I took a day off, it is Spring Break here where I live and I took my three daughters to the beach. It was a great day off (minus the long wait for the ferry on our return trip) and we had a fabulous time.
For the remainder of the week, for Mormon 1 through Mormon 9, we will be using the “principle and doctrine” study skill. If you recall from when we last used this study skill, principles are: unchanging truths, eternal laws, fundamental beliefs and are portable. Doctrines are unchanging truth, eternal laws and fundamental beliefs. In order to find these principles and doctrines within the scriptures, we can ask ourselves these questions:
- What are the unchanging truths, eternal laws, and/or fundamental beliefs here?
- What can I learn and apply to myself?
- What is the moral of the story?
- So what?
- Therefore what?
- And thus we see________
Now, let us see what we can find here within Mormon 1.
As this book opens, Mormon tells us that he is making a record of things that he has seem and heard and he is going to call his writings the Book of Mormon. And while this book of Mormon isn’t “The Book of Mormon,” it is where the name is derived.
Mormon was a young man, not even able to pass the sacrament yet, if he lived in our day; and Ammaron came to him and recognized that he was a righteous young man. Ammaron gave Mormon specific instruction on what he was to do when he became 24 years old. Mormon was told that at this time in his life, he was to go and retrieve the plates of Nephi and that he should write what he has witnessed.
The following year, Mormon’s father moved their family to Zarahemla and here Mormon witnesses war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. The battles were great and he tells us in verse 13 that “wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people.” While I don’t know for sure that this is an eternal law, I do hold the moral of this small story as a fundamental belief. When the people are wicked as a whole or majority, the Lord takes away the workings of miracles and healing.
At the age of 15, Mormon was visited by the Lord and “tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus” (verse 14.) Mormon loved Him so, that he wanted to share his knowledge with others, however Heavenly Father knew of their wickedness and Mormon was instructed and forbidden not to preach to them.
As the chapter closes, we learn that not only are the majority of the people wicked, but the Gadianton robbers proliferated throughout the land and there were sorceries and witchcrafts powered by Satan everywhere. Prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite and Abinadi were filled.
And so ends 326 AD in a very sad state. My heart hurts for the young Mormon and his wishes to help the poor in spirit.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.