Mosiah 9 recounts the story of Zeniff taking a group of people into enemy territory to reclaim the land of their fathers. Here are three thoughts about his experience.
1. Zeniff’ attitude about his mission is dumb.
Mosiah 9:3 And yet, I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as were desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land; but we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God.
He was over-zealous and they were slow to remember the Lord. Had those two characteristics not been present, the outcome might have been different.
2. The king of the Lamanites was the enemy. No question. He had a long term plan for destruction.
Mosiah 9:10 Now it was the cunning and the craftiness of king Laman, to bring my people into bondage, that he yielded up the land that we might possess it.
What seemed like a good and safe bet for Zeniff was not. He just missed it because of his attitude.
3. The Lord still came to his aid despite #1.
Mosiah:17 Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.
Mosiah: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.
The Lord is merciful to us. We do dumb things. We enter enemy territory. We fall victim to Satan’s cunning. And yet, when we cry to the Lord, He helps us.
Of course there’s more to the story and it takes a couple generations to deliver these people completely. But for today, these verses hold this promise. We might be dumb and the enemy might be cunning, but with the Lord’s help, we win.