Meanwhile in the Americas...

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And he said: Thus saith the Lord God - Cursed shall be the land, yea, this land, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, unto destruction, which do wickedly, when they are fully ripe; and as I have said so shall it be; for this is the cursing and the blessing of God upon the land, for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. - The Prophet Alma (Alma 45:16)

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Depiction of the Tower of Babel

An Artist's conception of Coriantumr, beholding the entire destruction of his people 

The time span the Jaredite nation covered was more than twice the time covered by the Nephites, but the Lamanites still exist as the "Native Americans"


What the Liahona may have looked like

 

 Nephi's Ship and Their Discovery of America

 

The Lord placed a curse on the Lamanites similar to the curse he placed on Cain and his descendants that darkened their skin as a sign that they had been cut off from the spirit of the Lord

 

 A Depiction of Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty

 

Moroni was possibly the most brilliant Nephite commander.  He felt the rumblings of war and fortified the Nephite cities, something that had no precedent on such a scale.  He also equipped his army with breastplates and helmets and other protective gear.  In addition to these he sought counsel from the prophet which gave the Nephite army an even greater edge since God was doing the recon and planning the tactics. The Lamanites had no armor at all, merely a "skin which was girded about their loins."  These advantages offset the numerical superiority the Lamanites had.

 

 Depiction of the 2000 Stripling Warriors, lead by the prophet Alma's son, Helaman

 

 

  

  After the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel, the Jaredites, lead by Jared and his brother, Mahonri Moriancumer, made their way to the Americas under constant guidance from God.  Their language was not confounded after Jared's brother pled with the Lord not to confound their language.  They built water-tight barges that were "tight like unto a dish" that if submerged would not take in water.  After arriving, they began colonizing and built a thriving civilization.  Peace barely lasted a generation after the deaths of Jared and his brother.  This began generations of war and struggle between kings and their usurping sons that would eventually lead to the utter destruction of the entire Jaredite nation.  The secret oaths and combinations, begun by Cain's murder of Abel, also played a role in their demise.  After years of constant, bloody war, only Coriantumr, last king and military leader of the Jaredites, remained alive after personally severing the head of his rival, Shiz.  According to the prophecy made by the prophet Ether that Coriantumr himself discounted, Coriantumr lived long enough to behold the new people the Lord brought to the Americas to inherit the land.  These new people were the Mulekites, Mulek being the only son of King Zedekiah of Jerusalem that escaped when Israel was subjugated by Babylonia around 586 BC.  The Mulekites later merged with the Nephites who left Jerusalem in 600 BC after Lehi had been warned by God that Jerusalem was to be destroyed.   Ether hid up the records of the Jaredites in such a way that they were later found by the Nephites in the land which the Nephites called Desolation, because it was void of trees due to the the  great number of people that once inhabited the land.

    Lehi had four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi.  Before they set sail for America Lehi's four sons went back to Jerusalem and took possession of the Plates of Brass, which contained the records of the Jews from the time of Adam up until the time they left.  They also brought Ishmael and his family with them before they left and were guided in their journey by a compass-like ball provided by the Lord known as the Liahona. Nephi was instructed by the Lord to construct a ship to transport them to America.  By the time they arrived in America, Ishmael had already died and Lehi had grown very old and soon died as well.  Laman and Lemuel, who had already shown their great displeasure for their younger brother Nephi, made it clear that they would not allow him to rule over them, as they considered it their right as the elder brothers to govern the people.  After being warned by God to depart into the wilderness Nephi left his brothers and took those that were willing to come with him.  They later discovered and joined with the Mulekites and also records of the Jaredites and had much strife with the Lamanites.  The Nephites and Mulekites combined were still not nearly as many as the people of the Lamanites, not even half as many.  Later the number gap would grow as dissenters from the Nephites got power hungry and wicked and shed much blood in an attempt to grab power.  When they failed they left to merge with the Lamanites and continued to kill their own people.  In fact the dissentors were  nearly as, if not more, numerous than the Nephites themselves.   Even worse, the Nephite dissentors were even more ferocious than the  Lamanites in attempting to overthrow the Nephites.

    There were many missions conducted by the Nephites to convince the Lamanites of the wickedness of their traditions and restore them to the truth of the gospel.  None were very successful until the sons of the King Mosiah went to the Lamanites and were able to convince thousands of the error of their ways.  They were persecuted and killed by their fellow Lamanites because they swore never to take up weapons of war against anyone again and suffered themselves to be killed. They later parted company with their brothers and came to dwell with the Nephites, who protected them.

    By this time, less than 100 BC, the land had been populated to a fair degree and thousands had been slain in battle between the Nephites and Lamanites, and as always, the Lamanites were the aggressors.  King Mosiah, all of his sons refusing to become the future king and off converting the Lamanites, created just laws and developed a new system of government.  After King Mosiah's death, the Reign of the Judges commenced over all the people of Nephi.

