CLICK HERE to read 3 Nephi 3.
One day the governor got a letter from the leader of the robbers (verse 1), praising him with false flattery (verse 2), but also calling him foolish for standing his ground against the army of the robbers (verse 3).
The robbers were ready to invade the land again, fueled by hatred and bitterness, which is never of God and always leads to scattering and destruction (verse 4).
Their leader warned the governor that they were ready to attack (verse 5), and offered to let him just submit to the robbers without a battle (verse 6). He offered to teach the governor how to gain wealth and power through evil acts (verse 7), and said that if the governor would accept these terms they would not destroy him (verse 8).
The robbers thought they were right, because they held on tightly to what they had been taught (verse 9). This would be noble and good and right if they had been taught truth, rather than false traditions being passed down. They had only pieces of the truth, and needed the whole story; this is why they were filled with bitterness and hate and anger, instead of peace and joy and happiness.
They felt that since they had the (pieces of) truth as passed down by their own family traditions, they deserved to be the rulers, and should have all the property, and should gain the inheritance (verse 10).
They did not realize they were losing their inheritance by becoming the enemy as they rejected truth and were filled with bitterness and rage and hatred, instead of submitting to God and being filled with peace and joy and happiness.
This letter shocked the governor, and he was astonished at how bold the robbers were in their threats even though his people had done nothing against them other than maintaining their freedom to worship (verse 11).
The governor, however, was a just man, and a righteous follower of God, and so “could not be frightened by the demands and threatenings of a robber… but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them” (verse 12). He sent out word to all the people to gather into families into one place (verse 13). He told the people to fortify their homes and cities, and that “the strength thereof should be exceedingly great”, and that they should guard themselves day and night (verse 14).
He called them to repentance, telling them to turn to the Lord for their deliverance (verse 15).
And the people listened (verse 16).
The governor also organized the people prepared for battle (verse 17), choosing a leader (verse 18) who acted by revelation, who did what the Holy Spirit instructed, who knew to discern between right and wrong by asking God (verse 19).
When the people were afraid, they wanted to attack first, thinking this would protect them (verse 20). But the prophet told them not to attack first, because it is the Lord who will deliver us (verse 21). He said our job is not to attack, but to wait, and to prepare, and to look to Him for our deliverance.
And so the people did prepare, gather, and organize themselves (verses 22-24).
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 the prophet), insomuch that they did repent of all their sins; and they did put up their prayers unto the Lord their God, that he would deliver them in the time that their enemies should come down against them to battle (verse 25).
The people were sorrowful because of their enemies. They mourned the loss of those who turned to evil instead of to God, they were sad for those who had no peace, and they longed for those who were isolated from them. They mourned for these people who had no joy, and mourned the blessings they would miss. They mourned with those who mourned, and they mourned time and energy given to dissension and war instead of peace and together-ness (verse 26).