The first day of the new year, the Lamanites awake to find their leader dead and Teancum waiting to give them fierce battle. They are frightened and retreat to the city of Mulek “and sought protection in their fortifications.” (2) Moroni had built these fortifications, but the Nephites, because of fighting among themselves, lost these strategic places of protection.
Ammoron, who is Amalickiah’s brother, is crowned king. I picture this guy in on all of his brother’s wicked plots from the beginning. He is just as evil. He commands his people to keep those Nephite cities they have taken. They’re easy to defend.
Teancum knows how strong those cities’ defenses are and realizes it would require needless bloodshed to try to take them back at this time, so he doesn’t attack.
But he kept his men round about, as if making preparations for war; yea, and truly he was preparing to defend himself against them, by casting up walls round about and preparing places of resort.”Alma 52:6
He is building makeshift shelters for his men before battle. He needs places of safety for his soldiers. He does this until Moroni sends reinforcements. Moroni also commands him to keep all prisoners, that they might exchange for their own men in the future, and that he “fortify the land Bountiful, and secure the narrow pass which led into the land northward, lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side.” (9)
Moroni counsels Teancum to “scourge the Lamanites” so that maybe they can take by stratagem back the cities that have been taken, and to strengthen the ones that haven’t fallen yet, so they don’t get taken.
The Nephite nation is in a precarious state.
And thus were the Nephites in those dangerous circumstances in the ending of the twenty and sixth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.”Alma 52:14
Ammoron is fighting on several different fronts, trying to seek revenge for his brother’s death. Actually, he’s just plain evil. That’s why he won’t stop. Evil never takes a break. The devil is always looking for ways to destroy us. And the Nephites made it easy for the Lamanite to take advantage of them when the king men came into power and caused internal national strife. The divided Nephites were easy prey to their enemy, and they’ve lost crucial strategic cities.
Do we ever suffer setbacks because of unwise choices or dissension in our own lives, families, communities, or nations?
Some trials will hit us no matter how good or bad we are being, but some afflictions come as a consequence of bad decisions (ours or the choices of others, that affect us). Unity would have helped the Nephite nation at this time. The king men really caused havoc to their freedoms and safety.
Let’s do all we can in our lives to promote unity, love and freedom. Let’s fight for what’s right when God prompts us, but let’s also fight with Christlike love in our hearts. Our prophet has told us we cannot correct one evil with another evil. So, check your thoughts, your actions, and your online commentary. Make sure Christ would approve.
Teancum is ordered to attack Mulek, but he can see that with the protective fortifications about that city, it will be impossible to retake it. So he waits for Moroni to get there to strengthen his army. At the end of the 27th year, Moroni and his army arrive. The 26th year was a very bad year for the Nephites.
They hold a war council and Moroni decides to trick the Lamanites out of the city of Mulek. This council shows what good unity can do, when people come together in a common cause to stand up for freedom or righteousness (which go together).
Teancum takes a small part of his army and lures the Lamanites out to destroy them while Moroni surrounds Mulek with another part of the army at night. The Lamanites take courage and chase after Teancum’s army, and Moroni’s men take possession of Mulek easily after they leave.
The Lamanites still pursuing Teancum turn back in fear once he is joined by Lehi’s troops. Lehi has a kick-butt reputation and the Lamanites don’t mess around with him.
Now the Lamanites are surrounded by Moroni’s men to their back and Lehi’s in the front. Moroni commands them to surrender and give up their arms, but Jacob, their leader, “having an unconquerable spirit, he led the Lamanites forth to battle with exceeding fury against Moroni.” (33)
Moroni is wounded and Jacob is killed. It was a bad, crazy battle for both sides. The Lamanites surrender, and those that do not are taken prisoner by Moroni.
From this chapter, I learn that there will be good years and bad years in our lives. Some years, it seems that everything goes wrong and we are in dangerous circumstances spiritually. We suffer setbacks and seem to be losing the battle. Maybe it’s a few years in a row, where we find it hard to see blessings through the trials piled upon us. But good years do come, where we triumph over our trials finally. We just need to hold onto hope and trust explicitly in God to save us.
Other lessons are: We must be wise and use strategies to defeat the adversary at his wicked games and temptations. We must fight valiantly for what we believe to be right. We must never give up, even when it seems the trials of life or our enemies outnumber us. Trust in God that help will come and that right will prevail in the end.
Also, it is easier to defend our testimonies and faith in Jesus Christ than to lose them through unwise choices and have to recover lost ground later, as these chapters shows when the Nephites had to work so hard to recover cities they lost through inner dissension.