Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mormon 8

Moroni intended to close the record with this chapter as he was alone and had no ore to make plates to expand the record. He doesn't quite end the record (he adds the book of Ether and then appends 10 chapters of his own writing), but Mormon 8 is written as his summary. He speaks directly to the latter day recipients of the record, including its translator. 

35 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.

The principal thing that he condemns in our day is the love of things rather than people.

37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

The epistle of James supports Moroni's appeal to care for others as the essence of the gospel (James 1):

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Moroni asks us some questions:

Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Have I hidden my faith and buried my testimony? Have I been in situations where I could have boldly declared my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ but have quietly demurred and left unsaid what the spirit prompted me to say?

Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies? Are we so attached to the things of the world that we are willing to sell ourselves for them and be miserable? Moroni says that we do it because we need the "praise of the world." We need others to think highly of us for reasons that have nothing to do with righteousness or integrity.

Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not? If pure religion is service to our fellow men in the pure love of Christ, we should all be living a lot simpler lives.

Why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

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