Mormon 8

Mormon 8:1 I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father

The next two chapters of Mormon's record are written by Moroni. We should remember the following rule:  Moroni is the author of Mormon 8-9; and Mormon is the author of Moroni 8-9. As Moroni finishes his father's record, we get a close look at a man who lived a life we can only imagine-completely alone, left to wander for fear of his own life, exclaiming whither I go it mattereth not (v. 4). Significantly, Mormon had no one to talk to-but us.

Jeffrey R. Holland

"Following this dismaying decline of Nephite civilization documented by his father, Moroni picked up the recorder's task, but he did not write to any living audience. Rather, he directed his final testimony-in fact, three final testimonies-to those who would receive the record in the last days...Moroni's experience was painful, for he observed in life, in history, and in vision the pollution and destruction of three glorious civilizations-his own Nephite world, the Jaredite nation, and our latter-day dispensation." (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 323)

Mormon 8:2 the Nephites who had escaped...southward were...all destroyed

Not all the Nephites were killed at Cumorah. There were four groups which survived, at least temporarily: 1) the twenty-four survivors of the battle, 2) the group who had tried a southward escape (Mormon 6:15), 3) those who had deserted to the Lamanites (Mormon 6:15), and 4) the robbers which may have been of mixed Nephite, Lamanite lineage. Of these four groups, Moroni is apparently the only survivor of the first group. He tells us that the members of the second group were eventually hunted until they were killed. But the third and fourth groups were never completely exterminated. The Nephite deserters and Gadianton members are the only ones who survived. Still, the Nephites, as a nation and as a people, had been destroyed.

The fact that there was considerable mixing of Nephite blood and Lamanite blood is significant because of prophecies which describe the descendants of Nephi in the latter-days. Nephi was told, God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren (1 Ne 13:30, italics added). Through modern revelation, we know that some of the blood of Nephi, Joseph, Jacob, and Zoram was preserved among the Lamanites. Nevertheless, my work shall go forth...even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people-And to the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, through the testimony of their fathers (DC 3:16-17).

Mormon 8:4 I will write and hide up the records in the earth

L. Tom Perry

"Let us take Brigham Young's advice and imagine we are standing in the place where Moroni, the last of the great Nephite prophets, stood. The assignment his father gave him to complete the record entrusted to his care was very difficult.

"He must have mourned as he described how his people had been hunted by the Lamanites until they were all destroyed. Imagine the loneliness he experienced as he reported that his father was among those who were killed. We sense that after that great destruction, the only thing Moroni was living for was to complete the record. He wrote, 'Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not' (Mormon 8:4).

"All that sustained Moroni is the faith that the Lord would preserve him long enough to complete the record and the knowledge that someday that record would be found by one chosen of the Lord. He realized that the record would be a voice of warning to nations of the consequences of turning away from the teachings of the Lord.

"It is from the depths of his heart that Moroni cries out to those who will eventually receive this record. He wants to spare those who read his account the heartache and misery that come from disobedience to God's laws." (Living With Enthusiasm, p. 63 - 64)

Mormon 8:5 My father hath been slain in battle

We may fairly ask, "in what battle was Mormon slain"? We know that he was wounded in the final battle, but survived to record what happened (Mormon 6:10). Furthermore, Moroni tells us that he was killed by the Lamanites (v. 3) and that he was slain in battle, but we know that he did not die at the time of the last great battle. How then did he die? Moroni doesn't tell us, but the following possibilities are given:  he may have died from a late complication of the wound he received at Cumorah, or he may have been slain in a later personal battle with his Lamanite murderers, for they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ (Moroni 1:2). Either way, he had time to record Mormon 6-7 prior to his death.