    This period saw unprecedented struggles and wars between the Nephites and Lamanites which would only end with the coming of Christ.  An invasion in 74 BC was lead by Nephite dissentors determined to exert their authority over the Nephites and subjugate them under the Lamanites.  They were met by Chief Captain Moroni, supreme commander of the Nephite Army, and they withdrew and Moroni counselled with the prophet, Alma, and were able to head the Lamanites off as they were entering the land from another direction.  They surrounded the Lamanites, who had the advantage of numbers as always, and slew them until they delivered up their weapons and swore not to take them up against the Nephites again.

    In 73 BC, Nephites of high birth, lead by a man called Amalickiah, seeking to return the nation to a monarchy rebelled and allied with the Lamanites.  Moroni was exasperated and created the "Title of Liberty, a piece of his coat that he rent and wrote the following upon, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."  The situation escalated in violence and finally swords were drawn.  The Amalickiahites were soundly defeated and many were captured, but Amalickiah himself escaped with part of his men and joined the Lamanites.  The captured Amalickiahites were given two choices: either enter into a covenant to support the freedom and liberty of the people, or be put to death.  "There were but few who denied the covenant of freedom."

    Amalickiah used treachery, muderer and intrigue and eventually became the king of the Lamanites.  Moroni was all the while preparing for war and fortifying cities in anticipation.  Moroni and the Nephites were rewarded for the preparation in 72 BC when Amalickiah sent the Lamanite armies to take Nephite cities.  Nephite casualties were low while Lamanite casualties were high as they foolishly tried to take the heavily fortified cities.  Amalickiah himself later came and began taking city after city after swearing to drink Moroni's blood.  What was worse, there was a new faction, known as king-men, in the Nephite nation which desired to return to a monarchy.  They allied with the Lamanites and were making it difficult to send much needed supplies and reinforcements to the front.  They were later crushed by Captain Moroni, who had to come from fighting on the front lines against the Lamanites to quash the rebellion.  He rallied loyal citizens to his command with his "Title of Liberty".  Once he defeated the rebels he caused them to either help protect their nation or, if they were still determined to return to a monarchy, they were cast into prison to await a trial for their crimes since there was no time to try them now.  With the rebellion crushed, reinforcements were free to go to the carnage at the front.  The tide began to turn and cities were regained.  Some by force, some by strategem.  Some even without the shedding of blood on either side.  The turning of the tide was helped along by Amalickiah's assassination in his own tent by Teancum, another Nephite commander in 67 BC.  Later Teancum also slew Amalickiah's brother, Ammoron who succeeded Amalickiah, and was in turn slain by Ammoron's servants in 61 BC.  The worst Lamanite invasion yet had been repulsed, but they would return again, and again. . .

    The 2000 Stripling Warriors, the sons of the converted Lamanites who would not take up their weapons to kill again, also saw their miraculous military service during this time.  They were lead by Helaman, one of the sons of Alma, a friend of the sons of Mosiah and prophet.  They were preserved by their faith in God during battle after battle, all being wounded at least once and many fainting from the loss of blood, but none ever died in battle.

    In 52 BC the Chief Judge died.  He was succeeded by one of his sons.  Another of the former Chief Judge's sons began to rebel and was about to flatter away the people when he was caught before he could accomplish his designs and was convicted and sentenced to death.  One of his followers was Kishkumen, who assassinated the new Chief Judge.  He fled and was not captured.  He went back to the people that sent him and they covenanted and swore by their Maker that they would tell no one who killed the Chief Judge.  The same oaths and covenants, handed down from the time Cain killed Abel by those who seek to gain power, put into the hearts of men by the evil being who first caused mankind to sin, the same secret combinations that destroyed the Jaredite nation and will destroy any nation that allows them to exist.  With that stroke, the Gadianton Robbers were founded.  In 51 BC, with the problems in the government finally dying down, a Lamanite army, lead by a man called Coriantumr, penetrated the land and took the capital by storm and killed the third former Chief Judge's son who had become the new Chief Judge.  The Lamanites, cut off from supply and in the center of the land, were surrounded and destroyed by Moroni's son, Moronihah, the new Cheif Captain.  By this time, I'm surprised they still had people that wanted to be the Chief Judge.  Must have been a good paying job.  But anyway, a new Chief Judge took power, and he was Helaman, the son of Helaman, the commander that lead the 2000 Stripling Warriors.  He was the one Kishkumen set his eyes on next.  By that time the band of Kishkumen that later became the Gadianton Robbers and Murderers had developed secret signs to distinguish who was a member of their secret society and who was not.  Kishkumen made his way to the judgement-seat and was intercepted by one of Helaman's servants.  Fortunately, the servant had been out and about and had learned of the plan to kill Helaman and knew the secret signs and was able to convince Kishkumen that he would help him.  When he least expected it, the servant stabbed Kishkumen to the heart.  Immediately there were men sent to arrest the murdering band, but when they saw Kishkumen did not return, they fled into the wilderness, now lead by the infamous Gadianton.  They were to be a blight to both the Nephites and the Lamanites. . .

(To be continued when I have more time.)