I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance, and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites that I might spy out their forces, that our army might come upon them and destroy them — but when I saw that which was good among them I was desirous that they should not be destroyed. . . .
And yet, I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as were desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land . . .
And I went into the king [of the Lamanites], and he covenanted with me that I might possess the land of Lehi-Nephi, and the land of Shilom. And he also commanded that his people should depart out of the land, and I and my people went into the land that we might possess it. . . .
Now it was the cunning and the craftiness of king Laman, to bring my people into bondage, that he yielded up the land that we might possess it. . . .
Therefore it came to pass that king Laman began to stir up his people that they should contend with my people; therefore there began to be wars and contentions in the land. For, in the thirteenth year of my reign in the land of Nephi, away on the south of the land of Shilom, when my people were watering and feeding their flocks, and tilling their lands, a numerous host of Lamanites came upon them and began to slaw them, and to take off their flocks, and the corn of their fields. . . . (from Mosiah 9)
Discuss, with extra credit for any modern-day applications (keep it civil, folks).Â ..bruce..
P.S. I should have noted this in the original post: the phrase “useful idiot” has a long history in geopolitics.