Sunday, January 25, 2009
Why Are There So Many War Stories in the Book of Mormon?
While preparing a lesson for Church today, I came upon this excellent video of a talk given by John Bytheway (yes, that's his real name...by the way), who was earlier known for his brand of "squeaky clean comedy", but later became a Church Educational System instructor. The linked talk was given during BYU Education Week, August 18, 2003.
John states that because the principal compiler and abridger of the Book of Mormon was Mormon, who was a military man at the end of the days of the Nephite people, naturally many things he included from the Nephite record were from his perspective as a warrior. Moroni, who was Mormon's son and the final writer on the plates, saw our day and reinforced what he saw by confirming what his father said about our potential destruction should we choose to follow in the same, wicked path as the Nephites of his day.
In the war-torn world of today, it is entirely and absolutely relevant and fair for the Book of Mormon to focus on one of the most desperate conditions of humanity, including what leads to it and how it can be resolved. Perhaps the righteous Captain Moroni, who lived centuries before Mormon, was Moroni's namesake because Mormon recognized in Captain Moroni the qualities of a man of God who also knew that God abhored war and only allowed it as a last resort when the life, liberties, and happiness of righteous people was threatened by an external show of force upon the righteously obtained territories of God's people.
I've always felt that world peace would come if people in power would just read the New Testament and the Book of Mormon together and hopefully choose to become sincere and submissive to God. It is incumbent upon all of us to spread the message of the Book of Mormon as far and as wide as possible so that eventually the world's leaders can't help but be influenced by its teachings.