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A Library Tour Through
1 And now behold, it came to pass in the commencement of the fortieth year of the
reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, there began to be a serious difficulty
among the people of the Nephites.
2 For behold, Pahoran had died, and gone the way of all the earth; therefore there
began to be a serious contention concerning who should have the judgment-seat among
the brethren, who were the sons of Pahoran.
3 Now these are their names who did contend for the judgment-seat, who did also cause
the people to contend: Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni.
4 Now these are not all the sons of Pahoran, (for he had many) but these are they
who did contend for the judgment-seat; therefore, they did cause three divisions
among the people.
5 Nevertheless, it came to pass that Pahoran was appointed by the voice of the people
to be chief judge and a governor over the people of Nephi.
6 And it came to pass that Pacumeni, when he saw that he could not obtain the judgment-seat,
he did unite with the voice of the people.
7 But behold, Paanchi, and that part of the people that were desirous that he should
be their governor, was exceedingly wroth; therefore, he was about to flatter away
those people to rise up in rebellion against their brethren.
8 And it came to pass as he was about to do this, behold, he was taken, and was tried
according to the voice of the people, and condemned unto death; for he had raised
up in rebellion and sought to destroy the liberty of the people.
9 Now when those people who were desirous that he should be their governor saw that
he was condemned unto death, therefore they were angry, and behold, they sent forth
one Kishkumen, even to the judgment-seat of Pahoran, and murdered Pahoran as he sat
upon the judgment-seat.
10 And he was pursued by the servants of Pahoran; but behold, so speedy was the flight
of Kishkumen that no man could overtake him.
11 And he went unto those that sent him, and they all entered into a covenant, yea,
swearing by their everlasting Maker, that they would tell no man that Kishkumen had
12 Therefore, Kishkumen was not known among the people of Nephi, for he was in disguise
at the time that he murdered Pahoran. And Kishkumen and his band, who had covenanted
with him, did mingle themselves among the people, in a manner that they all could
not be found; but as many as were found were condemned unto death.
13 And now behold, Pacumeni was appointed, according to the voice of the people,
to be a chief judge and a governor over the people, to reign in the stead of his
brother Pahoran; and it was according to his right. And all this was done in the
fortieth year of the reign of the judges; and it had an end.
14 And it came to pass in the forty and first year of the reign of the judges, that
the Lamanites had gathered together an innumerable army of men, and armed them with
swords, and with cimeters and with bows, and with arrows, and with head-plates, and
with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind.
15 And they came down again that they might pitch battle against the Nephites. And
they were led by a man whose name was Coriantumr; and he was a descendant of Zarahemla;
and he was a dissenter from among the Nephites; and he was a large and a mighty man.
“In working with the original manuscript, we can imagine the sorts of interactions
that resulted in the actual handwritten text we see on the pages. For example, at
Helaman 1:15 Oliver hears a new name and spells it Coriantummer. He then crosses
it out and immediately writes inline the correct form Coriantumr, presumably because
Joseph has spelled it for him. The final r, however, includes a unique flourish
that seems to signal his frustration with having had to guess at a name that violated
the normal rules of English spelling.” – Introduction
16 Therefore, the king of the Lamanites, whose name was Tubaloth, who was the son
of Ammoron, supposing that Coriantumr, being a mighty man, could stand against the
Nephites, with his strength and also with his great wisdom, insomuch that by sending
him forth he should gain power over the Nephites --
17 Therefore he did stir them up to anger, and he did gather together his armies,
and he did appoint Coriantumr to be their leader, and did cause that they should
march down to the land of Zarahemla to battle against the Nephites.
18 And it came to pass that because of so much contention and so much difficulty
in the government, that they had not kept sufficient guards in the land of Zarahemla;
for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands
to attack that great city Zarahemla.
19 But it came to pass that Coriantumr did march forth at the head of his numerous
host, and came upon the inhabitants of the city, and their march was with such exceedingly
great speed that there was no time for the Nephites to gather together their armies.
20 Therefore Coriantumr did cut down the watch by the entrance of the city, and did
march forth with his whole army into the city, and they did slay every one who did
oppose them, insomuch that they did take possession of the whole city.
21 And it came to pass that Pacumeni, who was the chief judge, did flee before Coriantumr,
even to the walls of the city. And it came to pass that Coriantumr did smite him
against the wall, insomuch that he died. And thus ended the days of Pacumeni.
22 And now when Coriantumr saw that he was in possession of the city of Zarahemla,
and saw that the Nephites had fled before them, and were slain, and were taken, and
were cast into prison, and that he had obtained the possession of the strongest hold
in all the land, his heart took courage insomuch that he was about to go forth against
all the land.
