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Scripture Commentary

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Commentary on Mormon 8-9

Mormon 8:1- Who was Moroni

He had lived in America some fifteen hundred years ago and was the sole survivor of his people in a series of tragic battles which took many lives. He had witnessed the destruction of his whole nation, including his own family. In bitter vengeance their enemies had vowed their complete annihilation, and now this threat was accomplished. Moroni's father was commander of the armies of this ancient people, known as Nephites. His name was Mormon. The war of which we speak took place here in America some four hundred years after Christ. Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Counsel of the Twelve, "The Last Words of Moroni," Ensign, Nov. 1978, 57

Mormon 8:4- Why did he write it

As a prophet without a people, Moroni's audience was the future. "Behold," he wrote, "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." (Mormon. 8:35.) From the wealth of his own spiritual life and the history of Jaredite civilization, he assembled a collage of insights designed to have particular relevance to our time. Having witnessed the collapse of one civilization and having abridged an account of the demise of another, Moroni was particularly conscious of the causes of social disintegration and of the need to record the principles necessary to reverse it. He knew from personal experience that the decadence that ultimately pervaded the Nephite and Jaredite societies could prove fatal. W. Cole Durham Jr., "Moroni," Ensign, June 1978, 56

Mormon 8:14- Bring to Light

The word light also has a definition: the condition or medium that makes vision possible. However, the word light is used as a metaphor rather than as a definition when it means: he who directs and commands. In our pre-mortal existence, man is referred to as the "light of truth." (Light as a metaphor.) ...Spirit is alive, and is independent to act for itself in the sphere where God has placed it. However, Holy Spirit is exclusively righteous. We have no information as to its size or form. Those who direct the Holy Spirit are called the Light of truth or the Spirit of truth. Spirit is synonymously and metaphorically known as intelligence, glory, truth, light, and fire. Eroll R. Fish, Is Servant Spirit Alive, Promptings of the Spirit, ch. 17

Mormon 8:19- He who judgeth rashly shall be judged

Part of condemning another consists of highlighting or accentuating another's sins, parading or displaying them before the public, when in fact "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). So often we are sickened by a sin in another-a sin of relatively small consequence-when in fact we ourselves are guilty of far greater offenses against God and man. A member of the Church who condemns or pokes fun at another who wrestles with Word of Wisdom problems, for example, but who at the same time loses his temper or gossips or makes a man an offender for a word, is deceiving himself. To draw upon the Savior's humorous analogy, there is in his eye a beam-a large timber which is used to support the roof of a building. He cannot see properly, therefore, to remove the mote-the sliver, the tiny shaving of wood-which he has discovered and identifies in his neighbor's eye. Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 4

Mormon 8:26- Secret Combinations

In latter-day scriptures, secret combinations are groups of conspirators who plot and initiate "works of darkness" for evil and selfish purposes. Secret combinations have existed since the days of Cain (Moses 5:51). Satan is their author (2 Nephi. 26:22), power and gain are their motives (Ether 8:15, 25), and conspiracy is their method of operation (Helaman 6:22-24). Secret combinations may be brotherhoods, groups, societies, or governments. They operate in secrecy to perform evil acts for the purpose of gaining power over the minds and actions of people. Daniel H. Ludlow, Secret Combinations, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols.

Mormon 9:13- Standing Before the Bar

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