Skip to main content

"Once Again... a Delightsome People," The Words of Mormon

The Words of Mormon

This morning I find myself thinking about the gentle Lord, Christ Jesus, and even as I read these words of commentary by the prophet historian Mormon, I find that his primary motivation for the decisions that he made as he was compiling this collection of records was whether or not the accounts would increase faith in Christ.

And so he explains that while creating an abridged account of the plates of Nephi (this was from the record of the kings, containing a full account of the history of his people), that he had discovered a record containing prophecies concerning the coming of Christ from Nephi and other prophets. It ended with the Amaleki's account of King Benjamin. In verse 5, Mormon states that he will finish making his abridgment from the plates of Nephi (the record of the kings).

Mormon's singular motivation is conveyed in verse 8:
And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people.
I must make note of how impressed I am by Mormon's ability to discard his own work when he found something better. For despite his best efforts to summarize the period from Nephi to Benjamin, when he found these smaller plates of Nephi, he conceded that this account was better than his own, and so replaced his own (probably years of) labor with this smaller account.

The final verses of Mormon's brief editorial talk of how King Benjamin and the holy prophets who were in the land at that time labored diligently to establish peace. They did obtain peace in the land, and so it is evident that the way it was achieved was through laboring "with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul," (verse 18).

There is an important truth about work ethic conveyed in these verses, that differentiates between work and hard, effective work. In practice, they look very similar. However, there is a clear distinction between the results, for one yields fruit and the other is (mostly, if not entirely) in vain. This final thought is going to occupy a good portion of my free time today. I don't think I've gotten to the root explanation, or the core doctrines associated with this point, yet. Humility, diligence, patience, love and perseverance bring about the work that is effective.