After the wicked Nephites became slaves to the Lamanites, Limhi, the son of King Noah, became king over this group of Nephites. Limhi’s people were forced to pay to the Lamanites one half of everything they had. The Lamanites promised not to kill Limhi’s people, but they placed guards around their land so that the Nephites could not escape.
After two years the Lamanites began to torment the Nephites. They placed heavy burdens on their backs, slapped them, and drove them as they would animals. All these things were in fulfillment of the prophet Abinadi’s words.
Limhi and his people became angry and attacked the Lamanites. However, the Lord had not told them to fight, and without his help they lost bitterly. Three times they went to battle, and three times they were beaten; hundreds of Limhi’s people were killed. Finally, after much suffering, the Nephites began to humble themselves, hoping that the Lord would deliver them out of their afflictions.
Then one day Gideon, one of Limhi’s great warriors, came to the king with a plan: “Behold the back pass, through the wall on the back side of the city. By night the guards of the Lamanites are drunk; therefore, let us send a proclamation among all this people that they gather together their flocks and herds so that they may drive them into the wilderness by night.”
King Limhi agreed with the plan, and Gideon took some wine to the Lamanite guards. The guards drank the wine until they were drunk, and fell into a deep sleep. While they slept, Limhi and his people quietly passed them with their flocks and herds and escaped into the wilderness. Limhi’s people were then led to Zarahemla, where they joined King Mosiah and the main group of Nephites.