1. And now it came to pass that in the sixteenth year18 from the coming of Mashiach, Lachoneus, the governor of the land, received a letter from the leader and the governor of this band of robbers. And these are the words which were written, saying, Lachoneus, most noble and chief governor of the land, behold, I write this letter unto you and do give unto you exceedingly great praise because of your firmness, and also the firmness of your people, in maintaining that which you suppose to be your right and liberty. Yes, you do stand well, as if you were supported by the hand of a god in the defense of your liberty, and your property, and your country, or that which you do call so. And it seems a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that you should be so foolish and vain as to suppose that you can stand against so many brave men who are at my command, who do now at this time stand in their arms and do await with great anxiety for the word, Go down upon the Nefites and destroy them. And I, knowing of their unconquerable spirit, having proved them in the field of battle, and knowing of their everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which you have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against you, they would visit you with utter destruction. Therefore, I have written this letter, sealing it with my own hand, feeling for your welfare because of your firmness in that which you believe to be right, and your noble spirit in the field of battle.
  2. Therefore, I write unto you desiring that you would yield up unto this my people your cities, your lands, and your possessions, rather than that they should visit you with the sword and that destruction should come upon you. Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us and unite with us, and become acquainted with our secret works19 and become our brothers, that you may be like unto us — not our slaves, but our brothers and partners in all our substance. And behold, I swear unto you, if you will do this with an oath, you shall not be destroyed. But if you will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath that on the next month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you and shall let fall the sword upon you, yes, even until you shall become extinct. And behold, I am Giddianhi, and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gaddianton, which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of an ancient20 date, and they have been handed down unto us. And I write this letter unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that you will deliver up your lands and your possessions without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government. And except you do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.
  3. And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this letter, he was exceedingly astonished because of the boldness of Giddianhi in demanding the possession of the land of the Nefites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, except it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers. And now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a robber. Therefore, he did not hearken to the letter of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto yhwh for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them. Yes, he sent a proclamation among all the people that they should gather together their women and their children, their flocks and their herds, and all their substance except it were their land, unto one place. And he caused that fortifications should be built round about them and the strength thereof should be exceedingly great. And he caused that there should be armies, both of the Nefites and of the Lamanites (or of all them who were numbered among the Nefites) that should be placed as guards round about, to watch them and to guard them from the robbers, day and night. Yes, he said unto them, As yhwh lives, except you repent of all your iniquities and cry unto yhwh, that they would in no way be delivered out of the hands of those Gaddianton robbers. And so great and marvelous were the words and prophecies of Lachoneus that they did cause fear to come upon all the people; and they did exert themselves in their might to do according to the words of Lachoneus.
  4. And it came to pass that Lachoneus did appoint chief captains over all the armies of the Nefites to command them at the time that the robbers should come down out of the wilderness against them. Now the most eminent among all the chief captains and the great commander of all the armies of the Nefites was appointed, and his name was Gidgiddoni. Now it was the custom among all the Nefites to appoint for their chief captains, except it were in their times of wickedness, someone that had the spirit of revelation, and also of prophecy.21 Therefore, this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them, and also was the chief judge.
  5. Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni, Pray unto yhwh, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands. But Gidgiddoni said unto them, yhwh forbid; for if we should go up against them, yhwh would deliver us into their hands. Therefore, we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us. Therefore, as yhwh lives, if we do this, he will deliver them into our hands.
  6. And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves together to defend themselves against their enemies. And the land which was appointed was the land of Zerach’mla and the land which was between the land of Zerach’mla and the land Bountiful, yes, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation. And there were a great many thousand people who were called Nefites, who did gather themselves together in this land. Now Lachoneus did cause that they should gather themselves together in the land southward because of the great curse which was upon the land northward; and they did fortify themselves against their enemies. And they did dwell in one land and in one body, and they did fear the words which had been spoken by Lachoneus, insomuch that they did repent of all their sins. And they did put up their prayers unto yhwh their Elohim that he would deliver them in the time that their enemies should come down against them to battle. And they were exceedingly sorrowful because of their enemy. And Gidgiddoni did cause that they should make weapons of war of every kind, that they should be strong with armor, and with shields, and with bucklers, after the manner of his instructions.
