Limhi and his people were in a pretty bad spot. Somewhat because of things they had done to themselves, and somewhat because of things outside their control. They paid a price and got the one thing most of us are looking for.
Whenever I am asked what I want as a present (birthday, Christmas, whatever) I always give the same answer: peace.
With 7 kids, custody schedules, sports, school, stress, work, and callings, I almost never have a calm and peaceful day. There is always something that comes up that turns peace into stress and rest into strife. So when I find examples of peace in the scriptures I am always interested.
Here’s what I learned about peace from Limhi.
The cause of the stress.
There were two main causes of the stress and strife that Limhi’s people faced. The first part was not their fault.
1. Limhi and his people were living in the middle of the Lamanite nation. They didn’t choose to live there. Their grandparents (Zeniff and his followers) had moved there and now they were stuck. The Lamanites wouldn’t let them leave and they weren’t strong enough to fight their way out.
They were stuck. Sound at all familiar? Is there something that causes you stress and strife that you are just stuck with?
The second piece of their stress and strife was of their own making.
2. They had chosen to follow wicked King Noah. He was a terrible leader and now they were in bondage to the Lamanites, having lost a battle and their freedom. They had made poor choices and the impact of those were causing them stress and strife.
They were stuck with their own consequences. Sound familiar? Is there something that is causing you stress and unhappiness that is the result of your own behavior?
Let’s look at their solutions.
Limhi and his people had to deal with both things, things that had been put on them and things they had chosen themselves. The second one was the first one to get solved. They had to pay a price for their decisions.
And also Limhi, being the son of the king, having the kingdom conferred upon him by the people, made oath unto the king of the Lamanites that his people should pay tribute unto him, even one half of all they possessed. (Mosiah 19:26)
The price they had to pay was ½ of everything they had. A major sacrifice! Possibly, we are the same. Maybe to get peace in our own lives there is a significant and painful sacrifice we need to make.
Anything come to mind for you?
The second path to peace took a little bit more time and patience. After years of patience and conflict with the Lamanites they finally came up with a plan.
10 And king Limhi caused that his people should gather their flocks together; and he sent the tribute of wine to the Lamanites; and he also sent more wine, as a present unto them; and they did drink freely of the wine which king Limhi did send unto them.
11 And it came to pass that the people of king Limhi did depart by night into the wilderness with their flocks and their herds, and they went round about the land of Shilom in the wilderness, and bent their course towards the land of Zarahemla, being led by Ammon and his brethren. (Mosiah 22:10-11)
But it didn’t come right away. They had spent a few years in conflict and it wasn’t until a servant of God (Ammon) came and the people made covenants with Him that deliverance came.
32 And now since the coming of Ammon, king Limhi had also entered into a covenant with God, and also many of his people, to serve him and keep his commandments. (Mosiah 21:32)
Anything come to mind for you? Are there covenants you need to live more closely or patience you need to endure through as you wait for deliverance?
Sometimes peace comes after waiting through pain
Elder Richard G. Scott taught,
He is our perfect Father. He loves us beyond our capacity to understand. He knows what is best for us. He sees the end from the beginning. He wants us to act to gain needed experience:
When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.
When He answers no, it is to prevent error.
When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act. (Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayers)
Just like Limhi’s people, we must do both things. Act as we wait on the Lord. That is our path to peace.