A Day of Wickedness and Abomination
READ Mormon 1:2-4
was Mormon like as a child and why did this appeal to Ammaron?
By only 10 years old, he stood out
from the rest of the children.
He was serious – probably a
“thinker”; he could contemplate serious matters in a mature way.
He was very smart but also resolute; meaning he would both understand
what was needed and be willing to do it.
He was responsible enough, even at
that age, to be tasked with remembering and fulfilling a very adult task 14
years into the future.
READ Mormon 1:13-14 and 4 Nephi
is the spiritual effect of a society steeped in wickedness and unbelief?
They have no ministering angels
(translated or otherwise).
They have no miracles or healings.
They have no gifts of the Spirit.
They have no gift of the Holy Ghost
or mighty change of heart.
And as a result, they have “proof”
that these things don’t exist anyway…because they have no evidence that they do
exist! This bias confirms their false
beliefs, but they’ve done it to themselves.
They have not considered that just because these experiences and
attributes aren’t had among ANY of them, they don’t exist.
The old religion practiced in Zion
had essentially vanished from their society.
READ Mormon 1:15
happened to Mormon at age 15?
Jesus Christ came to Him and
ministered to Him in the flesh (see D&C 132:21-25).
He was redeemed from the fall,
forgiven and changed; he “tasted” the fruit of the tree of life or the effects
of the Atonement of Christ, which redeems (see 1 Nephi 8:10-12; Ether 3:13).
He knew of the “goodness of Jesus”;
he was given a tactile knowledge of the goodness of Jesus in enacting the
atonement by touching for himself the wounds which prove that Christ did what
He said He did (see 3 Nephi 11:14-15).
did this happen in a world as wicked as Mormon’s?
The Lord is no respecter of
persons; if anyone fulfills the requirements, they receive the blessings.
It shows that anyone can receive
these greatest blessings even in a society of wickedness.
It shows that anyone can receive
Christ Himself even if there is no other “righteous” priesthood holder with
“keys” to “authorize” it; Christ can appear to whomever He wants, whenever He
READ Mormon 1:16-19
did the Lord forbid Mormon to preach unto the people – couldn’t it have enabled
They were fully ripe in their
They were consigned to their
Like the Jaredites, they have no
desire to repent anyway (see Mormon 2:13).
The Lord has withdrawn Himself
completely from them and they are in their own hands.
the Lord really “curse” the land so that treasures become “slippery” and what
does this mean?
Evidently, He can.
The Lord does not always allow the
wicked to revel in their wickedness forever without consequence.
Today, this happens in the stock
market, all the time.
the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, where do the people turn?
To whatever spirits will give heed
to them or abide with them.
It is interesting to note that they
still value the power that the supernatural can give them; they are just not
willing to abide by the eternal laws required to connect with God.
READ Mormon 2:1-2
does the fact that the Nephites chose a 16-year-old Mormon to be their General
tell us about him and about them?
He was extremely physically
imposing, even at 16.
He was noticeably different from
the rest of the soldiers in ways that the Nephites valued – intelligence, even
the spirit of God.
Perhaps he was from a prestigious
family; he does mention that he is a direct descendent of Nephi I.
Even then, the Nephites seem
desperate to appoint a 16-year-old to lead the armies! They must have had a poor talent pool (think
Union Army in the American Civil War, until Grant and Sherman).
READ Mormon 2:8
does it mean that it was “one complete revolution throughout all the face of
The Nephite nation is in chaos and
civil war against itself.
The Lamanite nation is in chaos and
It’s not so much pitched battles
with armies (although there were some of these, too) but the entire land is in
a completely lawless and violent state.
The robbers are a key part of this
– the foundation of it; they have “infested” all people and turned them against
each other through their secret works of darkness.
READ Mormon 2:10-15
is the difference between the sorrow of the damned and the sorrow of the
Sorrow of the damned does not
change behavior; it is motivated by anger or frustration in the fact that there
are negative consequences for behavior (sin).
Sorrow of the repentant does
motivate a change in behavior; it is motivated by contrition and a broken heart
from a realization of one’s true (lost and fallen) state before God, the
consequences of that state, and a desire to do whatever it takes to change, in
order to be saved.
do they wish to die but struggle for their lives at the same time?
This life is all they know or
really believe in (or they would repent…) but they hate it.
However, the fear of death and
fight for life is strong in the natural man.
