CLICK HERE to read Mormon 5.
Mormon shares some personal story here, saying that he repented of not helping his people, and that he was restored as their commander (verse 1). It was a hard lesson for him, because it was also true that the people had not repented and “did struggle for their lives without calling upon that Being who created them” (verse 2).
Again they went to war, driving back the Lamanites (verse 3), and the Nephites were able to maintain their cities (verse 4). Mormon then writes that they noticed as they traveled that the people were not prepared, not gathered into their cities, so that they were easy prey for the Lamanites (verse 5). The Nephites tried to “stand against them boldly; but it was all in vain, for so great were their numbers” (verse 6). The Nephites had to retreat, and those not fast enough were overtaken by Lamanites (verse 7).
Mormon says the carnage was so bad that he doesn’t want to talk about it, but that the truths of what happened (and why it happened) must be made known (verse 8). All of us need to understand it, so that the peoples lives were not given in vain, and so that we do not “have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of the people” (verse 9). We must remember their destruction so that we learn the lesson and do not repeat the mistake. We must remember our blessings come from God, and it is God who delivers us (verse 10).
For I know that such will sorrow for the calamity of the house of Israel; yea, they will sorrow for the destruction of this people; they will sorrow that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus (verse 11).
All of these things have been recorded for our time now, even us, so that we will not repeat the same mistakes, and so that we can be saved from the same kind of destruction (verse 12). This is why the Lord commanded the records to be kept and protected and hidden – and then also found and restored again (verse 13).
This is the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon, of these records of these people (verse 14):
… that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant.
The whole point of the restoration of the Gospel is so that its message might be spread to all people, and save them from this same kind of destruction, to prevent people from becoming “a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people… and this because of their unbelief and idolatry” (verse 15). In such a mess, the Spirit of God cannot be with the people, and without Christ there is no hope (verse 16).
This hope and this Spirit will be restored to the people because even though they now are “led about by Satan” (verse 18), “they were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their shepherd; yea, they were led even by God the Father” (verse 17). So God will keep His promise, keep His part of the covenant, because their ancestors kept their covenants (verse 19).
But for now, the people wander without Him – literally and figuratively (verse 20). But God will hear the prayers of the righteous, which are the good people seeking Him, those ancestors who made covenants, those learning to make covenants now, and those on the other side of the veil who pray for us and cheer us on as we also help them (verse 21).
How can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways? Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power…? Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before Him… (before) there is none to deliver (verses 22-24).