8 But behold, the land was filled with robbers and with Lamanites; and notwithstanding the great destruction which hung over my people, they did not repent of their evil doings; therefore there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land, both on the part of the Nephites and also on the part of the Lamanites; and it was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land.
Mormon’s life provides a case study in how to live righteously in a time of chaos and wickedness. His spiritual sensitivity set him apart from his peers at a young age. Ammaron noticed that he was “a sober child” when he was only ten years old (Mormon 1:2). By the time he was fifteen, he “was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus” (Mormon 1:15). As he tells us in the passage above, this spiritual anchor stood in contrast to the turmoil around him. The land was full of robbers, which in earlier times had motivated the Nephites to repent and unite. But this time, their reaction was different. “They did not repent of their evil doings,” he tells us. “It was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land.” No security, no stability. The only thing which kept Mormon grounded was his connection to God which he had developed from a young age.
In President Monson’s last general conference talk, he indicated that we each need a direct connection to God to survive in our turbulent society:
We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety…. If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far (“The Power of the Book of Mormon,” General Conference, April 2017).
In our most recent general conference, President Nelson gave us a similar warning:
I am optimistic about the future. It will be filled with opportunities for each of us to progress, contribute, and take the gospel to every corner of the earth. But I am also not naive about the days ahead. We live in a world that is complex and increasingly contentious. The constant availability of social media and a 24-hour news cycle bombard us with relentless messages. If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation….
In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018).
Today, I will follow Mormon’s example of how to be spiritually anchored during a time of instability. I will follow the counsel of President Monson and of President Nelson. I will take time to connect with God and to listen to the voice of his Spirit which will give me true stability.