And if there is some kind of
Supreme Being as they see it, they hate Him for not allowing them to enjoy
their sins or for not saving them in their sins.
does it mean that the “day of grace was past with them”?
There is a limit to the timing and
criteria allowed by the Lord for forgiveness; when people claim they understand
the Gospel, have the fullness, and therefore deliberately rebel against God,
driving the Holy Ghost out from among them, then the day of grace has passed.
Grace is an undeserved blessing;
Christ extends it “unfairly” to us anyway - does not have to grant it and it’s
undeserved on our part as we have not earned any of it, regardless of how
“righteous” we are; if we “willfully rebel”, He can choose to refuse to grant us
His grace – that is a completely just consequence to our rebellion.
READ Mormon 2:17-19
did Mormon do when he first retrieved the record from the place where it was
He did as Ammaron had asked of him:
he documented all the wickedness and abominations of the people, in full.
It was only later that he created
and wrote “these plates” or his summary, which became the Book of Mormon.
hope does Mormon’s life give those of us living in the latter days?
Mormon was a perfect candidate to
write this Book for us, as he lived in a wicked and violent nation, so he could
truly understand ours.
While we, too, live within a
society where we have witnessed a “continual scene of wickedness and
abominations” since childhood…
And our hearts should be broken any
time we turn on the news…
We can KNOW that we will be “lifted
up” at the last day through Jesus Christ; we can know our standing before Him
and that He has snatched us and declared us clean before the Father from the
blood of the wicked generation among whom we live (see D&C 88:75).
From this, we can see just how
little the social decay of a population affects the lives of the Lord’s
followers; an entire nation can be blind, but that does not prevent disciples
from seeing; neither religions, traditions nor governments keep an individual
from repenting – Mormon is a great example of this.
READ Mormon 2:20-21
the state of Nephite society?
A nation of refugees fleeing for
Their society is in shambles; they
are on the brink of destruction; no food is being manufactured; they are
fighting for their lives.
READ Mormon 2:25-27 and Mormon
the Lord withdrawing from the Nephites, how did they beat the Lamanites whose
army was almost twice as big?
Bravery, fierceness, and military
It was all on them; they had reason
to be proud.
are the Nephites violating the principles of “Christian war” that we read about
during the Great Lamanite War in Alma?
They are swearing to exact revenge.
They are preparing to practice
They are planning on exterminating
a threat before it can destroy them.
READ Mormon 4:4-5, 17-18
happened to the Nephites because of their “preventative war”, when they
attacked the Lamanites to exterminate them?
They had no support from the Lord.
They were left unto themselves.
They suffered a major defeat (see
Ironically, they justified the
attack of the Lamanites into Nephite land, which would end in the extermination
of the Nephites themselves.
READ Mormon 3:11-16
does Mormon refuse to lead the Nephite armies from that time forward, even
though they had always been a group of vile sinners during his lifetime?
He knows the Nephites’ recent military
history and knows the Lord’s principles of war, and as a soldier who is also a
prophet, he will not violate those principles for any reason.
can Mormon still love his people, as wicked as they are?
He has charity, the pure love of
Christ, which motivated the Lord during the atonement when He was suffering the
sins of those who were about to put Him to death.
Even though they are wicked, they
are still children of God and had good or endearing qualities about them.
Mormon always held out the wish that
his friends, for that is who they were, would repent – at least to some degree;
this is a heartbreaking experience for him.
would Mormon cry all day long in prayer for his friends, yet do it “without
Because he truly loved them.
Because perhaps the Lord would have
mercy on them for his sake.
Because the impending destruction
of his people was so terrible to contemplate that he felt he had to do
Because he needed to obtain the
will of the Lord in this matter so that he could enable it, as per the Lord’s
instructions to him.
READ Mormon 3:20-22
is Mormon writing to the latter-day Gentiles, Jews and the Remnant of Israel?
To warn us regarding the reality of
the judgement seat of Christ.
To warn us that we are heading toward
our own destruction, following the same path that his people trod.
To testify to us that the Fullness
of the Gospel of Christ is the only thing that can save us; but that it can
save us only if we will believe it, repent and accept it.
READ Mormon 4:5
do the judgements of God punish the wicked?
The wicked punish and destroy each
other when God withdraws His Spirit and protection.
He lets the natural order of the
telestial kingdom take its course.
READ Mormon 4:11-15
did the Lamanites beat the Nephites?
They outnumbered them.
did the Nephites beat the Lamanites?
