City of Ammonihah

Wicked Nephite city, 'Desolation of Nehors'

City of Ammonihah

The City of Ammonihah was a Nephite location notorious for its rejection of prophetic teachings and a tragic fate. Situated in the western part of the land of Zarahemla and a three-day journey north from the city of Melek, Ammonihah was at one time bordered by wilderness and was proximal to the city of Noah (Alma 8:5-6). The city’s name allegedly derived from its first inhabitant, details of whom are not present in the record (Alma 8:7). The inhabitants of Ammonihah at one point became known for their wickedness, aligning with the order of Nehor, which promoted priestcraft and rejected key principles of the Nephite religious tradition (Alma 1:2–19).

The city is predominantly recognized for its interactions with the prophet Alma2 and his companion, Amulek. Despite the thorough preaching and testimony from Alma and Amulek regarding essential doctrines of the gospel, including resurrection (Alma 11), the judgment (Alma 12), and the priesthood (Alma 13), the people of Ammonihah remained defiant (Alma 9 through Alma 14). They went so far as to commit atrocities, such as the burning of religious records and believers, and the imprisonment and torture of Alma and Amulek, who were later miraculously delivered (Alma 14:8-28). Despite signs and wonders, the populace largely ascribed the miracles to the power of the devil, signifying their hard-heartedness (Alma 15:15).

The city’s ultimate destruction at the hands of the Lamanites was both prophesied and executed with swift completeness (Alma 9:4; 16:9-11), the event coming to pass in 81 B.C., thus validating prophetic warnings that unabated wickedness would invite divine judgment (Alma 10:23; 14:7-8; 16:3). Consequently, the city laid desolate for many years, earning the moniker “Desolation of Nehors” due to the mass casualties of those who adhered to the false teachings of Nehor (Alma 16:11). However, by 71 B.C., Ammonihah was partially rebuilt and fortified by the Nephite military leader, Captain Moroni, who erected earthwork structures as defensive measures, a strategy that later befuddled Lamanite armies and prevented further attacks (Alma 49:1-11). The history of Ammonihah, thus, stands as a stark narrative in the Book of Mormon underscoring themes of divine judgments, the power of faith, and the consequences of dissent against established commandments set by the Lord.


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