Mosiah 9-10: The Beginning of Zeniff's Record

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 79–81


Remember, as you read Mosiah 9–24, that there are two and sometimes three separate groups of Nephites that were living in different parts of the land (see the accompanying illustration and the Book of Mormon Chronology Chart on p. 204).Remember that Mosiah I was warned by the Lord to take the righteous who would follow him and “flee out of the land of Nephi” (Omni 1:12). He and his people discovered another group of people living in a land they called Zarahemla. He eventually became king over the combined group of Nephites and people of Zarahemla. Mosiah I was followed by his son, Benjamin, and grandson, Mosiah II.Sometime after Mosiah I arrived in Zarahemla, Zeniff led a group of Nephites back to the land of Nephi (see Omni 1:27–30; Mosiah 7:21). There he established a colony among the Lamanites and became their king. Mosiah 9–22 is taken from the record of Zeniff. The account covers over 50 years and includes accounts of Zeniff’s successors: his son Noah and grandson Limhi. You will also read about Abinadi and Alma the Elder, two great prophets whose missions began and ended very differently.

Understanding the Scriptures

Mosiah 9

First inheritance (v. 1)The first place they settled after arriving in the Americas
Austere (v. 2)Strict, stern
Over-zealous (v. 3)Too eager
Smitten (v. 3)Punished, afflicted
Disposition (v. 5)Attitude, desires
Wax (v. 11)Grow, become
Glut (v. 12)Fill
Lamentation (v. 19)Great sorrow

Mosiah 10

Leathern girdle (v. 8)Wide leather belt
Loins (v. 8)Waist
Wroth (v. 14)Very angry
Stimulate (v. 19)Encourage, excite

Mosiah 10:11–18—The Danger of False Traditions

The Lamanites taught their children an “eternal hatred” for the Nephites because of the false traditions they learned from their fathers (see Mosiah 10:13–17). Mosiah 10:11–18 illustrates the truth of the following revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith: “That wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers” (D&C 93:39).

Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught how we can avoid losing the light of the gospel because of false traditions:

“Carefully study the scriptures and counsel of the prophets to understand how the Lord wants you to live. Then evaluate each part of your life and make any adjustments needed. Seek help from another you respect who has been able to set aside some deeply held convictions or traditions that are not in harmony with the Lord’s plan. When in doubt, ask yourself, ‘Is this what the Savior would want me to do?’ …

Richard G. Scott

“I testify that you will remove barriers to happiness and find greater peace as you make your first allegiance your membership in the Church of Jesus Christ, and His teachings the foundation of your life. Where family or national traditions or customs conflict with the teachings of God, set them aside. Where traditions and customs are in harmony with His teachings, they should be cherished and followed to preserve your culture and heritage. There is one heritage that you need never change. It is that heritage that comes from your being a daughter or son of Father in Heaven. For happiness, control your life by that heritage” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 112, 114; or Ensign, May 1998, 86–87).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you study Mosiah 9–10.

Activity A iconCome, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

The story in Mosiah 9 answers a very modern question: What is the benefit of having a living prophet available to us if we do not listen to what he says?

  1. 1.

    Review Omni 1:12–13 and explain who led the Nephites from the land of Nephi to Zarahemla and why.

  2. 2.

    Review Mosiah 9:1–3 and describe who led these groups of Nephites back to the land of Nephi and why.

  3. 3.

    Study Mosiah 9:4–19 and summarize what happened to the Nephites who went back to the land of Nephi.

  4. 4.

    What does their experience with the Lamanites teach you about why the Lord told them to leave originally?

  5. 5.

    Describe the change that occurred in these people from Mosiah 9:3 to Mosiah 9:17–19 and how that change saved them.

  6. 6.

    Zeniff’s people learned that important lesson, but they could have avoided war and saved many lives if they had just followed their prophet, Mosiah I, and stayed in the land of Zarahemla. Think about the counsel you have heard the living prophet give the Church recently. List three principles he has taught us to do and describe the problems you feel you could avoid if you follow his counsel.

Activity B iconApply the Lord’s Counsel to Your Own Life

Mosiah 10:11–18 lists a number of false traditions (beliefs) of the Lamanites, which were taught to their children and stirred up their hatred toward the Nephites.

  1. 1.

    For each of the following events, describe the false belief or interpretation of the Lamanites and then explain what really happened:

    1. a.

      Leaving Jerusalem

    2. b.

      Crossing the sea

    3. c.

      Arriving in the promised land (or land of their first inheritance)

    4. d.

      Nephi and all of the faithful fleeing from Laman and Lemuel into the wilderness

  2. 2.

    Review the statement from Elder Scott in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Mosiah 10:11–18. Explain what you must do to identify those customs or traditions from your culture or nation that are not in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ.