An account of the Nephites, their wars and contentions and their dissensions. And also the prophecies of many holy prophets before the coming of Christ, according to the record of Helaman, which was the son of Helaman, and also according to the records of his sons, even down to the coming of Christ. And also many of the Lamanites are converted; an account of their conversion. An account of the righteousness of the Lamanites and the wickedness and abominations of the Nephites, according to the record of Helaman and his sons, even down to the coming of Christ, which is called the book of Helaman, etc.
And now behold, it came to pass in the commencement of the fortieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, There began to be a serious difficulty among the people of the Nephites;
For behold, Pahoron had died and gone the way of all the earth; Therefore, there began to be a serious contention concerning who should have the judgment seat among the brethren which were the sons of Pahoron.
Now these are their names which did contend for the judgment seat, which did also cause the people to contend - Pahoron, Paanchi and Pacumeni.
Now these are not all the sons of Pahoron - for he had many - But these are they which did contend for the judgment seat; Therefore, they did cause three divisions among the people.
Nevertheless, it came to pass that Pahoron was appointed by the voice of the people to be a chief judge and a governor over the people of Nephi.
And it came to pass that Pacumeni, when he saw that he could not obtain the judgment seat, He did unite with the voice of the people.
But behold, Paanchi, and that part of the people that were desirous that he should be their governor, was exceeding wroth; Therefore, he was about to flatter away those people to rise up in rebellion against their brethren.
And it came to pass as he was about to do this, Behold, he was taken and was tried according to the voice of the people and condemned unto death; For he had raised up in rebellion and sought to destroy the liberty of the people.
Now when those people which were desirous that he should be their governor saw that he was condemned unto death, Therefore, they were angry. And behold, they sent forth one, Kishcumen, even to the judgment seat of Pahoron, And murdered Pahoron as he sat upon the judgment seat;
And he was pursued by the servants of Pahoron. But behold, so speedy was the flight of Kishcumen that no man could overtake him;
And he went unto those that sent him and they all entered into a covenant, Yea, swearing by their everlasting maker that they would tell no man that Kishcumen had murdered Pahoron. Therefore, Kishcumen was not known among the people of Nephi, For he was in disguise at the time that he murdered Pahoron;
And Kishcumen and his band which had covenanted with him did mingle themselves among the people in a manner that they all could not be found; But as many as were found were condemned unto death.
And now behold, Pacumeni was appointed according to the voice of the people to be a chief judge and a governor over the people, To reign in the stead of his brother Pahoron; And it was according to his right.
And all this was done in the fortieth year of the reign of the judges; And it had an end.
And it came to pass in the forty and first year of the reign of the judges that the Lamanites had gathered together an innumerable army of men, And armed them with swords and with scimitars, and with bows and with arrows, and with headplates and with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind; And they came down again, that they might pitch battle against the Nephites.
And they were led by a man whose name was Coriantumr, And he was a descendant of Zarahemla, And he was a dissenter from among the Nephites, And he was a large and a mighty man.
Therefore, the king of the Lamanites, whose name was Tubaloth, who was the son of Ammaron - Now Tubaloth supposing that Coriantumr, he being a mighty man, could stand against the Nephites insomuch with his strength, and also with his great wisdom, That by sending him forth he should gain power over the Nephites -
Therefore, he did stir them up to anger, And he did gather together his armies, And he did appoint Coriantumr to be their leader, And did cause that they should march down to the Land of Zarahemla to battle against the Nephites.
And it came to pass that because of so much contention and so much difficulty in the government, That they had not kept sufficient guards in the Land of Zarahemla; For they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great City Zarahemla.
But it came to pass that Coriantumr did march forth at the head of his numerous host and came upon the inhabitants of the city, And their march was with such exceeding great speed that there was no time for the Nephites to gather together their armies;
Therefore, Coriantumr did cut down the watch by the entrance of the city, And did march forth with his whole army into the city, And they did slay everyone who did oppose them, insomuch that they did take possession of the whole city.
And it came to pass that Pacumeni, which was the chief judge, did flee before Coriantumr, even to the walls of the city.
And it came to pass that Coriantumr did smite him against the wall, insomuch that he died. And thus ended the days of Pacumeni.
And now when Coriantumr saw that he was in possession of the City of Zarahemla, And saw that the Nephites had fled before them and were slain, And were taken and were cast into prison, And that he had obtained the possession of the strongest hold in all the land, His heart took courage, insomuch that he was about to go forth against all the land.
