Summary: The Lamanites seek out and destroy the Nephites—The Book of Mormon shall come forth by the power of God—Woes pronounced upon those who breathe out wrath and strife against the work of the Lord—The Nephite record shall come forth in a day of wickedness, degeneracy, and apostasy. Between A.D. 400 and 421
At the beginning of this chapter, we find that Moroni has continued this record on his father's behalf. We learn that Hh witnessed the death of his father and the destruction of the Nephite nation. He has no friends and no relatives. He is not sure how long he will live, and has to finish the record alone and in hiding.
Elder L. Tom Perry gives us a little insight into Moroni's reasons for writing this chapter:
“He must have felt compelled to describe how his people had been hunted by the Lamanites until they were all destroyed. In his feeling of loneliness, he reports that his father was among those who were killed. We sense that the only thing Moroni is living for is to complete the record, as he writes, ‘Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not’ (Mormon 8:4).
“All he has is the faith that the Lord will preserve him long enough to complete the record and that someday it will be found by one chosen of the Lord. He realizes that the record will be a voice of warning to future generations of what occurs when nations like his own turn away from the teachings of the Lord. It is from the depths of his heart that Moroni cries out to those who will eventually receive the record. He wants to spare those who read his account the heartache and misery which comes from disobedience.
“He writes first to the members of the Church and then to those who have not embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moroni’s last words to the members of the Church are written as a voice of warning. He writes as one who sees the history of his people repeating itself in the future” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 18–19;
or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 15–16).
It is sobering to think of the Lord preserving Moroni's life so he can finish this record. We are blessed to have it published and circulated throughout our church. We owe this in some part to the prophet Joseph Smith, who is the one Moroni speaks of in these verses:
16 And blessed be ahe that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be bbrought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God.
17 And if there be afaults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that bcondemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.
President Boyd K. Packer bears a solid testimony of Joseph Smith's mission:
“The truth is, simply, that he was a prophet of God—nothing more and not one whit less!
“The scriptures did not come so much from Joseph Smith as they did through him. He was a conduit through which the revelations were given. . . .“The Prophet Joseph Smith was an unschooled farm boy. To read some of his early letters in the original shows him to be somewhat unpolished in spelling and grammar and in expression.
“That the revelations came through him in any form of literary refinement is nothing short of a miracle”
(in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, 137; or Ensign, May 1974, 94).
We have a book, the Book of Mormon, that is filled with the word of God. It testifies of the truthfulness of the Bible. It testifies of Jesus Christ and His role as our Savior. It testifies of a loving God. It gives us the information we need to live righteously so we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.
I love this book, and I am grateful to Moroni, Joseph Smith, and all the other prophets who sacrificed everything so I may read its words.