Mormon 2: A Mighty Leader amid Great Wickedness

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 180


We read in Mormon 1 about the spiritual consequences of the Nephites’ wickedness. In Mormon 2 we learn about some of their transgressions and the consequences that followed. Sometimes, having bad things happen to us can humble us and lead us to look closer at our lives and make needed changes. As you read Mormon 2, notice how the Nephites of Mormon’s day responded to the defeats, tragedies, and sorrows that resulted from their actions. What can you learn from their example? What can you learn from the example of Mormon in this chapter?

Understanding the Scriptures

Mormon 2

Stature (v. 1)Height
Carnage (v. 8)Injured and dead bodies, slaughter
Complete revolution (v. 8)Continual pattern, coverage
Mourning and a lamentation (vv. 11–12)Much sadness, crying, deep sorrow
Vain (v. 13)Without purpose
Broken hearts (v. 14)Humility, godly sorrow
Contrite spirits (v. 14)An inner desire to repent and do God’s will
Hewn down (v. 15)Killed in battle
Abominations (vv. 18, 27)Serious sins; thoughts and acts that are offensive to God
Vigor (v. 24)Great effort, strength
Calamity (v. 27)Tragedy, disaster

Mormon 2:11–14—“Sorrowing of the Damned” or “Sorrowing … unto Repentance”

President Spencer W. Kimball taught that “very frequently people think they have repented and are worthy of forgiveness when all they have done is to express sorrow or regret at the unfortunate happening” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 87). Mormon’s description in Mormon 2:11–14 helps us understand that only sorrow “unto repentance” leads to the kind of changes that make us clean and replace sorrow with happiness. This deeper “godly sorrow” (see 2 Corinthians 7:10) is a realization that our wicked actions are, in reality, rebellion against God (see Mormon 2:15) and that we have contributed to the suffering of others—including the Savior (see Mosiah 14:5; D&C 19:16–19). “Sorrowing … unto repentance” means that we desire to change.

sorrowful young man

Mormon 2:15—“The Day of Grace Had Passed”

President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained that “it is possible for people to get so far in the dark through rebellion and wickedness that the spirit of repentance leaves them. … and they get beyond the power of repentance” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:194; see also Helaman 13:38).

We can learn much about Mormon’s character by how he continued to help his people after he realized that this “day of grace had passed.”

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Mormon 2.

Activity A iconReasons for Sorrow

  1. 1.

    According to Mormon 2:10–15, why were the Nephites sorrowing? After each reason you list, note the verse or verses in which you found it.

  2. 2.

    According to Mormon 2:10–15, 18–19, 25–27, why did Mormon sorrow? After each reason you list, note the verse or verses in which you found it.

  3. 3.

    What was the difference between the sorrow of the Nephites and the sorrow of Mormon?

  4. 4.

    Explain how each of the following scripture passages relate to the Nephites’ sorrow, to Mormon’s sorrow, or to both: Alma 41:10; 42:29; Moroni 10:22; Moses 7:28–40.