|54:1 And now it came to pass in the commencement of
the twenty and ninth year of the judges, that Ammoron
sent unto Moroni desiring that he would exchange
|54:2 And it came to pass that Moroni felt to rejoice
exceedingly at this request, for he desired the
provisions which were imparted for the support of the
Lamanite prisoners for the support of his own people; and
he also desired his own people for the strengthening of
|54:3 Now the Lamanites had taken many women and
children, and there was not a woman nor a child among all
the prisoners of Moroni, or the prisoners whom Moroni had
taken; therefore Moroni resolved upon a stratagem to
obtain as many prisoners of the Nephites from the
Lamanites as it were possible.
|54:4 Therefore he wrote an epistle, and sent it by
the servant of Ammoron, the same who had brought an
epistle to Moroni. Now these are the words which he wrote
unto Ammoron, saying:
|54:5 Behold, Ammoron, I have written unto you
somewhat concerning this war which ye have waged against
my people, or rather which thy brother hath waged against
them, and which ye are still determined to carry on after
|54:6 Behold, I would tell you somewhat concerning
the justice of God, and the sword of his almighty wrath, which doth hang over you
except ye repent and withdraw your armies into your own
lands, or the land of your possessions, which is the land
|54:7 Yea, I would tell you these things if ye were
capable of hearkening unto them; yea, I would tell you
concerning that awful hell that awaits to
receive such murderers as thou and thy brother have been,
except ye repent and withdraw your murderous purposes,
and return with your armies to your own lands.
|54:8 But as ye have once rejected these things, and
have fought against the people of the Lord, even so I may
expect you will do it again.
|54:9 And now behold, we are prepared to receive you;
yea, and except you withdraw your purposes, behold, ye
will pull down the wrath of that God whom you have
rejected upon you, even to your utter destruction.
|54:10 But, as the Lord liveth, our armies shall come
upon you except ye withdraw, and ye shall soon be visited
with death, for we will retain our cities and our lands;
yea, and we will maintain our religion and the cause of
|54:11 But behold, it supposeth me that I talk to you
concerning these things in vain; or it supposeth me that
thou art a child of hell; therefore I will
close my epistle by telling you that I will not exchange
prisoners, save it be on conditions that ye will deliver
up a man and his wife and his children, for one prisoner;
if this be the case that ye will do it, I will exchange.
|54:12 And behold, if ye do not this, I will come
against you with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women
and my children, and I will come against you, and I will
follow you even into your own land, which is the land of
our first inheritance; yea, and it shall be blood for
blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle
even until you are destroyed from off the face of the
|54:13 Behold, I am in my anger, and also my people;
ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to
defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us
more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek
our land, the land of our first inheritance.
|54:14 Now I close my epistle. I am Moroni; I am a
leader of the people of the Nephites.
|54:15 Now it came to pass that Ammoron, when he had
received this epistle, was angry; and he wrote another
epistle unto Moroni, and these are the words which he
|54:16 I am Ammoron, the king of the Lamanites; I am
the brother of Amalickiah whom ye have murdered. Behold,
I will avenge his blood upon you, yea, and I will come
upon you with my armies for I fear not your threatenings.
|54:17 For behold, your fathers did wrong their
brethren, insomuch that they did rob them of their right
to the government when it rightly belonged unto them.
|54:18 And now behold, if ye will lay down your arms,
and subject yourselves to be governed by those to whom
the government doth rightly belong, then will I cause
that my people shall lay down their weapons and shall be
at war no more.
|54:19 Behold, ye have breathed out many threatenings
against me and my people; but behold, we fear not your
|54:20 Nevertheless, I will grant to exchange
prisoners according to your request, gladly, that I may
preserve my food for my men of war; and we will wage a
war which shall be eternal, either to the subjecting the
Nephites to our authority or to their eternal extinction.
|54:21 And as concerning that God whom ye say we have
rejected, behold, we know not such a being; neither do
ye; but if it so be that there is such a being, we know
not but that he hath made us as well as you.
|54:22 And if it so be that there is a devil and a hell, behold will he
not send you there to dwell with my brother whom ye have
murdered, whom ye have hinted that he hath gone to such a
place? But behold these things matter not.
|54:23 I am Ammoron, and a descendant of Zoram, whom
your fathers pressed and brought out of Jerusalem.
|54:24 And behold now, I am a bold Lamanite; behold,
this war hath been waged to avenge their wrongs, and to
maintain and to obtain their rights to the government;
and I close my epistle to Moroni.