Recolonization of the Land of Nephi

Zeniff’s Reign in Lehi–Nephi and Shilom

Mosiah 9:8–9

Zeniff’s people inhabit the land.

And we began to build buildings, and to repair the walls of the city, yea, even the walls of the city of Lehi–Nephi, and the city of Shilom. And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply and prosper in the land.

Mosiah 9:11–13

Tensions arise between the people of Zeniff and the Lamanites.

Therefore it came to pass, that after we had dwelt in the land for the space of twelve years that king Laman began to grow uneasy, lest by any means my people should wax strong in the land, and that they could not overpower them and bring them into bondage. Now they were a lazy and an idolatrous people; therefore they were desirous to bring us into bondage, that they might glut themselves with the labors of our hands; yea, that they might feast themselves upon the flocks of our fields. Therefore it came to pass that king Laman began to stir up his people that they should contend with my people; therefore there began to be wars and contentions in the land.

Mosiah 9:14–19

A battle breaks out between the two groups, but Zeniff’s people, due to their faith, are victorious with a 3043 to 279 casualty ratio.

For, in the thirteenth year of my reign in the land of Nephi, away on the south of the land of Shilom, when my people were watering and feeding their flocks, and tilling their lands, a numerous host of Lamanites came upon them and began to slay them, and to take off their flocks, and the corn of their fields. Yea, and it came to pass that they fled, all that were not overtaken, even into the city of Nephi, and did call upon me for protection. And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle.

Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers. And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty–three; we did slay them even until we had driven them out of our land. And I, myself, with mine own hands, did help to bury their dead. And behold, to our great sorrow and lamentation, two hundred and seventy–nine of our brethren were slain.

Mosiah 10:1–5

A period of reconstruction follows, in which Zeniff’s people strengthen their military and industrial powers; twenty two years pass in peace and prosperity.

And it came to pass that we again began to establish the kingdom and we again began to possess the land in peace. And I caused that there should be weapons of war made of every kind, that thereby I might have weapons for my people against the time the Lamanites should come up again to war against my people. And I set guards round about the land, that the Lamanites might not come upon us again unawares and destroy us; and thus I did guard my people and my flocks, and keep them from falling into the hands of our enemies.

And it came to pass that we did inherit the land of our fathers for many years, yea, for the space of twenty and two years. And I did cause that the men should till the ground, and raise all manner of grain and all manner of fruit of every kind. And I did cause that the women should spin, and toil, and work, and work all manner of fine linen, yea, and cloth of every kind, that we might clothe our nakedness; and thus we did prosper in the land—thus we did have continual peace in the land for the space of twenty and two years.

Mosiah 10:6

King Laman dies, and his son assumes the throne.

And it came to pass that king Laman died, and his son began to reign in his stead.

Mosiah 10:6

The new king has sinister plans for the people of Zeniff.

And he began to stir his people up in rebellion against my people; therefore they began to prepare for war, and to come up to battle against my people.

Mosiah 10:7

Zeniff dispatches spies to learn of the Lamanites’ plans.

But I had sent my spies out round about the land of Shemlon, that I might discover their preparations, that I might guard against them, that they might not come upon my people and destroy them.

Mosiah 10:9

Zeniff makes preparations for war.

And it came to pass that I caused that the women and children of my people should be hid in the wilderness; and I also caused that all my old men that could bear arms, and also all my young men that were able to bear arms, should gather themselves together to go to battle against the Lamanites; and I did place them in their ranks, every man according to his age.

Mosiah 10:19, 11–18

Zeniff tells his people the truth about the Lamanites regarding their history and political culture.

And now I, Zeniff,...told all these things unto my people concerning the Lamanites:

Mosiah 10:8

The Lamanites begin an attack.

And it came to pass that they came up upon the north of the land of Shilom, with their numerous hosts, men armed with bows, and with arrows, and with swords, and with cimeters, and with stones, and with slings; and they had their heads shaved that they were naked; and they were girded with a leathern girdle about their loins.

Mosiah 10:19, 10, 20–21

Zeniff fights back, and is victorious.

And now I, Zeniff, after having told all these things unto my people concerning the Lamanites, I did stimulate them to go to battle with their might, putting their trust in the Lord; therefore, we did contend with them, face to face.


And it came to pass that we did go up to battle against the Lamanites; and I, even I, in my old age, did go up to battle against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that we did go up in the strength of the Lord to battle.


And it came to pass that we did drive them again out of our land; and we slew them with a great slaughter, even so many that we did not number them. And it came to pass that we returned again to our own land, and my people again began to tend their flocks, and to till their ground.