Mormon 8:5 I would write...if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none

Initially, Moroni's record was limited by the amount of room left on the plates of Mormon. We are reminded of the words of Amaleki, who ran out of room while working on the small plates of Nephi. He said, these plates are full. And I make an end of my speaking (Omni 1:30).  In contrast, to Amaleki, Moroni would return to record more. By the time Moroni begins abridging the record of the Jaredites and adds his own record, he is no longer limited by the amount of room left on the plates. He must have made more plates, like Nephi before him, I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people (1 Ne 19:1).

Gordon B. Hinckley

"While wandering as a lonely fugitive, Moroni added to his father's record. His words ring with pathos: 'I would write ...  if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go. ...  And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more; and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvelous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites.' (Mormon 8:5, 7.)

           "Who can sense the depth of his pain, the poignant loneliness that constantly overshadowed him as he moved about, a fugitive relentlessly hunted by his enemies? For how long he actually was alone we do not know, but the record would indicate that it was for a considerable period. His conversation was prayer to the Lord. His companion was the Holy Spirit. There were occasions when the Three Nephites ministered to him. But with all of this, there is an element of terrible tragedy in the life of this man who became a lonely wanderer." (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, p. 197)

Mormon 8:6 Behold, four hundred years have passed away

"Of striking interest is Moroni's statement that four hundred years had passed away since the coming of the Savior, making the date 400 of our era.  It seems incredible that the holder of the keys of the stick of Ephraim (see D&C 27:5) never wrote a line on the plates of the Book of Mormon entrusted to him until sixteen years after the last great battle at Cumorah, but such seems to be the fact.  Questions crowd us.  What did Moroni do in the meantime?  Where did he go?  How did he live?  How did he avoid his enemies?  What did he do with the records his father left him?  The answers to these and many other questions must be left to the imagination; the record is silent." (Sidney B. Sperry, Book of Mormon Compendium, chap. 2)

Mormon 8:8 the Lamanites are at war one with another...and no one knoweth the end of the war

The Lamanites had amassed huge armies. No doubt they enjoyed great celebrations after wiping the Nephites off the face of the earth. But what good is an experienced army if there are no more battles to fight? The Lamanites had a solution, for their bloodthirsty nature would turn them upon their fellow Lamanites in one continual round of murder and bloodshed. Hugh Nibley said, "As for the wicked Lamanites, their total victory turned out to be a cruel deception-nobody won the war, for it still went on." (Since Cumorah, p. 333)

Mormon 8:11 my father and I have seen them, and they have ministered unto us

We assume that it is because of the righteousness of Mormon and Moroni that they were privileged to see the three Nephites. However, the three Nephites were given the discretion regarding those to whom they would show themselves, if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good (3 Ne 28:30). This passage implies that the three Nephites specifically requested to show themselves to Mormon and Moroni. We are left to wonder if the three Nephites weren't as thrilled to meet Mormon and Moroni as these prophets were to meet the three Nephites.

Mormon 8:12 whoso...shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it

Again, let's take Brigham Young's advice and imagine ourselves in Moroni's position. He has been shown the latter-day Gentiles, with their intellectuals, their pride, and their strifes (v. 36). He also knows that he is writing to a huge audience. As most public speakers know, the larger the audience the more intimidating the speaking engagement-and Moroni was speaking to millions. His concern for his own writing style and potential imperfections are evident in this verse and in his abridgment of the Jaredites, Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing...I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words. The reply is comforting, Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness (Ether 12:23-29). Moroni's concern about imperfections in "the most correct book on earth" did not seem to be shared by his father.

"Instead of the concise, objective style of the sober and observant Mormon, Moroni gives us glimpses into his own fears, sorrows, and misgivings. As he begins to relate the events following the great battle at Cumorah, he describes his sorrow and loneliness and resignation (quotes Mormon 8:2-5).

