A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Lehi (III)

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LEHI. One of the greatest of Nephite military commanders and the associate of Moroni and Teancum, both of whom he survived for many years. It is not evident from the record, but we think it highly probable, that Lehi was the same person as Lehi the son of Zoram (Alma, 16:5), that young man being then (B. C. 81) a distinguished officer under his father. Lehi first prominently appears in the Nephite annals in the great battle fought (B. C. 74) with the Lamanites under Zarahemnah, on the banks of the Sidon, not far from Manti. Moroni was commander-in-chief of the Nephite forces, while Lehi commanded an army corps. Before the battle commenced, Moroni skilfully concealed his troops on both sides of the river, and permitted the Lamanites to pass between. Lehi's men, who had been massed on the east side of the river, on the south of a hill named Riplah, closed in on the rear of the Lamanites, when the latter faced about and gave battle. The fight soon grew fast and furious. The Lamanites perceiving that Moroni was attacking them on both sides, fought with desperation, but with immense loss; and in a short time they fled before Lehi and were driven by him into the waters of the river. Lehi did not cross in pursuit, but halted his soldiers on the eastern side, while the troops more directly commanded by Moroni drove the enemy before them on the western banks. The day ended in a complete victory for the Nephites. When the devastating wars which Amalickiah inaugurated were begun, we again find Lehi in high command. He was chief captain in the city of Noah, and when the Lamanites attacked it, his name alone added to their discomfiture, for, we are told, "they feared Lehi exceedingly" (Alma, 49:17). Lehi's cautious but resolute defense, combined with the perfection of the fortifications built by Moroni around the city, caused the Lamanites to throw away more than one thousand men, and all their chief captains, in the futile attempt to carry the city by storm (B. C. 73).

Lehi continued to be actively engaged during the next war, and appears to have been second in command to Moroni over the army of the northeast. His next conspicuous recorded exploit was assisting in the defeat of Jacob, between Bountiful and Mulek, and the recapture of the latter city (B. C. 64). Moroni placed Lehi in command of the captured city. When (B. C. 62) the revolt of the king-men under Pachus took place, Moroni, at the suggestion of Pahoran, the chief judge, hastened to the aid of the government at Zarahemla, and left Lehi and Teancum in charge of the armies in the northeast, who were then reduced by years of continued fighting, and sadly in need of provisions. The next year, Moroni sent them a reinforcement of 6,000 men and a sufficient supply of food, which was followed by a brilliant campaign, in which Moroni, Lehi and Teancum, by prearranged tactics and simultaneous movements, drove the Lamanites beyond the Nephite territory and ended the long-continued and exhausting series of wars. (B. C. 61.) When Moroni died (B. C. 56), he was succeeded by his son Moronihah as commander-in-chief of the armies of the Republic, and Lehi, now getting up in years, appears to have stood in the same position to him, as he did to his father.

In the calamitous invasion of the land of Zarahemla by the Lamanites, under Coriantumr (B. C. 51), Lehi was the first to stay their devastating march northward. He met them somewhere between Zarahemla and Bountiful, and drove them back towards the former city. Their retreat was cut off by Moronihah, and the two Nephite generals, one in the front and the other in the rear, signally defeated the invaders and made prisoners of all who were not slain. It is in connection with this campaign that Lehi's name is last mentioned in the Book of Mormon. In character, we are told by the historian, that Lehi "was a man like unto Moroni,” God-fearing, wise, prudent and brave. "They were beloved by each other, and also beloved by all the people of Nephi." Alma, 53:2.)