“And it came to pass”. Do you recognize that as a flag phrase? As Jesus Christ was in his 18th year, the armies of robbers came down out of the mountains to try and take the Nephites captive. Now the Nephites had gathered themselves together and fortified themselves, leaving many areas of land desolate. The robbers, as they came out of the wilderness found themselves in these desolate lands. There was nothing to be found, no food, no grain, no wild animals, no farm animals… The robbers were pretty much out there with nothing but what they brought out of the wilderness with them. We then learn that the Nephites had gathered enough provisions to sustain themselves for seven years, with the hope that in this seven year span, they would destroy the robbers from the earth.
In the following year, Giddianhi decided that it was time for war since his people could not survive if they didn’t take from the Nephites. (There’s a bit more to this, but it really boils down to idleness). So war commences in the middle of the year and the battle is horrific. The Nephites see the robbers in their battle gear and fall to the earth in prayer, asking God to deliver them from their enemies. The robbers see them bowed down in prayer and believe that the Nephites are very afraid of them, however wrong they were in their thoughts. When the robber armies fell upon them, the Nephites met them with strength. Verse 11 tells us that this battle is the worst slaughter of people on the continents since Lehi had left Jerusalem approximately 620 years previously.
The Nephites prevailed and the robbers fell back and were chased into the wilderness and they continued to pursue until they had slain the leader of the robbers.
Peace was had among the Nephites for the rest of this year and the following year as well. The second year after, however, the robbers came up to the edges of the territory that the Nephites were occupying trying to cut the people off from their land. The robbers thought that if they were able to isolate the Nephites, that they would somehow get them to surrender. The new leader of the robbers, had no idea that the Nephites had plenty of provisions and had planned to stay hunkered down for a long long while. So as the robbers were out in the boundaries of Nephites territory with nothing to eat and no provisions, the Nephites marched out in squadrons over and over again killing the robbers by the thousands and tens of thousands. This new robber leader, Zemnarihah, commanded his people to flee into the land north of Nephite territory. With the robbers fleeing, the Nephites pursued at the direction of Gidgiddoni to cut off the path for the robbers to retreat and then the robbers were forced to turn them selves in or be killed.
When the Nephites had finally prevailed over the robbers, the Nephites fell to the ground to praise the Lord their God and give thanks for their deliverance.
I urge you to read verse 31-33 and learn of the great feelings that were had among the Nephites and how joyous they were as a people.
I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.