"In his writing, Moroni also lacks the confident, concise, and detached style of Mormon. In addressing the future readers of this record, Moroni expresses his concern that others will condemn the record because of its imperfections and faults (Mormon 8:12, 17), a theme that he also states [in Mormon 9:31]. (Gary Hatch, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, 4 Nephi - Moroni, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 73)

Matthias F. Cowley

"Those persons who would esteem literary imperfections an evidence against the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon must belong to one of two classes-they are either not honest at heart and are seeking opportunity to evade the responsibility of knowing the truth, or they are shallow-minded, and to the world of sound reason, good judgment, and practical ability prefer the shadow compared with the substance. He 'that will do the will of the Father shall know of the doctrine (cf. Jn 7:17)' is the promise of our Savior; and the promises in the Book of Mormon that those who will not condemn the things of God because of human imperfections, but shall receive greater knowledge, are plain enough to condemn the world if they reject them, as much as the teachings of the Jewish record shall condemn mankind if they will not hearken." (Cowley's Talks on Doctrine, p. 185)

Mormon 8:12 the same shall know of greater things than these

Some of those greater things are things we already take for granted: an understanding of pre-mortal life, the council in heaven, the importance of temple work and genealogy, the three degrees of glory, and the full meaning of the term "exaltation." But the Lord will give us more, just as soon as we're ready. This includes things not yet revealed. As the Lord promised, in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did...then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations (Ether 4:7).

Joseph Fielding Smith

"I would like to call your attention to one thing in the Book of Mormon. The Lord has promised us greater knowledge, greater understanding than we find in the Book of Mormon, when we are prepared to receive it. When the brother of Jared went upon the mount to have the Lord touch stones to give them light to light their way across the great ocean, the Lord revealed to him the history of this world from the beginning of it to the end. We do not have it.

"...Now the Lord has placed us on probation as members of the Church. He has given us the Book of Mormon, which is the lesser part, to build up our faith through our obedience to the counsels which it contains, and when we ourselves, members of the Church, are willing to keep the commandments as they have been given to us and show our faith as the Nephites did for a short period of time, then the Lord is ready to bring forth the other record and give it to us, but we are not ready now to receive it. Why? Because we have not lived up to the requirements in this probationary state in the reading of the record which had been given to us and in following its counsels." (Conference Report, Oct. 1961, pp. 19-20)

Orson Pratt

"He that receives this record, and shall not condemn it because of imperfections that are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. That is, they shall know of greater things than what are contained in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon contains some wonderful things...Great things, historically, are revealed in this book...concerning prophecies that are yet to take place, and that have already taken place...

"It does not mean those who should read this record and not perform the things that are contained therein; the promise is not extended to them. 'Whoso receiveth this record'...No man or woman that fails to comply with these things that I have named (faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands)--believes and receives the record; they may pretend to believe the record, they may say it appears to be a very good record, and it speaks as if it might be true; but unless they do receive it, by obeying its ordinances, and it institutions, and complying with the principles of the Gospel, they would not be entitled to the promise recorded in the words of my text, 'They shall know of greater things than these.' (Journal of Discourses, 20:69)

Mormon 8:14 no one shall have them to get gain

Imagine if Joseph Smith had removed the middle ring on the gold plates. He could have sold that to help his parents with financial matters. Perhaps the last leaf of the gold plates was blank, without any text. If so, Joseph could have removed it without harming the sacred record. These are the sorts of thoughts that Satan might have used to tempt the young prophet. Moroni had to warn Joseph, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my father's family), to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive (JS-Hist 1:46).

"...when Joseph Smith went to the hill to obtain the plates, he was beset by conflicting emotions. The adversary sorely tempted him to desire the plates to relieve his family's poor financial situation. When the Prophet attempted to get the plates, he was forbidden to do so because, as Moroni stated, 'You have not kept the commandments of the Lord.' (As cited in Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, p. 49) This lesson had a lasting impression on Joseph Smith as he more clearly saw how Satan was determined to stop the coming forth of this sacred record." (Book of Mormon Student Manual, 1981, p. 471)

Mormon 8:17 if there be faults they be the faults of a man

"The Book of Mormon, which is a much more perfect translation than the Bible, not only makes no pretense of infallibility but specifically addresses the inevitability of errors existing in it. 'Whoso receiveth this record,' Moroni said, 'and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.' He also said, 'if there be faults they be the faults of a man.' (Mormon 8:12, 17.) This principle and spirit apply to the reading of all scripture." (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Gospel Symbolism, p. 232)

Boyd K. Packer

"Some have alleged that these books of revelation are false, and they place in evidence changes that have occurred in the texts of these scriptures since their original publication. They cite these changes, of which there are many examples, as though they themselves were announcing revelation. As though they were the only ones that knew of them.

