And when they (the Nephites) had sworn by all that had been forbidden them by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that they would go up unto their enemies to battle, and avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren, behold the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying:
It doesn't say the the Holy Spirit came to him, or that he felt an impression, or that his heart burned with a feeling, it says that the voice of the Lord came to him. The Lord did not appear to him physically, but Mormon heard his voice.
This is important! We should ponder this! What does this mean for us? It doesn't say that Mormon heard the Lord's voice out loud. He could have, but it's also plausible that he heard the Lord's voice in his mind. Has this ever happened to you?
Here's what the Lord says to Mormon...
Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.
That's pretty cut and dry. Quite often, I'm guilty of thinking that God sets things in motion and then lets us live, suffering the consequences of our own choices, but here, it sounds pretty clear that he's going to step in and serve up vengeance. This is a huge debate. Does the Savior cause things to happen? Does he punish or are the things we think are punishments really just the natural consequences of our actions? Where we sometimes get confused is that our time is not the Lord's time. His "punishments" seldom happen instantly. At least from what I've seen.
And it came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the Spirit which had testified of things to come.
Mormon utterly refused? How could he do that unless the people were persistently nagging him to lead them? They didn't want to lose their illustrious leader, but I like how he wouldn't bend. The Lord commanded him to be a witness to what he saw and heard, and then write about it on the plates. I LOVE that he added the phrase, "idle witness". It means he didn't interfere. He didn't keep preaching to them. He didn't try to change the outcome. His people were too far gone and he had finally accepted it. Also, in this verse he mentions that the spirit had manifested futuristic things to him, things that were to come. This states that Mormon KNEW the difference between the Lord's voice and the Holy Ghost's voice.That's cool.
These next verses are awesome and can't be separated! They need to be read as one.
Therefore I write unto you, Gentiles, and also unto you, house of Israel, when the work shall commence, that ye shall be about to prepare to return to the land of your inheritance; Yea, behold, I write unto all the ends of the earth; yea, unto you, twelve tribes of Israel, who shall be judged according to your works by the twelve whom Jesus chose to be his disciples in the land of Jerusalem. And I write also unto the remnant of this people, (the Nephites and Lamanites) who shall also be judged by the twelve whom Jesus chose in this land; and they shall be judged by the other twelve whom Jesus chose in the land of Jerusalem.
So, he's basically talking to the whole world. Why doesn't he just say "everybody"? Because he wants to be absolutely clear. He's talking to us. There is no doubt. He's talking to YOU. So listen up. You don't want to miss it.
And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
These last three verses are so powerful! Mormon has seen the outcome for all people in a vision. The Lord showed it to him. He also showed him our outcome. Why would he feel the need to persuade us to come to Christ and to recognize His gospel that is among us unless we need him to?
A huge part of understanding the gospel is understanding the Book of Mormon. It's the cornerstone of our religion.The Book of Mormon is for us, but do we use it? It's an onion. How many layers deep have you gone? Have you only scratched the surface? The B of M is not for "gentiles" who will never read it. It's for the "gentiles" who will. Us. The Mormons. Why does Mormon feel the need to warn us when we have the truth already? That is something to figure out.
Let's read that last one again.
And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.
I think this is good advice. We should probably take it. The way you do this is by getting down on your knees and asking the Lord what he expects of you. It's by asking him to show you where your unbelief lies and to teach you truth. It's by begging him to make you his instrument. It's what we are supposed to do. It's what we are commanded to do.
None of us are perfect, but God can make us the perfect instrument. We can hear his voice, just like Mormon. We can learn, progress and grow in spirit.
Remember something, the harder you work for the Lord, the harder the adversary will work on you. So, in the midst of your spiritual metamorphosis, if you life goes to hell, just know you are on the right track!