May 30, 2014 by FHElessons
I have been thinking about the 300 young women who were recently kidnapped by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria. I feel so bad for those girls and for their families! Can you imagine if your teenage daughter was abducted by a group of bad men while she was at school, held in captivity, and possibly sold as a bride to one of the men for the equivalent of about $12? I can imagine how helpless I would feel, how angry at those men for harming my precious daughter, and how much I would wish for her safety.
The story from the Book of Mormon about the abduction of 24 Lamanite young women by some other bad men has many parallels to this current event. In both accounts, precious daughters were abducted while innocently gathered together for a purpose. The bad men in both accounts had been hiding in the jungle and subsequently carried the girls off into the jungle to hide. After the abduction, the families (and tribe) of the girls wanted desperately to recover them and were most likely filled with anger at those who had done this horrible act.
The Lamanites prepared to go to war against the only other people around – a group of Nephites. The Nigerians looked to their government for help, but when the government failed to act, a band of Nigerian bushmen made homemade weapons and gathered together to search for the girls, knowing that they were better able to find someone hidden in a jungle that they themselves were familiar with than a government who never ventures into the jungle would be able to do. In the end, the Lamanite young women were taken in marriage by their captors. We don’t know the final fate of the Nigerian girls yet, but we do know that some have been sold into marriage. I hope that the Nigerian girls may yet be recovered and not forced into the same fate as the Lamanite daughters.
This post is part of my Book of Mormon story series. To see all the stories in this series, click on the “Scripture Stories” tab at the top of the page. To see a timeline of how all the stories fit together, go HERE.
I didn’t have an image of this story to illustrate it, so my youngest daughter was kind enough to paint me a picture of the dancing Lamanite girls. Didn’t she do an amazing job? I very much appreciate her taking the time to help me! Her artwork is an act of service to me and to God. If anyone else would like to draw or paint a picture to illustrate a Book of Mormon story and allow me to share it on my blog, I would LOVE that! (hint, hint)
The Abduction of the Lamanite Daughters
(found in Mosiah 20 & 23 in the Book of Mormon)
After the wicked priests of King Noah escaped into the wilderness, they were afraid to return to their families, knowing that the Nephite people wanted them dead. They spent about two years hanging around in the wilderness until one day they discovered a place where some young, Lamanite women liked to gather to sing and dance and have fun. The lecherous Lamanite priests began to watch these girls, and then, one day, when there were only 24 young women gathered there, the wicked priests came in and kidnapped them!
When the Lamanite families found out that their daughters were missing, they blamed the only other people around – the Nephites (people of Limhi). The Lamanites considered the abduction of their daughters an act of war, and the Lamanite king himself marched at the head of his armies to the land of Nephi with the intent of destroying the people of Limhi in reprisal.
Fortunately Limhi had the tower that his father had built as a watch tower, so he was warned in advance of the coming of the Lamanite armies. The Nephites hid and laid in wait for the Lamanites and then ambushed them. A battle ensued, and although there were at least twice as many Lamanites as there were Nephites, the Nephites fought to protect their families and “exerted themselves like dragons” (vs. 11). The Nephites began to drive back the Lamanites.
Finally, the king of the Lamanites was severely wounded and left for dead. Limhi’s people found him and brought him to King Limhi for questioning. He demanded to know the reason why the Lamanites had attacked them, notwithstanding the treaty of peace that was supposed to be upheld. When King Limhi found that the Lamanites had come against them to avenge the abduction of the Lamanite daughters, he vowed to find the culprits and put them to death. But Gideon (the same one who almost slew King Noah) had the idea that it might be the wicked priests who had escaped into the wilderness that had done this thing.
King Limhi told the Lamanite king that it was probably the wicked priests living in the wilderness who had abducted the girls, and the Lamanite king was pacified. He agreed to go before the people and stop the battle and promised that no more of Limhi’s people would be hurt.
What becomes of the kidnapped Lamanite women? The priests of Noah take them as their new wives. They all settle together in a land which they name Amulon, after the name of the chief priest. Later they are discovered by the armies of the Lamanites, but the wicked priests send their wives forth to plead with the armies not to destroy their husbands. Because these wives of the priests are also the daughters of the Lamanites, the armies do not destroy them. Amulon and his brethren end up joining with the Lamanite armies and then persecuting Alma and his people, but that is another story.
Points to Ponder:
· The Lamanite young women were kidnapped by the wicked priests and forced to become their wives. But later they plead with their countrymen to spare their husbands, making it seem like they are happy in their marriages. Is it possible to make a happy marriage with someone wouldn’t necessarily have chosen for yourself? What does it take to make a marriage succeed?
· The Lamanites wrongly assume that Limhi’s people have stolen their daughters, and a battle ensues which surely leaves many people dead. Have you ever had an experience in your life where jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts led to disaster? Why is it important to fully understand the situation before we make judgments?
· Although the Nephites were outnumbered by the Lamanites more than 2 to 1 in the battle, they were still able to drive the Lamanites back because they were motivated by the need to protect their families. What can we do to protect our families in today’s world? Do we need to “exert ourselves like dragons” to protect our families today?
· Throughout the Book of Mormon, the Nephites are continually having to do battle with the Lamanites to protect their homes and families. What kinds of forces do we battle in today’s world to protect our homes and families?
· The wicked priests of King Noah committed a horrible crime against these girls and their families. We see horrible crimes like this committed in today’s world as well. Why does God allow these things to happen? Why does He never interfere with the free agency He has given us?