Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moroni Finishes His Record

"And now I, Moroni, proceed to finish my record concerning the destruction of the people of whom I have been writing" (Ether 13:1).

Moroni has just bid farewell to his latter-day Gentile readers (Ether 12:38).  When Moroni finishes his record "concerning the destruction of the people of whom" he'd been writing, he brings a number of other things to our attention.  He knows his readers well and wrote that which would benefit their souls.  We should not overlook his message.  He does not draw his conclusions for his own sake, but for ours.  

"For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;" (Ether 13:2).

Why does Moroni begin with the words "For behold..."?  How do the words "for behold" tie the previous verse to the ideas he's about to put forth?  "For behold," the Jaredites rejected all the words of Ether (Ether 13:2).  Who was Ether (Ether 12:2-5)?  Why is it significant that the people rejected his words?  And what does that have to do with their destruction (Ether 13:1)?  Why does Moroni choose to make this point for our sake?  Have we had someone like Ether among us?  Someone like the brother of Jared?

Joseph Smith's message, which he received from God, was intended to fix the mess the Christian world had gotten itself into over centuries of unbelief.  How different are we from the Christian world today?  Are we the same as other Christians, just as the I'm a Mormon campaign tries to make us out to be?  How are we different?  It's been almost 200 years since this prophet was among us.  How well have we taken to heart his message?  

Are we warned today, as the Jaredites were by this prophet Ether, of the need to repent lest we be destroyed?  By whom?  That appears to be the very reason Moroni has included this warning in the text.  It is for our benefit and warning.  We must believe it was put there to teach us something.  If Moroni chose carefully which texts he would include in the Book of Mormon for our sake, we must ask ourselves what we can learn about ourselves from what he is sharing.  Do we find ourselves in a similar dilemma to what the Jaredites faced? Do we run the risk of rejecting the words of a prophet of God?

The record of the Jaredites begins with two prophet leaders - brothers - and their families; the brother of Jared being the mighty seer.  They both die (Ether 6:29).  Generations pass and the people are in need of repentance.  Some of their kings have been good men, and others not.  The Lord finally sends Ether among them, declaring repentance lest they be destroyed (Ether 12:3).  He "truly told them of all things" (Ether 13:2).  He prophesied unto them many great and marvelous things, but the people did not believe him (Ether 12:5).  

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