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Book of Alma XXIV (52-53)

Book of Alma XXIV (52-53)

Book of Mormon Study Text
 

CHAPTER XXIV 

52:1 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. 52:2 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. 52:3 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.

52:4 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. 52:5 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; 52:6 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.

52:7 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; 52:8 and Moroni also sent orders unto him, that he should retain all the prisoners which 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 which the Lamanites had taken. 52:9 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 harrass them on every side. 52:10 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. 52:11 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.

52:12 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; 52:13 and thus he was endeavoring to harrass the Nephites, and to draw away a part of their forces to that part of the land, while he had commanded those which he had left to possess the cities which he had taken, that they should also harrass the Nephites on the borders by the East Sea; and should take possession of their lands as much as it were in their power, according to the power of their armies. 52:14 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.

52:15 But behold, it came to pass in the twenty and seventh1 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, had began his march towards the land of2 Bountiful, that he might assist Teancum with his men, in retaking the cities which they had lost. 52:16 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.

52:17 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.

52:18 And it came to pass that Moroni did arrive with his army to 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. 52:19 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 strong holds, that they might gain advantage over them, and take again the city of Mulek.

52:20 And it came to pass that 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, which was a Zoramite, would not come out with his army to meet them upon the plains.

52:21 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 strong holds. 52:22 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 into 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.

52:23 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 a3 retreat down by the seashore, northward.

52:24 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 which were pursuing them in vain, behold, Moroni commanded that a part of his army which were with him, should march forth into the city, and take possession of it. 52:25 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. 52:26 And thus Moroni had obtained a 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.

52:27 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. 52:28 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. 52:29 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. 52:30 Now Lehi was not desirous to overtake them, till they should meet Moroni and his army. 52:31 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. 52:32 And Moroni commanded his men that they should fall upon them, until they had given up their weapons of war.

52:33 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. 52:34 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.

52:35 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. 52:36 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 whither4 to go or to strike. 52:37 Moroni5 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. 52:38 And it came to pass that when the Lamanites had heard these words, their Chief Captains, all those which 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; 52:39 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. 52:40 And now the number of prisoners which were taken, exceeded more than the number of those which had been slain; yea, more than those which had been slain on both sides.

53:1 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 which were slain; and Moroni placed men over them to guard them whilst6 they should perform their labors. 53:2 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.

53:3 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 in laboring in digging a ditch round about the land, or the city Bountiful; 53:4 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 heighth. 53:5 And this city became an exceeding strong hold 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 were easy to guard them while at their labor; and he desired all his forces, when he should make an attack upon the Lamanites.

53:6 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 Mulek, which was one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi; and thus he had also built a strong hold to retain his prisoners. 53:7 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.

53:8 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; 53:9 and thus because of iniquity amongst themselves, yea, because of dissensions and intrigue among themselves, they were placed in the most dangerous circumstances.

53:10 And now behold, I have somewhat to say concerning the people of Ammon, which, 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; 53:11 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; 53:12 and for this cause, they were brought down into the land of Zarahemla; and they ever had been protected by the Nephites.

53:13 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. 53:14 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; 53:15 and Helaman feared lest by so doing, they should lose their souls; therefore all those which had entered into this covenant, were compelled to behold their brethren wade through their afflictions, in their dangerous circumstances, at this time. 53:16 But behold, it came to pass they had many sons, which 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; 53:17 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.

53:18 Now behold, there were two thousand of those young men which entered into this covenant, and took their weapons of war to defend their country. 53:19 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. 53:20 And they were all young men, and they were exceeding valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all: they were men which were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted; 53:21 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.

53:22 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. 53:23 And thus ended the twenty and eigth year of the reign of the Judges over the people of Nephi, &c.

 

NOTES


1. O here at Alma 52:15 has twentieth and seventh year, changed in P and the 1830 edition to the standard form twenty and seventh year. The standard form is used in all but 7 of some 149 instances of compound numbers in the Book of Mormon, and there is no difference in meaning between the two forms. Nor does the difference appear to reflect in any clear way a particular period of English usage. For these reasons, we use the standard form here and in the other 6 exceptions (Alma 56:7, 9, 20; 63:4; Hel. 3:19; 4:8; against Skousen, Analysis, on Alma 52:15).

2. The word of appears in Alma 52:15 here in both O and P but was dropped in the 1830 edition.

3. Here at Alma 52:23, O has the word a (“a retreat”), which was changed in P and the 1830 edition to the word to (“to retreat”).

4. O here at Alma 52:36 has whither, which was changed in P and the 1830 edition to whether.

5. The word Now appears to have been added later to both O and P immediately before the name Moroni here at Alma 52:37.

6. O has the form whilst here at Alma 53:1, which was changed in P and the 1830 edition to while. The form whilst occurs also in Alma 31:17; 50:22; Moroni 9:6.