Never Blame Yourself
The Lamanites make a confusing collective decision in verse 1:
And behold, now it came to pass that those Lamanites were more angry because they had slain their brethren; therefore they swore vengeance upon the Nephites; and they did no more attempt to slay the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi at that time.Standing over the bloody corpses of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, the Lamanite soldiers realize that some of their buddies have actually joined the group of pacifists and been slaughtered alongside of them. Their reaction? To go kill some Nephites.
What do the Nephites have to do with any of this? Why not keep killing the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, since they're the ones who'd lured their brethren to their deaths? Or why not, you know, stop butchering people and go home?
But somehow, they decide that it's not their fault that they murdered their own countrymen. It's those damn dirty Nephites.
Some Delicious Comeuppances
The Lamanites, in their inexplicable rage against the Nephites, "fell upon the people who were in the land of Ammonihah and destroyed them." Finally those arrogant jerks who rejected Alma and Amulek all those chapters ago get what they deserved, right? Funny how when the chief judge of Ammonihah burns a whole pile of people it's a horrible tragedy but when God punishes the entire city by having the Lamanites kill everyone it's justice.
And then the Lamanites hunt down the people of Amulon, who were the wicked King Noah's priests back in the day. Verse 9 reads:
Thus the words of Abinadi were brought to pass, which he said concerning the seed of the priests who caused that he should suffer death by fire.Sure, some of Abinadi's prophecies were brought to pass. The descendants of Amulon's cronies were indeed chased and smitten and destroyed. But he wasn't batting anywhere close to a thousand:
And it will come to pass that ye shall be afflicted with all manner of diseases because of your iniquities. (Mosiah 17:16)Where was that one fulfilled? And then there's the most memorable, dramatic threat of the bunch:
And in that day ye shall be hunted, and ye shall be taken by the hand of your enemies, and then ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire. (Mosiah 17:18)As far as this chapter is concerned, the Lamanites destroyed Amulon's clan with the sword. There's no mention of the Lamanite hordes burning them alive. But questionable prophet cred aside, at least we get to enjoy some tasty cathartic destruction of some people who we're told totally had it coming.
Why Are We Doing This Again?
The righteous civilizations then lapsed back into a period of peace and piety, focusing on adherence to the Law of Moses:
Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.If I'd been an ancient Nephite, I would've been pretty pissed about this.
So...we're following a set of extremely rigorous rules because God told us to, except we can't overcome our sinful natures and ascend to heaven by doing it? Why should we follow these rules then? To earn irredeemable brownie points? Screw that.