The Lamanite guards play a role in the narrative of the Book of Mormon during a pivotal moment of Nephite-Lamanite conflict, specifically within the strategy employed by the Nephite Captain Moroni to free prisoners from the city of Gid. Operating under Lamanite command, these guards were responsible for the oversight and security of Nephite captives around the year 63 BC. Their military duties, however, were compromised due to a cunning tactic involving intoxication.
In a notable incident, the guards were approached by a man named Laman, a Lamanite by descent, who had joined forces with the Nephites (Alma 55:8). Presenting himself as an escapee, he brought the guards wine, claiming it had been captured from the Nephites. Trusting his words and delighted by the wine, the Lamanite guards lowered their vigilance and consumed enough to fall into a deep inebriation. This lapse in judgment and duty allowed the Nephite forces to enact their plan, resulting in the incapacitation of the guards, the arming of the Nephite prisoners within the city, and the successful negotiation for the city’s surrender without bloodshed.
This account highlights the vulnerabilities of the Lamanite forces due to their guards’ susceptibility to deception and overindulgence, which ultimately led to a peaceful resolution to what might have been a fiercely contested military encounter. The Lamanite guards’ role underscores the intricate tactics and psychological warfare often employed in the broader conflicts narrative recorded in the Book of Mormon.