And now he did not tarry in the Land of Zarahemla, But he did march forth with a large army, even toward the City of Bountiful; For it was his determination to go forth and cut his way through with the sword, that he might obtain the north parts of the land,
And supposing that their greatest strength was in the center of the land, Therefore, he did march forth, giving them no time to assemble themselves together, save it were in small bodies; And in this manner they did fall upon them and cut them down to the earth.
But behold, this march of Coriantumr through the center of the land gave Moronihah great advantage over them, Notwithstanding the greatness of the number of the Nephites which were slain;
For behold, Moronihah had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the center of the land, But that they would attack the cities round about in the borders as they had hitherto done; Therefore, Moronihah had caused that their strong armies should maintain those parts round about by the borders.
But behold, the Lamanites were not frightened according to his desire; But they had come into the center of the land and had taken the capital city, which was the City of Zarahemla, And were marching through the most capital parts of the land, Slaying the people with a great slaughter - both men, women and children - Taking possession of many cities and of many strongholds.
But when Moronihah had discovered this, He immediately sent forth Lehi with an army round about to head them before they should come to the Land Bountiful;
And thus he did; And he did head them before they came to the Land Bountiful and gave unto them battle, Insomuch that they began to retreat back toward the Land of Zarahemla.
And it came to pass that Moronihah did head them in their retreat and did give unto them battle, Insomuch that it became an exceeding bloody battle; Yea, many were slain; And among the number which were slain, Coriantumr was also found.
And now behold, the Lamanites could not retreat either way - neither on the north, nor on the south, nor on the east, nor on the west - For they were surrounded on every hand by the Nephites.
And thus had Coriantumr plunged the Lamanites into the midst of the Nephites, Insomuch that they were in the power of the Nephites; And he himself was slain, And the Lamanites did yield themselves up into the hands of the Nephites.
And it came to pass that Moronihah took possession of the City of Zarahemla again, And caused that the Lamanites which had been taken prisoners should depart out of the land in peace.
And thus ended the forty and first year of the reign of the judges.
And it came to pass in the forty and second year of the reign of the judges, After Moronihah had established again the peace between the Nephites and the Lamanites, Behold, there was no one to fill the judgment seat; Therefore, there began to be a contention again among the people concerning who should fill the judgment seat.
And it came to pass that Helaman, which was the son of Helaman, was appointed to fill the judgment seat by the voice of the people.
But behold, Kishcumen, who had murdered Pahoron, did lay wait to destroy Helaman also; And he was upheld by his band which had entered into a covenant that no one should know his wickedness.
For there was one, Gaddianton, who was exceeding expert in many words, and also in his craft, to carry on the secret work of murder and of robbery; Therefore, he became the leader of the band of Kishcumen;
Therefore, he did flatter them, and also Kishcumen, that if they would place him in the judgment seat, He would grant unto those which belonged to his band that they should be placed in power and authority among the people; Therefore, Kishcumen sought to destroy Helaman.
And it came to pass as he went forth toward the judgment seat to destroy Helaman, Behold, one of the servants of Helaman - having been out by night and having obtained through disguise a knowledge of those plans which had been laid by this band to destroy Helaman -
And it came to pass that he met Kishcumen and he gave unto him a sign; Therefore, Kishcumen made known unto him the object of his desire, Desiring that he would conduct him to the judgment seat, that he might murder Helaman.
And it came to pass that when the servant of Helaman had known all the heart of Kishcumen, And how that it was his object to murder, And also that it was the object of all those which belonged to his band to murder and to rob and to gain power - and this was their secret plan and their combination - The servant of Helaman saith unto Kishcumen: "Let us go forth unto the judgment seat."
Now this did please Kishcumen exceedingly, For he did suppose that he should accomplish his design; But behold, the servant of Helaman, as they were going forth unto the judgment seat, did stab Kishcumen, even to the heart, that he fell dead without a groan;
And he ran and told Helaman all the things which he had seen and heard and done.
And it came to pass that Helaman did send forth to take this band of robbers and secret murderers, that they might be executed according to the law.
But behold, when Gaddianton had found that Kishcumen did not return, He feared lest that he should be destroyed; Therefore, he caused that his band should follow him;
And they took their flight out of the land by a secret way into the wilderness; And thus when Helaman sent forth to take them, they could nowhere be found; And more of this Gaddianton shall be spoken hereafter.
And thus ended the forty and second year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gaddianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi -
Behold, I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, But I mean the end of the book of Nephi from which I have taken all the account which I have written.