Nephite Decline and Downfall

Battle of Boaz

Mormon 4:16–18

After a decade of peace, the Lamanites gather a gargantuan army, advance towards the northern land, and begin to wipe out the Nephites.

And the Lamanites did not come again against the Nephites until the three hundred and seventy and fifth year. And in this year they did come down against the Nephites with all their powers; and they were not numbered because of the greatness of their number. And from this time forth did the Nephites gain no power over the Lamanites, but began to be swept off by them even as a dew before the sun.

Mormon 4:19–20

The Lamanites march to Desolation, where a terrible battle ensues; the Nephites are driven out of Desolation, and retreat to a city called Boaz, where despite Lamanite attacks, they are successful in holding their ground.

And it came to pass that the Lamanites did come down against the city Desolation; and there was an exceedingly sore battle fought in the land Desolation, in the which they did beat the Nephites. And they fled again from before them, and they came to the city Boaz; and there they did stand against the Lamanites with exceeding boldness, insomuch that the Lamanites did not beat them until they had come again the second time.

Mormon 4:21–22

The Lamanites make a second strike on Boaz, where they overtake the Nephites, and again sacrifice women and children to idols.

And when they had come the second time, the Nephites were driven and slaughtered with an exceedingly great slaughter; their women and their children were again sacrificed unto idols. And it came to pass that the Nephites did again flee from before them, taking all the inhabitants with them, both in towns and villages.

Mormon 4:23

Mormon, now 65 years old and seeing that the Nephite nation is on the brink of collapse, goes to the hill Shim, where he takes all the Nephite records.

And now I, Mormon, seeing that the Lamanites were about to overthrow the land, therefore I did go to the hill Shim, and did take up all the records which Ammaron had hid up unto the Lord.