9 And the king commanded the people that they should flee before the Lamanites, and he himself did go before them, and they did flee into the wilderness, with their women and their children.The worst offenders (the king and wicked priests) jettison the weakest who are dependent on them as soon as it becomes apparent that the weak are getting in the way of survival. When the exploited become a burden, they are left behind.
10 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did pursue them, and did overtake them, and began to slay them.
11 Now it came to pass that the king commanded them that all the men should leave their wives and their children, and flee before the Lamanites.
12 Now there were many that would not leave them, but had rather stay and perish with them. And the rest left their wives and their children and fled.
13 And it came to pass that those who tarried with their wives and their children caused that their fair daughters should stand forth and plead with the Lamanites that they would not slay them.
14 And it came to pass that the Lamanites had compassion on them, for they were charmed with the beauty of their women. (Mosiah 19:11-14)
Others stay with their families, but they still try to exploit their daughters’ sex appeal to negotiate for survival. It doesn’t occur to these men to protect and defend their wives and children.
As a society, they only begin to achieve redemption from this terrible state by a sacrifice equal and opposite to their previous sin. This sacrifice occurs as they prevent the starvation of the widows and fatherless by giving food to them. It is debatable how much good it does their hearts to be commanded to do this by King Limhi instead of doing it of their own impetus, but it is a great improvement from the outright predation and selfishness of King Noah’s regime.
Sincere self-sacrifice ends exploitation.