Scripture of the Day

2

July 13, 2009 by The Mormon Worker

Mosiah 9:1,2 (Book of Mormon)

“I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance, and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites that I might spy out their forces, that our army might come upon them and destroy them—but when I saw that which was good among them I was desirous that they should not be destroyed.
Therefore, I contended with my brethren in the wilderness, for I would that our ruler should make a treaty with them; but he being an austere and a blood-thirsty man commanded that I should be slain; but I was rescued by the shedding of much blood; for father fought against father, and brother against brother, until the greater number of our army was destroyed in the wilderness; and we returned, those of us that were spared, to the land of Zarahemla, to relate that tale to their wives and their children.”

This scripture reminded me of the fragging of American officers in Viet Nam. Comments and observations regarding this scripture are appreciated.

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2 thoughts on “Scripture of the Day

  1. Joseph says:

    So maybe “bloodthirsty and austere” aren’t good characteristics, huh?

    Putting this scripture into context, we do learn that Zeniff was very naive and overly trusting about the good he saw among the Lamanites. But he’s also considered righteous, and I would much rather be in Zeniff’s shoes having made the mistake of being too naive and trusting than many of the other leaders in the Book of Mormon.

    I know we are supposed to liken the scriptures to ourselves and not others, but I can’t help but see a parallel between this situation and that of Israel: being “over-zealous” (go on to verse 3 of the above chapter) to obtain a homeland that has been inhabited by someone else and making rash decisions as a result. Though I think there are lessons for us there as well. I don’t want to take up too much space, though.

  2. I think that Zeniff saw the love that Lamanite women had for their children etc. Remember that in Jacob 3, Jacob had these wise words for the Nephites in chastising them in their sins of infidelity:

    5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
    6 And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall bbecome a blessed people.
    7 Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator?

    One of our big problems we have in America is our looking upon the people of the countries we war against such as Iraq and Vietnam, and see their people as so-called, “Untermenschen” or sub-humans. It would behoove us to remember the beautiful humanity evident in the peoples of these nations which often exceeds our own humanity. It would be harder to blow them up then because untermenschen they are not.

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