Monday, September 17, 2007

Mormon 8

In chapter 8, Moroni begins to finish what his father intended to finish. We learn from Moroni that Mormon was hunted by the Lamanites and killed.

Moroni's Concern

In Mormon 8:12, Moroni seems to express concern about imperfections in the record. But he quickly counsels that whoever does not condemn the Book of Mormon for its imperfections, "the same shall know of greater things than these."

In Ether 12:22-29 we read that Moroni expressed this same concern to the Lord. The Lord then instructed Moroni that, "fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness … I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me - the fountain of all righteousness."

The Worth of the Plates

We learn in Mormon 8:14 that the gold plates upon which the Book of Mormon is written are of no monetary worth because of “the commandment of the Lord.” The real worth of the Book of Mormon is vastly more valuable than its price in actual gold.

The Eternal Purposes of the Lord Shall Roll On

The next few verses of chapter 8 deal with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the modern world. Just as we read in Church history, many people tried to get the plates for money and to destroy the work of the Lord. But as Mormon 8:22 states, “the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.”

Joseph Smith latter wrote in the Wentworth Letter,

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." (History of the Church 4:540)

The Revelations of God

Wise counsel is given in Mormon 8:33 – “look … unto the revelations of God.” We must look to and understand the revelations of God so that we are prepared for them, for they will come to pass. Heavenly Father, in essence, has given us the answers to the exam and all we need to do is to prepare for it.

Earlier, Moroni counsels us to "search the prophecies of Isaiah." (Mormon 8:23) Nephi and other prophets from the Book of Mormon have given us the same counsel. Even Christ, when he visited the Nephites, commanded them to study Isaiah.

Moroni's Criticism to Us

Moroni concludes chapter 8 with scathing warnings to us in the latter days. He warns us of becoming obsessed with fine apparel and clothing. He warns us to avoid strifes and malice and persecutions. He warns against pride and the love of money and substance. He tells us that we should be more concerned with adorning the poor with food and clothing than adorning our churches. I particularly love the part in Mormon 8:38 when he says, “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?”

D&C 105:3-5 says, "But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;

"And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;

"And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself."

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