City of Nephihah

Nephite refuge captured and lost by the Lamanites

City of Nephihah

Nephihah was a strategic Nephite city established by Moroni1 around 72 B.C., positioned between the cities of Moroni and Aaron (Alma 50:14). The city functioned as a refuge for Nephites who were displaced when the Lamanites overpowered the city of Moroni. In approximately 62 B.C., after having served as a sanctuary for a number of years, Nephihah faced a similar fate when it was captured by Lamanite forces during their campaign of aggression (Alma 51:23–24; 59:5–11).

The city of Nephihah was significant in the Nephite defensive system, and its loss was keenly felt. However, it became notable for being the first city liberated by the combined efforts of Moroni and Pahoran1 in their final campaign against the invaders. Although Moroni had planned to engage the Lamanite forces on the nearby plains of Nephihah, a standoff ensued as the Lamanites were intimidated by the Nephites’ numbers and resolve. Adopting a creative military tactic, Moroni executed a night assault, using cords and ladders to scale the city’s wall undetected and launched a surprise attack on the Lamanite occupiers while they slept. This daring operation was met with great success, allowing Moroni’s forces to reclaim the city without sustaining any Nephite casualties, in contrast to the heavy losses inflicted upon their adversaries (Alma 62:14–30).

Following the conflict, many Lamanite prisoners opted to enter a covenant of peace rather than face continued detention, a testament to the changing dynamics of conflict and resolution during that period. Additionally, textual clues from Alma 51:25–26 raise the possibility that there may have been another separately located city bearing the same name along the eastern coastline.


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