In Mosiah 7:21 as we read that ; " Zeniff who was made king over the people, he being over zealous to inherit the land of his fathers, therefore was deceived by the cunning craftiness of King Laman ", this suggests that Zeniff allowed his desire for unnecessary things ( desirable land ) or the fact that he could not be happy with what he had; he turned his freedom over to someone else, therefore putting his whole entire people into bondage. As we continue to read in Mosiah 7:22, " And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into bondage. And behold , we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamenites , to the amount of one half of our corn and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds..." From this we can see that King Zeniff put the future of not only himself, but the future of his people or posterity in a position of bondage.
We can learn two great valuable lessons from this record. First, we can learn that when we allow our desire for worldly possessions take hold of our heart; we are essentially giving up our hearts to something other than serving our God; as our time and efforts are instead put into obtaining " things " rather than serving Him through teaching our children the gospel; ministering to the sick; mourning with those that mourn; serving in the temple; etc. We can see that doing this removes a portion of our blessings of the spirit; as we allow these things to enter into our heart: there is less room for the things of God; or the thoughts and actions that allow the spirit to speak to us. Our choices also may change as our vision is blurred, and we can be deceived even as King Zeniff was.
Second, we can learn that the path of seeking after unnecessary possessions can put us into bondage. We can become so centered on the materials of this world that we enter a never ending race of seeking after those things. Many times those that are caught up in the things of the world end up going into debt for these things. That debt can even extend to their children as they may never pay it off. Also, many times material bondage keeps parents less able to provide spiritual blessings like education and missions.
With Christmas coming up I am hoping to make good choices on what I spend money on; and as well I hope that I can teach my children through example that material possessions are not what Christmas is about; and that it is wise to be careful what we set our hearts on in such a commercialized season.