CLICK HERE to read Mosiah 20.
Remember how in the last chapter, the bad King Noah was killed, but some of his false priests got away? This chapter is about what those bad guys did, closing up the last loose end of what happened to get King Limhi’s people in the situation they are in.
The context is these bad guys hiding out in the wilderness, near the borders of Lamanite land.
And here there was a place “where the daughters of the Lamanites did gather themselves to sing, and to dance, and to make themselves merry” (verse 1).
So it happens that a group of these girls go out to this place to play (verse 2), and the bad guys are hiding out and see them and watch them (verses 3-4).
When the girls were vulnerable because there were only a few of them, the bad guys came out and kidnapped the girls out to the wilderness (verse 5).
The Lamanites soon noticed, of course, but they didn’t know about the bad guys still being on the loose, so they blamed the people of Limhi (verse 6). They sent their armies after them, even with the king himself leading the charge (verse 7).
Limhi discovered the preparations for war, but not yet knowing why his people were being attacked, and so prepared for the oncoming assault (verse 8).
Limhi’s people hid in the woods, and as the Lamanites came through, they attacked from their hiding places (verse 9). It was an intense battle! (verse 10). There were more Lamanites than there were of Limhi’s people, but they fought hard (verse 11). The Lamanites began to flee, even leaving their injured king behind (verse 12).
Limhi’s people found the injured king, and brought him to Limhi (verse 13). They wanted to kill him, but Limhi wouldn’t let them because he wanted to question the king as to why the Lamanites were attacking his people (verse 14).
When the king told Limhi it was because of the kidnapped daughters (verse 15), Limhi was surprised because they hadn’t yet heard the news that this had happened. He ordered a search among the people to see who had kidnapped the Lamanite daughters (verse 16).
Gideon is the one who figured out what had happened. He went to Limhi to plead with him not to blame the people for this, because it was the kind of evil thing that the false-priests-who-got-away would do (verses 17-18). He urged Limhi to explain this to the Lamanite king, so that the Lamanites would stop attacking Limhi’s people (verses 19-20).
Further, Gideon pointed out how this battle fulfilled the prophesies of Abinadi, that the people would suffer and be destroyed “because we would not hearken unto the words of the Lord, and turn from our iniquities” (verse 21). In this way, Gideon not only solved the case but also urged the people to repent and return to the Lord (verse 22).
Limhi told all this to the Lamanite king, including the whole story about the bad King Noah who was killed and his false priests who got away, and gave the king Gideon’s theory about it being these false priests who kidnapped the daughters of the Lamanites (verse 23).
This theory made sense to the Lamanite king, and called off the war (verse 24).
This brought peace to both peoples, even so much as the Lamanites returning to their own land (verse 26).