And now it came to pass that in the sixteenth year from the coming of
Christ, Lachoneus, the governor of the land, received an epistle from
the leader and the governor of this band of robbers.
2 And these were
the words which were written, saying, Lachoneus, most noble and chief
governor of the land, behold I write this epistle unto you and do
give unto you exceeding great praise because of your firmness, and
also the firmness of your people, in maintaining that which ye
suppose to be your right and liberty.
3 Yea, ye do stand well, as if ye
were supported by the hand of a God in the defense of your liberty,
and your property, and your country, or that which ye do call so.
it seemeth a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that ye should be so
foolish and vain as to suppose that ye can stand against so many
brave men who are at my command, who do now at this time stand in
their arms and do await with great anxiety for the word, Go down upon
the Nephites and destroy them.
5 And I, knowing of their unconquerable
spirit, having proved them in the field of battle, and knowing of
their everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which
ye have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against
you they would visit you with utter destruction.
6 Therefore I have
wrote this epistle, sealing it with mine own hand, feeling for your
welfare because of your firmness in that which ye believe to be
right, and your noble spirit in the field of battle.
7 Therefore I
write unto you desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people
your cities, your lands, and your possessions rather than that they
should visit you with the sword and that destruction should come upon
8 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us and unite with
us, and become acquainted with our secret works and become our
brethren that ye may be like unto us - not our slaves, but our
brethren and partners of all our substance.
9 And behold, I swear unto
you, if ye will do this with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed.
if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath that on the
morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against
you and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall
slay you and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall
11 And behold, I am Giddianhi, and I am the governor of
this the secret society of Gadianton, which society and the works
thereof I know to be good; and they are of an ancient date and they
have been handed down unto us.
12 And I write this epistle unto you,
Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your
possessions without the shedding of blood that this my people may
recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you
because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of
government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs.
13 I am
14 And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this epistle, he was
exceedingly astonished because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding
the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening
the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no
wrong, save it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away
unto those wicked and abominable robbers.
15 Now behold, this Lachoneus,
the governor, was a just man and could not be frightened by the
demands and the threatenings of a robber.
16 Therefore he did not
hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but
he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength
against the time that the robbers should come down against them.
he sent a proclamation among all the people that they should gather
together their women and their children, their flocks and their
herds, and all their substance save it were their land, unto one
18 And he caused that fortifications should be built round about
them and the strength thereof should be exceeding great.
19 And he
caused that there should be armies, both of the Nephites and of the
Lamanites, or of all them who were numbered among the Nephites,
should be placed as guards round about to watch them and to guard
them from the robbers, day and night.
20 Yea, he said unto them, As the
Lord liveth, except ye repent of all your iniquities and cry unto the
Lord, that they would in no wise be delivered out of the hands of
those Gadianton robbers.
21 And so great and marvelous were the words
and prophecies of Lachoneus that they did cause fear to come upon all
the people, and they did exert themselves in their might to do
according to the words of Lachoneus.
22 And it came to pass that Lachoneus did appoint chief captains over all
the armies of the Nephites to command them at the time that the
robbers should come down out of the wilderness against them.
23 Now the
chiefest among all the captains and the great commander of all the
armies of the Nephites was appointed, and his name was Gidgiddoni.
24 Now it was the custom among all the Nephites to appoint for their
chief captains, save it were in their times of wickedness, someone
that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy.
25 Therefore this
Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them and also was the chief
26 Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni, Pray unto the Lord and let us go up
upon the mountains and into the wilderness that we may fall upon the
robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
27 But Gidgiddoni saith
unto them, The Lord forbid, for if we should go up against them, the
Lord would deliver us into their hands.
28 Therefore we will prepare
ourselves in the center of our lands and we will gather all our
armies together and we will not go against them, but we will wait
till they shall come against us.
29 Therefore as the Lord liveth, if we
do this, he will deliver them into our hands.
30 And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the
year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the
face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their
chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds,
and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by
thousands and by tens of thousands until they had all gone forth to
the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves
together to defend themselves against their enemies.
31 And the land
which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla and the land Bountiful,
yea, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land
32 And there were a great many thousand people who were
called Nephites, who did gather themselves together in this land.
Lachoneus did cause that they should gather themselves together in
the land southward because of the great curse which was upon the land
northward, and they did fortify themselves against their enemies.
they did dwell in one land and in one body and they did fear the
words which had been spoken by Lachoneus, insomuch that they did
repent of all their sins.
35 And they did put up their prayers unto the
Lord their God that he would deliver them in the time that their
enemies should come down against them to battle.
36 And they were
exceeding sorrowful because of their enemy.
37 And Gidgiddoni did cause
that they should make weapons of war of every kind, that they should
be strong with armor, and with shields, and with bucklers, after the
manner of his instruction.
