Mormon writes the king of Lamanites to ask that he grant them time that they might gather their people together “unto the land of Cumorah, by a hill which was called Cumorah, and there we could give them battle.” (2)
He is leading his people, but without hope of salvation. The land of Cumorah was “in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains.” (4) Four years later, in 384AD (Mormon is 74) they are all gathered. Mormon hides up the plates in the hill Cumorah, except a few which he gives to his son, Moroni.
Now the Lamanites come against them and the Nephites are hewn down. Mormon’s 10,000 are slaughtered, and he falls wounded in the midst and is passed over.
And when they had gone through and hewn down all my people save it were twenty and four of us (among whom was my son Moroni) and we having survived the dead of our people, did behold on the morrow, when the Lamanites had returned unto their camps, from the top of the hill Cumorah, the ten thousand of my people who were hewn down, being led in the front by me.”Mormon 6:11
He sees the 10,000 of Moroni’s troops, 10K more each from: Gidgiddonah (who fell with them), Lamah, Gilgal, Limnah, Jeneum, Cumenihah, Moronihah, Antionum, Shiblon, Shem, Josh, and ten others. That is 230,000 people slaughtered in one battle. Almost a quarter of a million people.
Poor Mormon. His “soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried: (16)
O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!
Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.
O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you.”Mormon 6:17-18, 22
Christ never leaves us. We leave Him when we become selfish, prideful, and let our spirits get past feeling. When we don’t listen because we think we know better. When we don’t forgive or have mercy because revenge and anger fills our hearts. When we are lifted up in pride to think we’re better than others (any others!). Christ cannot stay with us when we choose the world and Satan over Him.
The destruction of the whole Nephite nation, down to only 24 individuals left (who we will see in a future chapter will be hunted to extinction) is such a tragic history. And like Mormon said, they did NOT have to fall. If only they had turned to Jesus, who had His arms open to receive them.
Will we learn from their mistakes and do all in our power to turn toward Christ, not away from Him?
Christ is our Savior—no one else. No matter how awful we have been before now or how many mistakes or sins we have committed, He is always waiting for us to repent and turn back to Him. We don’t have to worry that He will turn us away. He never will. We are the ones who make the choice.
Let us turn to Him, and be repentant and humble.
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