Quite recently in his text, Mormon had implied that his people were no longer a “delightsome” people (Mormon 5:17). However, when he recalls them, he does not recall them as wicked, but as the righteous people that they once were (also the subject of his lament in Mormon 5:17). Here they are not “dark and loathsome,” in the cultural definition, but rather “fair ones.” Mormon is not referring to skin color, but rather to their former righteous state. More than life has been lost. A formerly righteous people is now gone. The sadness of that fact is underscored by the fact that it could have been changed by accepting the offer of the Savior, “who stood with open arms to receive” them.