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Now the Nephites have many Lamanites as prisoners (verse 1), and Moroni goes on to reclaim the taken cities and return them to the people (verse 2). This was his great victory over the Lamanites, that they reclaimed their own land (verse 6). He and his friend Lehi had battled together through many adventures, and the people loved them (verse 2). The Lamanites are put to work to help fortify the cities (verses 3-4), even the city in which the Lamanites were held prison (verse 5).
The Nephites did not battle the Lamanites any further that year, though they did continue preparing for war by reinforcing the cities and caring for their families and food supply (verse 7).
It should have been a time of peace again, but the Nephites let dissension sneak in amongst them again (verse 8). This dissension led to iniquity, where placed them “in the most dangerous circumstances” (verse 9).
In comparison, other Nephites were true and faithful. The sons of the land of Ammon were faithful because “by the power and word of God, they had been converted unto the Lord” (verse 10). They were also faithful in that they continued to keep their promise of not taking up arms against their brethren (verse 10).
This applies to us, whatever our “weapons of war” are – dirty looks, mean words, the silent treatment – if we do good to bury our weapons of war, we must leave them buried and not dig them up again. We must never again take up our arms once we have made covenants and laid them down (verse 11).
So always these people had been protected by the other Nephites (verse 12), yet now that they saw what danger their country was in, “and the many afflictions and tribulations”, they were “moved with compassion and were desirous to take up arms…” (verse 13). However, Helaman and other priesthood leaders reminded them of their covenants and encouraged them to keep those covenants (verse 14). But they realized that their children had not taken up the covenant not to take up weapons against the Lamanites, and so these sons of Ammons took up their arms and covenanted to help protect Zion (verses 15-17). These 2,000 young men are known as “the stripling warriors” (verse 22), and they were “men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted” (verse 20).
“Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (verse 21).