And it doesn’t still. 🙂 Tonight’s study group will be on Moroni 8, so here are some questions/thoughts. I think I did have one insight that might at the least make sense of why this doesn’t make sense. 🙂 Maybe after tonight I’ll have more to say, too!
1) Why does Mormon repeat himself so much?
2) Why does he have to inquire of God about it?
3) If he had to inquire, why the obviousness?
4) Little children are whole and need no repentance, that’s right
5) And the comparison with parents is very, very apt.
6) Those w/o law can’t be charged – what about those who don’t know about the law? But still, he says “all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law.”
7) Do the Nephites have an understanding of baptisms for the dead?
8) Putting trust in dead works…
9) Obviously this is at odds with Nephi’s explanation in 2 Ne 31-33 that everyone, even Christ, needed to be baptized.
All of this made more sense to me when I got to verse 27. They are at war, and everything’s in turmoil, etc. What if the people are baptizing their children out of the horrible daily fear that they might be dead tomorrow? What if this is a desperate attempt to make sure their kids are ok in heaven rather than repenting so that the war itself could stop? They are putting trust in dead works, as if that should be their focus, without love of God. And without any hope of the power God could be having now, they are looking to the future, elsewhere and letting the present remain as it is.
I wonder if that might be what is going on, and if so, to me it is a key to the whole chapter.
It explains Mormon’s rambling frustration – why why why won’t this people just repent??!!
It explains the focus on those who have the law – he’s perhaps not trying to write up a doctrinal exploration right now, he’s trying to save his people from being destroyed! Teach them to repent! Teach them not to focus elsewhere – God will take care of them! Are you letting God take care of you?? Repent! Repent! Repent!