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 Lamanites.
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 end.
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 war?
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.