The chapters that I studied for Come, Follow Me seemed more real as I watched the events of the past week unfold. For the first time, I understood how the Nephite society could degenerate from a Zion society to being destroyed. I feel certain that it all started with a little political division, a difference of opinion among friends and family members. I believe that hate and distrust grew until the people destroyed themselves – with the help of secret combinations that infiltrated their government.
The ancient American prophet named Mormon
knew nothing but war for his entire life. By the time that he was 16 years old,
he was a general leading the armies. He died about 385 A.D. after the final battle
between the Nephites and the Lamanites, and his son Moroni completed his record
and added some records of his own. Moroni lived approximately 35 years alone
after the death of his father.
Even though he lived in a time of
war and destruction, Mormon maintained his faith in Jesus Christ and his
spirituality – as did Moroni. The final words of both men were written for the
benefit of the descendants of the Lamanites, their enemies who destroyed them.
Both Mormon and Moroni knew that their record – now known as the Book of Mormon
– Another Testament of Jesus Christ – would be beneficial to the latter-day
Moroni knew that the record he was
so diligently writing would one day “shine forth out of darkness” and bring
many people “to the knowledge of Christ” (Mormon 8:16; 9:36). Moroni had so
much faith in these promises that he declared to the future readers of his
record, “I speak unto you as if ye were present” and “I know that ye shall have
my words” (Mormon 8:35; 9:30). The record is now available to the inhabitants
of the world and is proof that Mormon and Moroni stayed faithful to their
mission – even when they were completely alone.
We can study the final testimony of
Mormon and the first writings of Moroni when he became the record keeper and
better understand the role and the purpose for their writing – the current Book
of Mormon. Moroni wrote, “Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your
doing” (Mormon 8:35).
Because Moroni saw our day and knew our
circumstances, he was able to write what he felt would help us the most. He was
aware of the great wickedness of his day as well as the growing wickedness in
our day, but he was also aware of the great spiritual blessings that would come
in the dispensation of the fulness of times. His words and his example show us
that God’s covenant people can be confident in the face of terrible social
conditions. He sought to teach us that miracles and revelations are evidence
that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (see Mormon 9:9).
Mormon may have known that his days
were numbered, and he sought to give modern Lamanites the most important information
that he could. He wrote that they “are of the house of Israel” and that they “must
come unto repentance” (Mormon 7:2-3).
Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge
of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in
Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and
by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory
over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.
And he bringeth to pass the resurrection
of the dead, whereby man must be raised to stand before his judgment-seat.
And he hath brought to pass the redemption
of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day
hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing
ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and
unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no
Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name
of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before
you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the
Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.
For behold, this is written for the intent
that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and
if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous
works which were wrought by the power of God among them (Mormon 7: 5-9).
Mormon spoke of the Bible and the
Book of Mormon working together in the hands of righteous men and women. They
support each other and testify of each other. Anyone who sincerely and
prayerfully studies one of the books will recognize the truth in the other.
Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of Jesus Christ, who is the God
of this land.
The Book of Mormon testifies that Jesus
Christ declared that America is a promised land where only righteous people
will be allowed to live. This is the reason why both the Nephites and the
Jaredites were swept off the land and destroyed when they became too wicked.
Will America follow in their paths and destroy itself through another civil
I believe that war will come to land and
that many people will suffer and die. I also believe that the Constitution of
this land will be saved and that the gospel of Jesus Christ will remain here.
However, I know that we must be fighting on the Lord’s side if we desire to be
safe in the land and saved in the kingdom of God.