La primara cosa que me da pausa para reflexionar es la razón por lo cual Mormón quedó con el pueblo Nefita aun cuando ellos ya no eran un pueblo justo. Encuentro la respuesta en el versículo 12. Al ver el sufrimiento, los lamentos y quejidos del pueblo, Mormón empieza a tener esperanza de que tal vez se tornaran a un pueblo justo. Jamas pudiera haber tenido tal esperanza si no moraba con ellos. Uno no se puede sentir amor y compasión por un pueblo si no lucha con ellos.
By verse 15, 144 years had passed since the first people separated themselves from their brethren through pride in the way or manner in which they dressed. Now bodies are being heaped as dung piles upon the earth, so great was the wickedness and destruction of the same people. Oh how a memory of their fathers would have proven for a different outcome! Perhaps it is this perspective, of who they all once were, that kept Mormon fighting for a people who were beyond hope.
In verse 14, Mormon observes that the people “did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits.” This is why, though the people where mourning and lamenting, there was no change in their condition. They failed to find Christ.
The footnote on “heart” causes me to consider the power that comes through humility and contrition before the Lord.
Why does such a chapter like this exist as a witness for Christ? There are a couple of key passages here and the bulk of the chapter sustains and is illustrative of the principles at play.
Mormon is very interested in his people coming to a state of contrition, where their hearts are broken or humbled before the Lord. There are a couple of moments that Mormon accounts for where the people are mourning and lamenting for their iniquities. In those moments, Mormon is hopeful that this will bring them to a state of such humility that the people would repent. He hopes they will come unto Christ, which is the only means by which any real redemption would be realized.
This exchange here is thus very helpful in seeing that one can experience sorrow and great suffering, mourning and lamentation, but still not come unto Christ.
(A similar observation about the Spirit is made later in the chapter, see verse 26.)
This morning though I am brought to consider one very important point back in verse 13, which I was discussing yesterday. Mormon says that “their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God;”
Because of the goodness of God? Is this what drives people to repentance? It’s not shaming, it’s not condemnation; it’s not calling someone out for their misdeeds and poor conduct. Repentance comes best upon a recognition of God’s goodness and His abundant blessings in our lives.
Mormon, later in the chapter, incites his army to victory by inspiring his people to remember their wives, children, and homes, the good things in their lives. This strategy of focusing on goodness was a powerful motivating force that led this otherwise godless people on to victory against their enemies.
An interesting aside, I mentioned in the study of the last chapter that Ammaron had commanded Mormon to retrieve the record when he was 24 years old. I hadn’t thought to put two and two together, but Mormon wasn’t able to access the records until he was 35 years old, 11 years later.
Mormon doesn’t account for it this way though. We have dates. Ammaron comes to Mormon in the 320th year, about the same time that he hid the records (see 4 Nephi 1:48). Mormon is 10 years old. Then back here in Mormon 2:16 & 17, Mormon gives us the year, its the 345th year! So Mormon is now 35 years old. This is eleven years after he was commanded to go make the record.
This is important to me on so many levels when it comes to understanding the Lord’s timing, promises not yet realized, obligations not yet fulfilled, hopes and dreams not yet materialized. Wow and wow! Did Mormon ever think that he was not doing what the Lord had commanded him to do? Did he worry that he may never live to realize Ammaron’s directive, especially after so many years?