strtoupper('“W')ars and Contentions”

Anthropological information: At this point in the record we are at approximately 557 BC. As noted, the Nephites and Lamanites have by this time increased in population. The Lamanites have increased sufficiently in numbers that they are able to provide for themselves, and have the time to conduct "wars and contentions." Nephi does not mention lists of casualties, and with his personal knowledge of his people, casualties would have been a significant occasion. It is therefore likely that these "wars and contentions" should not be read as the same kind of destructive wars seen later in Nephite history. These are much more likely to be raids, where there might be injuries, but the point of such "contentions" would be the acquisition of specific wealth or imagined "credit" for the bravery of the raid rather than obtaining territory or domination. This kind of smaller raid was very typical of the conflicts among many of the Indian tribes on the North American continent, and those probably may serve as a model for these early skirmishes between Nephite and Lamanite.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon