“Lamanites Saw That They Could Not Overpower the Nephites”

Brant Gardner

At this point, it seems far more likely that Mormon was drawing on historical records. However, the idea that the Lamanites “saw that they could not overpower the Nephites” does not adequately explain conversion, although it may justify their retreat to their lands. How did Lamanites continue to physically relocate to be with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and why? Perhaps they had already been converted but not yet “gathered.” They may have been considering the message of the Nephite missionaries and accepted it later than the others. But since they also bury their weapons, they are clearly converts, not just emigrants.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4