The Nephites divide into two groups: king-men and freemen--A vote is taken and the freemen win--Amalickiah's army of Lamanites
threatens to attack--Moroni forces the king-men to fight against the Lamanites
--4000 king-men refuse to fight and are killed by Moroni's army--The Lamanites conquer many Nephite cities--Teancum's men defeat
the Lamanites--Teancum murders the sleeping Amalickiah. (67 BCE)
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1 And now it came to pass in the commencement of the twenty and fifth year of
the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, they having established peace between the people of
Lehi and the people of Morianton concerning their lands, and having commenced the
twenty and fifth year in peace;
There was peace for a while in the land of Nephi in the 25th year of the reign of the judges.
2 Nevertheless, they did not long maintain an entire peace in the land, for there began to be a
contention among the people concerning the chief judge Pahoran; for behold, there were a part of the people who
desired that a few particular points of the law should be altered.
3 But behold, Pahoran would not alter nor suffer the law to be altered; therefore, he did not hearken
to those who had sent in their voices with their petitions concerning the altering of the law.
4 Therefore, those who were desirous that the law should be altered were angry with him, and desired
that he should no longer be chief judge over the land; therefore there arose a warm dispute concerning the matter,
but not unto bloodshed.
But it didn't last long, because some of the people wanted to have kings rule over them instead of judges.
5 And it came to pass that
those who were desirous that Pahoran should be
dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in
a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.
The people who wanted kings were called "king-men,"
6 And those who were desirous that Pahoran should
remain chief judge over the land took upon them the
name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their
rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government.
and the people who wanted judges called themselves "freemen."
7 And it came to pass that this matter of their contention was settled by the
voice of the people. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came in favor of the
freemen, and Pahoran retained the judgment-seat, which caused much rejoicing among the brethren of Pahoran and
also many of the people of liberty, who also put the king-men to silence, that they durst not oppose but were
obliged to maintain the cause of freedom.
8 Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and
they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.
The people voted, and the freemen won.
So Pahoran remained the chief judge.
9 But behold, this was a critical time for such contentions to be among the people of Nephi;
for behold, Amalickiah had again stirred up the hearts of the people of the Lamanites against the people of the
Nephites, and he was gathering together soldiers from all parts of his land, and arming them, and preparing for
war with all diligence; for he had sworn to drink the blood of Moroni.
10 But behold, we shall see that his promise which he made was rash; nevertheless, he did prepare
himself and his armies to come to battle against the Nephites.
11 Now his armies were not so great as they had hitherto been, because of the many thousands who
had been slain by the hand of the Nephites; but notwithstanding their great loss,
Amalickiah had gathered
together a wonderfully great army, insomuch that he feared not to come down to the land of Zarahemla.
12 Yea, even Amalickiah did himself come down, at the head of the Lamanites. And it was in the
twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges; and it was at the same time that they had begun to settle
the affairs of their contentions concerning the chief judge, Pahoran.
But they still had Amalickiah to deal with.
He had sworn to drink the blood of Moroni , and he had an army to help him do it.
Moroni kills 4000 king-men who refuse to fight
13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had
heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they
refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty,
that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the
Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because
of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he
was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
When the king-men heard that Amalickiah was coming with an army against Pahoran, they refused to fight.
15 And it came to pass that
he sent a petition, with the voice of the
people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him
(Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
Moroni issued a petition to
give him the right to draft the king-men into the army or to kill them if they refused to fight.
16 For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people;
for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction. And it came to pass
that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go
against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they
should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and
they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to
fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
The people voted on and approved Moroni's petition.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters
who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast
into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
So Moroni's army killed 4,000 of the draft-dodging king-men, and threw the survivors in prison.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword,
yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in
their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation
of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood
of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly
for their freedom from bondage.
22 Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and contentions
among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for
war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders
by the seashore.
The rest were forced to hoist the title of liberty  and fight for their country.
The Nephites slaughter Lamanitse until it's dark
23 And it came to pass that
the Nephites were not sufficiently strong in
the city of Moroni; therefore Amalickiah did drive them, slaying many. And it came to pass
that Amalickiah took possession of the city, yea, possession of all their fortifications.
But still the Nephites were not strong enough to resist Amalickiah's forces.
They attacked the city of Moroni, and took it and its fortifications.
24 And those who fled out of the city of Moroni came to the city of Nephihah; and also the people
of the city of Lehi gathered themselves together, and made preparations and
were ready to receive the Lamanites to battle.
The Nephites fled to the city of Nephihah.
25 But it came to pass that Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against the city of
Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore, leaving men in every city to maintain and defend it.
26 And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city
of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid,
and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore.
27 And thus had the Lamanites obtained, by the cunning of Amalickiah, so many cities, by their
numberless hosts, all of which were strongly fortified after the manner of the fortifications of Moroni; all
of which afforded strongholds for the Lamanites.
28 And it came to pass that they marched to the borders of the land
Bountiful, driving the Nephites before them and slaying many.
Meanwhile Amalickiah didn't want to risk open battle, so he kept his men in the cities that he had conquered to defend them.
29 But it came to pass that they were met by Teancum, who had slain Morianton and had headed
his people in his flight.
30 And it came to pass that he headed Amalickiah also, as he was marching
forth with his numerous army that he might take possession of the land Bountiful, and also the land northward.
31 But behold he met with a disappointment by being repulsed by Teancum and his men, for they were
great warriors; for every man of Teancum did exceed the Lamanites in their strength and in their skill of war,
insomuch that they did gain advantage over the Lamanites.
But then Amalickiah's men were met by Teancum, as they were about to attack Bountiful.
32 And it came to pass that they did harass them, insomuch that they did
slay them even until it was dark. And it came to pass that Teancum and his men did pitch
their tents in the borders of the land Bountiful; and Amalickiah did pitch his tents in the borders on the beach
by the seashore, and after this manner were they driven.
33 And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his
servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had
overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day.
Teancum's men slaughtered the Lamanites until it was dark.
Teancum murders Amalickiah in his sleep
34 And it came to pass that Teancum stole privily into the tent of the
king, and put a javelin to his heart; and he did cause the death of the king immediately that he did not awake
35 And he returned again privily to his own camp, and behold, his men were asleep, and he awoke
them and told them all the things that he had done.
36 And he caused that his armies should stand in readiness, lest the Lamanites had awakened and
should come upon them.
37 And thus endeth the twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi;
and thus endeth the days of Amalickiah.
Then Teancum and his servant snuck into Amalickiah's tent and thrust a javelin through his heart.
- He had sworn to drink the blood of Moroni. (v.9)
Because Moroni obeyed the commandments. (See Alma 49:27.)
- Compelled to hoist the title of liberty (v.20)
The king-men who weren't killed or imprisoned for refusing to fight were forced to hoist the "title of freedom."
The "title of liberty" was a piece of cloth torn from Moroni's cloak and attached to a pole with these words written on it:
"In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."
It must have been hard work for all those poor king-men. (How many king-men does it take to raise a pole with
a torn cloak on it?)
(For the story about the title of liberty see Alma 46:12.)
And it came to pass: 51:1, 5, 7(2), 13,
14, 15, 16,
17, 18, 19, 21,
23(2), 25, 28, 29, 30, 32(2),
Behold: 51:2, 3, 9(2), 10(2),
16, 22(2), 31, 33, 35
Yea: 51:12, 14, 23, 18,
19, 21, 23
- The Annotated Book of Mormon
- Alma 51