Mosiah 9:13: Therefore it came to pass that king Laman began to stir up his people that they should contend with my people; therefore there began to be wars and contentions in the land.
There’s always a certain democracy to starting a war in the BoM. The king doesn’t just say “to horse!” and they go after the Nephites. They always have to get them worked up first. I suppose there’s always some politics involved, the world-over. But it’s certainly not like a powerful Pharaoh who’s army’s always seem ready for war, and are his to command. Maybe that has something to do with them being “lazy and […] idolatrous”?
Mosiah 9:18 And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty-three; we did slay them even until we had driven them out of our land.
19 And I, myself, with mine own hands, did help to bury their dead. And behold, to our great sorrow and lamentation, two hundred and seventy-nine of our brethren were slain.
Wow! I guess you can see the hand of the Lord in the numbers alone: 3,043 vs 279. That’s 10.9:1 ratio. Almost 11 Lamanites killed for every 1 Nephite killed. It’s a sad thing, war. And I hate to see anyone killed, but it’s incredible the discrepancy in the numbers. It certainly would appear that you can see God’s hand in the numbers.
I find it honorable and a sad sort of sacred ritual that Zeniff (the King) and his people would bury the Lamanites. The corpses of people who had come to kill them aren’t burned or dishonored. They bury them, honoring the lives taken, respecting the fact they probably didn’t fully understand what they were doing.