Mormon 7

Mormon 7:1 I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared

Mormon chapter 7 represents the last recorded words of Mormon. Mormon's voice has been heard intermittently through 515 years of Nephite history, but his last cry, as a voice from the dust, is this exhortation to the descendants of the Lamanites. He has spent his life fighting their forefathers as chief captain among the Nephites, but now he exhorts them to come unto Christ.

"Mormon learned how to evaluate society from experience from abridging the Nephite records, and from heavenly visitants.  So he based his historical judgment on the righteousness of the people, not on manifestations of military, political, economic, or cultural success.  We discover this interpretation of history everywhere in Mormon's writings.  His concluding message, recorded in Mormon 7, is poignant and direct.  It reflects the maturity of his development as prophet-historian and offers his conclusion to the whole matter:  the spiritual and cultural lessons future generations should learn from the disintegration of a once flourishing civilization.  These lessons are precisely the recurring major motifs of the lengthy account of Nephite history that today bears Mormon's name." (Thomas W. Mackay, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, Hel - 3 Ne 8, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 73)

Jeffrey R. Holland

"In a soliloquy of death, Mormon reached across time and space to all, especially to that 'remnant of the house of Israel' who would one day read his majestic record. Those of another time and place must learn what those lying before him had forgotten-that all must 'believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God,'...To 'believe in Christ,' especially when measured against such tragic but avoidable consequences, was Mormon's last plea and his only hope. It is the ultimate purpose of the entire book that would come to the latter-day world bearing his name." (Christ and the New Covenant, p. 321-3)

Mormon 7:1 if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers

What a wonderful thing for the descendants of Lehi to read such a book! Mormon declares that the Book of Mormon is a gift of God to this remnant. Unfortunately, without a spiritual perspective, not every gift from God appears to be either valuable or providential. Yet every day, from Canada to the southernmost tip of Chile, the Book of Mormon is given to the remnant of which Mormon spoke. Usually, at the hands of two missionaries, the unwitting remnant is given a veritable pearl of great price at no price at all. One would think that such a valuable record would be cherished by all those privileged to receive it. By it, they may know of their forefathers, their genealogy, their heritage, their origin, their history, their future, and their God.

But Satan continues to harden hearts. Nephi prophesied that this would happen, saying, many cast things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught. But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people (2 Ne 33:2).

"In a special way, the Book of Mormon was written to the Lamanites, the descendants of Lehi, as a major tool to restore them to Christ.  It seems that the righteous Nephite prophets, knowing the destruction of their own people, wrote with special feelings to the future Lamanites.  Mormon in his final chapter said, 'And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared' (7:1); and Moroni in his last chapter said, 'Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites' (10:1)." (Rex C. Reeve, Jr., Book of Mormon Symposium Series, 2 Nephi, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 2)

Mormon 7:2 Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel

The first thing that Mormon wants his Lamanite brethren to know is that they are of the house of Israel. This entitles them to receive all the promises and blessings given to the covenant people of the Lord.

"Careful and prayerful study of the scriptures-especially the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon-will not only bring people to understand in their minds the origin and destiny of the descendants of Jacob but will also cause them to know in their hearts what it means to come to earth through a chosen lineage and what God would have them do to be a light to the world, particularly to so many who sit in spiritual darkness.  The words of the Lord to ancient Israel should be received by modern Israel with sobriety and humility, but they must be received and believed if we are to realize our potential to become a holy people and a royal priesthood.  Jehovah spoke millennia ago of 'Israel, whom I have chosen' (Isaiah 44:1) and assured the Israelites that 'you only have I known of all the families of the earth' (Amos 3:2; see also Isaiah 45:4).

"And yet coming to this earth through a peculiar lineage involves much more than boasting of a blessing:  it entails bearing a burden.  'Once we know who we are,' Elder Russell M. Nelson said, 'and the royal lineage of which we are a part, our actions and directions in life will be more appropriate to our inheritance' ("Thanks for the Covenant," 1988-89 BYU Devotional and Fireside Speeches, p. 59)." (McConkie, Millet, and Top, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 4, p. 237-8)