"Of course there have been changes and corrections. Anyone who has done even limited research knows that. When properly reviewed, such corrections become a testimony for, not against, the truth of the books...

"Now, I add with emphasis that such changes have been basically minor refinements in grammar, expression, punctuation, clarification. Nothing fundamental has been altered.

"Why are they not spoken of over the pulpit? Simply because by comparison they are so insignificant, and unimportant as literally to be not worth talking about. After all, they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the books are true.

"After compiling some of the revelations, the ancient prophet Moroni said, '... if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.' (Morm. 8:17.) 'And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. ...' (Morm. 8:12.)

"...There has, over the years, been an endless procession of those who would examine these revelations by every formula save the right one. Each becomes evidence, as Paul said, 'the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' (1 Cor. 2:14.)

"These scriptural diamonds, as we have described them, will stand the test." (Conference Report, May 1974 Ensign, "We Believe All That God Has Revealed")

Mormon 8:22 the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled

Joseph Smith

"No unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing. Persecutions may rage; mobs may combine; armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say, 'The work is done.'" (History of the Church, 4:536.)

Mormon 8:23 Search the prophecies of Isaiah

Nephi loved Isaiah, Jacob quoted him, Abinadi interpreted him, and the Savior commanded us on two separate occasions to search his words (3 Ne 20:11; 23:1). From Moroni, we receive a third direct injunction to search Isaiah. The reason that Moroni mentions Isaiah is because he saw our day just like Mormon and Moroni did. In so many words, Isaiah has also declared, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing (v. 35). Even more importantly, Isaiah is the great Millenialist who explained how all the promises given to the House of Israel would finally be brought to pass. If we heed the warnings of Mormon and Moroni, we, or our children, will survive the wickedness of the last days to see all those glorious promises in their divine fulfillment.

Mormon 8:31 a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth

Joe J. Christensen

"We all hear and read a great deal these days about our polluted physical environment-acid rain, smog, toxic wastes. But these parents recognize that there is another kind of pollution that is much more dangerous-the moral and spiritual.

"In a recent conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer said, 'As we test the moral environment, we find the pollution index is spiraling upward' (Ensign, May 1992, p. 66). The Apostle Paul foresaw 'that in the last days perilous times shall come' (2 Tim 3:1). And speaking of the last days, the prophet Moroni declared, 'Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth' (Morm. 8:31).

"Sadly, the effects of this great pollution are perhaps most evident in the mass media, films, television, and popular music. Of this, Senator Robert D. Byrd said, 'If we in this nation continue to sow the images of murder, violence, drug abuse, ... perversion, [and] pornography ... before the eyes of millions of children, year after year and day after day, we should not be surprised if the foundations of our society rot away as if from leprosy' (Michael Medved, Hollywood vs. America, New York: Harper Perennial, 1992, p. 194).

