Latter-day Saint Life

Mosiah 9 shows that these 2 habits prevent real happiness

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Busy week? Me too. LDS Living is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions on Sunday. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of Mosiah 710.

Sometimes when seeking out good things to fill our lives with, it can be helpful to know what not to do too. And the story of Zeniff’s people going to King Laman highlights a distinct example of the attributes we wouldn’t want describing us as the people of God.

What is the opposite of “lazy” and “idolatrous”?

The pride cycle goes by many names and crops up in many ways across scripture, especially in the Book of Mormon. It starts with a humble people seeking God. They are blessed for their faithfulness, life becomes easy, and they forget their covenants, leading to unbelief and a need to be humbled yet again.

In Mosiah 9, the Lamanites were trying to skip right to the easy part. King Laman tricked Zeniff and his people into bondage and stirred up contention to steal their food and flocks. He provoked his own people into believing that they were wronged and should be angry with Zeniff.

Being “lazy” and “idolatrous” go hand in hand because they are often the characteristics that come from looking for quick fixes. They are looking for the ultimate “get rich quick” schemes—or maybe in this case, “get happy quick” schemes. But that is exactly what they are: a scheme. King Laman didn’t want to do the work, and he didn’t want to wait on God’s timing. And being lazy and idolatrous will never lead to true or even lasting happiness, as King Laman’s people learned after not very many generations.

And the next wicked king in the story—this time on the side of Zeniff’s people—was even worse, getting rich and popular off the hard work of others. Zeniff’s son King Noah would also be described by those same familiar words—“lazy” and “idolatrous”—until a new prophet came to preach the error of his ways. And King Noah too, just like lazy and idolatrous King Laman, learned very quickly that you don’t get to skip the hard work if you want to be truly happy.

So what is the flip side to these evil rulers? We have the perfect example in the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. The Savior didn’t put others into servitude—He served others. And Christ didn’t have idols—He gave all the glory to His Father.

It can be hard work to do what Christ would do and to share His gospel. Doctrine & Covenants 72:3 reads:

“Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with your might.”

There’s no time to be lazy when you are laboring with your might.

Zeniff knew that too. In the final verses of chapter 10, after defeating the armies of Laman, Zeniff doesn’t celebrate or even take a well-deserved break. He simply says, “We returned again to our own land, and my people again began to tend their flocks, and to till their ground.” They just went back to work.

So that was my takeaway this week. To hear more takeaways from other Latter-day Saints on this block of scripture, join our study group on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers Mosiah 7-10 and our podcast guest was Amy Reading. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at

Listen to a preview of this episode in the player below and get the full discussion Deseret Bookshelf Plus.

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