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Question

Gramps,

The Book of Mormon states in may verses that the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. With every good or bad decision an individual, family, nation, or world makes we move ourselves in a direction for good or evil. A good decision gives us a greater power to make a better decision and a bad decision weakens our ability to make even a good decision. My question is at what point does the spirit cease striving with us like it did with the nephite nation and the jaredites?

John

 

Answer

John,

I think it’s an interesting thing to observe when studying the decline and fall of the Nephite nation. The sheer tragedy can be overwhelming, but in studying the matter out, we can gauge it roughly by the actions of Mormon, and what he saw happening. In Mormon 2:10 he noticed that the Nephites began to express deep sorrow and his heart was lifted in verse 12 because he saw in that a fulfillment of a prophecy by Samuel the Lamanite.

However, in verse 13 he realized that their sorrow was not unto repentance, but the sorrow of the damned.

Stated another way, they felt no sorrow for sinning, they felt sorrow for getting caught. Verses 14 and 15 are heartbreaking.

14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.

15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them. Both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed away.

Speaking in a general setting, nearly all of us are quite a far distance from the wickedness and rebellion recorded here, though individual examples are no doubt a reality.

If I might use an old parable about this situation; A stagecoach company wanted to hire three very qualified drivers, and they had one final question to put to them before they made their decision. The question was this; ‘There’s a part of our trail that comes along a very tall cliff. How close can you get to the cliff without sending the horses and stagecoach over the edge?’

Two of the men bragged, and demonstrated, that they could get quite close indeed; One was a few feet from the edge, the other less than a foot. The third man being considered said “Are you kidding? I plan to stay as far from that cliff as possible!”

Which driver would you hire?

Gramps

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