“The Designs of the Lamanites”

Monte S. Nyman

Although the war was between the Nephites and the Lamanites, it was engineered by the apostate Nephites. The Zoramites had separated themselves from the Nephites and had previously trodden down Korihor the anti-Christ (see Alma 30:59). The Zoramites, who had become Lamanites (Alma 43:4), had rejected the missionary efforts of Alma and his companions (see Alma 31–35). Although his lineage is not given, Zarahemnah was apparently a Lamanite since the Lamanites had come into the Zoramite land of Antionum (Alma 43:5).

The Amalekites had apostatized many years earlier, about 90 B.C., and were a people “after the order of the Nehors” (Alma 21:2–4). Zemnarihah’s appointment of apostate captains of his armies to preserve hatred towards the Nephites (Alma 43:2–7) was contrary to the Nephite’s custom of appointing captains who “had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy” (3 Nephi 3:19). Thus the battle of Satan and Michael that was begun in heaven, or in the pre-mortal life, commenced once more on the earth at this time (see Revelation 12:7). The desire of the Lamanites to bring the Nephites into bondage (Alma 43:8) had been their traditional aspiration through the years, and was a tool of Satan (see Mosiah 7:22; 9:10).

Book of Mormon Commentary: The Record of Alma