It is interesting. It is rare when successful negotiations occur amid angry accusations between parties. I am confused about how to understand what happened during the negotiations in Alma 54. The leader of each army tries to negotiate in the exchange of prisoners, with angry accusations. The army which made started the negotiations, the Lamanites, eventually accepts the Nephite’s offer.
To me, this chapter has been a lesson in how not to negotiate. The Lord just does not work that way, as stated in D&C 121:41-44:
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile – reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou has reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.”
Although, there is another way to look at this exchange. This whole conflict occurred because those who were born of noble birth wanted to rule, rather than relying on judges to interpret the laws. Those of noble birth were rejected, left and joined the Lamanites.
So, what would have happened if those who were born of noble birth had had been more faithful? These people were rich. They were greedy for power. Didn’t anyone realize that these people were starting to go on the wrong track? I think that this is where being your brother’s keeper comes in. I think that someone should have stepped forward and warned them that they were going on the wrong track. So, in a sense, the Nephite society was partially responsible for the occurrence of this conflict. The Nephites caused their own problems to occur.