Thursday, April 11, 2013

 In the Book of Mormon, I love reading the words of the prophet Mormon to his son Moroni as he counsels him on how to be spiritually strong during wicked times on the earthMormon is a regular father, praying for the welfare of his son. The love he has for the welfare of his son is immense. He doesn't know if he will ever see his son again in this life, but he is comforted because he knows his son is a faithful disciple of Christ.  I think sometimes we forget that prophets are normal people, who have been given the special office of prophet. These verses that Mormon speaks to his son, helps me to relate to him better, and understand his concern and compassion as a parent. 

I have been blessed with four boys, and I kind of like to think that I am praying for the same things for my sons that Mormon prayed for Moroni:  "But behold, my son[s], I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy [lives]." (Moroni 9:22) 

I really appreciate the advice Mormon offered his son in Moroni 9: 25. "My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever."  

There is a lot of wickedness out in the world, but we must not dwell on the wickedness; instead we must fill our minds with thoughts of how merciful and kind our Savior is.  Elder Gene R. Cook said:
“What usually happens when we begin to ponder how merciful the Lord has been to mankind? To us personally? What happens when we count our blessings, or perhaps our sins for which we must ask his forgiveness, and recognize his hand in our individual lives? Is it not true that our hearts turn to the Lord in love and gratitude? Do our faith and humility increase? Yes, and that, in my judgment, is the impact of following the counsel therein. [It] helps us to become more humble, more willing and ready to receive new information and knowledge with an open mind” (Moroni’s Promise,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 12).
The Book of Mormon student manual refers us to  President Gordon B. Hinckley's closing remarks at general conference
“I pray that what you have heard and seen may make a difference in your lives. I pray that each of us will be a little more kind, a little more thoughtful, a little more courteous. I pray that we will keep our tongues in check and not let anger prompt words which we would later regret. I pray that we may have the strength and the will to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile in lifting up the feeble knees of those in distress” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2003, 109; or Ensign, Nov. 2003, 103). 
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) explained how the counsel Mormon gave  to his son Moroni applies to our day. "Both father and son were seeing a whole Christian civilization fall because its people would not serve the God of the land, even Jesus Christ. Mormon wrote, ‘And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God’ (Moroni 9:6). You and I have a similar labor to perform now—to conquer the enemy and rest our souls in the kingdom” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 104; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 85)." No matter how difficult the world we live in becomes, we have reason to rejoice. We are followers of Christ; and as such boldly proclaim his gospel "at all times and in all things, and in all places that [w]e may be in, even until death, that [w]e may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that [w]e may have eternal life. (Mosiah 18: 9)
In close, I would like to reference Mormon's words to his son found in Moroni 8: 2-3: 
 I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.

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