Now Amaleki, who is giving us this information, assures us that he is qualified to tell us all about these things because he was born in the days of Mosiah and lived to see his death. Of course, the question arises, was he born before Mosiah left the land of Nephi, or after the migration to the land of Zarahemla? Since he knew so many details about the migration, it would lead us to assume that he was born before the migration took place and actually participated in it.
Furthermore, if Amaleki's father who had custody of the plates had participated in the trek, no doubt he would have mentioned it. We recall in verse 11 that Amaleki's father closed his writing by saying that he knew of no revelation or prophecy that hadn't already been written. Therefore, it would appear that Amaleki received the plates before Mosiah was raised up as a prophet, and hence would have been born in the land of Nephi -- and would have participated in the great trek across the wilderness and to the land of Zarahemla.
At the time that Amaleki was writing this account, the king over all of the land was named Benjamin. He was the son of Mosiah, who had led the Nephites across the great wilderness, up from the land of Nephi, into the land of Zarahemla. Amaleki discloses the fact that during the reign of king Benjamin there had been a terrible conflict between the Nephites and the Lamanites. This means that the Lamanites had finally broken through the narrow strip of mountain wilderness and had swept in upon the land of Zarahemla. Nevertheless, the new king Benjamin had succeeded in driving the Lamanites out of Zarahemla and back into their own country.