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Monday, September 21, 2009

Helaman Ch. 1

Read it HERE.

Summary: Pahoran the second becomes chief judge and is murdered by Kishkumen—Pacumeni fills the judgment-seat—Coriantumr leads the Lamanite armies, takes Zarahemla, and slays Pacumeni—Moronihah defeats the Lamanites and retakes Zarahemla, and Coriantumr is slain. Between 52 and 51 B.C.

Pahoran, the chief judge, has died. Three of his sons are vying to replace him: Pahoran, Pacumeni, and Paanchi; therefore the Nephites have split in three ways in support of each. But Pahoran ends up being appointed by the people to the judgement seat.

There are two reactions to this: Pacumeni sees that he cannot obtain the seat, so he unites with the people.

Paanchi, however, decides to convince as many people as he can to rebel against the new leadership. What is the penalty for someone who seeks to destroy the liberty of the people? Death. Of course, Paanchi's supporters were upset by this, and some of them send Kishkumen in disguise to murder Pahoran while he is on the judgement seat. No one can catch him at the time, but eventually many of those who were in on the plot were found and sentenced to death.

Pacumeni takes the judgement seat. But what a mess! I can't believe it would get to the point of brothers fighting and murdering this way.

Later in the chapter, the Lamanites plot (again) to overcome the Nephites by taking Zarahemla, so they recruit Coriantumer to lead the armies. They battle, many people die, but eventually Moronihah outsmarts the Lamanites and the Nephites obtain victory and regain their city.

One thing stood out to me about this battle sequence. This is how the Lamanites warred:

27 But behold, [. . .] (they) were marching through the most capital parts of the land, slaying the people with a great slaughter, both men, women, and children, taking possession of many cities and of many strongholds.

And, this is how the Nephites fought:

33 And it came to pass that Moronihah took possession of the city of Zarahemla again, and caused that the Lamanites who had been taken prisoners should depart out of the land in peace.

As long as they fight with the desire for peace, the Lord blesses them. President James E. Faust (1920–2007) of the First Presidency stated that the Spirit of the Lord cannot abide contention: “When there is contention, the Spirit of the Lord will depart, regardless of who is at fault” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 57; or Ensign, May 1996, 41).


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