Scriptural Giants: Gideon (Part Two of Two)


Gideon loved the Lord and did all that he could to defend righteousness. When the Lamanites attacked and wicked King Noah commanded the men to abandon their families and flee, Gideon and many others refused to obey and stayed to defend the women and children. The young Nephite women pleaded with the Lamanites, and instead of killing them, the Lamanites placed the Nephites in bondage. Noah’s son, Limhi, a righteous man, became king of the Nephites, and Gideon became his captain. When certain daughters of the Lamanites were kidnapped, the Lamanites blamed the people of Limhi and attacked them. Gideon realized that the priests of Noah were the kidnappers, and this information saved the Nephites from destruction.

The Lamanite armies went back to their land, but they were still angry with Limhi’s people and tormented them continually. They beat them and put heavy burdens on their backs and drove them like animals until the people of Limhi could bear it no longer.

The Nephites complained to King Limhi until he gave permission to fight the Lamanites. But each time that they fought, the Lamanites slew many of them and drove the rest back to their land.

Finally Gideon went to King Limhi and said, “Now O king, thou hast hitherto hearkened unto my words many times when we have been contending with our brethren, the Lamanites.

“And now O king, … I desire that thou wouldst listen to my words at this time, and I will be thy servant and deliver this people out of bondage.”

Limhi listened very carefully as Gideon explained his plan: “Behold the back pass, through the back wall, on the back side of the city. The Lamanites, or the guards of the Lamanites, by night are drunken; therefore let us send a proclamation among all this people that they gather together their flocks and herds, that they may drive them into the wilderness by night.

“And I will go according to thy command and pay the last tribute of wine to the Lamanites, and they will be drunken; and we will pass through the secret pass on the left of their camp when they are drunken and asleep.

“Thus we will depart with our women and our children, our flocks, and our herds into the wilderness; and we will travel around the land of Shilom.”

King Limhi liked Gideon’s plan, and it was put into action. The people of Limhi escaped past the drunken guards into the wilderness, around the land of Shilom, and toward the land of Zarahemla, where they joined King Mosiah’s people.

In his new homeland Gideon continued in the path of righteousness. He was baptized into the Church of God and became a teacher to the people because he was still concerned about saving people from wickedness and helping them to be righteous.

One day while walking along the road, he met a wicked young man named Nehor, who was preaching false doctrine to the people, trying to lead them away from the Church. When Gideon opposed him, speaking the words of God, Nehor became angry. He drew his sword and struck Gideon. Now an old man, Gideon was unable to protect himself. He died the way he had lived—trying to save the people from wickedness. A valley and a city were named in his honor.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dale Kilbourn