The Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage
The Lamanites oppress the people of Limhi--The people of Limhi begin to murmur--The Lamanites beat the people of Limhi--The Lord
did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage--The people of Limhi begin to prosper--Limhi discovers Ammon and his brethren--The
plates of ore--Ammon refuses to baptize King Limhi--Ammon studies ways to deliver the people from the Lamanites.
|21:1 And it came to pass that Limhi and his people returned to the city of Nephi, and
began to dwell in the land again in peace. ||
|21:2 And it came to pass that after many days the Lamanites began again to be stirred
up in anger against the Nephites, and they began to come into the borders of the land round about. ||
(21:2-3) As they would a dumb ass|
After the incident with the stolen Lamanite daughters,
Limhi made an agreement with the Lamanite king. Apparently he wasn't specific enough, because soon after the Lamanites were surrounding
them on all sides, smiting them on their cheeks, putting heavy burdens on their backs, and treating them like dumb-asses.
|21:3 Now they durst not slay them, because of the oath which their king had made unto Limhi; but they would
smite them on their cheeks, and exercise authority over them; and began to put heavy burdens upon their backs, and drive
them as they would a dumb ass --
|21:4 Yea, all this was done that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled. ||
|21:5 And now the afflictions of the Nephites were great, and there was no way that they could deliver
themselves out of their hands, for the Lamanites had surrounded them on every side. ||
|21:6 And it came to pass that
the people began to murmur with the king because of
their afflictions; and they began to be desirous to go against them to battle. And they did afflict the king sorely
with their complaints; therefore he granted unto them that they should do according to their desires. ||
(21:6) The people began to murmur with the king.|
Of course, the Nephites didn't like this at all. They asked Limhi if they could go to war with the Lamanites.
Like any good leader, he said, "Okay, sure, yeah, whatever you want to do."
|21:7 And they gathered themselves together again, and put on their armor, and went forth against the
Lamanites to drive them out of their land. ||
|21:8 And it came to pass that
the Lamanites did beat them, and drove them back, and
slew many of them. ||
(21:8-11) The Lamanites did beat them.|
It didn't go well. The battle left many widows, who cried mightily from day to day. Their cries eventually
stirred up the Nephites, and made them want to fight again. And they lost again.
|21:9 And now there was a great mourning and lamentation among the people of Limhi, the widow mourning for
her husband, the son and the daughter mourning for their father, and the brothers for their brethren.
|21:10 Now there were a great many widows in the land, and they did cry mightily from day to day, for a great
fear of the Lamanites had come upon them. ||
|21:11 And it came to pass that
their continual cries did stir up the remainder
of the people of Limhi to anger against the Lamanites; and they went again to battle, but they were driven back
again, suffering much loss. ||
|21:12 Yea, they went again even the third time, and suffered in the like manner; and those that were not
slain returned again to the city of Nephi. ||
The Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.
The surviving Nephites submitted themselves fully to the Lamanites, and cried to God for help.
He was slow to hear their cries, but he heard them. He decided to soften the hearts of the Lamanites a bit, but he didn't see fit to deliver
them out of bondage.
|21:13 And they did humble themselves even to the dust, subjecting themselves to the yoke of bondage,
submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their
|21:14 And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility;
and they did cry mightily to God; yea,
even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.
|21:15 And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did
hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord
did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.
|21:16 And it came to pass that
they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and
began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger.
