Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Better to be a slave to the Nephites

This is what King Limhi says to Ammon when he finds out that Ammon is from Zarahemla.
For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bondage, or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites. (Mosiah 7:15)
That last bit about how slavery to the Nephites would be better than paying tribute to the Lamanites struck me recently.  It speaks to how the lowest status among good people who are in harmony with one’s beliefs is better than being an ally or tributary to wicked people who are hostile.

Of course, Limhi seems to have not known that the Nephites didn’t have slaves. (A later Ammon explains the absence of slavery to the Lamanite King Lamoni.) Maybe the Limhi’s people had slaves and assumed the Nephites elsewhere had slaves too.  But the facts were that there were no slaves among the Zarahemla Nephites at that time, so living with the Zarahemla Nephites was definitely to be preferred.

I think this also has a spiritual dimension too.  To be a slave in Zion is far better than to be an ally or tributary of Babylon. 

Do we believe that?  Or do we hold back doing what is required by God, thinking we are being enslaved?  The truth is, if we are not servants of God, then we are slaves of the devil.

Today let’s rejoice in being part of Zion and our privilege of serving there, which brings us so many great blessings.