After experiencing the annihilation of his people. Mormon wrote a final message of testimony and admonition to the descendants of his enemies, the Lamanites. He wanted them to know four things:
- You are part of the house of Israel.
- You must repent in order to be saved.
- You must lay down your weapons of war.
- You must learn what your ancestors knew. You must learn to rely on Jesus Christ, who has overcome death, and who can help you prepare for the Final Judgment.
Here is a summary of Mormon’s final message, with my takeaways:
After Mormon’s death, and at his request, his son Moroni completed his book. Moroni may very well have believed that the last two chapters of his father’s book were all that he would write. He wasn’t sure how long he would live, and there wasn’t much room left on the plates his father had given him. (See Mormon 8:1-5.)
Moroni’s purpose appears to be to help modern readers accept and understand his father’s book. Emphasizing that he had seen our day and that he understood us (Mormon 8:35), Moroni identified several patterns of thought which might prevent us from recognizing and acting on the truths taught in the Book of Mormon:
- Rejecting a message because the messenger is imperfect (Mormon 8:12-21, Mormon 9:30-34)
- Being confused about what is really important (Mormon 8:14, Mormon 8:37-39)
- An unwillingness to consider the future consequences of your actions (Mormon 9:1-6)
- Relegating God to the distant past instead of exercising faith in Him here and now (Mormon 9:7-25)
Here is a summary of Moroni’s (first) final message, with my takeaways:
Here are some of the principles I have learned from these chapters:
How the Atonement of Jesus Christ prepares us for the Final Judgment
- The purpose of the gospel is not to make us “good enough.” The goal is to be fully prepared for the Final Judgment through the Atonement of Jesus Christ: Repent of All Your Sins and Iniquities – Mormon 7:5.
- Because of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected, and we will all be brought back into the presence of God: The Redemption of Man – Mormon 9:12-14.
- God’s grace doesn’t merely act upon us; it empowers us: What Does It Mean to “Work Out Your Own Salvation?”
Recognizing and accepting truth
- The word of God is unified, and different volumes of scripture reinforce one another: How Does the Book of Mormon Complement the Bible?
- God has provided guidance to help us achieve true and lasting happiness both in this life and in the world to come: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Happiness?
- We should search all of the words of Isaiah, not only the portions that are quoted by Book of Mormon prophets: Why Is Isaiah Quoted So Much in the Book of Mormon?
- We should not forget that our Heavenly Father knows everything about us: Your Nakedness Before God – Mormon 9:5-6.
- A petty, critical attitude cannot lead to wisdom: Mormon 8:12 Whoso Receiveth This Record, and Shall Not Condemn It…
Making wise decisions
- Guilt fulfills an important function in God’s plan for our happiness and growth: What Should I Do When I Feel Guilty?
- We can’t allow ourselves to be immobilized by indecision: What Should I Do When I Have Doubts?
- We should examine ourselves and repent as needed before renewing our covenants each week: How Do I Know If I’m Worthy to Take the Sacrament?
- We need to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by worries: Whither I Go It Mattereth Not – Mormon 8:4.
Treating others with kindness and charity
- If we can trust God to set everything right, then we can leave our own bitterness and anger behind: What Is the Meaning of the Phrase “Vengeance Is Mine?”
- We need to make the effort to be more aware of the needs of other people: The Sick and the Afflicted – Mormon 8:37-39.
- We should share our clothing with those who are in need: Why Do Ye Adorn Yourselves with That which Hath No Life? – Mormon 8:39