(21:16) They began to prosper.|
So the Nephites pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and started prospering again.
|21:17 Now there was a great number of women, more than there was of men; therefore king Limhi commanded
that every man should impart to the support of the widows and their children, that they might not perish with hunger;
and this they did because of the greatness of their number that had been slain. ||
|21:18 Now the people of Limhi kept together in a body as much as it was possible, and secured their grain
and their flocks; ||
|21:19 And the king himself did not trust his person without the walls of the city, unless he took his
guards with him, fearing that he might by some means fall into the hands of the Lamanites. ||
|21:20 And he caused that his people should watch the land round about, that by some means they might take
those priests that fled into the wilderness, who had stolen the daughters of the Lamanites, and that had caused such
a great destruction to come upon them. ||
(21:20-23) Ammon and his brethren|
King Limhi set guards around the city to catch the wicked priests. (Lately the priests had been
stealing their grain, and Limhi was
still angry about the virgin daughter incident.) The guards mistook Ammon and his
brethren for the priests, and they bound the group and took them to King Limhi.
|21:21 For they were desirous to take them that they might punish them; for they had come into the land of
Nephi by night, and carried off their grain and many of their precious things; therefore they laid wait for them.
|21:22 And it came to pass that there was no more disturbance between the Lamanites
and the people of Limhi, even until the time that Ammon and his brethren came into the land.
|21:23 And the king having been without the gates of the city with his guard,
discovered Ammon and his
brethren; and supposing them to be priests of Noah therefore he caused that they should be
taken, and bound, and cast into prison. And had they been
the priests of Noah he would have caused that they should be put to death.
|21:24 But when he found that they were not, but that they
were his brethren, and had come from the land of Zarahemla, he was filled with exceedingly great joy.
(21:24-28) It was engraven on plates of ore.|
Ammon told Limhi who he was, and about Mosiah, and how he could read plates. Limhi was especially
excited about this. He had previously sent a search party to Zarahemla, but they got lost in a ghost-town and they returned with a set of ore plates
that Limhi had been wanting to read for years.
|21:25 Now king Limhi had sent, previous to the coming of Ammon, a small number of men to search for the
land of Zarahemla; but they could not find it, and they were lost in the wilderness.
|21:26 Nevertheless, they did find a land which had been peopled; yea,
a land which was covered with dry
bones; yea, a land which had been peopled and which had been destroyed; and they,
having supposed it to be the land of Zarahemla, returned to the land of Nephi, having arrived in the borders of the land not many days before the coming of
|21:27 And they brought a record with them, even a record of the people whose bones they had found; and
it was engraven on plates of ore.
|21:28 And now Limhi was again filled with joy in learning from the mouth of Ammon
that king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice.
(21:28) "that king Benjamin had a gift from God" -- 1830 Book of Mormon|
Since King Benjamin was dead at the time, this change was needed to avoid the obvious error.
|21:29 Yet Ammon and his brethren were filled with sorrow because so many of their brethren had been
|21:30 And also that king Noah and his priests had caused the people to commit so many sins and iniquities
against God; and they also did mourn for the death of Abinadi; and also for the departure of Alma and the people
that went with him, who had formed a church of God through the strength and power of God, and faith on the words which
had been spoken by Abinadi. ||
|21:31 Yea, they did mourn for their departure, for they knew not whither they had fled. Now they would
have gladly joined with them, for they themselves had entered into a covenant with God to serve him and keep his
|21:32 And now since the coming of Ammon, king Limhi had also entered into a covenant with God, and also
many of his people, to serve him and keep his commandments. ||
|21:33 And it came to pass
that king Limhi and many of his people were desirous to be
baptized; but there was none in the land that had authority from God. And
Ammon declined doing this thing, considering
himself an unworthy servant. ||
(21:33) Ammon declined doing this thing.|
King Limhi even wanted to be baptized by Ammon, but Ammon refused.
|21:34 Therefore they did not at that time form themselves into a church, waiting upon the Spirit of the
Lord. Now they were desirous to become even as Alma and his brethren, who had fled into the wilderness. ||
|21:35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with
all their hearts; nevertheless they did prolong the time; and an account of their baptism shall be given hereafter. ||
|21:36 And now all the study of Ammon and his people, and king Limhi and his people, was to deliver
themselves out of the hands of the Lamanites and from bondage. ||
(21:36) All the study of Ammon and his people|
So instead of baptism, they focused on how to free themselves from the Lamanites.
And it came to pass (21:1, 2, 6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 33)