"Although there are some uplifting exceptions, in most areas of the mass media there seems to be a declaration of war against almost everything the majority treasures most." (Conference Report, Nov. 1993 Ensign, "Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment")

Brigham Young

"The soil, the air, the water are all pure and healthy. Do not suffer them to become polluted with wickedness. Strive to preserve the elements from being contaminated by...those who the intelligence God has bestowed upon the human family...Keep your valley pure, keep your towns as pure as you possibly can, keep your hearts pure." (Journal of Discourses, 8:79-80 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 480)

Spencer W. Kimball

"When over the vast and beautiful expanses of our globe...I have the feeling that the good earth can hardly bear our presence upon it...The Brethren constantly cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord: against pollution of mind, body, and our surroundings." (Ensign, June 1976, p. 4 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 482)

Mormon 8:32 churches...shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins

Although prevalent in the centuries before the Restoration, the most obvious fulfillment of this prophecy is the Roman Catholic practice of indulgences. During the 16th and 17th centuries, one could receive forgiveness from sins by paying off the church official. A clever doctrinal foundation was devised to support such a practice:

"...the doctrine gradually grew up that Christ had atoned for the eternal punishment of sin, but not for its temporary punishment. The temporal punishment they divided into that of the present life, and that of the future life or of purgatory. It was held, that every man who would attain salvation must suffer the temporary punishment of his sins, either, in the present world or in the flames of purgatory; and that the confessor to whom a man confessed his sins had the power to adjudge and impose this temporary punishment. The punishment thus imposed consisted of fasting, pilgrimages, flagellation, etc." (Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, 6th ed., London 1868, notes from p. 564)

In order to avoid such a severe temporal punishment, one could pay the church in money or property. Of course, this became a great source of income for the church and also a great comfort to the wealthy who quickly learned that forgiveness could be purchased at a price. Also, this became quite convenient, for eventually, accommodations were made such that the individual could pay for their sins in advance of committing them. This, of course, was necessary because, "Jesus, they said, has not removed all the punishments of sin." (Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, 6th ed., London 1868, notes from p. 564)

James E. Talmage

"...we find the Church imposing punishment of fine, imprisonment, bodily torture, and even death, as penalties for infraction of church regulations, and, more infamous still, providing for mitigation or annulment of such sentences on payment of money. This led to the shocking practice of selling indulgences or pardons, which custom was afterward carried to the awful extreme of issuing such before the commission of the specific offense, thus literally offering for sale licenses to sin, with assurance of temporal and promise of spiritual immunity.

"...In illustration of the indulgences as sold in Germany in the sixteenth century, we have the record of the doings of John Tetzel, agent of the pope, who traveled about selling forgiveness of sins. Says Milner: '...The people believed that the moment any person had paid the money for the indulgence he became certain of his salvation: and that the souls for whom the indulgences were bought, were instantly released out of purgatory...John Tetzel boasted that he had saved more souls from hell by his indulgences than St. Peter had converted to Christianity by his preaching. He assured the purchasers of them [that] their crimes, however enormous, would be forgiven...For, remission of sins being fully obtained, what doubt could there be of salvation?'" (The Great Apostasy, pp. 134, 136)

Mormon 8:35 Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing

Ezra Taft Benson

"'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.' (Mormon 8:34-35.)

"If they saw our day, and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, 'Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?'

"And there is example after example of how that question will be answered. For example, in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. A major portion of the book centers on the few decades just prior to Christ's coming to America. By careful study of that time period, we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet.

"From the Book of Mormon we learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war. From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality. In the Book of Mormon we find lessons for dealing with persecution and apostasy. We learn much about how to do missionary work. And more than anywhere else, we see in the Book of Mormon the dangers of materialism and setting our hearts on the things of the world. Can anyone doubt that this book was meant for us and that in it we find great power, great comfort, and great protection?" (A Witness and a Warning, p. 20-21)

Jeffrey R. Holland

"The task of the children of God in these concluding days of the world's history is to proceed with 'unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save,' to 'press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men . . . feasting upon the word of Christ, and endur[ing] to the end. This is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.'  (2 Ne 31:17-18)

"No other book helps us do this so well. No other book was ever divinely produced and protected solely for that purpose. No other book has ever been written with such a full view of the future dispensation to which that record would eventually come. As with Moroni, so too with virtually all the Book of Mormon prophets: '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.' (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 9)