They were driven by a murderous
rage for revenge.
do the Nephites and Lamanites have in common?
A delight in the shedding of blood
– killing and murder.
Every heart was hardened.
They were likely much more alike at
this point than they were different, a sad irony.
READ Mormon 5:1-2
did the Nephites view the “Return of Mormon”?
A heroic return! Like a scene from an epic action or comic
That through his wits, leadership
and strength, Mormon could turn the tide and save them.
did Mormon return to lead the Nephites?
He loved his people and preferred
to die with them than watch them die.
He knew it was a suicide mission;
he had no hope, for he had read about the end result of the judgements of God in
the scriptures he had access to (Nephi I’s account) and he also knew it from
personal revelation from the Lord’s own voice.
READ Mormon 5:8-9 and Mormon
does Mormon “harrow up our souls” with his account of carnage?
A knowledge of these things must
come unto the Remnant and also to the Gentiles.
Both as a serious warning for us to
not venture down the path that leads to such atrocities – which seemingly we
are on, or why give us the warning (see Mormon 5:22-24) and to demonstrate how
one can live in a society such as this and still know God (see Mormon 5:21).
To show us how quickly a great
society like ours can devolve into wickedness, and ultimately its entire
destruction, at its own hands.
READ Mormon 5:16-18
are they without Christ and God in the world?
Because the Spirit has been
withdrawn from them; it has ceased to strive with (attempt to influence) them.
Because they have grieved the
Spirit so thoroughly with their wickedness.
is chaff and what does it mean to be driven like chaff before the wind?
Chaff = the dry husk of corn or
wild grasses; refuse; worthless matter; especially that which is light weight
and apt to be carried in the wind.
Chaff has no ability to influence
where it will be blown by the wind; it is completely at the mercy of whatever
directions the wind may be blowing.
Satan likes to “play with his food”
like a cat with a mouse; he will drive those who are enslaved to him in
whatever direction he finds amusing, usually because it causes distress and
anguish to those being blown about; he doesn’t do this at first, though – they
must be bound by his chains first, then he can have his way with them.
could a people move from being led by the Father Himself and being shepherded
personally by Christ to this level of degeneracy?
They willfully rebelled.
They purposely decided they did not
want Christ to lead them.
And while it may seem like it all
started with pride, which led to the breaking up of the Law of Consecration
(not having all things in common) and the rise of false religion, it actually
started back when they no longer sought after Christ to know Him personally,
but relied on the testimony and experiences of others (their parents and
grandparents); without a personal knowledge of Christ, they had lost their
“sail, anchor and rudder” which at first was difficult to discern, because the
“sea” was still so calm in the late days of Zion.
Mormon’s Letter to Moroni: A People
The following is a letter from
Mormon to his son Moroni which fits into the chronology of the story at this
point (after Mormon has rejoined the Nephite army but before their ultimate
READ Moroni 9:3-5
does Satan influence the Nephites not to repent, despite all the losses they
are incurring, which should humble them or at the least scare them into
He stirs them up continually to
anger one with another, so they are not only fighting the Lamanite enemy but
are angry with each other, too; they have lost their love for each other.
Anger is a strong emotion which is
a response to perceived provocation, hurt or threat; it can be used as a
protective mechanism to cover up fear, hurt or sadness; it triggers fight or
flight or survival responses and constrains reasoning in the brain; for this
reason, it can be used by Satan to not only distract but actually inhibit the
angry individual from communing with the Spirit or even making more thoughtful
The behaviors that come from anger
(violence, revenge, cruelty, killing, no fear of death) grieve the Spirit to
the degree that it withdraws itself from the individual, allowing Satan to have
that much more power as he fills the vacuum.
do the Nephites react to Mormon’s counsel and preaching?
They are either angry with him when
he uses “sharpness” or…
They ignore his counsel and harden
their hearts when he doesn’t.
READ Moroni 9:6
why does Mormon counsel Moroni to continue to try to influence the Nephites?
Because it is their calling or duty
or mission to “labor” to help their associates to repent and come unto Christ;
otherwise they fail in their calling and receive a condemnation (which would
not be just if they hadn’t accepted the duty).
