Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mormon 7:1-5 -- On Hoping for the Future

"And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel; and these are the words which I speak:
Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel.
Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved.
Know ye that ye must lay down your weapons of war, and delight no more in the shedding of blood, and take them not again, save it be that God shall command you.
Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up."
Mormon 7:1-5

In these verses, Mormon has just witnessed the destruction of his people, the Nephites.  He knows that many of the Lamanites are left, and he has a promise from God that someday they will have his words.  And so, he writes to them... the descendants of the very people that have just killed every friend that he has ever had... because he cares about them, and hopes that someday, even generations away, they will listen.  I think that this is the message of almost all scripture.  Hope for the future.
One thing that I noticed as I was reading is where it says that Christ was "slain by the Jews."  ... And I wanted to put that into some context.  This isn't a message of hatred or blame, cursing the Jews and taking a superior spiritual or moral position.  If you'll notice, the second verse here says that the people he is speaking to are of the house of Israel as well.  What he is saying is very similar to what just happened to him.  His relatives just killed everyone he ever cared about.  His more distant relatives killed Christ.  And as part of the gospel by blood or adoption, we are all his relatives.  To be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is to be part of the chosen people... but it is also to be part of a long history of disobedience and idolatry and murder.  As humans, we have failed God over and over and over again.  But he still loves us, and works with us through the ages, and we have improved a little bit I think... enough to progress beyond the harsher laws of the Old Testament and embrace the laws of the New Testament.  Enough for God to reveal the Book of Mormon to us, and to restore the priesthood. :)  We still have a long way to go, and sometimes we need to remember past failures in order to improve... but we should never blame any individuals living now for the failure of their ancestors.  Otherwise, we are all condemned.  We have enough to worry about in overcoming our individual past sins without imagining that the weight of all of our ancestor's sins are also on our heads.
Today, let's remember that we are of the house of Israel.  Let's remember that we need to repent or we cannot be saved.  Let's remember the victory of Christ over death, and that he makes it possible for us to choose goodness and light, no matter what our ancestors chose.  Let's make better choices.  Let's progress, and help the entire world progress and learn together so that someday this can be a perfect world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews