"And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things."
This makes sense to me, but seems very sad. It makes sense because once you have known God, and have shut him out and chosen to walk away from him, it is very much easier to do the same in the future. You've found a way to deny or ignore the sun shining in your own soul... compartmentalized yourself somehow, so that you can do this thing that you want, while shutting down that part of yourself that is saying NO, please don't destroy yourself further. I think that all of us recognize that a little bit, since we're all reformed sinners to some extent, and have to keep watching ourselves and not slipping back into that chosen blindness. The sad part is that it makes us, when we're walking away from God, very much worse than people who've never known him. This verse in the Book of Mormon comes after the Sons of Mosiah convert a lot of Lamanites back to the light, and the non-believers come to kill them. ... And the Lamanites stop the slaughter when they see that they refuse to fight back... but the former Nephites, who had the truth and rejected it--in doing so also blocked off part of themselves that was able to show compassion or mercy on some level... and they continue to slaughter these hundreds of people who are just kneeling and praying, and not fighting back at all. It's also scary to think that anyone that has known what we know, and has known God through the scriptures and through prayer and had so many amazing experiences with Him... could walk away from that. That we could walk away and blind ourselves. Probably all of us have seen it happen. People who have had a testimony, who have told us spiritual stories... maybe even been on a mission... and then they fall away and seem to forget so much of what they once knew, and were certain of. Maybe it has even happened to us to some extent in the past. ... Today, let's make sure that isn't us. If there is any distance growing between ourselves and God, let's cross it and reconnect with God. Let's read the scriptures. Let's get on our knees and remember clearly all that the Lord has done for us. Let's take the time to listen to his pleas for our return, and do whatever it takes in our lives to come back to him.