Zarahemla’s Age of War

Strike and Ambush

Alma 43:34–36

The Lamanites draw near, pass the troops led by Moroni, who were hiding near hill Riplah, and meet the other part of the Nephite army, led by a general named Lehi.

And it came to pass that the Lamanites came up on the north of the hill, where a part of the army of Moroni was concealed. And as the Lamanites had passed the hill Riplah, and came into the valley, and began to cross the river Sidon, the army which was concealed on the south of the hill, which was led by a man whose name was Lehi, and he led his army forth and encircled the Lamanites about on the east in their rear. And it came to pass that the Lamanites, when they saw the Nephites coming upon them in their rear, turned them about and began to contend with the army of Lehi.

Alma 43:37–38

A bloody strike ensues, in which the well–armored Nephites, led by Lehi fall at a much lower rate than the Lamanites.

And the work of death commenced on both sides, but it was more dreadful on the part of the Lamanites, for their nakedness was exposed to the heavy blows of the Nephites with their swords and their cimeters, which brought death almost at every stroke.

While on the other hand, there was now and then a man fell among the Nephites, by their swords and the loss of blood, they being shielded from the more vital parts of the body, or the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes of the Lamanites, by their breastplates, and their arm–shields, and their head–plates; and thus the Nephites did carry on the work of death among the Lamanites.

Alma 43:39–40

The Lamanites, noticing that they are no match for the Nephites, retreat back the way they came from.

And it came to pass that the Lamanites became frightened, because of the great destruction among them, even until they began to flee towards the river Sidon. And they were pursued by Lehi and his men; and they were driven by Lehi into the waters of Sidon, and they crossed the waters of Sidon. And Lehi retained his armies upon the bank of the river Sidon that they should not cross.

Alma 43:41–43

The troops led by Moroni ambush the Lamanites on their way out, and an even more violent battle erupts.

And it came to pass that Moroni and his army met the Lamanites in the valley, on the other side of the river Sidon, and began to fall upon them and to slay them. And the Lamanites did flee again before them, towards the land of Manti; and they were met again by the armies of Moroni. Now in this case the Lamanites did fight exceedingly; yea, never had the Lamanites been known to fight with such exceedingly great strength and courage, no, not even from the beginning.

Alma 43:44–47

The Lamanites are inspired to fight ferociously by the Zoramite and Amalekite dissenters, while the Nephites are driven by the need to preserve their God–given liberties.

And they were inspired by the Zoramites and the Amalekites, who were their chief captains and leaders, and by Zerahemnah, who was their chief captain, or their chief leader and commander; yea, they did fight like dragons, and many of the Nephites were slain by their hands, yea, for they did smite in two many of their head–plates, and they did pierce many of their breastplates, and they did smite off many of their arms; and thus the Lamanites did smite in their fierce anger.

Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church. And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that:

“Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.”

And again, the Lord has said that:

“Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed.”

Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.

Alma 43:48–50

As the Nephites become anxious over the extreme ferocity of the Lamanites, Moroni rallies them with a call to remember their freedoms—the Nephites then gain an edge over the Lamanites.

And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee from them. And Moroni, perceiving their intent, sent forth and inspired their hearts with these thoughts—yea, the thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage.

And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage. And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them; and they fled even to the waters of Sidon.

Alma 43:51–54

Desipte the Lamanites outnumbering the Nephites, the Lamanites are driven back in one group, and to their horror, find themselves cornered between Lehi’s troops and Moroni’s troops in the Sidon valley.

Now, the Lamanites were more numerous, yea, by more than double the number of the Nephites; nevertheless, they were driven insomuch that they were gathered together in one body in the valley, upon the bank by the river Sidon. Therefore the armies of Moroni encircled them about, yea, even on both sides of the river, for behold, on the east were the men of Lehi.

Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror. Now Moroni, when he saw their terror, commanded his men that they should stop shedding their blood.