The last chapter ended with King Benjamin appointing Mosiah as the new King. Well, things were going pretty good for King Mosiah II (his grandfather was also named Mosiah, remember?), and the first three years of his reign were peaceful. But he was getting a little bored, and was wondering about his brethren who had left Zarahemla years ago
7.1 And now, it came to pass that after king Mosiah had had continual peace for the space of three years, he was desirous to know concerning the people who went up to dwell in the land of Lehi-Nephi, or in the city of Lehi-Nephi; for his people had heard nothing from them from the time they left the land of Zarahemla; therefore, they wearied him with their teasings.So he sent a search party to the land of Lehi-Nephi to go looking for them. He sent 16 of his finest men, and Ammon (a strong and mighty man) was to be their leader.
7:2 And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted that sixteen of their strong men might go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi to inquire concerning their brethren.
7:3 And it came to pass that on the morrow they started to go up, having with them one Ammon, he being a strong and mighty man, and a descendant of Zarahemla; and he was also their leader.After 40 days of wandering around, they set up camp on a hill north of Shilom, in the land of Nephi. Maybe next time they'll pick a leader with a good sense of direction.
7:4 And now, they knew not the course they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi; therefore they wandered many days in the wilderness, even forty days did they wander.
7:5 And when they had wandered forty days they came to a hill, which is north of the land of Shilom, and there they pitched their tents.The next morning, Ammon and three of his best men went down into the land of Nephi to explore. They promptly got thrown in jail by the king's guard.
7:6 And Ammon took three of his brethren, and their names were Amaleki, Helem, and Hem, and they went down into the land of Nephi.
7:7 And behold, they met the king of the people who were in the land of Nephi, and in the land of Shilom; and they were surrounded by the king's guard, and were taken, and were bound, and were committed to prison.After two days in jail, the king brought them out for questioning. He told them that he was Limhi (the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff, who came up out of the land of Zarahemla) and then asked them to explain why they were there, or else be put to death. Seems fair.
7:8 And it came to pass when they had been in prison two days they were again brought before the king, and their bands were loosed; and they stood before the king, and were permitted, or rather commanded, that they should answer the questions which he should ask them.
7:9 And he said unto them: Behold, I am Limhi, the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff, who came up out of the land of Zarahemla to inherit this land, which was the land of their fathers, who was made a king by the voice of the people.
7:10 And now, I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards without the gate?
7:11 And now, for this cause have I suffered that ye should be preserved, that I might inquire of you, or else I should have caused that my guards should have put you to death. Ye are permitted to speak.Ammon bows and thanks King Limhi for not already killing him, and for letting him explain himself. There is so much to be thankful for!
7:12 And now, when Ammon saw that he was permitted to speak, he went forth and bowed himself before the king; and rising again he said: O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness;After Ammon tells his story, Lemhi is pleased. As it turns out, right now his people are being forced to pay a high tribute to the Lamenites, and he figures that his long-lost brethren in Zarahemla will help him out of the mess.
7:13 For I am assured that if ye had known me ye would not have suffered that I should have worn these bands. For I am Ammon, and am a descendant of Zarahemla, and have come up out of the land of Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren, whom Zeniff brought up out of that land.
7:14 And now, it came to pass that after Limhi had heard the words of Ammon, he was exceedingly glad, and said: Now, I know of a surety that my brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla are yet alive. And now, I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice also.
7:15 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.So King Lemhi set Ammon and his men free, and allowed them to eat, drink and rest in the city. He even sent a few guards to collect the rest of the men who were still camping on the hill.
7:16 And now, king Limhi commanded his guards that they should no more bind Ammon nor his brethren, but caused that they should go to the hill which was north of Shilom, and bring their brethren into the city, that thereby they might eat, and drink, and rest themselves from the labors of their journey; for they had suffered many things; they had suffered hunger, thirst, and fatigue.Then King Lemhi sent a proclamation to all his people, telling them to gather together for a speech (oh boy!). Once everyone gathers around, he gives them the good news: "The time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies."
He then preaches for a little while about how the tribute was their fault in the first place; that it was a punishment sent from the Lord because of their iniquity. Luckily, God is now giving them a second chance.
7:18 And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he spake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made.
7:25 For if this people had not fallen into transgression the Lord would not have suffered that this great evil should come upon them. But behold, they would not hearken unto his words; but there arose contentions among them, even so much that they did shed blood among themselves.
7:33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.