Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mormon's Obedience

One of the attributes of Mormon that we see throughout the text of the Book of Mormon is his obedience to the Lord.  Ammaron, a prophet, described him as “quick to observe,” and surely that included being quick to observe the commandments of the Lord (Mormon 1:2).  Mormon summarized at one point in the battles between the Nephites and Lamanites: “I did even as the Lord had commanded me” (Mormon 3:16).  After receiving instruction from Ammaron regarding the records, Mormon emphasized, “I remembered the things which Ammaron commanded me” and he told how he “did go to the hill Shim, and did take up all the records which Ammaron had hid up unto the Lord. (Mormon 1:5, Mormon 4:23).  Ammaron had commanded him, “Ye shall take the plates of Nephi unto yourself, and the remainder shall ye leave in the place where they are; and ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people” (Mormon 1:4).  The whole Book of Mormon is a testament of Mormon’s obedience to that command despite the tumultuous times around him.   

In writing his record, Mormon also emphasized that he wrote those things that the Lord commanded him to write.  He declared powerfully to us in our day, “Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write” (3 Nephi 30:1).  He wrote that which the Lord commanded him to write.  In another example, when including the small plates with his abridgement he explained, “And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will” (Words of Mormon 1:7).  Though he didn’t understand all of the reasons, he put the small plates with his record because that was the will of the Lord.  We see his obedience as well when he was abridging the account of the Savior’s visit among the Nephites.  After describing some incredible experiences the people had, he wrote, “And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. 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. Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me.” (3 Nephi 26:10-11).  Again he emphasized that what he was writing was in accordance with the will of the Lord.  In a similar example, when he was describing the experiences of the three Nephites, he said, “Behold, I was about to write the names of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world” (3 Nephi 28:25).  Once more his concern was to follow the Lord’s command when writing his record. 
              Following the Lord’s will concerning the record was of critical importance to Mormon, and near the end of his life he wrote that he was “commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites” (Mormon 6:6).  And so he did just that and ensured that his son Moroni would carry on with the records as the Lord desired so that we would eventually receive them.  It was thanks to Mormon’s obedience that we have the Book of Mormon today that contains the word of the Lord.  Because of his dedication to following God’s will, he could declare with confidence to us, as did Nephi, “I know the record which I make to be a just and a true record” (3 Nephi 5:18).       

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