Antiparah was a Nephite city of considerable military significance during the conflicts with the Lamanites around 64 B.C. It was located in the southwestern quarter of the land of Zarahemla, positioned in proximity to a pass that connected to the west sea, likely near or at the top of a summit. Historically, it was captured by the Lamanites during their expansive invasion pushed by Amalickiah, and fortified with their “strongest army,” making it a key strategic point in the theater of war (Alma 56:14, 34). The record indicates that the Nephite leaders Helaman and Antipus played a crucial role in the recapture of the city. In a clever military maneuver, Helaman led his 2,000 stripling Ammonite warriors past Antiparah, feigning an advance toward another city near the seashore. This lured the encamped Lamanite forces out of Antiparah in pursuit, which then allowed Antipus and his men to engage the pursuing Lamanites, resulting in their eventual defeat (Alma 56:31–56).
The subsequent power vacuum in Antiparah allowed the Nephites to plan an assault to regain the city. However, before the Nephite forces could initiate their planned offensive, the Lamanites abandoned Antiparah, choosing to reinforce their remaining strongholds. This strategic withdrawal by the Lamanite forces left Antiparah unoccupied and it readily fell back into Nephite hands, regaining control over this key piece of territory without a direct conflict (Alma 57:1–4).
Antiparah’s capture, defense, and the manner in which it was regained provide interesting insights into the tactics of the Nephite and Lamanite armies. It also exemplifies the complexity of the military and political landscape during this period, demonstrating the chess-like movement of troops and the importance of strategic locations in the overarching Nephite-Lamanite wars. Antiparah’s position on the western front, by the pass leading to the west sea, showcases the territorial advantage and possible trade or travel routes controlled by whoever possessed it.