This chapter is an addendum by Mormon, pointing out the foolishness of man.
“And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.” (1)
I can testify that this is true. Once I began to truly trust God, peace came into my life, even in the midst of many trials. Pain lost its sting as I turned to Him.
Yet, in our natural man state here in mortality, we so easily forget and turn away from the very Source of help and happiness.
Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people…yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.”Helaman 12:2
Why do we do this? Why do we forget God in times of ease and prosperity? Why do we not thank Him for His blessings, instead of letting pride and selfishness have space in our hearts?
And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.”Helaman 12:3
This year has been full of trials and challenges. God is chastening us. We haven’t turned to Him as a nation and world as we should, so He’s sent us many reminders of our helplessness before Him. No matter how powerful we are or how strong we are, we cannot get rid of the pestilence of COVID-19 on our own (at least, not quickly). We cannot stand against or stop hurricanes, fires, or other natural disasters when they strike. These things remind us of how small we really are and how much we must rely on God to bless and prosper us—not mortal men or women.
Mormon bemoans how foolish mortal men and women can be.
O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!”Helaman 12:4
Pride comes so easily. Boasting follows. (5) Don’t be slow to walk in the ways of goodness, which always comes from Christ. Mormon shows us how his people fell away from the truth and warns us against doing the same.
Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.”Helaman 12:6
Who am I letting lead me in life? Who is my guide, or guides?
Do I put my trust in man over God?
Our prophet is God’s mouthpiece on earth today. Do I set his counsels at naught and think I know better than God?
Do I ever justify not doing something the prophet says because it doesn’t agree with my personal, political, or social beliefs?
Moroni outlines in the next few verses the power and might of God and the nothingness of mankind in comparison. The dust of the earth always obeys God’s commands. Man doesn’t always do such a simple thing.
God is powerful enough to create and destroy the earth. He can make mountains move, if He wants them to. He can shake the whole earth. He can cut us off from Him forever because of our sins.
Yet, He wants us to return to Him
…therefore, for this cause, that men might be saved, hath repentance been declared.
Therefore, blessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved.
And may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, according to their works.”Helaman 12:22-24
Will we listen to this plea from an ancient prophet? Our modern prophet has made the same plea for us to repent daily. Will we listen to them both?