Zarahemla’s Age of War

Continued Nephite Defense and Prosperity

Alma 50:1–3

Moroni continues fortification operations by building more ridges and ditches around the cities, only this time he improves the design by adding a tall wooden structure topped with pickets on the dirt ridges.

And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.

And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities. And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high.

Alma 50:4–6

Moroni then places towers at strategic points throughout the fortification to serve as a first line of defense for the cities.

And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them. And they were prepared that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him who should attempt to approach near the walls of the city. Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land.

Alma 50:7–8

Moroni then leads his armies to the east wilderness, where they drive out all the Lamanites and send them back the land of Nephi.

And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his armies should go forth into the east wilderness; yea, and they went forth and drove all the Lamanites who were in the east wilderness into their own lands, which were south of the land of Zarahemla. And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.

Alma 50:9–10

Moroni orders Nephites to settle the eastern territory and to fortify the southern region.

And it came to pass that when Moroni had driven all the Lamanites out of the east wilderness, which was north of the lands of their own possessions, he caused that the inhabitants who were in the land of Zarahemla and in the land round about should go forth into the east wilderness, even to the borders by the seashore, and possess the land.

And he also placed armies on the south, in the borders of their possessions, and caused them to erect fortifications that they might secure their armies and their people from the hands of their enemies.

Alma 50:11–12

Moroni thus gains stable control of the entire land north of their southern border, near the head of the Sidon river; he continues to add strength to his military forces.

And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi, from the west sea, running by the head of the river Sidon— the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure.

Thus Moroni, with his armies, which did increase daily because of the assurance of protection which his works did bring forth unto them, did seek to cut off the strength and the power of the Lamanites from off the lands of their possessions, that they should have no power upon the lands of their possession.

Alma 50:13–16

Moroni develops the eastern front of the Nephite territory by establishing the cities of Moroni, Nephihah, and others.

And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites.

And they also began a foundation for a city between the city of Moroni and the city of Aaron, joining the borders of Aaron and Moroni; and they called the name of the city, or the land, Nephihah.

And they also began in that same year to build many cities on the north, one in a particular manner which they called Lehi, which was in the north by the borders of the seashore. And thus ended the twentieth year.

Alma 50:17–20

The Lord keeps his promise and blesses the Nephites, who enjoy peace and and prosperity.

And in these prosperous circumstances were the people of Nephi in the commencement of the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi. And they did prosper exceedingly, and they became exceedingly rich; yea, and they did multiply and wax strong in the land.

And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi, saying:

“Blessed art thou and thy children;
and they shall be blessed,
inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments
they shall prosper in the land.

“But remember,
inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments
they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.”

Alma 50:21–22

Falling into sin has been the cause of the Nephites’ problems, but those who stayed in compliance with God’s commandments are spared.

And we see that these promises have been verified to the people of Nephi; for it has been their quarrellings and their contentions, yea, their murderings, and their plunderings, their idolatry, their whoredoms, and their abominations, which were among themselves, which brought upon them their wars and their destructions.

And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times, whilst thousands of their wicked brethren have been consigned to bondage, or to perish by the sword, or to dwindle in unbelief, and mingle with the Lamanites.

Alma 50:23–24

The Nephites enjoy a time of great happiness under the direction of Nephi.

But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges.

And it came to pass that the twenty and second year of the reign of the judges also ended in peace; yea, and also the twenty and third year.