Hi, I'm Jennifer, and Cortney asked me to guest post today on the chapters of 4 Nephi and Mormon. We're almost finished with this amazing experience! And I, for one, feel a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, don't you? Earlier this year, I participated in a fitness challenge, and that fizzled out for me before I finished. Oh, and I've been wanting to finish my kids' 1 year baby scrapbooks, but they're now 4 1/2 and 2, and it's looking like they'll be getting a photo CD someday instead. So, finish strong and be happy!
These chapters in the Book of Mormon are the most beautifully heart-wrenching ones in the scriptures for me. Nearly 400 years are covered in couple dozen pages, and they describe one extreme:
"...there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God." (4 Nephi 1:16)
to the other:
"...they had gone through and hewn down all my people save it were twenty and four of us..." (Mormon 6:11)
But what touches me the most and makes tears well up in my eyes whenever I read it is picturing Mormon, all alone, mourning the loss of all of his people and, at the same time, talking directly to me and to you. From these chapters we learn the purpose of the Book of Mormon...to testify of Christ and also the truthfulness of the Bible. It is for us.
"The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing today. Those people never had the book--it was meant for us. Mormon, the ancient prophet after whom the book is named, abridged centuries of records. God, who knows the end from the beginning, told him what to include in his abridgement that we would need for our day. Mormon turned the records over to his son Moroni, the last recorder; and Moroni, writing over 1,500 years ago but speaking to us today, states: '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 8:30)...As we read and teach, we are to liken the Book of Mormon scriptures unto us 'that it might be for our profit and learning.' (1 Nephi 19:23)"
Ezra Taft Benson
April 1975 General Conference