“Therefore I Cannot Come Unto You.”

Brant Gardner

Moroni’s attention is taken by military activities on a second front—”the borders of the land by the west sea.” Ammoron’s strategy of maintaining two theaters of war takes advantage of the Lamanites’ superior numbers. Even divided, they can field both a formidable attacking army and maintain garrisons in the fortified cities in Teancum’s quarter. The Nephites must also divide their forces; and given their smaller numbers, the result weakens the Nephites far more than it weakens the Lamanites. In this case, the division of the armies has not hurt the Lamanites because of their early victories in the cities now under Teancum’s siege. By capturing and occupying fortified cities, the Lamanites gained a solid and well-protected foothold. Taking these cities cost the Lamanites dear (v. 4) and would undoubtedly exact the same price from Teancum were he to try and retake them by the same type of attack that the Lamanites used. Once again, the difference in available manpower places the advantage squarely with the Lamanites.

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