This morning I was asking myself the question: Why didn’t the Nephites’ city get taken up to heaven like Enoch’s or Melchizedek’s?
I reread 4th Nephi and I don’t have a specific answer for that yet. I do have some thoughts. I have lots of questions, like why “no contentions” is the constant theme. Also, in one verse Mormon says there were no contentions in all the land “but” there were mighty miracles among the disciples. Why?
As I kept reading it, I remembered that Enoch’s city was on earth for 365 years. The Nephites couldn’t last that long. Maybe it’s a sort of test, to see how long a group can both live in such a state, and teach well enough for the next generation to keep it going? I know there were prophecies of the destruction of the Nephites, but that could have been accomplished by taking most of the city up to heaven, leaving the wicked and a few righteous to carry on the covenants, like God did with Enoch’s city & Noah.
I was fascinated to see how the end of 4th Nephi runs right into the beginning of the next book, Mormon’s, and how Mormon’s story fits into the story of the failed Zion civilization. He writes of how the people willfully rebel, how the whole face of the land becomes caught up in riches and Gadianton robbers, etc., and then the disciples leave and Ammaron hides the record and tells Mormon about them. Mormon is the next chapter in the story! I had previously felt like there was a break in time between the end of 4th Nephi and Mormon. But there’s not; the awful battles that Mormon and Moroni are experiencing are a direct result of the failed Zion civilization. They are living out not just the destruction of the people generally, but the destruction of a people who had just had Zion, and decided not to keep it. Yikes! The destruction of Zion. How sad! What a sad time to live in!
Notice that Mormon wants to go preach and fix it, but he is forbidden. So sad!
(All for now. Poor Mormon!)