And now it came to pass that, as soon as Amalickiah had obtained the kingdom he began to inspire the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi; yea, he did appoint men to speak unto the Lamanites from their towers, against the Nephites. Alma 48.1
And thus he did inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the latter end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having accomplished his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the Lamanites, he sought also to reign over all the land, yea, and all the people who were in the land, the Nephites as well as the Lamanites. 48.2
Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites. 48.3Amlickiah appointed some Zoramite captains, because they tended to know the strengths and weaknesses of the Nephites the best. They also knew where their forts were (here he calls forts "places of resort", but later it is clarified).
After appointing captains, they rallied their troops and headed toward the land of Zarahemla.
And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies. 48:5
And it came to pass that they took their camp, and moved forth toward the land of Zarahemla in the wilderness. 48:6But while Amlickiah was busy gaining power and control over the armies of the Lamanites, Moroni had been preparing for war, and strengthening his own army. He was busy building small forts, and building walls of stone to encircle their cities, and all around the borders of the land. Pretty much the Great Wall Of China.
Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God. 48:7
Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land. 48:8
And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites. 48:9Moroni was a pretty amazing guy. He was strong, had perfect understanding, he wasn't cruel, and he worked hard for his people. He was firm in his faith and had sworn an oath to defend his people, and even to the point of bloodshed if necessary.
And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; 48:11
Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. 48:12
Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood. 48:13If all men were like Moroni, well, then the devil would just have to go home and sit in his hole because he wouldn't sway men's hearts at all. Moroni was as good as Ammon, or Mosiah, or Mosiah's sons. Shoot, all of those guys were just so great.
Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. 48:17
Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God. 48:18But that Helaman guy, and his brothers, they were pretty great, too.
Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni; for they did preach the word of God, and they did baptize unto repentance all men whosoever would hearken unto their words. 48:19But, as happens, they had to fight the Lamanites. They just didn't have a choice. They fought reluctantly with them for many years.
But, as I have said, in the latter end of the nineteenth year, yea, notwithstanding their peace amongst themselves, they were compelled reluctantly to contend with their brethren, the Lamanites. 48:21
Yea, and in fine, their wars never did cease for the space of many years with the Lamanites, notwithstanding their much reluctance. 48:22They were sorry that they had to fight and kill the Lamanites, but they really didn't have any choice. They had to send the Lamanites "unprepared to meet their God", otherwise their wives and children would have been massacred.
Now, they were sorry to take up arms against the Lamanites, because they did not delight in the shedding of blood; yea, and this was not all—they were sorry to be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared to meet their God. 48:23
Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites. 48:24