Coriantumr saw that he was about to fall he fled again before the people
8 And it came to pass that he came to the waters of Ripliancum, which, by interpretation,
is large, or to exceed all; wherefore, when they came to these waters they pitched
their tents; and Shiz also pitched his tents near unto them; and therefore on the
morrow they did come to battle.
9 And it came to pass that they fought an exceedingly sore battle, in which Coriantumr
was wounded again, and he fainted with the loss of blood.
10 And it came to pass that the armies of Coriantumr did press upon the armies of
Shiz that they beat them, that they caused them to flee before them; and they did
flee southward, and did pitch their tents in a place which was called Ogath.
11 And it came to pass that the army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill
Ramah; and it was that same hill where my father Mormon did hide up the records unto
the Lord, which were sacred.
12 And it came to pass that they did gather together all the people upon all the
face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether.
13 And it came to pass that Ether did behold all the doings of the people; and he
beheld that the people who were for Coriantumr were gathered together to the army
of Coriantumr; and the people who were for Shiz were gathered together to the army
14 Wherefore, they were for the space of four years gathering together the people,
that they might get all who were upon the face of the land, and that they might receive
all the strength which it was possible that they could receive.
15 And it came to pass that when they were all gathered together, every one to the
army which he would, with their wives and their children -- both men women and children
being armed with weapons of war, having shields, and breastplates, and head-plates,
and being clothed after the manner of war -- they did march forth one against another
to battle; and they fought all that day, and conquered not.
16 And it came to pass that when it was night they were weary, and retired to their
camps; and after they had retired to their camps they took up a howling and a lamentation
for the loss of the slain of their people; and so great were their cries, their howlings
and lamentations, that they did rend the air exceedingly.
17 And it came to pass that on the morrow they did go again to battle, and great
and terrible was that day; nevertheless, they conquered not, and when the night came
again they did rend the air with their cries, and their howlings, and their mournings,
for the loss of the slain of their people.
18 And it came to pass that Coriantumr wrote again an epistle unto Shiz, desiring
that he would not come again to battle, but that he would take the kingdom, and spare
the lives of the people.
19 And behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had
full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness
of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore
they went again to battle.
20 And it came to pass that they fought all that day, and when the night came they
slept upon their swords.
21 And on the morrow they fought even until the night came.
22 And when the night came they were drunken with anger, even as a man who is drunken
with wine; and they slept again upon their swords.
23 And on the morrow they fought again; and when the night came they had all fallen
by the sword save it were fifty and two of the people of Coriantumr, and sixty and
nine of the people of Shiz.
24 And it came to pass that they slept upon their swords that night, and on the morrow
they fought again, and they contended in their might with their swords and with their
shields, all that day.
25 And when the night came there were thirty and two of the people of Shiz, and twenty
and seven of the people of Coriantumr.
26 And it came to pass that they ate and slept, and prepared for death on the morrow.
And they were large and mighty men as to the strength of men.
27 And it came to pass that they fought for the space of three hours, and they fainted
with the loss of blood.
28 And it came to pass that when the men of Coriantumr had received sufficient strength
that they could walk, they were about to flee for their lives; but behold, Shiz arose,
and also his men, and he swore in his wrath that he would slay Coriantumr or he would
perish by the sword.
29 Wherefore, he did pursue them, and on the morrow he did overtake them; and they
fought again with the sword. And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by
the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz, behold Shiz had fainted with the loss
30 And it came to pass that when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested
a little, he smote off the head of Shiz.
31 And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz
raised upon his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.
Chapter 61 – The “Decapitation” of Shiz. Research by Gary M. Hadfeld and John W.
Welch, originally published as a FARMS update in Insights (November 1994): 2.
This brief chapter answers the question every Book of Mormon reader has when reading
about Shiz’s gruesome death: How could he raise up on his hands when his head was
cut off? In fact, this story is probably the favorite incident of the Book of Mormon
for mockers to ridicule. Readers with a rural background understand the literal
meaning of someone “running around like a chicken with his head cut off.” But a
The authors present a statement from a medical doctor explaining the phenomenon,
which was first reported in 1898. They then examine the story of Jael killing Sisera
in Judges 5:26-27, and the use of the phrase “smote off his head.”
After reading this chapter, you will see there is no call for derision, but only
grief at the conclusion of the great Jaredite nation.
32 And it came to pass that Coriantumr fell to the earth, and became as if he had
33 And the Lord spake unto Ether, and said unto him: Go forth. And he went forth,
and beheld that the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled; and he finished his
record; (and the hundredth part I have not written) and he hid them in a manner that
the people of Limhi did find them.
34 Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will
that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth
not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.