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"When I Saw that Which Was Good," Mosiah 9:1-2

Mosiah 9:1-2

I find this chapter very interesting for several reasons. Zeniff became leader of a people that returned to the land of Lehi-Nephi. We learn however from the first account given of this group over in Omni 1:27-29 that Zeniff wasn't the first leader of this group, but that it was a stiff-necked individual that caused them to fight amongst themselves. With both references in context, it appears that their purpose in going back up to the land of Nephi-Lehi was so that they could possess the land. One leader sought to do it contentiously. He was destroyed. The next (Zeniff) sought an agreement or treaty with Lamanites. Neither worked in the end, but the latter did give them a season of peace and prosperity.

So as a spy, Zeniff was part of an army that was commanded to destroy the Lamanites. When he saw that which was good among them, he had no desire to destroy them. However, his leader commanded that Zeniff should also be killed for his opinion. A great battle resulted amongst the army itself and many consequently died. Those that remained returned to their own land to relate what had happened to the families of the others that had died.

It impresses me that Zeniff felt such a desire to protect that which was good among the Lamanites. It is easy to feel ill feelings against those that we don't know. It becomes much harder when we know and see the actual situation of others and the majority of people are really not bad. Many are in the same situation of life just working to stay ahead. It seems to me that much more character is required to extend mercy, instead of passing judgment. We see through out history that many groups have been condemned by others only because of their race or nationality, or even worse, a colored past by those who had gone before.

Seeing that Zeniff took the merciful side, causes me to be notably more sympathetic for what come afterwards.