We are comparing the various headings that Mormon himself wrote into his text. We’re comparing them with each other, as well as with the printer’s manuscript. See the end of this post for the list of headings we’re working on. (I’ll update the conversation notes as we go along.)
Tag Archives: Mormon
Why in 3 Nephi chapter 5 does Mormon introduce himself as a descendant of Lehi and tells us he is named after the Waters of Mormon, but in the Book of Mormon chapter 1, he introduces himself as a descendant of Nephi, and implies he was named after his father?
I was rereading Moroni 7 today, and verses 20-34 seemed to have such a clear logic and flow that I wonder why I hadn’t seen this so clearly before! I guess that’s why we keep reading over and over and over again! So many things yet to be noticed that are right in front of us.
Mormon says his speech is going to be about faith, but he has some groundwork to lay down first. Mormon says that without Christ, none of us could have any good thing. “Otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them” (verse 24). But how do we lay hold upon good things then? “Thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing” (verse 25). Faith is also what gives us power to do good things: “If ye have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (verse 33). And most importantly, along with repenting and being baptized, Christ says, “have faith in me, that ye may be saved” (verse 34).
So we see know that faith is necessary to lay hold upon good things, to do good things, and even to be saved. But how does faith come about? What is faith? Does God have a plan to make all of this possible?
Well, of course, he does. “For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to…make manifest concerning the coming of Christ (verse 22). “And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come” (verse 23). “Wherefore…men began to exercise faith in Christ” (verse 25). We get a little more detail on angels in verses 31-32:
“And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.
“And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth a way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.”
This is all so remarkably clear to me today. God creates the possibility of faith by sending messengers (either by calling prophets or by sending angels to chosen men, women, and children who then bear testimony). The possibility of faith is conditioned on God sending words and messages about Christ into the world. That is faith. Faith is believing on a word, and that faith creates a place for the Holy Ghost to empower, teach, sanctify, etc. It all seems to start with faith, and faith seems to start with a message, and that message seems to start when God speaks or sends angels.
I was very impressed with the idea laid out here that the work of the covenants (the Abrahamic Covenant being the big example) is accomplished through speaking! I knew that angels ministered and that they did the work of fulfilling covenants, but for some reason I had separated those as two different jobs. But I think verses 31-32, quoted above, are clear that ministering messages is how they fulfill the covenants. They teach, which brings the Holy Ghost, which changes people, and that gathers Israel or whatever other promise is given through a particular covenant. Teaching. Teaching. Teaching. Wow. I’m again shocked at the value and power of teaching.
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!)