96963_000_002(Adapted from an October 1992 general conference address. See Ensign, November 1992, pages 15–17.)Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present (Morm. 8:35).
Brigham Young once asked us to use the scriptures as follows: “Do you read the scriptures, my [young friends], as though you were writing them a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your privilege to do so, that you may be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk and conversation.”
Let us take Brigham Young’s advice and imagine that we are standing in the place where Moroni, the last of the great Nephite prophets, stood. The assignment his father gave to him to complete the record, which was entrusted to his care, was very difficult. He must have been in a state of shock as he describes the total destruction of his people.
He describes how his people had been hunted by the Lamanites until they were all destroyed. In his feeling of loneliness, he reports that his father was among those who were killed. We sense that the only thing Moroni is living for is to complete the record, as he writes, “Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not” (Morm. 8:4).
All he has is the faith that the Lord will preserve him long enough to complete the record and that someday it will be found by one chosen of the Lord. He realizes that the record will be a voice of warning to future generations of what occurs when nations like his own turn away from the teachings of the Lord. It is from the depths of his heart that Moroni cries out to those who will eventually receive the record. He wants to spare those who read his account the heartache and misery that come from disobedience. We need to heed Moroni’s warning to avoid the fate that destroyed his people.
Who would not want to heed the voice of warning of one who has witnessed such heartache and misery? Is it any wonder that his words are to declare that there is a better, happier, and more fulfilling way to live? Moroni’s words are not just a voice of warning, but also a voice of hope, as he lets us know that every one of God’s children are precious to Him. He desires that every soul enjoy immortality and eternal life.