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Moroni closes his father’s record with a final appeal to “those who do not believe in Christ” (verse 1). He tells them that everyone will believe in Christ when He returns, “when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God” (verse 2). No one then will be able to say they do not believe.
God exists, whether we believe in Him or not. He does not require our faith to maintain His own existence. Believing in Him is not even the same thing as agreeing with Him. Even Satan believes in God (James 2:19). It is our cooperation, how we interact with Him, what we do in His behalf, how we prepare now to see Him again that matters.
We cannot live with Him if we do not make ourselves like Him, if we do not live now as He is. We would not be happy to be with God “under a consciousness of our own guilt”, nor could we be happy living with a holy Being (verse 3). This is why we need Christ: to bridge that gap and to acknowledge that discrepancy.
Ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell (verse 4).
If we reject God, we would be happier to be away from Him, than to be in the presence of one we already chose not to be with – this is part of our judgment, why we will agree with Him in our assignment.
We cannot go to college without first getting a high school diploma.
We cannot go to grad school without first finishing undergrad.
The gift of immortality is free for all, a gift the Savior gives through His own resurrection.
But the quality of that immortality – who we will live with and where we will be and what that will be like and how close to God we are and whether we get to continue the journey of life – depends on what we choose now, what we decide now, what we prepare for now.
Those who do not want to progress will not have to.
Every society has its own laws, and we choose that society by what laws we keep.
Those who can only keep one certain law will live in such a place with other people who can keep that law.
Those who can keep three laws will live together in a society that keeps those three laws.
Those who want to know Him, become His children now, who live by His standards now, they will be more prepared to progress further, to be closer to Him, to live where He lives, to be as He is, to do what He has done.
Those who reject Him now will not have to be near Him later, for they have already chosen.
For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you (verse 5).
This is the fire of hell. Not external flames that are hot to the skin, but the internal burning of shame when we have done wrong, when we have failed, when we have not measured up. This is the internal burning of longing and lost-ness that we feel when we are without God, without hope, and without love.
This is why we need Christ, who has paid the price of justice, who has bailed us out of our own state of misery. He bridges that gap between who we have been and who we could be. This is what it means to be “saved”, to be rescued from our own destruction, to be welcomed instead of banished, to be embraced instead of alone.
O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus… (verse 6).
Moroni continues, speaking specifically now not just to non-believers, but to those non-believers who say that there is no revelation from God (verse 7). He says that anyone who denies these things does not know Christ or His message, has not read the scriptures, or has not understood them (verse 8).
For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? (verse 9).
God is the same God that He has always been.
There is no difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God is bringing the people into the covenant – which includes understanding the penalties for not keeping covenants. In the New Testament, God is ministering to the people within the covenant. He is the same God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (verse 11).
God does not change, and He does not stop being God. He does not lose His ability to do miracles, and he does not quit talking to His people (verse 10).
This is the entire plan of salvation: that God is our Father, literally, and we will become like Him because we are His children. We are here to “grow up”, to learn to be like Him, and we do this by learn just like we learn anything else: practice. We practice by making good choices.
But even with our best efforts, we fail miserably. There is a discrepancy between who He created us to be, and who we have been thus far. We cannot do it on our own, and Christ is that mediator, that intercessor, that advocate who bridges the gap. This is our redemption (verse 12).
And because of the redemption… which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord… because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection (verse 13).
And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still (verse 14).
This is the miracle of God, His work and glory (Moses 1:39), to redeem us – because we are His children.
His miracles have not stopped. He is still a God of miracles (verse 15). His greatest miracle is still in process.
Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God? (verse 16)
It is by the miracle of His word that heaven and earth and people were created (verse 17). Jesus Christ did many miracles, and His apostles have done “many mighty miracles” (verse 18). There were miracles then, and there are miracles still now (verse 19). The only thing that limits His miracles is our lack of belief, our lack of noticing them around us, our lack of participation in inviting and accomplishing them (verse 20).
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even to the ends of the earth (verse 21).
If we ask the Father in the name of Christ, then it means we are asking for righteous things.
If we are believing in Christ, then it means we are being obedient and doing what He asked us to do (verses 22-23):
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
As we do this, as we are testifying of Christ and ministering unto others in His name, miracles will happen (verse 24). His promises will be fulfilled, and His Spirit will confirm His truths (verse 25). His work will continue until He has accomplished all He has promised, and no one can stop stand against Him (verse 26).
O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him (verse 27).
Our Father-in-Heaven is our Father, and He loves us tenderly. He wants to provide for what we need, and as we choose to be His children – our choice shown by our obedience – He does bless us and empower us to become more like Him. This is our progress, our sanctification, our transformation into who He created us to be.
Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God (verse 28).
Time passes quickly. We must be wise in what we do with our time, for we are here to learn and to practice choosing to be His children. We must let go of what is not-of-God, and ask Him only for the things we cannot do for ourselves and only for the things that help us become more of-God. Like any parent, we rely on Him to teach us how to be His children, how to grow up like Him. We seek in all things, especially in covenant making and keeping – starting at baptism through renewing our covenants at sacrament each week, to be worthy (verse 29).
Moroni closes his father’s book, saying he knows he speaks to us through his words after he is dead (verse 30). He asks forgiveness for his imperfections as only a man, as he has written it according to his own language (verse 33) and provided for a way for it to be interpreted (verse 34). He encourages us to be thankful for the story told us about the imperfections of his people – “that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been” (verse 31). This is the only way he can do all that he can do, to warn us and teach us, so that we are held responsible for our own choices because the prophets have done all they could do to teach us and to warn us (verse 35). He hopes we will study these things, because he knows we will be the descendants of the ancestors who prayed and made covenants (verse 36), and the Savior will keep His promises to those covenants (verse 37):
And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.