  7. And it came to pass that in the latter end of the eighteenth year,22 those armies of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down, and to rush forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began to take possession of the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north, and began to take possession of all the lands which had been deserted by the Nefites and the cities which had been left desolate. But behold, there were no wild beasts nor game in those lands which had been deserted by the Nefites, and there was no game for the robbers except it were in the wilderness. And the robbers could not exist except it were in the wilderness, for the want of food; for the Nefites had left their lands desolate and had gathered their flocks, and their herds, and all their substance, and they were in one body. Therefore, there was no chance for the robbers to plunder and to obtain food except it were to come up in open battle against the Nefites. And the Nefites being in one body and having so great a number, and having reserved for themselves provisions, and horses, and cattle, and flocks of every kind, that they might subsist for the space of seven years,23 in the which time they did hope to destroy the robbers from off the face of the land. And thus the eighteenth year did pass away.
  8. And it came to pass that in the nineteenth year, Giddianhi found that it was expedient that he should go up to battle against the Nefites, for there was no way that they could subsist except it were to plunder, and rob, and murder. And they dared not spread themselves upon the face of the land insomuch that they could raise grain, for fear that the Nefites should come upon them and slay them. Therefore, Giddianhi gave commandment unto his armies that in this year they should go up to battle against the Nefites.
  9. And it came to pass that they did come up to battle, and it was in the sixth month. And behold, great and terrible was the day that they did come up to battle. And they were girded about after the manner of robbers, and they had a lambskin about their loins, and they were dyed in blood, and their heads were shorn, and they had headplates upon them. And great and terrible was the appearance of the armies of Giddianhi because of their armor and because of their being dyed in blood. And it came to pass that the armies of the Nefites, when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the earth and did lift their cries to yhwh their Elohim that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. And it came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this, they began to shout with a loud voice because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nefites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their armies. But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nefites did not fear them, but they did fear their Elohim and did supplicate him for protection. Therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them, they were prepared to meet them, yes, in the strength of yhwh24 they did receive them.
  10. And the battle commenced in this the sixth month, and great and terrible was the battle thereof, yes, great and terrible was the slaughter thereof, insomuch that there never was known so great a slaughter among all the people of Lechi since he left Yerushalayim. And despite the threatenings and the oaths which Giddianhi had made, behold, the Nefites did beat them insomuch that they did fall back from before them.
  11. And it came to pass that Gidgiddoni commanded that his armies should pursue them as far as to the borders of the wilderness and that they should not spare any that should fall into their hands by the way. And thus they did pursue them and did slay them to the borders of the wilderness, even until they had fulfilled the commandment of Gidgiddoni. And it came to pass that Giddianhi, who had stood and fought with boldness, was pursued as he fled; and being weary because of his much fighting, he was overtaken and slain. And thus was the end of Giddianhi the robber. And it came to pass that the armies of the Nefites did return again to their place of security.
  12. And it came to pass that this nineteenth year did pass away and the robbers did not come again to battle, neither did they come again in the twentieth year. But in the twenty and first year, they did not come up to battle, but they came up on all sides to lay siege25 round about the people of Nefi; for they did suppose that if they should cut off the people of Nefi from their lands and should hem them in on every side, and if they should cut them off from all their outward privileges, that they could cause them to yield themselves up according to their wishes. Now they had appointed unto themselves another leader, whose name was Zemnarihah; therefore, it was Zemnarihah that did cause that this siege should take place. But behold, this was an advantage unto the Nefites, for it was impossible for the robbers to lay siege sufficiently long to have any effect upon the Nefites because of their many provisions which they had laid up in store, and because of the scantiness of provisions among the robbers. For behold, they had nothing except it were meat for their subsistence, which meat they did obtain in the wilderness. And it came to pass that the wild game became scarce in the wilderness, insomuch that the robbers were about to perish with hunger. And the Nefites were continually marching out by day and by night and falling upon their armies, and cutting them off by thousands and by tens of thousands. And thus it became the desire of the people of Zemnarihah to withdraw from their design because of the great destruction which came upon them by night and by day.
  13. And it came to pass that Zemnarihah did give command unto his people that they should withdraw themselves from the siege and to march into the furthermost parts of the land northward. And now Gidgiddoni, being aware of their design, and knowing of their weakness because of the want of food and the great slaughter which had been made among them, therefore he did send out his armies in the nighttime and did cut off the way of their retreat, and did place his armies in the way of their retreat. And this did they do in the nighttime, and made their march beyond the robbers, so that the next day, when the robbers began their march, they were met by the armies of the Nefites, both in their front and in their rear. And the robbers who were on the south were also cut off in their places of retreat. And all these things were done by command of Gidgiddoni.
