Nephite Decline and Downfall

Last Battle at Cumorah

Mormon 6:7–8

The Nephites watch in horror as they see the massive Lamanite army approach.

And it came to pass that my people, with their wives and their children, did now behold the armies of the Lamanites marching towards them; and with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of all the wicked, did they await to receive them. And it came to pass that they came to battle against us, and every soul was filled with terror because of the greatness of their numbers.

Mormon 6:9–10

A monstrous battle begins, and tens of thousands of people die; Mormon falls to the ground, wounded, and the Lamanites mistake him for one of the dead.

And it came to pass that they did fall upon my people with the sword, and with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the ax, and with all manner of weapons of war. And it came to pass that my men were hewn down, yea, even my ten thousand who were with me, and I fell wounded in the midst; and they passed by me that they did not put an end to my life.

Mormon 6:11

After the battle, on twenty four Nephites have survived, two of which are Mormon and his son Moroni.

And when they had gone through and hewn down all my people save it were twenty and four of us, (among whom was my son Moroni) and we having survived the dead of our people, did behold on the morrow, when the Lamanites had returned unto their camps, from the top of the hill Cumorah, the ten thousand of my people who were hewn down, being led in the front by me.

Mormon 6:12–15

Mormon sees the tens of thousands of his men who have died; he notes that the survivors include (in addition to the 24 standing soldiers) some Nephites who had escaped to the south, and some Nephites who had changed allegiance and joined the Lamanites.

And we also beheld the ten thousand of my people who were led by my son Moroni. And behold, the ten thousand of Gidgiddonah had fallen, and he also in the midst.

And Lamah had fallen with his ten thousand.

And Gilgal had fallen with his ten thousand.

And Limhah had fallen with his ten thousand.

And Jeneum had fallen with his ten thousand.

And Cumenihah, and Moronihah, and Antionum,
and Shiblom, and Shem, and Josh,
had fallen with their ten thousand each.

And it came to pass that there were ten more who did fall by the sword, with their ten thousand each.

Yea, even all my people, save it were those twenty and four who were with me, and also a few who had escaped into the south countries, and a few who had deserted over unto the Lamanites, had fallen; and their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth, being left by the hands of those who slew them to molder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to their mother earth.

Mormon 6:16–22

Mormon looks out on the awful scene in front of him, and laments the loss of his people—he wishes that they could have come unto Jesus and been saved.

And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried:

“O ye fair ones,
how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord!

O ye fair ones,
how could ye have rejected that Jesus,
who stood with open arms to receive you!

Behold, if ye had not done this,
ye would not have fallen.

But behold, ye are fallen,
and I mourn your loss.

O ye fair sons and daughters,
ye fathers and mothers,
ye husbands and wives,
ye fair ones,
how is it that ye could have fallen!

But behold, ye are gone,
and my sorrows cannot bring your return.

And the day soon cometh
that your mortal must put on immortality,
and these bodies
which are now moldering in corruption
must soon become incorruptible bodies.

And then ye must stand
before the judgment–seat of Christ
to be judged according to your works
and if it so be that ye are righteous,
then are ye blessed with your fathers
who have gone before you.

O that ye had repented
before this great destruction had come upon you.

But behold, ye are gone,
and the Father,
yea, the Eternal Father of heaven,
knoweth your state.

And he doeth with you according to his justice and mercy.”