1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend themselves against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the Judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites;
2 and upon the top of these ridges of earth, he caused that there should be timbers; yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities.
3 And he caused that upon those works of timbers, that there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers, round about; and they were strong and high;
4 and he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets; and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.
5 And they were prepared, that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him which should attempt to approach near the walls of the city.
6 Thus Moroni did prepare strong holds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land.
7 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his armies should go forth into the east wilderness; yea, and they went forth, and drove all the Lamanites which were in the east wilderness into their own lands, which were south of the land of Zarahemla;
8 and the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the East Sea to the West.
9 And it came to pass that when Moroni had driven all the Lamanites out of the east wilderness, which was north of the lands of their own possessions, he caused that the inhabitants which were in the land of Zarahemla, and in the land round about, should go forth into the east wilderness, even to the borders, by the seashore, and possess that land.
10 And he also placed armies on the south, in the borders of their possessions, and caused them to erect fortifications, that they might secure their armies and their people from the hands of their enemies.
11 And thus he cut off all the strong holds of the Lamanites, in the east wilderness; yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi; from the West Sea, running by the head of the river Sidon; the Nephites possessing all the land northward; yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure.
12 Thus Moroni, with his armies, which did increase daily, because of the assurance of protection which his works did bring forth unto them; therefore they did seek to cut off the strength and the power of the Lamanites, from off the lands of their possessions, that they should have no power upon the lands of their possession.
13 And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city; and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the East Sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites.
14 And they also began a foundation for a city, between the city of Moroni and the city of Aaron, joining the borders of Aaron and Moroni; and they called the name of the city, or the land, Nephihah.
15 And they also began, in that same year, to build many cities on the north; one in a particular manner, which they called Lehi, which was in the north, by the borders of the seashore.
16 And thus ended the twentieth year.
17 And in these prosperous circumstances were the people of Nephi, in the commencement of the twenty and first year of the reign of the Judges, over the people of Nephi.
18 And they did prosper exceedingly, and they became exceeding rich; yea, and they did multiply, and were strong in the land.
19 And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi, saying:
20 Blessed art thou, and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments; they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
21 And we see that these promises have been verified to the people of Nephi; for it has been their quarrelings, and their contentions; yea, their murderings, and their plunderings, their idolatry, their whoredoms, and their abominations, which were among themselves, which brought upon them their wars and destructions.
22 And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord, were delivered at all times, whilst thousands of their wicked brethren have been consigned to bondage, or to perish by the sword, or to dwindle in unbelief, and mingle with the Lamanites.
23 But behold, there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni; yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of Judges.
24 And it came to pass that the twenty and second year of the reign of the Judges, also ended in peace; yea, and also the twenty and third year.
25 And it came to pass that in the commencement of the twenty and fourth year of the reign of the Judges, there would also have been peace among the people of Nephi, had it not been for a contention which took place among them concerning the land of Lehi, and the land of Morianton, which joined upon the borders of Lehi; both of which were on the borders, by the seashore.
26 For behold, the people which possessed the land of Morianton, did claim a part of the land of Lehi; therefore there began to be a warm contention between them, insomuch that the people of Morianton took up arms against their brethren, and they were determined by the sword to slay them.
27 But behold, the people which possessed the land of Lehi, fled to the camp of Moroni, and appealed unto him for assistance; for behold, they were not in the wrong.
28 And it came to pass that when the people of Morianton, which were led by a man whose name was Morianton, found that the people of Lehi had fled to the camp of Moroni, they were exceeding fearful, lest the army of Moroni should come upon them, and destroy them;
29 therefore, Morianton put it to their hearts that they should flee to the land which was northward, which was covered with large bodies of water, and take possession of the land which was northward.
30 And behold, they would have carried this plan into an effect, (which would have been a cause to have been lamented,)but behold, Morianton, being a man of much passion, therefore he was angry with one of his maidservants, and he fell her, and beat her much.
31 And it came to pass that she fled, and came over to the camp of Moroni, and told Moroni all things concerning the matter; and also concerning their intentions to flee into the land northward.
32 Now behold, the people which were in the land Bountiful, or rather Moroni, feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton, and unite with his people, and thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi; yea, which consequences would lead to the overthrow of their liberty;
33 therefore Moroni sent an army, with their camp, to head the people of Morianton, to stop their flight into the land northward.
34 And it came to pass that they did not head them, until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward; yea, by the sea, on the west, and on the east.
35 And it came to pass that the army which was sent by Moroni, which was led by a man whose name was Teancum, did meet the people of Morianton; and so stubborn were the people of Morianton, (being inspired by his wickedness and his flattering words,) that a battle commenced between them, in which Teancum did slay Morianton, and defeat his army, and took them prisoners, and returned to the camp of Moroni. And thus ended the twenty and four year of the reign of the Judges over the people of Nephi.
36 And thus was the people of Morianton brought back. And upon their covenanting to keep the peace, they were restored to the land of Morianton, and a union took place between them and the people of Lehi; and they were also restored to their lands.
37 And it came to pass that in the same year that the people of Nephi had peace restored unto them, that Nephihah, the second Chief Judge, died, having filled the judgment seat with perfect uprightness before God;
38 nevertheless, he had refused Alma to take possession of those records and those things which were esteemed by Alma and his fathers to be most sacred; therefore Alma had conferred them upon his son Helaman.
39 Behold, it came to pass that the son of Nephihah was appointed to fill the judgment seat, in the stead of his father; yea, he was appointed Chief Judge, and governor over the people, with an oath, and sacred ordinance to judge righteously, and to keep the peace, and freedom of the people, and to grant unto them their sacred privileges to worship the Lord their God; yea, to support and maintain the cause of God all his days, and to bring the wicked to justice, according to their crime.
40 Now behold, his name was Pahoran. And Pahoran did fill the seat of his father, and did commence his reign in the end of the twenty and fourth year, over the people of Nephi.