In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Couple of Nephite Combat Correlations

Battle at Cumorah artwork by Terry Rutledge AD 385.
The aim of this post is in regards to a couple of correlations that the Book of Mormon seems to have gotten right about certain scenarios of military combat between the Nephites and Lamanites and what we know of how combat took place in Central America, mainly in the Mayan and Aztec geographic locations and time frames. In Mormon chapter 6 versus 11-15 it states,

11. 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.
12. And we also beheld the ten thousand of my people who were led by my son Moroni.
13. And behold, the ten thousand of Gidgiddonah had fallen, and he also in the midst.
14. 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. 

In regards to the above noted verses John Sorenson author of "Mormon's Codex" states,
"In correlation with the organization of the Nephite armies in groups of ten thousand as found in Mormon 6:14 in the climactic battle at Cumorah the Tlaxcalan forces whom Cortez met on his approach to the Aztec capital were organized into five armies: "of the followers of the old Xicotenga...there were ten thousand, of another great chief ...another ten thousand, and of a third...there were as many more."  All this according to Bernal Diaz del Castillo: The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico".

Captain Moroni and the
Title of Liberty by Joseph Brickey
Dr. Sorenson also provides us with another interesting correlation that is paralleled in Alma 46, which speaks of Captain Moroni who upon hearing of dissensions among his people (the Nephites)
he did the following,

12. And it came to pass that he rent his coat: and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it-In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children-and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
13. And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins: and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land-

Dr. Sorenson then quotes an interesting insight also by Bernal Diaz who reported that commander's lead there men to battle with a "great standard" or flag on a pole strapped to their backs.  This correlates well with the standard erected better known as the, "Title of Liberty" by Captain Moroni as noted above. So in conclusion we have a couple of interesting insights or parallels in regards to the organizing of military forces and the practice of men being led to battle by a "great standard" or flag on a pole by their commander.  Both practices are found conveniently in the Book of Mormon and tend to lend themselves as more evidence of a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon.


  1. There are too many coincidences and parallels for us to not take notice. I know we need to be careful with coincidences and parallels, but the similarities are too numerous to ignore.

    The oral traditions of Native peoples every where (all countries/lands of the world) have never been taken seriously by the Europeans, even to this day. So much of it has already been lost.


    1. So true, I cringe to think of all those codices being burned and all the history being lost. With that said I suppose it could be looked upon as evidence in itself. I mean if they would have survived it probably wouldn't have taken much faith to believe at least in the historicity of the Book of Mormon. This takes me back to Neal A. Maxwells quote about the Lord allowing enough evidences to come forth so that scoffers will no longer have a hey day but not enough to do away with the need for faith.