CLICK HERE to read Alma 57.
Helaman writes that he received a letter from the king (Ammoron), asking to trade a city for the prisoners of war they just took (verse 1). Helaman didn’t fall for this, and declined the invitation – unless Ammoron would exchange prisoners under the terms Moroni had already set (verse 2). Ammoron refused these terms again, and Helaman prepared to take the city by force (verse 3). The people of the city were stuck in the middle, and knew better than to wait around for Ammoron to have them all killed off – so they fled the city, and Helaman and his army easily took it (verse 4).
The army also received more men and provisions (verse 6), and so they were ready for battle (verse 7). They surrounded the city just before the city’s provisions arrived (verse 8), and stood guard waiting for the city’s provisions to arrive (verse 9). When the Lamanite provisions arrived, the Nephites were able to intercept them and send them to their own people and prisoners (verse 11). This caused the Lamanites to “lose all hope of succor”, and so they “yielded up the city into our hands” (verse 12).
However, now the Nephites had so many prisoners, that they had to set them to work to be able to provide for them all (verse 13). They had to keep tight control over them, as the Lamanites would easily start fighting with stones or clubs or “whatsoever thing they could get their hands on” (verse 14). There were so many, that they had to use the confiscated Lamanite provisions to feed and care for the Lamanite prisoners (verse 15).
Ammoron was not happy the Nephites were winning the battle, and so sent more armies and provisions for those armies (verse 17). But the Nephites worked together and were not overpowered (verse 18). Even the young warriors “fought most desperately” (verse 19), and stood “firm and undaunted” (verse 20).
Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them (verse 21).
Their obedience and hard work and willingness won the battle, and Helaman gave them credit as being the ones “to whom we owe this great victory” (verse 22). The were able to retain the city, even though they suffered great loss (verse 23). Helaman made sure the men followed the battle by seeking out the wounded and caring for them so they would not be left for dead (verse 24). Many lost a lot of blood, but not even one of them died (verse 25).
And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe – that there is a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power. Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually (verses 26-27).
Helaman and his people cared for the wounded, buried the dead, and then went on to ask who else they could help (verse 28). Helaman also followed up with Gid, who had been in charge of moving some of the prisoners (verse 29), to get his side of the story about the battle they just finished fighting. Gid tells how they had met spies of the enemies (verse 30), and found out the armies were coming towards Helaman and his army (verse 31). When the prisoners found out the army was coming, it gave them courage and they rebelled against Gid and the Nephites (verse 32), so many were killed and many ran away (verse 33). Gid and his army were not able to catch them all, but were able to return to help Helaman fight the battle against the Lamanite army (verse 34).
So it was that the Lord again delivered the Nephites from the Lamanites, and Gid did praise him for “this great thing” the Lord had done for them (verse 35). This caused Helaman “exceeding joy because of the goodness of God in preserving us…” (verse 36).