American, have you read The Book of Mormon? If not, please do.
You and I were specifically who the authors had in mind when they wrote it. They lived here in the Americas, and they had a beautiful promise and cautionary warning to deliver.
I urge you to read this book. Here’s why:
The Book of Mormon Speaks Directly to Americans
The Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with at least 2 groups of people who lived in the Americas before A.D. 421.
Americans need to read this book because it has specific promises and warnings for people who live here. One reason that God caused this book to come to us now is because those promises and warnings are directly applicable to us today.
What Promises and Warnings About America are in The Book of Mormon?
And [God] had sworn in his wrath…that whoso should possess [America] from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.
And now . . . [America] . . . is a land of promise . . . And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.
For behold, [America] is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.
And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of [America] have hitherto done.
Behold, [America] is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.
Did you catch that promise and warning delivered via scriptural repetition?
The Book of Mormon explicitly declares this land to be a promised land. Those who dwell here must love and serve God, or else they will be wiped off of the land when they are ripened in iniquity.
We are fortunate that The Book of Mormon contains the history of nations that lived here before we did (the Jaredites and the Nephites). We can learn from their mistakes. Both nations were destroyed because they “ripened in iniquity” and failed to qualify for God’s promised protection. What iniquities plagued their societies, and does modern-day America have the same iniquities?
- Secret societies established to gain power and dominion over others
- Plunder, lying, thieving, and robbing
- Persecuting the righteous
- Calling good evil, and calling evil good
- Deciets and mischiefs
- Preaching false doctrines
Perhaps most astonishing is the fact that prophets had warned both of these nations repeatedly for decades that they would be destroyed if they did not repent. It shows us that the people didn’t believe the prophets then, just like many do not believe the prophets today.
Moroni, the last person to write in the book, wrote these words after his people were destroyed:
My soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried:
O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!
Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.
O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!
But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.
O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you. (Morm. 6:16–20, 22.)
Consider Mark E. Peterson’s Words:
Why were the Nephites destroyed?
They had been told that it was a privilege for anyone to live on the American continent, for it is a promised land, and those who reside here must abide by the rules that God decreed pertaining to it.
Only those who are willing to serve Jesus Christ, who is the God of this land, may remain here. Others will be swept off. (See Ether 2:10–12.)
The Nephites knew this, but with malice aforethought, they reveled in sin and rejected the teachings of Christ.
Having failed to meet the conditions by which they could remain on this promised land, they were swept off, and with great violence.
At the time Mormon recorded the details of this dreadful tragedy, he said that only twenty-four remained alive of all the men, women, and children of the Nephites. These surviving few were themselves killed the next day—with one exception, Moroni, whom the Lord spared to close up the written record.
When finished with the record, Moroni was to hide it up in that same Hill Cumorah which was their battlefield. It would come forth in modern times as the Book of Mormon, named after Moroni’s father, the historian who compiled it.
Realizing the importance of completing it, this lone survivor wrote: “I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon” (Morm. 8:1).
Then he wrote a description of the last battle and added: “I … remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. …
“Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth. …
“My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.” (Morm. 8:3–5.)
As he wrote his fateful words, he said again that his people were annihilated because they loved wickedness, rejected the counsel of God, and gave themselves over to seeking wealth and corruption. This made up the deadly concoction which brought about their extinction.
Had not the Lord said to them, as he says to us now, that America is a choice land and that those who live here must obey God or be swept off? And had he not kept his word to those rebellious Nephites, now totally wiped out?…
In closing his record, and knowing that it would come to us, Moroni pleaded with us, the modern inhabitants of this land, to escape the kind of tragic end which had obliterated his people. He said:
“Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
“And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; …
“Ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel.” (Morm. 8:35–36.)
In prophecy also he spoke of the tragic moral pollutions which would engulf many modern Americans. He asked why we are so foolish as to revel in sin, why we would reject the Christ, and thereby invite disaster.
“Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?” he asked, speaking to modern America, knowing full well that many might profess to believe in him and yet refuse to do his works (Morm. 8:38). It is by engaging in his works that we truly take his name upon us. It is not through lip service. Moroni knew that faith without works is dead. And so likewise should we.
He made it clear that advance warning is given to us who live today through the very book which he and his father had written and which he was now about to bury in Cumorah. It would be published in our day to give us that warning.
Describing our day, he said the book would come forth when millions deny the power of God, when the world would be in turmoil, with earthquakes, violent storms, wars, and rumors of wars in many places. (See Morm. 8:26–34.)
He said it would be in a time of great pollution (see Morm. 8:31)…
He said also that it would be in a time of extensive crime, of murders, robberies, lies, deceptions, and immorality. Think of those words in terms of today’s cover-ups, bribes, thievings, embezzlements, and other fraudulent practices among individuals, in business, and also in government. Hasn’t dishonesty almost become a way of life with many people?
Think, too, of the epidemic of social diseases sweeping the nations in the wake of their vast immorality. What frightful pollutions these things are!
Before his death, Mormon wrote that his record would, of course, be a warning to those he called Gentiles, but that it would be a blessing to the Lamanites. Also he said that it would come with a special message to the Jews. For them it was published that they “may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant” (Morm. 5:14). Consider the current significance of that scripture!
Mormon then wrote directly to us as modern Americans who now occupy this promised land and said: “How can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?
“Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?
“Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before him, lest he shall come out in justice against you.” (Morm. 5:22–24.)
Can we ignore such a warning, directed specifically at this generation?
Moroni joined his father with this: “Who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ?
“Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall … perish.” (Morm. 9:26.)
It should be remembered that these men wrote to us out of the desperation of the event they were passing through as the Nephites were being wiped off the face of the earth. They knew that we live here now under the same conditions that were given to them.
As Moroni wrote his last testimony, he realized how important his book would be to our generation. He asked that we read it and believe it. So he pleaded:
“I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moro. 10:4).
These were among his very last words. His pen had already inscribed this frightening but divine warning about America:
“This is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off” (Ether 2:10).
He gave us the lesson of the annihilation of the Nephites as a case in point. He wrote similarly of the tragedy of the Jaredites. It was another case in point. Do we realize that this same kind of destruction can come upon us, and for the same reason?
So this is the message of Moroni. . . .
His people were Americans, too. His words constituted a people-to-people message, ancient Americans speaking to modern Americans. Theirs was the voice of bitter experience seeking to persuade us to avoid the dreadful conditions which engulfed them.
Moroni announced that he will face us on Judgment Day in defense of his words (see Moro. 10:27). This he will do, together with his book, for out of the books we shall be judged, and the Book of Mormon is one of those books.
We now have it in our hands. It is published to the world. It carries God’s message to all. It gives full and fair warning to this generation, and the warning is true!
Read it! Believe it! Pray over it! Obey its counsels! It can lead us unerringly to Christ!
The last words of Moroni! Dare we forget them? God grant that we never will, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. The Last Words of Moroni
Why Are we Ashamed to Take Upon Us Christ’s Name?
“Our constitution,” said John Adams (first vice-president and second president of the United States), “was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
This is the root of the conflict of our nation. Our government is corrupt because we love pleasures more than we love God.
A nation that loves God does not support and condone abortion, pornography, gambling, perversion of the powers of procreation, prostitution, theft, lust, coveting the property of others, tyranny, dishonesty, and all the other things we normalize and celebrate today.
We’ve got serious problems in America, which is a covenant land of promise. The solution? Repentance and obedience to the commandments of God.
These referenced scriptures were written by prophets hundreds of years ago. They were talking specifically to us. Today. Right here and right now. It is evidence of God’s love and mercy that he would warn us so clearly.