Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Fall of the Lamanites – Part II

Continuing from the last post, which ended with that last, great battle Moroni mentions, and about how many died in the process, and the unknown number that survived.  However, we can suggest that for an incensed army to wipe out more than 230,000 men-at-arms in a final series of battles (Mormon 6:12-15), including, perhaps, as many as half a million or more non-combatants (wives, children, widows and old men), and still hunger for bloodshed, that the results of the civil war which followed would have been both devastating and unending between the remnant of Lehi’s seed.   
Mormon, himself, in the final two decades of the war said that “it was impossible for the tongue to describe, or for man to write a perfect description of the horrible scene of the blood and carnage which was among the people, both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites; and every heart was hardened, so that they delighted in the shedding of blood continually” (Mormon 4:11), adding that there “never had been so great wickedness among all the children of Lehi, nor ever among all the house of Israel, according to the words of the Lord, as was among this people” (Mormon 4:12).
    When a huge army delights in the shedding of blood continually, and then turns against itself in a civil war between factions, it should be understood that the constant shedding of blood would continue for some time. And, too, since this crazed, blood-thirsty army sacrificed women and children in their lust for more killing (Mormon 4:14), that no one would be spared from the conflict.  While Lamanite women and children are never mentioned in connection with wars and battles, it might be assumed that the blood-thirsty civil war included everyone. 
    Certainly, the power and influence of the surviving Lamanites, both waned and waxed within tribal groups, with one faction in an area achieving supremacy and authority for a time, only to be replaced by another controlling band. This evidently went on for a thousand years until the final culture of the Inca rose to power around 1400 A.D. and began to build an empire through conquest and subjugation of other tribes.  In this case, the Inca did not build or create, though they have been given much credit for doing so.
    Instead, the Inca occupied the towns and villages, the buildings and cities, the Nephites left behind, reinforming where necessary, but with far less ability than what had preceded them. Even when the Inca tried to build upon those old structures, their inferior workmanship is quite noticeable.
Later Inca workmanship shown on the left of stacked rocks; Early Nephite workmanship shown on the right of cutting and dressing stones for an earthquake proof, solid wall with angles so tight a razor blade could not slip between the mortarless stones
    Still, through power and might, and administrative insight, they conquered the Andes from Ecuador to northern Chile, close to encompassing the entire extent of the original Land of Promise.
    Some have asked why the Lamanites were allowed to destroy the Nephites?  After all, the Nephites had been the chosen people, carrying the priesthood lineage, and such a delightsome people for hundreds of years, achieving the epitome of righteousness in their Golden Age during the 200 years after Christ’s appearance among them. However, as Mormon saw in his day that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually (Mormon 2:15), the Nephites were beyond redemption, having fallen into extreme wickedness, rebelling against their God, being led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind (Mormon 5:18).  In such a state of open rebellion, God visited his long-promised destruction upon them, because the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished (Mormon 4:5).
    Thus ended the one-thousand-year-old Nephite nation, and the annihilation of all its people, spurring on the Lamanite civil war that lasted evidently, for the next thousand years.  Obviously, by the time the Inca rose to power, the land was filled with separate, independent tribes, few of which were willing to unite against the common threat.  However, the Inca, for all their reported magnificence, lasted just under 100 years, and were ultimately destroyed as were the Aztecs and the Maya, by ridiculously small numbers of Gentile forces as Nephi had seen in his vision two thousand years earlier.
    The 54-year-old Francisco Pizarro led but 167 soldiers against hundreds of thousands of Inca warriors, not only wiping out the Inca as a nation, but literally destroying the Inca people, and all the natives of the Andes, the remnant of Lehi’s seed.  In the 15th Century, some thousand years after their annihilation of the Nephites, God’s judgment on the Lamanites was about to be fulfilled.  And this judgment has no parallel in human history for the total and complete subjugation and ruination of a people that has lasted for nearly the past 500 years.
    I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten” (1 Nephi 13:14)
The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of reckless cruelty and greed known in history.  Spain has the unenviable credit of having destroyed two great civilizations, that of Mexico and Guatemala and that of the Andes, making their conquest the most inglorious in all human history. The ignoble defeat of a native people, whose achievements and society were far superior to that of Spain, not only ruined a people for all time, but drowned and destroyed all the past of their culture, heritage, and history. History has written of this: "The Spaniards made accursed the name of man and thrice-accursed the name of God.”
    This people of the Western Hemisphere, which had accomplished so much in their thousands of years of history, were first discovered, then exterminated by a newer and upstart race arrogating to themselves the right to do so. Tens of thousands were starved to death, outright murdered, or in other ways killed, their royalty and nobles reduced to beggary and slavery.
    Once the Spanish conquest was accomplished, the Indians’ future was behind them.  Many were captured and burned to death, becoming withered leaves clinging to a dead tree.  As has been written of their fate—time for them only reaches backward. There never was such a state of moral degradation as existed in South America after the conquest. Nor could any such conquest ever be made again—no such destruction of a race is today conceivable unless in some future age aliens from space were to swoop down upon our then effete civilization and wipe it out.
    Before 1492, Lehi’s seed enjoyed the separation from other nations, as the Lord promised that eminent prophet.  However, following Columbus’ discovery of the New World, this mysterious race of beings who were born apart and lived apart in a world of their own, their land their own undisputed possession, as by divine gift, were unknown to the world. But since the conquest, the Lamanite has been a slave, yet unlike the African, he made a poor one.  Too deeply had the iron of independence entered his soul.
    By the 20th century, the remnant of Lehi’s seed had become a byword and a curse to all those societies around them.  In the American West a century earlier, they were considered much like animals, hunted down and butchered. 
Today, they mostly live on reservations in hovels with little or no hope.  Most while away their days in servitude or extreme poverty.  In the Andes, the natives have few rights and absolutely no ambition to change their horrible plight.  Even today, they are little more than slaves in their own countries.
    However, there is a bright side.  The Lord has promised the remnant of Lehi’s seed that He would not forget them.  Today, these natives by the thousands are finding new lives in a modern world, achieving greatness among themselves and among the countries of the world—especially in the U.S.  The promised Day of the Lamanite is apparently upon us, and thousands are flooding into the United States to eventually gain citizenship and share in the American Dream.  Others are beginning to emerge in the Andean area, forming or becoming part of governments, their voices finally beginning to emerge and be heard.  The near ruination of an entire people numbering in the millions, by an entire nation bent on world domination (or that part of it they could eventually control) for the purpose of wealth, power and dominion, is beginning to be rectified.  With the good graces of the Lord and within his own time frame, the remnant of Lehi’s seed is and will continue to flower, perhaps to regain some of the prominence and status they once held in the Land of Promise.

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