38 And it came to pass that in the latter end of the eighteenth year those
armies of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down,
and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the
wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began
to take possession of the lands, both which was in the land south and
which was in the land north, and began to take possession of all the
lands which had been deserted by the Nephites and the cities which
had been left desolate.
39 But behold, there were no wild beasts nor
game in those lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and
there was no game for the robbers save it were in the wilderness.
the robbers could not exist save it were in the wilderness for the
want of food, for the Nephites had left their lands desolate and had
gathered their flocks and their herds and all their substance, and
they were in one body.
41 Therefore there was no chance for the robbers
to plunder and to obtain food save it were to come up in open battle
against the Nephites.
42 And the Nephites being in one body and having
so great a number, and having reserved for themselves provisions, and
horses, and cattle, and flocks of every kind that they might subsist
for the space of seven years, in the which time they did hope to
destroy the robbers from off the face of the land.
43 And thus the
eighteenth year did pass away.
44 And it came to pass that in the nineteenth year Giddianhi found that it
was expedient that he should go up to battle against the Nephites,
for there was no way that they could subsist save it were to plunder
and rob and murder.
45 And they durst not spread themselves upon the
face of the land insomuch that they could raise grain lest the
Nephites should come upon them and slay them.
46 Therefore Giddianhi
gave commandment unto his armies that in this year they should go up
to battle against the Nephites.
47 And it came to pass that they did come up to battle, and it was in the
48 And behold, great and terrible was the day that they did
come up to battle.
49 And they were girded about after the manner of
robbers, and they had a lambskin about their loins, and they were
dyed in blood, and their heads were shorn, and they had head-plates
50 And great and terrible was the appearance of the armies of
Giddianhi because of their armor and because of their being dyed in
51 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites, when they
saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the
earth and did lift their cries to the Lord their God that he would
spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
52 And it
came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to
shout with a loud voice because of their joy, for they had supposed
that the Nephites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their
53 But in this thing they were disappointed for the Nephites did
not fear them, but they did fear their God and did supplicate him for
54 Therefore when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon
them, they were prepared to meet them, yea, in the strength of the
Lord they did receive them.
55 And the battle commenced in this the
sixth month, and great and terrible was the battle thereof, yea,
great and terrible was the slaughter thereof, insomuch that there
never was known so great a slaughter among all the people of Lehi
since he left Jerusalem.
56 And notwithstanding the threatenings and the
oaths which Giddianhi had made, behold, the Nephites did beat them
insomuch that they did fall back from before them.
57 And it came to pass that Gidgiddoni commanded that his armies should
pursue them as far as the borders of the wilderness and that they
should not spare any that should fall into their hands by the way.
58 And thus they did pursue them and did slay them, to the borders of
the wilderness, even until they had fulfilled the commandment of
59 And it came to pass that Giddianhi, who had stood and
fought with boldness, was pursued as he fled, and being weary because
of his much fighting, he was overtaken and slain.
60 And thus was the
end of Giddianhi the robber.
61 And it came to pass that the armies of
the Nephites did return again to their place of security.
62 And it came to pass that this nineteenth year did pass away and the
robbers did not come again to battle, neither did they come again in
the twentieth year.
63 And in the twenty and first year they did not
come up to battle, but they came up on all sides to lay siege round
about the people of Nephi, for they did suppose that if they should
cut off the people of Nephi from their lands and should hem them in
on every side, and if they should cut them off from all their outward
privileges, that they could cause them to yield themselves up
according to their wishes.
64 Now they had appointed unto themselves
another leader, whose name was Zemnarihah, therefore it was
Zemnarihah that did cause that this siege should take place.
behold this was an advantage to the Nephites, for it was impossible
for the robbers to lay siege sufficiently long to have any effect
upon the Nephites because of their much provision which they had laid
up in store, because of the scantiness of provisions among the
66 For behold they had nothing save it were meat for their
subsistence, which meat they did obtain in the wilderness.
67 And it
came to pass that the wild game became scarce in the wilderness,
insomuch that the robbers were about to perish with hunger.
68 And the
Nephites were continually marching out by day and by night, and
falling upon their armies, and cutting them off by thousands and by
tens of thousands.
69 And thus it became the desire of the people of
Zemnarihah to withdraw from their design because of the great
destruction which come upon them by night and by day.
70 And it came to pass that Zemnarihah did give command unto his people that
they should withdraw themselves from the siege and march into the
furthermost parts of the land northward.
71 And now Gidgiddoni, being
aware of their design, and knowing of their weakness because of the
want of food and the great slaughter which had been made among them,
therefore he did send out his armies in the night time and did cut
off the way of their retreat and did place his armies in the way of
72 And this did they do in the night time, and got on
their march beyond the robbers so that on the morrow when the robbers
began their march, they were met by the armies of the Nephites, both
in their front and in their rear.
