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After surrounding the Lamanites in battle, Moroni stops the fighting and offers the Lamanites peace (verse 1). Moroni tells the Lamanite leader, Zerahemnah, that the Nephites are only fighting in defense of their land and homes and families and worship, and that they do not want to destroy the Lamanites, but that they know the Lamanites want to put them into bondage and “are angry with us because of our religion” (verse 2).
But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith…. Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith (verses 3-4).
So Moroni explains to them their covenants, which the Lamanites know and have rejected. Moroni declares in faith the principle that the Lord will uphold those upholding him, and that they will not be conquered unless they themselves transgress and lose the support of the Lord. So having given credit to God, and declared to the Lamanites from whence they get their power, and clarifying the reasons they fight (for their happiness, which is maintained by “the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness”) (verse 5), Moroni gives them the choice to surrender their weapons and be spared (verse 6) or to be destroyed (verse 7).
Zerahemnah responds, saying the Lamanites will surrender their weapons but will not promise to quit fighting (verse 8). “Behold, we are not of your faith; we do not believe that it is God that has delivered us into your hands” (verse 9). He says the Lamanites think the Nephites have been successful because they are cunning and good at battle, not because God delivered them.
Because the Lamanites did not agree to the terms of the peace treaty, Moroni gives them their weapons back (verse 10). The battle is back on! Moroni will continue to fight if the Lamanites do not agree to peace (verse 11).
So Zerahemnah grabs his sword back, all angry like, and one of his soldiers tries to raise his sword against Moroni. But one of Moroni’s bodyguard defended him, and Zerahemnah’s soldier was killed as an example to the other Lamanites refusing to agree to peace (verses 12-14).
“Now there were many, when they heard these words and saw… that were struck with fear; and many came forth and threw down their weapons of war at the feet of Moroni, and entered into a covenant of peace” (verse 15). Moroni and the Nephites let all the Lamanites escape if they agreed to peace. This really makes Zerahemnah mad, and so he stirs up the remaining soldiers to anger (verse 16).
This stubbornness of the people made Moroni angry, and because they refused peace, the battle continued (verse 17). The Lamanites “did fall exceedingly fast before the swords of the Nephites; and they began to be swept down, even as the soldier of Moroni had prophesied” (verse 18). When the Lamanites saw they were about to be destroyed, they cried out for peace, finally saying they would agree to the covenant never to make war against them again (verse 19). Immediately, Moroni caused the battle to stop, accepted the weapons from the Lamanites, and declared peace and let the Lamanites go back into their wilderness (verse 20). This was the end of the battle, and the dead were buried, and the Nephites returned safely to their homes (verses 21-24).