Their own salvations may be hanging
in the balance; to the degree they attempt to help others, they will be saved
They may have condescended to come
to this earth for this very purpose – and to help save even one family member
or friend that would not have otherwise been saved is worth it (see D&C
18:10-16; Moses 1:39).
are safe in the “rest of the Lord” at the end of an eternity, why would you
ever want to leave? Because you love
those who have not yet made it into His rest and you feel that if there is
anything you could do to enable them to make it during their next external
round, it would be worth the sacrifice and risk (see 1 Corinthians 15:30) to
condescend again into a mortal probation to attempt it.
READ Moroni 9:7-12, 18-20
did Moroni transcribe this letter with all its gory and offensive detail into
To illustrate the depths to which
mankind can fall when the Spirit has withdrawn from them due to their choices
To set a specific set of reference
points with regards to the fullness of iniquity – if your society is doing these
things (or is getting close by paying to be entertained by them in movies or
books), you are ripened in iniquity and are about to be destroyed.
does it mean to be “past feeling”?
They are “past feeling” the Spirit;
they will not feel the Spirit because they actively fight against its influence,
so as a result they cannot feel the Spirit.
The Spirit has withdrawn from them
so completely and they have opened themselves up to evil spirits to the degree
that they are totally possessed by them, so they are without “principle” or
completely out of alignment with eternal law.
does it mean to be “without civilization”?
The loss of all human restraint.
Awful brutality, especially against
those who cannot fight back.
Without mercy and full of blind
anger and hate.
Chaotic, animalistic, perverted,
depraved mob behavior – like crazed zombies or a pack of ravenous wolves.
Without fear of authority,
including military authority, or even death.
can people go from being civilized to being depraved in the course of only a
few years or less?
It starts with the withdrawal of
the Spirit due to sin.
But it is triggered by desperate
circumstances like war, disease or natural disaster, usually accompanied by a
loss of the rule of law, including the lack of law enforcement and penalties
for breaking the law.
is most at risk in a society like this?
Those who cannot defend themselves.
The women, children, elderly, and
would God allow these atrocities?
The wicked punish the wicked (see
And the entire society had turned
from God (see 4 Nephi 1:45-46).
But children as victims of this
behavior is completely unjust as they are not yet accountable, regardless of
the evil of the society in which they are being brought up; the Lord has
promised to wipe away all tears and will receive them up unto Himself, while
the wicked will be held to account for what they have done (see Isaiah 25:8;
Revelation 7:17; Alma 14:10-11).
READ Moroni 9:13-15
does Mormon ask God for?
To end it; to destroy the people so
that the sins and violent cruelty will stop.
This is a society where the
children have no hope but to be brought up in sin, abomination and depravity –
it is time to put a stop to all of it.
READ Moroni 9:21-23
can Mormon no longer intercede with God for the people?
There is no hope for them because
they have sinned so badly against the light and they refuse to repent of it.
It is interesting that he still
holds out the faintest of hopes that they might repent; that is charity at work
in his heart.
But he knows the rules (eternal
law), and justice will be done if they do not repent and come unto Christ.
READ Moroni 9:25-26
could Mormon’s letter not grieve Moroni and weigh him down unto despair?
Understanding the depth of the
darkness in this world is required if we are to overcome it and help others to
do the same; if we are to become like God we must know good from evil
(see TPJS 156:3-157:1; 2 Nephi 2:26; Alma 12:31; Alma 29:5; Helaman
14:31; Moroni 7:15-19; Moses 6:56).
Christ is our example and has
suffered all things; He has descended below all things that He may raise all
things up, that He may draw all men to Him to lift them up that they might live
as He does (see D&C 19:10-20; D&C 88:6; D&C 122:8; 1 Corinthians
15:22; John 12:32; 2 Nephi 26:24-28; 3 Nephi 27:14-16; 3 Nephi 15:1); Christ is
the reason we should not despair when we come to see and understand this degree
of heartbreaking darkness.
does Mormon want “the showing of (Christ’s) body unto our fathers” to rest in
Moroni’s mind forever?
So that he will understand that it
is a possibility (see LoF 2:54-56).
So that he will want to experience
the same thing himself (see 1 Nephi 10:17-19; 1 Nephi 11:1).
So that he will imagine himself
experiencing it with the eye of faith (see Ether 12:19; Alma 5:15; Alma 32:40).
So that he will come unto Christ
himself in the flesh and be saved (see Ether 3:13).
As Mormon himself did (see Mormon
So that the memory of Christ’s
ministry to Him and the tokens that he will witness of what Christ has done to
save him, WILL truly rest in his mind forever, for he will know these things
with a surety (see 3 Nephi 11:14-15).
