Gadianton Period

Zemnarihah and the Gadianton Demise

3 Nephi 4:15–17

A few years pass, and the Gadianton robbers appoint a new leader, Zemnarihah, who leads his people to the Nephites, surrounds their city, and plans to cut them off from all outside resources.

And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites did return again to their place of security. And it came to pass that this nineteenth year did pass away, and the robbers did not come again to battle; neither did they come again in the twentieth year.

And in the twenty and first year they did not come up to battle, but they came up on all sides to lay siege round about the people of Nephi; for they did suppose that if they should cut off the people of Nephi from their lands, and should hem them in on every side, and if they should cut them off from all their outward privileges, that they could cause them to yield themselves up according to their wishes. Now they had appointed unto themselves another leader, whose name was Zemnarihah; therefore it was Zemnarihah that did cause that this siege should take place.

3 Nephi 4:18–20

The plan backfires, because the Nephites have large amounts of food and resources stocked up, whereas the Gadianton robbers did not have any resources available to them outside the city limits.

But behold, this was an advantage to the Nephites; for it was impossible for the robbers to lay siege sufficiently long to have any effect upon the Nephites, because of their much provision which they had laid up in store, And because of the scantiness of provisions among the robbers—for behold, they had nothing save it were meat for their subsistence, which meat they did obtain in the wilderness; And it came to pass that the wild game became scarce in the wilderness—insomuch that the robbers were about to perish with hunger.

3 Nephi 4:21–23

The Nephites also periodically dispatched troops to eliminate Gadianton robbers—seeing his efforts are futile, Zemnarihah orders a withdrawal, and he begins to lead his people to the land northward.

And the Nephites were continually marching out by day and by night, and falling upon their armies, and cutting them off by thousands and by tens of thousands. And thus it became the desire of the people of Zemnarihah to withdraw from their design, because of the great destruction which came upon them by night and by day. And it came to pass that Zemnarihah did give command unto his people that they should withdraw themselves from the siege, and march into the furthermost parts of the land northward.

3 Nephi 4:24–26

Gidgiddoni plans an ambush, and the next day, Zemnarihah is met in the front and rear by Nephite troops.

And now, Gidgiddoni being aware of their design, and knowing of their weakness because of the want of food, and the great slaughter which had been made among them, therefore he did send out his armies in the night–time, and did cut off the way of their retreat, and did place his armies in the way of their retreat.

And this did they do in the night–time, and got on their march beyond the robbers, so that on the morrow, when the robbers began their march, they were met by the armies of the Nephites both in their front and in their rear. And the robbers who were on the south were also cut off in their places of retreat. And all these things were done by command of Gidgiddoni.

3 Nephi 4:27–29

The Gadianton robbers surrender, Zemnarihah is executed, and the righteous pray for protection and grace.

And there were many thousands who did yield themselves up prisoners unto the Nephites, and the remainder of them were slain. And their leader, Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree, yea, even upon the top thereof until he was dead. And when they had hanged him until he was dead they did fell the tree to the earth, and did cry with a loud voice, saying:

“May the Lord preserve his people in righteousness and in holiness of heart, that they may cause to be felled to the earth all who shall seek to slay them because of power and secret combinations, even as this man hath been felled to the earth.”

3 Nephi 4:30

The Nephites again pray for protection.

And they did rejoice and cry again with one voice, saying:

“May the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, protect this people in righteousness, so long as they shall call on the name of their God for protection. ”

3 Nephi 4:31–33

The Nephites break into song, and praise God for his providence.

And it came to pass that they did break forth, all as one, in singing, and praising their God for the great thing which he had done for them, in preserving them from falling into the hands of their enemies. Yea, they did cry:

“Hosanna to the Most High God.”

And they did cry:

“Blessed be the name
of the Lord God Almighty,
the Most High God.”

And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction.

3 Nephi 5:1–3

The Nephites all believe in the prophesies, have faith in Christ, repent, and live righteously.

And now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken; for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.

And they knew that it must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs which had been given, according to the words of the prophets; and because of the things which had come to pass already they knew that it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken. Therefore they did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence day and night.

3 Nephi 5:4–6

The Nephites preach the gospel to their Gadianton prisoners; those who believe and repent are set free.

And now it came to pass that when they had taken all the robbers prisoners, insomuch that none did escape who were not slain, they did cast their prisoners into prison, and did cause the word of God to be preached unto them; and as many as would repent of their sins and enter into a covenant that they would murder no more were set at liberty.

But as many as there were who did not enter into a covenant, and who did still continue to have those secret murders in their hearts, yea, as many as were found breathing out threatenings against their brethren were condemned and punished according to the law. And thus they did put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and abominable combinations, in the which there was so much wickedness, and so many murders committed.

3 Nephi 5:7–8

Many marvelous things occur, and cannot all be included in this account.

And thus had the twenty and second year passed away, and the twenty and third year also, and the twenty and fourth, and the twenty and fifth; and thus had twenty and five years passed away. And there had many things transpired which, in the eyes of some, would be great and marvelous; nevertheless, they cannot all be written in this book; yea, this book cannot contain even a hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty and five years;