10 February 2015

Alma 43: Back to Fighting!

We made it, guys! Alma is done giving speeches to his sons, and now he's going to get back to preaching. Better yet, we're not even going to have to hear about it. Suffice it to say, Alma and his sons preached the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

And now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth. Alma 43:1 
Now we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation; and they preached after the holy order of God by which they were called. 43:2
So, on to the fun stuff! We return to an account of the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites, in the 18th year of the reign of the judges.
And now I return to an account of the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites, in the eighteenth year of the reign of the judges. 43:3
Okay, so remember the Zoramites? The guys with the funny pyramid/temples? Well, they decided to become Lamanites. And the Lamanites were getting ready to fight the Nephites. Some Amalekites joined the Lamanite coalition as well.  Meanwhile the Nephites gathered their armies together in the land of Jershon.
For behold, it came to pass that the Zoramites became Lamanites; therefore, in the commencement of the eighteenth year the people of the Nephites saw that the Lamanites were coming upon them; therefore they made preparations for war; yea, they gathered together their armies in the land of Jershon. 43:4
Thousands of Lamanites showed up in the land of Antionum, led by a man named Zerahemnah.
And it came to pass that the Lamanites came with their thousands; and they came into the land of Antionum, which is the land of the Zoramites; and a man by the name of Zerahemnah was their leader. 43:5
A very detailed battle sequence ensues, in which the Nephite army (led by a 25-year-old general named Moroni) ends up winning. Here are a few of the highlights.

The Nephites were outnumbered, but they had much better armor. Whereas the Lamanites were only wearing leather loincloths, the Nephites were wearing plate armor, and had both arm shields and head shields.
And it came to pass that he met the Lamanites in the borders of Jershon, and his people were armed with swords, and with cimeters, and all manner of weapons of war. 43:18 
And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing— 43:19 
Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites; 43:20
At first the Lamanites retreated, because they were afraid of the Nephite's new armor. When they eventually fought the Nephites, though, they fought better than they ever had before. They pierced right through the Nephite armor, and cut off the arms of the Nephites in a single stroke. They fought like friggin' dragons.
But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields -- therefore, they were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding their number being so much greater than the Nephites. 43:21
Behold, now it came to pass that they durst not come against the Nephites in the borders of Jershon; therefore they departed out of the land of Antionum into the wilderness, and took their journey round about in the wilderness, away by the head of the river Sidon, that they might come into the land of Manti and take possession of the land; for they did not suppose that the armies of Moroni would know whither they had gone. 43:22
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. 43:44
But the Nephites had a better cause (defending their wives, children, and homes), and they had God on their side. So they ended up winning the battle.
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. 43:45 
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. 43:49 
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. 43:50

Once the Nephites had surrounded the Lamanites, Moroni saw that they were terrified and he ordered his men to stop killing them.
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. 43:53 
Now Moroni, when he saw their terror, commanded his men that they should stop shedding their blood. 43:54
 That was nice of Moroni! In then next chapter we'll find out if he takes them prisoner, lets them go, or kills them...

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