“And Thus We See…”

Periodically, as Mormon relates the history of his people, he interrupts the narrative to share a lesson he hopes we’re learning. He often begins these editorial notes with the phrase, “and thus we see.”

Many of these editorial notes appear during the Lamanite mission of the sons of Mosiah. Here are some of them:

  1. And we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name” (Alma 19:36). The Lamanites, who Mormon had described as “a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people” (Alma 17:14), experienced a miraculous conversion. If God reached out to them, then no one is beyond His reach.
  2. Thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people” (Alma 24:27). More than 1,000 Lamanite converts died in one day, because they refused to fight back when attacked. This was a horrific event, much like the atrocity Alma and Amulek witnessed in the city of Ammonihah. (See Alma 14:8-13.) But unlike the martyrdom at Ammonihah, this event profoundly affected many of the attackers, who threw down their weapons and joined the people of God. Mormon sees a powerful lesson in this event: God works in mysterious ways, and events which seem like tragedies to us can be a blessing in unforeseen ways.
  3. And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God…and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things” (Alma 24:30). The Amalekites and the Amulonites were two groups of Nephite defectors living among the Lamanites. They already knew the gospel preached by the sons of Mosiah and had already rejected it, so they were not inclined to join the Lamanites enthusiastic embrace of it. Mormon sees an important warning in this fact: If you intentionally turn away from the truth, you make it harder for yourself to recognize and accept it in the future.
  4. And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression” (Alma 28:13). Alma gave up the judgment seat to combat the inequality he saw among his people. After describing an immense battle, in which many thousands of people died, Mormon explains that the ultimate inequality—the one we should be most concerned about—is between those who are prepared to meet God and those who are not.
  5. And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord” (Alma 28:14). For all of the reasons listed above, we have an urgent duty to preach the gospel. People can change, God can work miracles through us, and the consequences if people don’t change will be severe.
  6. And thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing” (Alma 28:14). As he concludes the story of the Lamanite mission, Mormon reminds us that the sons of Mosiah experienced “sufferings,” “sorrows,” “afflictions,” and “incomprehensible joy” (Alma 28:8). Wickedness causes sorrow, and righteousness causes joy. We will all experience both, no matter how righteously we live, because other people’s decisions affect us too.

Today, I will remember these six lessons from the mission of the sons of Mosiah. I will remember that God loves all of His children, that He sometimes works in surprising ways, that we hurt ourselves when we reject the truth, that the inequality which matters most is our level of preparation to return to Him, that we have an urgent need to share the gospel, and that, in spite of the sorrow we experience in life, we have a hope of experiencing incomprehensible joy if we seek righteousness.

2 thoughts on ““And Thus We See…”

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    1. Good catch! I just updated the post. An earlier draft only had five lessons, and when I inserted the sixth, I forgot to update the concluding paragraph. Thanks for letting me know, and have a great weekend!

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