An account of Alma, Who was the son of Alma
And it came to pass in the commencement of the fifth year of their (judges) reign there began to be a contention among the people; for a certain man, being called Amlici, by his cunning (had) drawn much people after him; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and they began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be King over the people. And it came to pass that they gathered themselves together, and did consecrate Amlici to be their king.
And it came to pass that the Amlicites came upon the hill Amnihu, which was east of the river Sidon, which ran by the land of Zarahemla, and there they began to make war with the Nephites. And they began to slay the Amlicites upon the hill east of Sidon. And the Nephites did pursue the Amlicites all that day, (The Amlicites were running away from the city of Zarahemla. The river Sidon ran between Zarahemla and the hill Amnihu. Is that why the city of Zarahemla was built where it was? Because of the benefits of being close to a river?) and when Alma could pursue the Amlicites no longer he caused that his people should pitch their tents (The soldiers in the army of the Nephites probably did not carry their own tents. They must have had a support supply line. Tents, food, medical, weapons, etc. This must mean they had wagons traveling on roads, etc.) in the valley of Gideon, the valley being called after (the man) Gideon. Alma 2:1-20 (The Valley of Gideon must have also been east of Zarahemla)
And Alma sent spies to follow the remnant of the Amlicites, and on the morrow they returned into the camp of the Nephites in great haste, being greatly astonished, and struck with much fear, saying: Behold, we followed the camp of the Amlicites, and to our great astonishment, in the land of Minon, above (Above? Would this indicate north of Zarahemla? Why did the Lamanites come in at the same place: the land of Minon? Was there something weak about coming into the land of Zarahemla from the north?) the land of Zarahemla, in the course of the land of Nephi, (The course, way, or road to the land of Nephi must have been north of the city of Zarahemla! Is this why they describe their travels as up out of Zarahemla and down into the land of Nephi?) we saw a numerous host of the Lamanites; and behold, the Amlicites have joined them; And they are upon our brethren in that land; and they are fleeing before them with their flocks, and their wives, and their children, towards our city; (This sounds like the Lamanites and Amlicites were coming over the top or north of Alma and his army. Is this why later [verse 37] the Lamanites were scattered and driven west and north?) and except we make haste they obtain possession of our city, and our fathers, and our wives, and our children be slain.
And it came to pass that the people of Nephi took their tents, and departed out of the valley of Gideon towards their city, which was the city of Zarahemla. And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon, the Lamanites and the Amlicites, being as numerous almost, as it were, as the sands of the sea, came upon them to destroy them. (The Lamanites were on the west side of the river Sidon)
Now Alma contented with Amlici; and he was strengthened, insomuch that he slew Amlici with the sword. And with his guards contended with the guards of the King of the Lamanites until he slew and drove them back. And thus he cleared the ground, or rather the bank, which was on the west of the river Sidon, (Does this mean the river Sidon runs north and south; at least above the land of Zarahemla?) throwing the bodies of the Lamanites who had been slain into the waters of Sidon, that thereby his people might have room to cross and contend with the Lamanites and the Amlicites on the west side of the river Sidon. And they fled before the Nephites towards the wilderness (Hermounts) which was west and north, away beyond the borders of the land (Zarahemla); (Was the river Sidon in the land of Zarahemla or did the land of Zarahemla encompass a larger area: perhaps describing the holdings of the Nephites? More of a title than it was of geography?) and the Nephites did pursue them with their might, and did slay them. Yea, they were met on every hand, and slain and driven, until they were scattered on the west, and on the north until they had reached the wilderness, which was called Hermounts; and it was that part of the wilderness which was infested by wild and ravenous beasts. Alma 2:23-37
And now as many of the Lamanites and the Amlicites who had been slain upon the bank of river Sidon were cast into the waters of Sidon; and behold their bones are in the depths of the sea, (Which sea? The west sea or the south sea?) and they are many. Alma 3:3
Now it came to pass that not many days after the battle which was fought in the land of Zarahemla by the Lamanites and the Amlicites, that there was another army of the Lamanites came in upon the people of Nephi, in the same place (Later, the Nephites drove all the Lamanites out of this area to secure it from the armies of the Lamanites) where the first army met the Amlicites. And it came to pass that there was an army sent and they went up and slew many of the Lamanites, and drove the remainder of them out of the boarders of their land. Alma 3:20-23
And now it came to pass that when Alma had made these regulations he departed from them, yea, from the church which was in the city of Zarahemla and went over upon the east of the river Sidon, into the valley of Gideon, there having been a city built, which was called the city of Gideon, which was in the valley that was called Gideon. Alma 6:7 (This is the same valley where Alma caused his army to pitch their tents after their first day’s battle with the Amlicites. It makes sense that the Nephites would pitch their tents and camp where they could get support and provisions from the Nephites in the city of Gideon.)
And now it came to pass that Alma returned from the land of Gideon, to his own house at Zarahemla to rest himself. And Alma departed from thence and took his journey over into the land of Melek, on the west of the river Sidon, on the west by the borders of the wilderness. (The city of Melek was north and west of city of Zarahemla. This assumes that the wilderness nearby is the wilderness of Hermounts.) (And) when he had finished his work at Melek, he departed thence, and traveled three days journey on the north of the land of Melek; (Into or through the wilderness of Hermounts?) and he came to a city which was called Ammonihah. Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities and their villages, yea, even all their small villages, after the name of him who first possessed them; and this it was with the land of Ammonihah. Alma 8:1-7 (To understand the geography of the Book of Mormon, you must keep in mind this custom of naming areas after those who first possessed them.)
Now when the people caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city which was called Aaron. (Was there more than one city of Aaron? It certainly is possible. There is a city named Thomasville in every state in the U.S.) Now it came to pass that after Alma received a message from an angel of the Lord, he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah. And he entered the city on the south of the city of Ammonihah. Alma 8:13,18
And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek were commanded to depart out of the city; and they departed, and came out even into the land of Sidon; and behold, there they found all the people who had been cast out and stoned, because they believed in the words of Alma. Alma 15:1
Now, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house. Alma 15:18
And it came to pass in the eleventh year of the reign of the judges, there was a cry of war heard throughout the land. For behold, the armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side, into the borders of the land