King Laman dies - His people are wild and ferocious and believe in false traditions - Zeniff and his people prevail against them.
(1-2) "And I caused that there should be weapons of war made of every kind, that thereby I might have weapons for my people against the time the Lamanites should come up again to war against my people." Zeniff doesn't say "if" they come, it sounds more like "when" they come. What would it be like to live in fear and constantly preparing for war? I am so grateful to live in such a big country that we can pretty much live in ignorance (not recommended ;-p) of the war outside of our communities, and feel safe.
(4-5) The men raised grain and fruit and the women made cloth.
They lived in Peace for 22 years.
When King Laman died, his son became the new king and got the Lamanites riled up to war against Zeniff's people.
The women and children were hid in the wilderness and the rest of the men (old and young) joined the ranks. This would be so hard for me, as a mother and wife to send my boys and husband off to war! What faith those women had to have! Even if their side won the battle, there would undoubtedly be losses. Hopefully the time will never come that I will have to send my boys to war (though I have a feeling I am raising little warriors). I draw strength knowing that there are Women of God who had enough faith to do what the Lord required of them.
v.11 - "... the Lamanites knew nothing concerning the Lord... therefore they depended on their own strength."
If you've read the Book of Mormon before, you know that this is only the beginning of the many many many wars to come. But there is a lesson to be learn about relying on ones own strength. It doesn't work near as well as relying on the Lord! It is proven time and time again! I think this is so important to remember and teach our children! Not only in the case of wars, but in all we do!
v.12-16 The Lamanites believe in false traditions and are what they are because of the teachings and beliefs of their fathers (Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael). "they were wronged... they were wronged... they were wroth because they were wronged... " I don't know about you, but this sounds like a ZERO Accountability attitude to me! Blaming the Nephites (or Nephi) for all of their problems! That is no way to live!
v. 20-21 Zeniff's people defeat the Lamanites, and go back to their "chores".