For the Lord Hath Spoken It

Mormon 8 (en español)

Chapter 8 of the book of Mormon starts with a sudden shift in narration from Mormon to his son, Moroni. It come unexpectedly, though chapter 7 is a fitting farewell tribute for Mormon. One get the sense that there was more that Mormon had intended to write.

What stands out to me at the beginning of this chapter is Moroni’s singular purpose, and yet the uncertainty and precariousness of the situation in which he finds himself. He doesn’t know if he will soon be slayed himself. (All it would take is one failed interaction with the enemy. )

The uncertainty of the situation is express in this simple statement: “and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.” (vs. 5)

After describing the complete and utter destruction of his people, Moroni concludes: “it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it.” (vs. 8)

He points again to the Lord in stating that He would not suffer the disciples of Christ tarry. Moroni has continue the course of his father’s authorship in showing what the Lord was doing among his people.

“And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus…” (vs. 10) This is an important distinction for Moroni to make: that there are none left that are connected to God, none that know the true God, except it be these three disciples of Jesus. Moroni then says that he has seen them and that they had ministered to him. This makes a great deal of sense to me and also shows me how even one faithful disciple (Moroni) can be preserved, strengthened, and protected to accomplish the work of the Lord.

Tools, means, methods, agents, resources, ministers; the Lord has many things at His disposal to accomplish His work.

And then what promise is unveiled in verse 12! If we will accept the Book of Mormon, and not condemn it or find fault with it, ours will be the blessing of greater knowledge. This is a promise contained elsewhere in the Book of Mormon but also in the Bible:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

John 16:12

And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
…Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.

3 Nephi 26: 9 & 11 (see 6-11)

Verse 14 is my focus today, and how it is that something that transform in purpose, and even value, according to the Lord’s interactions with it. Precious metal, gold plates, can be rendered of no value for the purpose of monetary gain, when the Lord’s words are recorded upon them. Sudden it is the word of God that literally transforms its purpose and worth. Arguably, the value is increased and becomes of much greater worth than its monetary value.

This has my thoughts going in multiple directions:

  • One, how materials can be transformed into something of much greater importance than what they were before the thing was created.
  • Second, Moroni is talking with the Lord here, and it is the words of the Lord that he is referencing here: “For he truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain;” What I am getting at here is that it is the voice of the Lord that Moroni is hearing, and Moroni’s reference point is direct communication with Him. This is why this book is a witness of Christ. This is a man who is walking hand and hand with the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of his civilization. How else could should a book be conceived?

If you believe this, Brent, and I do, there is more to learn.

I am now focused this morning on a selection found in verses 14 – 16. Moroni points to him that will bring forth the record, and declares his blessed state, and how it is that the Lord will bless him. The reason why Moroni makes this bold statement is because, as we’ve already discussed, this is God’s work, and Moroni knows that whoever it is that gets tasked with revealing it on the other end, he will already be favored of God:

For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

Vs. 15 (Emphasis added)

Something that I have never seriously considered in a scripture study is that violence, physical force, is never condoned in the scriptures. It is always the wrong answer.

Yet how strangely ironic is this dynamic of our physical, mortal experience. How often I have resorted to mild violence in parenting techniques in the past. Frustration boils. This is something that I have repented of, and that I might more deliberately repent of.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
But the days will come, when the violent shall have no power; for all the prophets and the law prophesied that it should be thus until John.
Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days.
And if ye will receive it, verily, he was the Elias, who was for to come and prepare all things.

Matthew 11:12, JST Matthew 11:13-15

Jesus suffered violence, but did not resort to it in return or in response to his violent accusers. He didn’t even respond with anger, the precursor to a violent disposition.

Reading further into Mormon 8:21-26 and I am considering how powerful is the word of the Lord. Whether or not it is believed, it is brought to pass. The reality of the situation is that this is another agenda, a higher agenda, a divine priority that will be realized. The Lord’s timing and purposes will be fulfilled, regardless of our personal judgments or ambitions. There are covenants at play between the Lord and his prophets. These are prayers of the prophets that the Lord has covenanted to answer in his own time. There are things that cannot be altered by the whims of men.

Judgment and Violence

What is the purpose of judgment and why do we resort to threats, anger, and ultimately violence as a means of enforcement of our judgments.

Considering the following scriptures:

19 For behold, the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord.

20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

Mormon 8:19-20

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

James 4:11-12

How to separate myself from those that have a tendency to judge? That’s not what this is saying. It is rather an admonition to avoid rash judgments. Avoid speaking evil of one another.

Christ deals with the human tendency to judge the best:

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her… Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?… Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

John 8: 7, 10-11

Later in the same chapter:

Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

John 8:15-16

Continuing my contemplation on violence:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

But the days will come, when the violent shall have no power; for all the prophets and the law prophesied that it should be thus until John.

Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days.

Matthew 11:12, JST Matthew 11:13-14

God justified the flood and the destruction of all human life, save Noah and his family, because “the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth.”


A father who was gentle beneath his firmness, and a mother who was firm beneath her gentleness.

That My Family Should Partake (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974), p. 56. Quoted in “Take Especial Care of Your Family”, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, footnote 13.

There exists such a binding power between the Lord and his Saints! It is strong and woven through countless prayers from many years gone by. It is a woven generational tapestry that has already been crafted through the faith of these our dead ancestors. It is now in the hands of the Lord to fulfill His promises. “For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.” (vs. 22)

A restoration to the way things “used to be” is not going to happen.

Moroni is painting a very compelling argument for why the wicked ought not to stand in the way of the Lord. He is illustrating the character of those saints who have petitioned the Lord. These were individuals of such faith that in the very name of the Lord they could move mountains, shake the earth, and destroy prisons. You literally cannot oppose this kind of faith without getting run over.

Why did the Lord honor such faith? “And he knoweth their prayers, that they were in behalf of their brethren.” (vs. 24)

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