What great patience and love the Father has for us. Mormon lamented in chapter 2 that the day of grace had passed for the Nephites and that they were in open rebellion against God. And yet, in this chapter, God calls for His children to come home again with a promise to spare them if they will just repent.
2 And it came to pass that the Lord did say unto me: Cry unto this people—Repent ye, and come unto me, and be ye baptized, and build up again my church, and ye shall be spared.
3 And I did cry unto this people, but it was in vain; and they did not realize that it was the Lord that had spared them, and granted unto them a chance for repentance. And behold they did harden their hearts against the Lord their God.
At this point, Mormon is 50 years old and has been serving as a military general for 34 years in a period where there was almost continuous warfare. He must have been exhausted from the fighting and depressed by the wickedness of the people. He reached a point where he refused to lead them at all.
11 And it came to pass that I, Mormon, did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination.
12 Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them; nevertheless, it was without faith, because of the hardness of their hearts.
We love our children in spite of their choices and the mess they sometimes make of their lives. We love them with all our heart and we pour out our souls in prayer for them. But I do it faith, with hope that the day will come for each that they will come to Christ with full hearts and know of His goodness and mercy. This is my prayer for all.
Mormon and his son are amazing tragic figures. This great prophet Mormon abridged the records and passed them to his son knowing that they were meant for us. His call to us to repent and to prepare for judgment is the call that his own people ignored, and they were destroyed. I pray we listen individually and as a people, repent, and lean on the Lord for our help and our salvation.
20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
21 And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God.
22 And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.