A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Limhi

LIMHI. The son of Noah, and the third king over the colony which left Zarahemla and returned to Lehi-Nephi. His reign was little more than a nominal one, as his people were in bondage to the Lamanites, to whom they paid one-half of all they possessed, and one-half of the products of their yearly toil. Out of this were paid the guards who were set to watch that none of the Nephites escaped. Limhi's reign was marked by several disastrous wars, one brought on by the fugitive priests of king Noah (see Laman, Amulon); the others were the abortive attempts of the people of Limhi to throw off the oppressor's yoke; but in every case the revolt ended in its suppression and the infliction of heavier burdens and more cruel indignities upon the unfortunate Nephites. All of which were in fulfilment of the words of the Prophet Abinadi. Thus the years slowly and painfully wore away. The Lord, after a time, softened the hearts of the Lamanites, so that they treated their captives with less cruelty. He also prospered them in their labors, that they did not suffer any more from hunger.

In this sad condition of bondage and serfdom, the people of Limhi had one hope. It was to communicate with their Nephite friends in the land of Zarahemla. To this end Limhi secretly fitted out an expedition consisting of a small number of men. This company became lost in the wilderness, and traveled a long distance northward, until they found a land covered with the dry bones of men who appeared to have fallen in battle. Limhi's people thought this must be the land of Zarahemla, and that their Nephite brethren who dwelt there had been destroyed. But in this they were wrong, for they found with the dead some records engraved on plates of gold, which, when afterwards translated by the power of God, showed that these bones were those of some of the Jaredites who had been slain in war. They evidently missed the land of Zarahemla, having probably traveled to the west of it and passed northward through the Isthmus of Panama.

Shortly after this, a small company, numbering sixteen men, reached them from Zarahemla. Their leader's name was Ammon. He had been sent by king Mosiah to the land of Nephi. to find out what had become of the people who left with Zeniff, Limhi's grandfather. At first, Ammon's men were taken for spies and cast into prison. The next day the mistake was discovered, and Limhi and his people were overjoyed to hear from their friends. Soon plans were laid to effect the escape of the enslaved Nephites, which, under the guidance of Limhi, Ammon and Gideon, was successfully accomplished. The Lamanite guards were made drowsy through a large present of wine, of which they freely drank. While in this condition the Nephites escaped through an unfrequented pass, crossed the wilderness and reached the land of Zarahemla in safety, (B. C. 122). After the arrival of his people in Zarahemla, we hear nothing more of Limhi, save that he and all who accompanied him from Lehi-Nephi were baptized by Alma, the elder, and became members of the church of God.