23 And now he did not tarry in the land of Zarahemla, but he did march forth with
a large army, even towards the city of Bountiful; for it was his determination to
go forth and cut his way through with the sword, that he might obtain the north parts
of the land.
24 And, supposing that their greatest strength was in the center of the land, therefore
he did march forth, giving them no time to assemble themselves together save it were
in small bodies; and in this manner they did fall upon them and cut them down to
25 But behold, this march of Coriantumr through the center of the land gave Moronihah
great advantage over them, notwithstanding the greatness of the number of the Nephites
who were slain.
26 For behold, Moronihah had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the
center of the land, but that they would attack the cities round about in the borders
as they had hitherto done; therefore Moronihah had caused that their strong armies
should maintain those parts round about by the borders.
27 But behold, the Lamanites were not frightened according to his desire, but they
had come into the center of the land, and had taken the capital city which was the
city of Zarahemla, and were marching through the most capital parts of the land,
slaying the people with a great slaughter, both men, women, and children, taking
possession of many cities and of many strongholds.
28 But when Moronihah had discovered this, he immediately sent forth Lehi with an
army round about to head them before they should come to the land Bountiful
29 And thus he did; and he did head them before they came to the land Bountiful,
and gave unto them battle, insomuch that they began to retreat back towards the land
30 And it came to pass that Moronihah did head them in their retreat, and did give
unto them battle, insomuch that it became an exceedingly bloody battle; yea, many
were slain, and among the number who were slain Coriantumr was also found.
31 And now, behold, the Lamanites could not retreat either way, neither on the north,
nor on the south, nor on the east, nor on the west, for they were surrounded on every
hand by the Nephites.
32 And thus had Coriantumr plunged the Lamanites into the midst of the Nephites,
insomuch that they were in the power of the Nephites, and he himself was slain, and
the Lamanites did yield themselves into the hands of the Nephites.
33 And it came to pass that Moronihah took possession of the city of Zarahemla again,
and caused that the Lamanites who had been taken prisoners should depart out of the
land in peace.
34 And thus ended the forty and first year of the reign of the judges.
1 And it came to pass in the forty and second year of the reign of the judges, after
Moronihah had established again peace between the Nephites and the Lamanites, behold
there was no one to fill the judgment-seat; therefore there began to be a contention
again among the people concerning who should fill the judgment-seat.
2 And it came to pass that Helaman, who was the son of Helaman, was appointed to
fill the judgment-seat, by the voice of the people.
3 But behold, Kishkumen, who had murdered Pahoran, did lay wait to destroy Helaman
also; and he was upheld by his band, who had entered into a covenant that no one
should know his wickedness.
4 For there was one Gadianton, who was exceedingly expert in many words, and also
in his craft, to carry on the secret work of murder and of robbery; therefore he
became the leader of the band of Kishkumen.
5 Therefore he did flatter them, and also Kishkumen, that if they would place him
in the judgment-seat he would grant unto those who belonged to his band that they
should be placed in power and authority among the people; therefore Kishkumen sought
to destroy Helaman.
6 And it came to pass as he went forth towards the judgment-seat to destroy Helaman,
behold one of the servants of Helaman, having been out by night, and having obtained,
through disguise, a knowledge of those plans which had been laid by this band to
destroy Helaman --
7 And it came to pass that he met Kishkumen, and he gave unto him a sign; therefore
Kishkumen made known unto him the object of his desire, desiring that he would conduct
him to the judgment-seat that he might murder Helaman.
8 And when the servant of Helaman had known all the heart of Kishkumen, and how that
it was his object to murder, and also that it was the object of all those who belonged
to his band to murder, and to rob, and to gain power, (and this was their secret
plan, and their combination) the servant of Helaman said unto Kishkumen: Let us go
forth unto the judgment-seat.
9 Now this did please Kishkumen exceedingly, for he did suppose that he should accomplish
his design; but behold, the servant of Helaman, as they were going forth unto the
judgment-seat, did stab Kishkumen even to the heart, that he fell dead without a
groan. And he ran and told Helaman all the things which he had seen, and heard, and
10 And it came to pass that Helaman did send forth to take this band of robbers and
secret murderers, that they might be executed according to the law.
11 But behold, when Gadianton had found that Kishkumen did not return he feared lest
that he should be destroyed; therefore he caused that his band should follow him.
And they took their flight out of the land, by a secret way, into the wilderness;
and thus when Helaman sent forth to take them they could nowhere be found.
12 And more of this Gadianton shall be spoken hereafter. And thus ended the forty
and second year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
13 And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gadianton did prove
the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.
14 Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the
book of Nephi, from which I have taken all the account which I have written.