Mosiah 7:11 - 7:15
Mosiah 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.
King Limhi now gives them permission to speak. The king had graciously allow them to live so they could explain themselves to him. [What kind of culture is that you have to have permission to speak to a king before you can open your mouth?]
Mosiah 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;
Ammon bows deeply to the king and thanks him for letting him live to be able to speak. [Ammon speaks with great respect for the king and his court. I would have rushed to say I was from Zarahemla and came to see how the people of the land of Nephi were doing because their relatives were concerned about them and had heard nothing from them for years.]
Mosiah 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.
Ammon tells the king that if he knew who he was he would not have tied him and his three friends up and thrown them in jail. [Again why did not Ammon scream that out when they were arrested?] Ammon tells the king where they are from and that he is a descendent of Zarahemla and what is his mission to this people. [Wonder why it was necessary for Ammon to give his lineage? It maybe that the Lamanites look a lot like the people of Limhi and so a genealogy would be necessary to show that the person was not a Lamanite but a person from another country.]
Mosiah 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.
King Limhi gets excited. He must have thought that the people of Zarahemla had been destroyed because they had heard nothing of them since their grandfathers under Zeniff had left Zarahemla. Limhi calls for the people to assemble themselves the next day so this exciting news can be revealed to them. They will be excited to know that their relatives back in Zarahemla still live.
Mosiah 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.
King Limhi confesses that they are slaves to the Lamanites and are burden with a 50% tax rate as a tribute to allow them to live in the land of Nephi. Limhi wants to use Ammon to escape their situation and return to Zarahemla. Since they will have no assets they will be slaves to the Nephites until they can earn what they need to be self sufficient. That was a better situation than paying tribute to the Lamanites and they would still have nothing to call their own.