Now Moroni takes over the record for his father. His father had commanded him to write a few more things upon the plates.
“And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. (2)
And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfill the commandments of my father. And whether they slay me, I know not.”Mormon 8:3
Talk about genocide. The Lamanites didn’t want to let one Nephite live. Poor Moroni. The sole survivor. His father’s death shows that even super righteous people can have tragic endings on earth. God could have translated him or made it so he lived out his days with his son and died of old age. But he was killed by those hunting him, with a hope in his heart that he would be redeemed of God in the final ending. Though he died horribly, God was still with him.
Moroni’s plight breaks my heart.
For I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.”Mormon 8:5
If I ever feel alone or down, like I have no friends, I need to remember Moroni’s trial. Then mine won’t seem so bad. His is literally soul-crushing. It shows how strong he was to endure being alone for years, on the run, no one to talk with, except God in prayer.
Four hundred years have passed away since Christ’s birth. The Nephites have been slaughtered, but the Lamanites are also at war one with another.
And the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.”Mormon 8:8
This shows how much damage anger does, when it goes unchecked. These people had been fighting against the Nephites for decades. Now that their nation is gone, they fight among themselves. There are only Lamanites and robbers upon the land. There are “none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus, who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people.” (10)
Moroni doesn’t know whether they still dwell in the land or not, “But behold, my father and I have seen them, and they have ministered unto us.” (11) That is a great blessing. Even though Mormon and Moroni lived in an utterly wicked society, the three Nephites Christ had changed to never die ministered unto them. They were not left completely alone and destitute.
Moroni now speaks to us—any who receive the Book of Mormon “and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.” (12)
If it were possible, Moroni would make all things known unto us. He says that the plates can’t be had by anyone seeking worldly gain. God won’t allow them to be found by gold seekers, but by someone who has “an eye single to his glory…” (15)
But the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless.”Mormon 8:14
Joseph Smith was led by the angel Moroni to find this sacred record, and by the power of God, he translated it. He ended up being martyred because of this record, so God’s blessing didn’t consist of bodily protection. It is the eternal blessings we need to be concerned about, and in those, Joseph Smith, Mormon, and Moroni were richly blessed.
And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things.Doctrine & Covenants 33:16
This record which God has preserved “shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God.” (16)
No matter what man can do or try to do to destroy God’s work, he will fail.
For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.”Mormon 8:22
Those who have gone before Moroni will whisper from the dust, and God will hear their prayers and remember His covenant with His people. Their faith could move mountains, cause the earth to shake, make prisons tumble, “yea, even the fiery furnace could not harm them, neither wild beasts nor poisonous serpents, because of the power of his word.” (24)
Now he talks about what our day will be like when this record comes forth.
It shall come in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away; and it shall come even as if one should speak from the dead.”Mormon 8:26
Secret combinations will abound, churches will be raised up in pride and envying of each other. “There shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands.” (29) Wars and rumors of war. Great pollutions upon the earth. “There shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day.” (31) Churches will forgive sins for money.
Moroni chastises any who believe in these vain churches and transfigure the word of God.
Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God.”Mormon 8:33
The world is in physical and spiritual upheaval, but all we need to do is look up to the revelations of God. Like the brass serpent that saved the children of Israel from the fiery bites of the serpents, the words of living prophets can save us today, if we heed them.
Moroni speaks to us as if he was with us. He has seen our day in vision.
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. (35)
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envyings and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.” (36)Mormon 8:35-36
Pride is such a dangerous sin, and it’s one that is often difficult to see in ourselves. It takes humility and the Spirit with us, to open our spiritual eyes, to identity it in ourselves so we can repent and have God root it out of us.
One thing I’ve come to see in my own life, is when I’m quick to point the finger at someone else and say that they have pride, often, I am prideful myself. When I’m humble, I see the good in people, not the bad. Or if I see the bad, I take heed not to be tempted or deceived by it—but I don’t judge that person’s heart.
When I judge others, that is a sure sign pride has crept into my own heart.
Moroni chastises those who love money and substance and fine apparel more than “ye love the poor and needy, the sick and the afflicted.” (37) He cries out in agony because he doesn’t want the future to be destroyed like his people have been. He’s just sadly witnessed their entire annihilation. He asks us:
Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world.
Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?”Mormon 8:38-39
The things of this world have no life—fancy clothes, cool toys, spacious houses, the latest phones or other gadgets, cars, exotic vacations. If these are the things we obsess over, we will end up having no life either.
Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.”Mormon 8:41
Moroni is trying to warn us. To get us to humble ourselves and repent before that sword of vengeance falls upon us, as it did to his people.
True change starts in our own hearts.
We can’t change others, only ourselves. So, let’s heed Moroni’s warning words and do all we can to work on softening our hearts through repentance and seeking the Spirit to be our constant companion in this dark, wicked world. If we do this, we will be blessed. We will have life, because Jesus Christ is the life and light of this world.
Let us choose Him.
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