  14. And there were many thousands who did yield themselves up prisoners unto the Nefites, and the remainder of them were slain; and their leader, Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree,26 yes, even upon the top thereof until he was dead. And when they had hanged him until he was dead, they did fell the tree27 to the earth and did cry with a loud voice, saying, May yhwh preserve his people in righteousness and in holiness of heart, that they may cause to be felled to the earth all who shall seek to slay them because of power and secret conspiracies, even as this man has been felled to the earth! And they did rejoice and cry again with one voice,28 saying, May the Elohim of Avraham, and the Elohim of Yitz’chak, and the Elohim of Ya’akov, protect this people in righteousness so long as they shall call on the name of their Elohim for protection! And it came to pass that they did break forth, all as one, in singing and praising their Elohim for the great thing which he had done for them in preserving them from falling into the hands of their enemies. Yes, they did cry, Hoshianna to the El Elyon! And they did cry, Blessed be the name of Adonai yhwh Tzva’ot, the El Elyon! And their hearts were swollen with joy unto the gushing out of many tears because of the great goodness of Elohim in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies. And they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction. And now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nefites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets29 which had been spoken, for they knew that they must necessarily be fulfilled. And they knew it must be true that Mashiach had come, because of the many signs30 which had been given according to the words of the prophets. And because of the things which had come to pass already, they knew it must be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken. Therefore, they did abandon all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve Elohim with all diligence, day and night.
  15. And now it came to pass that when they had taken all the robbers prisoners, insomuch that none did escape who were not slain, they did cast their prisoners into prison and did cause the word of Elohim to be preached unto them. And as many as would repent of their sins and enter into a covenant that they would murder no more were set at liberty. But as many as there were who did not enter into a covenant, and who did still continue to have those secret murders31 in their hearts, yes, as many as were found breathing out threatenings against their brothers, were condemned and punished according to the law. And thus they did put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and abominable conspiracies in the which there was so much wickedness and so many murders committed. And thus had the twenty and second year32 passed away, and the twenty and third year also, and the twenty and fourth, and the twenty and fifth. And thus had twenty and five years passed away.
  16. And there had many things transpired which, in the eyes of some, would be great and marvelous; nevertheless, they cannot all be written in this book, yes, this book cannot contain even a hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty and five years. But behold, there are records which do contain all the proceedings of this people,33 and a shorter but a true account was given by Nefi; therefore, I have made my record of these things according to the record of Nefi which was engraved on the plates which were called the plates of Nefi.34
  17. And behold, I do make this record on plates which I have made with my own hands. And behold, I am called M’raman,35 being called after the land of M’raman,36 the land in which Alma did establish the assembly among this people, yes, the first assembly which was established among them after their transgression. Behold, I am a talmid of Yeshua HaMashiach, the Son of Elohim. I have been called of him37 to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life. And it has become expedient that I, according to the will of Elohim — that the prayers of those who have gone before, who were the holy ones, should be fulfilled according to their faith — should make a record38 of these things which have been done, yes, a small record of that which has taken place from the time that Lechi left Yerushalayim, even down until the present time. Therefore, I do make my record from the accounts which have been given by those who were before me until the commencement of my day, and then do I make a record of the things which I have seen with my own eyes. And I know the record which I make to be a just and a true record; nevertheless, there are many things which, according to our language,39 we are not able to write.
  18. And now I make an end of my saying which is of myself, and proceed to give my account of the things which have been before me. I am M’raman and a pure descendant of Lechi.40 I have reason to bless my Elohim and my Savior, Yeshua HaMashiach, that he brought our fathers out of the land of Yerushalayim — and no one knew it, except it were himself and those whom he brought out of that land — and that he has given me and my people so much knowledge unto the salvation of our souls. Surely he has blessed the house of Ya’akov, and has been merciful unto the seed of Yosef,41 and inasmuch as the children of Lechi have kept his mitzvot, he has blessed them and prospered them according to his word. Yes, and surely shall he again bring a remnant of the seed of Yosef to the knowledge of yhwh their Elohim. And as surely as yhwh lives will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth42 all the remnant of the seed of Ya’akov who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth. And as he has covenanted with all the house of Ya’akov, even so shall the covenant with which he has covenanted with the house of Ya’akov be fulfilled, in his own due time, unto the restoring all the house of Ya’akov unto the knowledge of the covenant that he has covenanted with them.43 And then shall they know their Redeemer, who is Yeshua HaMashiach, the Son of Elohim; and then shall they be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands, from where they have been dispersed; yes, as yhwh lives, so shall it be. Amen.