As Limhi explained to Ammon, when Zeniff brought his band of Nephites to repossess their ancient homeland, he wanted to come up with a treaty between them and the Lamanites. The Lamanite king was more than willing, but that was because he was crafty. He knew Nephites had a tendency to be really hard workers, and if he played his cards right, he could get a lot of benefit from letting them stay. He told them they could have the land of Lehi-Nephi, and the land of Shilom. They lived there in peace for many years, until King Laman began to worry about just how strong the people were becoming. He sent his armies to attack them while they were working, and they slaughtered the Nephites who were in the fields. With the help of God Zeniff was able to protect his people, but at a great cost. From then on Zeniff told his people to be ready for war. They fought at least once more with the Lamanites before Zeniff died, but because he was a righteous king, his people were blessed with victory.
Unfortunately, the son who would succeed him had a very different way of ruling.
Happy New Year, everybody! May 2014 be filled with joy!
Fare thee well, friend!