7 And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.
This year, I’m focusing on specific principles taught by the prophet Mormon. As the compiler of the history of the Nephites and the Lamanites, Mormon selected specific stories and sermons to include in the book for our benefit. Frequently, he explains to us why he chose to include specific content and states the principles he wants us to learn. Throughout this year, I will be reviewing those principles and seeking to apply them in my own life.
In the passage above, Mormon explains why he chose to transcribe the first six books in the Book of Mormon without any summarizing or commentary. After he had abridged the history of the people from Lehi through King Mosiah I (which he called “The Book of Lehi,”) Mormon found a different record, which contained the same history with an emphasis on the spiritual experiences of the people. He was so impressed with this record that he decided to include it in spite of the redundancy with what he had already written.
After Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Lehi (116 pages of handwritten text) was lost, the Lord commanded him not to retranslate that content. Instead, He explained that He had already provided for the loss, and that the same historical period covered by those 116 pages was also included in the plates as “the record of Nephi” (D&C 10:38-42). Joseph Smith could use the record of Nephi as a substitute for Mormon’s abridgment of the record of Lehi.
As Mormon indicates in the verse above, there is an important lesson for all of us in this story. Heavenly Father knows everything, including things which will happen in the future. Our knowledge is limited, but we can receive instructions from Him through the Holy Ghost. If we will exercise faith and follow the promptings we receive through His Spirit, we will be able to do His work and will accomplish things which we never would have been able to accomplish with our limited knowledge.
Today, I will seek to hear and follow the voice of the Spirit of the Lord.