Mormon 7:4 ye must lay down your weapons of war...and take them not again

Hugh Nibley

"Writing with special consideration for their own descendants, the Book of Mormon prophets are especially concerned for the future of that highly mixed people known as the Indians. In the 1820s the Indians still held most of the continent and felt themselves a match for any invader. But Mormon forewarns them that all their efforts to prevail by force of arms will be hopeless (Mormon 7:4). In the beginning Lehi prophesied that his descendants who would survive until our day should see generations of 'bloodsheds, and great visitations among them' (2 Nephi 1:12), and that God would 'bring other nations unto them, and . . . give unto them power, and . . . take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten' (2 Nephi 1:11). Nephi foretold the same: 'The Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered' (1 Nephi 22:7). This scattering and smiting was to exceed anything the Indians had experienced before 1830: it was to be carried to the point of virtual extermination." (Since Cumorah, p. 375)

Mormon 7:5 Know ye that ye must...believe in Jesus Christ

"In its overall structure, the Book of Mormon begins and ends with concern for the Lamanites receiving the gospel. Reiterating the main points from the title page, Nephi says that through the Book of Mormon the Lamanites shall know they are of Israel and through it 'they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ' (2 Nephi 30:5; see 30:1-6). Then toward the end, Mormon says much the same thing: 'Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel. . . . 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' (Mormon 7:2, 5). At the physical center of the book is the narrative of the conversion of the Lamanites. This central part begins with the decree of the king of the Lamanites that Ammon and his brethren should be free to preach the word of God throughout all the land, and ends with gratitude by these great missionaries for the thousands of Lamanite souls 'brought to behold the marvelous light of God' (Alma 26:3). The narrative high point of the book is the ministry of the resurrected Savior. While discoursing to both the Lamanites and Nephites before him, Jesus as well speaks to their descendants, saying that the Book of Mormon 'shall come forth of the Father, from [the Gentiles] unto you' (3 Nephi 21:3). He confirms the prophecies of Isaiah that in the last days the children of Lehi will be gathered both physically and spiritually. 'Then is the fulfilling,' he says, 'of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel' (3 Nephi 20:12)." (Richard D. Rust, FARMS: Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 2, 1990, p. 16)

Mormon 7:9 if ye believe that ye will believe this also

Mormon says if you believe the Bible, you will believe the Book of Mormon. How is it then that so many Bible lovers have rejected the Book of Mormon? Before we answer that question, let's consider the testimony of Nephi. He declared a similar doctrine:  that if you believe in Jesus Christ, you will believe in the Book of Mormon, And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me (2 Ne 33:10). Based on these two prophetic statements, everyone who either believes in Christ or believes the Bible will believe the Book of Mormon. Why is it then that the Book of Mormon is summarily dismissed by most of the Christian world?

The answer is because the Christian who believes the Bible but rejects the Book of Mormon doesn't believe in the Bible as much as his preacher's doctrine that there can be no other scripture or revelation. Similarly, the Christian who claims faith in Christ yet rejects the Book of Mormon does not really know the voice of the Master. For if he knew the Master, he would recognize His voice whether it came through the pages of the Bible or the Book of Mormon. Of these, the Lord said, whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me (DC 84:52), for My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (Jn 10:27). Therefore, when a "Christian" rejects the Book of Mormon, it makes no statement about the book, but it makes a big statement about the "Christian."

Bruce R. McConkie

"From these passages we reach certain clear conclusions relative to believing in Christ and in his holy word. Among them are these: A belief in Christ and a belief in the Book of Mormon go together; they are locked in each other's arms; they cannot be separated. Like Ezekiel's two sticks, they are one in the hands of the Father. Those who believe in Christ also believe the Book of Mormon because it contains the words of Christ. Those who believe the words of Christ, as given by his disciples and as recorded in Book of Mormon, believe in Christ. And those who do not believe these words do not believe in him. The Book of Mormon bears witness of Christ and of the Bible; it is written to persuade men to believe in their Lord and in his ancient word. Those who believe the Book of Mormon believe the Bible, and those who believe the Bible believe the Book of Mormon." (The Millenial Messiah, p. 177)

Brigham Young:

"No man can say that this book (laying his hand on the Bible) is true...and at the same time say, that the Book of Mormon is untrue...There is not that person on the face of the earth who has had the privilege of learning the gospel of Jesus Christ from these two books, that can say that one is true, and the other is false.  No Latter-day Saint, no man or woman, can say the Book of Mormon is true, and at the same time say that the Bible is untrue.  If one be true, both are." (Journal of Discourses, 1:38)