We don’t usually think of time jumping as a real thing, yet we have this statement by Moroni from about 400 AD: “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.” Both Mormon and his son, Moroni speak directly to us, the people of the last days. As we read their words to us from 17 centuries ago, we need to keep in mind that their words to us are based on the revelations and visions they had of us from God.
Reading Assignment: Mormon 7-9.
Okay, so Mormon and Moroni didn’t actually time jump, but they still saw our day. They saw what we are like and what we are up to. The standard privacy laws don’t seem to apply in the realm of revelation. In order for Mormon to speak to the descendents of his people he had to know about them. How could he give his people a word of counsel if he didn’t know what their conditions were and what they needed to hear about all those centuries in the future?
I think the most important piece of information he had to give those who remain as the offspring of the family of Lehi/Ishmael is found in Mormon 7:2. Mormon leads with this important piece of information: “Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel.” We hear this all the time. It may have lost some of its impact.
What does it mean to be of the house or family of Israel (Jacob)? This is the covenant line. All, yes all, of God’s greatest blessings for his children are granted through the lineage of Abraham, through which his covenants are administered to the whole family of God here in mortality. To be of any other lineage puts you outside of that covenant circle and covenant influence.
Stating that those who are native to the Western Hemisphere, including the Pacific islanders, are all legal heirs of the blessings of Israel, is like someone showing up on the stoop of your hovel in the back woods of the forest and declaring you to be the rightful heir of the King’s house. Mormon couldn’t have started off with a better piece of news for those who had been nearly driven to extinction in the Americas because of God’s punishments for their forefathers’ rebellion against him.
Mormon’s message is direct and straightforward. As a member of the family of the first covenant each of the remnant of the seed of Joseph (Jacob’s son) is offered the covenants of salvation. To obtain them they must believe in Christ, repent of their sins, be baptized then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They must believe the record of their forefathers contained in the Book of Mormon. This book will also testify of the Bible, that record preserved from the Jews who killed Christ. Mormon specifically tells them to believe in the Bible and what it teaches.
Nothing new in the messages from Mormon to the remnant of the seed of the house of Jacob. We’ve heard it all before. But having heard it before does not lessen the power of the message. The truths are simple, yet they are still the truths required to save the life of every individual.
Moroni’s message is basically a testimony of the mission of Joseph Smith. Here are some bullet points that illustrate this point.
- Mormon 8:14 – The Lord will bless him who brings this record to light. The “him” in question is Joseph Smith.
- Mormon 8:16 – This verse talks a lot about darkness and light. Remember that darkness refers to the void of ignorance. In the last days men will walk in darkness or spiritual ignorance because of the absence of the light and truth that comes from revelation. Joseph Smith will open the gates of revelation once again, shedding the gospel light (truth) on mankind. His work will be done by the power of God.
- Mormon 8:19 states that we are judged based on our attitudes here in mortality. If we judge rashly then in the day of judgment we will be judged rashly. I view this as a hint to be patient and non-judgmental of the Lord’s servants and their imperfections. Heaven only knows we all have plenty of imperfections.
- Mormon 8:23-25 – Those who have already died have prayed in faith that this record will come to their posterity. These are no ordinary people. These whose prayers have been offered to the Lord could move mountains with their faith. They have specifically prayed for the prophet of the latter days who would usher in this great work or restoration that would save their posterity. So great prophets, the likes of people like Mosiah, Alma, Nephi, Mormon, and many others have specifically prayed to the Lord for the success of Joseph Smith’s mission in saving their posterity.
- Mormon 8:26-33 – Moroni talks about the conditions that will exist in the days of the restoration. His boast that he has seen us and our day is verified when he very accurately describes the wicked conditions of religion in the days of Joseph Smith and beyond.
- Mormon 8:36-41 continues his condemnation of the people of our day by accurately describing those social and spiritual conditions that will condemn us before the Lord. If we take this list and do the opposite of the things he describes, it will be well with us in the day of judgment.
A message to the world
Can you think of another place in all the scriptures where a prophet speaks directly to the unbelievers of the world and in clear language and logic walks them through their own rationalization of unbelief? He then continues on to tell them what the result of that unbelief will be in the day of judgment.
Moroni teaches us that the miracles that God is responsible for include the fall and the reclamation of mankind from that fall. His miracles also include the resurrection, and the judgment that is the result of that resurrection. He is not talking here about miracles that affect one person only. He is talking about the things Christ has done that affect all of humanity.
Moroni then goes on to reference all the miracles wrought by Christ in his ministry, as well as the miracles wrought by the apostles. This is the nature of God, to perform miracles for the benefit of God’s children. These miracles (the personal ones especially) are available to those who exercise faith. Where there is no faith there can be no miracles.
If God is an unchangeable God and there are no more miracles it is because mankind has stopped exercising faith in God. God has not changed, man has. Here is the recipe for receiving miracles. This promise found in Mormon 9:20-21 is to all the peoples of the earth. You don’t have to be a member of the Lord’s Church to receive a miracle.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
The requirements for salvation have not changed from the days of Adam to the present day. Our Father’s plan of salvation is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is as unchangeable as He is. The blessings for one are the same blessings available to all. The pattern for happiness is the same for all.
Believe in Christ, repent of all ungodliness, obey the commandments and learn to live like our Redeemer and Savior. It takes humility and a contrite heart. Any person of any age can achieve cleanliness before the Lord if these steps are followed. Happiness is based on this formula for living. This is the essence of the message of Moroni to the inhabitants of the earth in the last days.