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Shiz

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Shiz is a character in the Book of Mormon. In the Book of Ether, he served as one of the two opposing Jaredite leaders in the great and last war of the Jaredites.

First Battles

He obtained his position when his brother Lib fell by the sword of Coriantumr in the midst of battle. Shiz then took control of his brother's army and pursued Coriantumr with a vengeance. In his pursuit, Shiz continued to add to his army, killing all those who would not join him. Coriantumr added to his army too, fleeing to the seashore and readying for the next battle with Shiz. There they battled again for three days until the destruction of Shiz’s army was so great that they were forced to flee to the Land of Corihor. There in the Valley of Corihor, they pitched their tents, while Coriantumr and his army pitched their tents in the Valley of Shurr. Shur was close to the Hill Comnor, which Coriantumr saw as strategically advantageous. He moved his army to the hill and then blew a trumpet challenging Shiz and his army to come and fight. Again they battled until Coriantumr was cut many times and fainted because of the loss of blood. Seeing the destruction that had occurred in his army, Shiz withdrew his forces to fight another day.

The Epistle

Coriantumr recovered and, upon seeing that two million of his people had died, he wrote and offered Shiz the kingdom if he would end the war. Shiz, however, wanted Coriantumr dead and agreed to stop the fighting, if Coriantumr would give himself up to be killed. Coriantumr refused, and thus their people were again stirred up to fight each other. After the epistle, both sides began to battle again, but Coriantumr was forced to flee to the Waters of Ripliancum. There they battled again until Shiz was forced to flee southward to a place called Ogath. Coriantumr established his command at the Hill Ramah. There, for the space of four years, both men continued to add to their armies anyone that they could, both men and women, and even children. Those who would not join were killed off until none were left except they had joined one of the two armies.


The Last Battle

Finally, the two armies came and fought each other over a period of nine days. Each day more and more of the people were killed, but neither side prevailed. At the end of day two, Coriantumr again wrote to Shiz offering to give up the kingdom to him, but Shiz would have none of it. The battle continued to kill many on both sides until by the end of day six only 52 people remained in Coriantumr’s army and 69 in the army of Shiz. The numbers halved the next day, with 32 people surviving in Shiz’s army and 27 in Coriantumr's. By day eight, the few remaining men were so tired that they could only battle for three hours. With the few remaining men he had left, Coriantumr fled. Shiz pursued him, and having caught up to him the next day, caused him to continue to battle until none remained except Coriantumr and Shiz. Shiz, however, had fainted because of the loss of blood. Coriantumr, tired from battle, succeeded in cutting off Shiz’s head before he fell to the earth in exhaustion. Shiz raised his hands, struggling for life, before falling dead at the hands of Corihor.

The Lesson

The lust for power above all else, both on the part of Shiz, and Coriantumr, demonstrates what becomes of man when God ceases to strive with him:

For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul. (2 Nephi 26: 11)

Everything that happens in the Book of Mormon has a message for the people of our time. Moroni, the last prophet to record his words, included those things which would teach modern men what they would need to know to avoid their own destruction: "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing." (Mormon 8:35) He warns against preaching religion for money, indulging in "costly apparel," becoming prideful, indulging in sins of the flesh, grinding upon the face of the poor, and other serious transgressions. He warns that if men fail to repent, the Lord will no longer strive with them— "And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts." (Doctrine and Covenants 1:33) When the Lord ceases to strive with man, man becomes like Shiz and Coriantumr, living only for the destruction of his enemies.

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