Lachoneus became chief judge and governor over the Nephite nation in the year AD 1. It was during those days that Nephi, son of Nephi, received his commission to preserve the sacred records. Lachoneus presided over a period of time during which the people were lapsing again into prideful and wicked ways, forgetting the signs and wonders given at Jesus’ birth in fulfillment of the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite. Lachoneus also took the leadership in defeating the Gadianton movement around AD 16 to AD 21.
In the year AD 16, Giddianhi, leader of the Gadianton robbers, sent an epistle to Lachoneus with an ultimatum to “yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions” or “become extinct”. In response, Lachoneus and his people humbly appealed to the Lord for protection. Gathering themselves for safety into a sector of the land encompassing Zarahemla and Bountiful, they laid up a store of provisions sufficient to last seven years. The Nephite military under the chief captain named Gidgiddoni—who, like the governor, was a person of great spiritual strength—took all precautions to fortify the defenses of the land. The Gadianton robbers came in force against the Nephite stronghold in the year AD 19 but were repelled after a fierce battle. The robbers were either slain or dispersed into the wilderness, and Giddianhi was killed.
Later on, Giddianhi’s successor, Zemnarihah, attempted without success to besiege the capital. The Nephite military sent small parties out at night to decimate the enemy forces and prevent their escape. Those who were not slain were taken prisoner. Zemnarihah was captured and executed and the people, renewed in their covenant commitments, gave thanks to the Lord for deliverance. Lachoneus ensured that the imprisoned Gadianton robbers were taught the gospel. Those who believed and forsook their sins by covenant were liberated. The rest were punished under the law. That occurred around AD 21. “And thus they did put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and abominable combinations, in the which there was so much wickedness, and so many murders committed”. Mormon concluded: “And now it was Gidgiddoni, and the judge, Lachoneus, and those who had been appointed leaders, who had established this great peace in the land”.