Hugh Nibley

"If the ultimate test of the Book of Mormon's validity is whether or not it really has something to say, then the closing chapters alone should be enough to silence all criticism. Those chapters are addressed explicitly to our own age (Mormon 8:33-41), and we can be the best judges of how well or ill they apply to it." (Since Cumorah, p. 399)

Mormon 8:36 ye do walk in the pride of your hearts...unto the wearing of very fine apparel

L. Tom Perry

"I guess one of the greatest mysteries of human history is why people fail to learn from the past. In the case of the Church, why do those who profess to be true followers of Christ repeatedly become victims of the enticements of the world? The evidence is strong regarding the blessings that accrue to those who trust in land follow the ways prescribed by the Lord, yet so many members of the Church fail to heed the evidence.

"Many of us are more concerned about our fine apparel, the size of our houses, and our luxury cars than we are about assisting the poor and the needy. The forces promoting legalized abortion, gambling, pornography, and banning of public prayer also threaten the values that bind us together as a community of Saints.

"Clearly, the members of the Church face tremendous challenges in the latter days. We must not only resist but mount a counteroffensive against the temptations and teachings of the world if we are to remain a distinctive people.

"Despite the challenges we face, I plead with each of you to stand firm in your convictions. There is no escape from the whirlwind of judgments God will unleash on the heads of his children who choose to pursue a course that is against his will. We need to heed Moroni's warning to avoid the fate that destroyed his people." (Living With Enthusiasm, p. 65)

Mormon 8:37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance

The phrase, 'ye do love money,' may be the most accurate possible description of our society. The current rage is to become a millionaire with the least amount of effort. This takes the shape of , tickets, risky investments, and even game shows. These endeavors can become an all-consuming obsession which inevitably leads one from the Almighty.

Spencer W. Kimball

"Many people spend most of their time working in the service of a self-image that includes sufficient money, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, property, credit cards, furnishings, automobiles, and the like to guarantee carnal security throughout, it is hoped, a long and happy life. Forgotten is the fact that our assignment is to use these many resources in our families and quorums to build up the kingdom of God-to further the missionary effort and the genealogical and temple work; to raise our children up as fruitful servants unto the Lord; to bless others in every way, that they may also be fruitful. Instead, we expend these blessings on our own desires, and as Moroni said, 'Ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not.' (Morm. 8:39.)" (quoted by Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, May 1977 Ensign, "The Purpose of Church Welfare System")

Mormon 8:38 Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies?

Marvin J. Ashton

"I fear that, at times, we run the risk of acting like seasoned, conditioned athletes who are more interested in what kind of jogging suits we'll wear than in buckling down to train for the race. C. S. Lewis had an intriguing way of evaluating this dilemma: 'We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. ... We are far too easily pleased.' (A Mind Awake, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968, p. 168.)

"The prophet Mormon put it another way: 'Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies-because of the praise of the world?' (Morm. 8:38.)

Mormon 8:39 Why do ye...suffer...the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?

Neal A. Maxwell

"In urging members of the Church to be more sensitive to other people we seek to avoid the trap the Book of Mormon predicted when it spoke of an age when men and women would allow the needy 'to pass by you and notice them not.' (Mormon 8:39.) The Book of Mormon speaks of the need for us to 'be familiar with all.' (Jacob 2:17.) This is not simply a matter of economic familiarity and of imparting of our economic and material substance to others, for in an affluent society, food and clothing often are not people's primary needs. We need to be familiar with others psychologically and spiritually-to know them well enough to know their other kinds of needs: spiritual, intellectual, and emotional. We should assist in the meeting of these needs." (A More Excellent Way, p. 58)

Thomas S. Monson

"'Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?' (Mormon 8:37-39.)

"The Master could be found mingling with the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the afflicted. He brought hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, and freedom to the captive. He taught of the better life to come- even eternal life. This knowledge ever directs those who receive the divine injunction: 'Follow thou me.' It guided Peter. It motivated Paul. It can determine our personal destiny." (Pathways To Perfection, p. 83)