17 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!
18 Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.
19 O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!
20 But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.
As Mormon mourns the loss of nearly all of his people, he frames the tragedy in gospel terms. His people were destroyed because they turned away from God. They rejected their Savior “who stood with open arms to receive [them].” If they had turned to Him, He would have saved them from this calamity. But they didn’t, and now it is too late.
God is not a vengeful Being, looking for any excuse to condemn and destroy us. He does have perfect integrity: His actions are completely aligned with the laws of the universe. But He is merciful and kind. If we are willing to humble ourselves and turn to Him, He can rescue us from the challenges we face, either by removing them or by empowering us to overcome them. Jesus is our Savior because with His help, we can overcome every obstacle, including the ultimate obstacles of death and hell.
Today, I will remember that God wants me to be successful and happy. I will visualize Jesus Christ, standing with open arms to receive me. I will turn to Him, knowing that with His help, I can overcome every obstacle.