A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Gidgiddoni
GIDGIDDONI. A prophet-general of the Nephites, of the time of Christ; he was commander-in-chief of the armies of the commonwealth, in the days when Lachoneus, the elder, was chief judge and governor, and appears to a certain extent to have shared with that illustrious man the powers of the government. Besides being one of the ablest military commanders that ever led the Nephites to victory, he was also a great prophet, and his inspired teachings, wise counsels and timely reproofs were as valuable in preserving that people from destruction as was his skill, strategy, resolution and courage as a general. Gidgiddoni was chosen commander of the Nephite forces the same year that Lachoneus decided, because of the imperiled condition of the Nephites from the ever-recurring attacks of the robbers, to gather all the people in one region (A. C. 16). In this gigantic, almost unparalleled labor, Lachoneus was zealously supported by Gidgiddoni, under whose direction the assembled hosts fortified their land of refuge. It was not until the next year that all the people had assembled together, for it proved a slow and tedious work to bring millions of people, many for thousands of miles, with all their movable substance, and with a supply of seven years' provisions. In the latter part of the following year (A. C. 18), the robbers sallied out of their hiding places in the deserts and mountains and occupied the cities and lands temporarily deserted by the citizens. But they found no means of subsistence there, and game soon grew scarce in the wilderness. Active warfare was their only resort, so Giddianhi, their leader, determined, if possible, to force his way into the country held by the Nephites. A desperate battle followed, Gidgiddoni acting on the defensive; the slaughter was more terrible than in any previous battle between the descendants of Lehi. Ultimately Giddianhi was slain, the robbers repulsed and pursued to the borders of the wilderness. (A. C. 19.) The robbers made no further attack the next year, but having chosen one Zemnarihah as their chief, in A. C. 21, he so disposed of his bands as to surround the Nephites. His attempt was ineffectual. The region occupied by the Nephites was far too extended to admit of a siege being successful. The robbers also were short of food. Gidgiddoni perceived that this was his opportunity, time and again he made successful sorties, slaying tens of thousands of the enemy and harassing by continual movements those who remained. At last, the robbers determined to flee to the north and there concentrate in one region. Gidgiddoni, learning of their intentions, and knowing their feeble bodily condition through lack of food, determined to intercept them. This he successfully accomplished, thousands of the marauders were slain. Among the prisoners was Zemnarihah, who was afterwards hanged. The people continued in their gathered condition in Zarahemla and Bountiful until A. C. 26. Then, taking with them the provisions they had not consumed, and their-gold, silver and precious things, they returned to their old homes. A short period of prosperity followed, the great roads were repaired, old cities were rebuilt and new ones founded, and many other improvements made for the benefit of the people, in all of which Gidgiddoni and Lachoneus were the leaders. His connexion with these labors (A. C. 28), is the last reference made to Gidgiddoni in the Book of Mormon. The soldiers of Gidgiddoni succeeded in taking as prisoners all the robbers that were not killed. The word of God was preached to them, and those who repented of their sins, and covenanted to cease their evil practices, were set at liberty. The remainder were condemned for their crimes and punished according to law. This entirely broke up these bands of murderers and robbers, and peace and righteousness again prevailed.