73 And the robbers who were on the
south were also cut off in their places of retreat.
74 And all these
things were done by command of Gidgiddoni.
75 And there were many
thousands who did yield themselves up prisoners unto the Nephites,
and the remainder of them were slain, and their leader, Zemnarihah,
was taken and hanged upon a tree, yea, even upon the top thereof
until he was dead.
76 And when they had hanged him until he was dead,
they did fall the tree to the earth and did cry with a loud voice,
saying, May the Lord preserve his people in righteousness and in
holiness of heart that they may cause to be fell to the earth all who
shall seek to slay them because of power and secret combinations,
even as this man hath been fell to the earth.
77 And they did rejoice
and cry again with one voice, saying, May the God of Abraham, and the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, protect this people in
righteousness so long as they shall call on the name of their God for
78 And it came to pass that they did break forth, all as
one, in singing and praising their God for the great thing which he
had done for them in preserving them from falling into the hands of
79 Yea, they did cry, Hosanna to the Most High God, and
they did cry, Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most
80 And their hearts were swollen with joy unto the gushing out
of many tears because of the great goodness of God in delivering them
out of the hands of their enemies, and they knew it was because of
their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from
an everlasting destruction.
81 And now behold there was not a living
soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least
the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken, for they knew that
it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.
82 And they knew that it
must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs
which had been given according to the words of the prophets.
because of the things which had come to pass already they knew that
it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to
that which had been spoken.
84 Therefore they did forsake all their sins
and their abominations and their whoredoms and did serve God with all
diligence day and night.
85 And now it came to pass that when they had taken all the robbers
prisoners, insomuch that none did escape who were not slain, they did
cast their prisoners into prison and did cause the word of God to be
preached unto them.
86 And as many as would repent of their sins and
enter into a covenant that they would murder no more were set at
87 But as many as there were who did not enter into a covenant,
and who did still continue to have those secret murders in their
hearts, yea, as many as were found breathing out threatenings against
their brethren were condemned and punished according to the law.
thus they did put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and
abominable combinations in the which there was so much wickedness and
so many murders committed.
89 And thus had the twenty and second year
passed away, and the twenty and third year also, and the twenty and
fourth, and the twenty and fifth.
90 And thus had twenty and five years
91 And there had many things transpired which, in the eyes
of some, would be great and marvelous, nevertheless they cannot all
be written in this book, yea, this book cannot contain even a
hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of
twenty and five years.
92 But behold there are records which do contain
all the proceedings of this people, and a more short but a true
account was given by Nephi, therefore I have made my record of these
things according to the record of Nephi which was engraven on the
plates which were called the plates of Nephi.
93 And behold I do make
the record on plates which I have made with mine own hands.
behold, I am called Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon,
the land in the which Alma did establish the church among the people,
yea, the first church which was established among them after their
95 Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of
96 I have been called of him to declare his word among his people
that they might have everlasting life.
97 And it hath become expedient
that I, according to the will of God that the prayers of those who
have gone hence, who were the holy ones, should be fulfilled
according to their faith, should make a record of these things which
have been done, yea, a small record of that which hath taken place
from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem even down until the present
98 Therefore I do make my record from the accounts which have been
given by those who were before me until the commencement of my day,
and then I do make a record of the things which I have seen with mine
99 And I know the record which I make to be a just and a true
record, nevertheless there are many things which, according to our
language, we are not able to write.
100 And now I make an end of my
saying which is of myself and proceed to give my account of the
things which have been before me.
101 I am Mormon and a pure descendant
102 I have reason to bless my God and my Savior Jesus Christ,
that he brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem -and
no one knew it save it were himself and those whom he brought out of
that land- and that he hath given me and my people so much
knowledge unto the salvation of our souls.
103 Surely he hath blessed the
house of Jacob and hath been merciful unto the seed of Joseph.
insomuch as the children of Lehi have kept his commandments he hath
blessed them and prospered them according to his word.
105 Yea, and
surely shall he again bring a remnant of the seed of Joseph to the
knowledge of the Lord their God.
106 And as surely as the Lord liveth
will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant
of the seed of Jacob who are scattered abroad upon all the face of
107 And as he hath covenanted with all the house of Jacob,
even so shall the covenant wherewith he hath covenanted with the
house of Jacob be fulfilled in his own due time unto the restoring
all the house of Jacob unto the knowledge of the covenant that he
hath covenanted with them.
108 And then shall they know their Redeemer,
who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and then shall they be gathered
in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands from
whence they have been dispersed; yea, as the Lord liveth so shall it