The Destruction of the Nephites
READ Mormon 6:1-6
did Mormon propose a battle?
So that he could pick the place of
his death, near where he could hide the records; so that he could write, if the
Lord allowed him to, the account of what happened and his final testimony to us.
He thought it was the best place to
have a tactical advantage; but if the tactical advantage was so advantageous,
the king of the Lamanites would not have accepted his offer, so it must not
have been much of an advantage under the circumstances.
It was over anyway – Mormon knew it
and wanted it to be done (see Moroni 9:13-15).
would the Lamanites destroy the scriptural records if they could?
They knew what they were, as they were
also sinning against the light (they had all been one society).
They truly hate God and would love
to destroy His word; they take His truth to be hard.
Satan is their God and he might
know what the Lord has in mind for that record and had driven them to destroy
Plus, whoever wins the war gets to
tell the story and they’d prefer to tell a different story than the one Mormon
is likely writing.
READ Mormon 6:7-11
many died in this great battle?
Which were probably a combination
of men, women and children because they had gathered the whole nation together
at Cumorah to defend themselves.
READ Mormon 6:16-20
are an extremely wicked group of people who have reached the fullness of
iniquity; why does Mormon mourn them so terribly?
They were his friends, despite
their wickedness, and he truly loved them for who they were – not just because
of who he was, i.e. filled with charity for all mankind.
He saw the good in them – they were
fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, they were not “monsters” but people
and he desperately wanted them to repent that they might be saved (although,
yes, there were some that might qualify as depraved monsters, not all of them
were or they were not always that way).
does Mormon mean by the term “fair ones”?
This is not a reference to skin
color, as “Nephite” and “Lamanite” at that point were religious, then political
labels, not primarily ethnic (they’d lived as one for several generations in
Zion and very likely intermarried).
Clearly, it wasn’t in reference to
their character or behavior.
It could refer to their spirits;
they are beings of light with all the potential that a mortal probation can
It could refer to their physical
beauty, which in this case would be paradoxical because their inner “beauty”
was seriously lacking, and now even their physical beauty was gone, having been
hacked to bits by the Lamanites.
Jesus stand with open arms to receive even the Nephites at 99% on the “Fullness
of Iniquity Scale”; right up until the tipping point?
He stands at the door and knocks;
He is no respecter of persons; His desire is to save as many as will come unto
Him; He would have taken them back at the last hour if they would have
repented, like Jonah’s Nineveh (see Jonah 4:4-10).
READ Mormon 6:21-22
does Mormon say “and if it so be that ye are righteous…” when they clearly weren’t
or they would not be dead?
It is not his to judge.
He is not presuming that he knows
their hearts sufficient to judge them; it is possible that the Lord will have
mercy on some because of circumstances Mormon is unaware of or doesn’t understand.
God still love the sinner after their opportunity to repent is past?
Mercy is still His to extend, but
justice must also be served.
But yes, He still loves all His
children, even though He must administer justice upon them which they will find
hard to bear.
did the Nephites fulfill the requirements of the Fullness of Iniquity, such
that they deserved to be swept away (see Ether 2:9-10)?
Pride (see Moroni 8:27).
Secret combinations (see Helaman 2:13).
Violence (see Mormon 4:11).
Worship false gods - materialism and
military might/arm of the flesh (see 2 Nephi 26:10).
Rejection of all that is good - change
the Law/relativism/humanism, cast out/kill the righteous people (see 4 Nephi
1:30-34 and Mormon 1:13-14).
Perversion of the procreative gift (see
Fascination with evil/occult (see Mormon
Without civilization/victimizing of women
and children (see Moroni 9:10-11, 18-20).
All the boxes have been checked –
they are ripe in the fullness of iniquity and are destroyed.
READ Ether 2:11
are we today on this scale? What do we
We are close, and the casting out
of the righteous from the Gentile Church for bearing testimony of the reality
of the living Christ from having been ministered to by Him personally or even
preaching that this is possible, much less required, is a clear sign we are
near the tipping point.
Nephi and Christ Himself both
prophesied that we, the Gentiles, would reach the fullness and deserve to be
destroyed (see 2 Nephi 28:1-32; 3 Nephi 16:10-15; 3 Nephi 20:15-20).
Regarding the other elements of a
fullness of iniquity society, it is obvious that we are nearing the end (pride,
secret combinations, violence, false gods, morality, occult, without