A Place of Pondering

Ancient Records

I realized how I misunderstood this statement by Ezra Taft Benson today.
“The second great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization. Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us.”
I used to think this meant the Nephites at large weren’t aware of the events that we see recorded in The Book of Mormon, and it didn’t feel right. Today in Priests Quorum we read Alma 18: 37-38 which helped me see that the Nephites definitely had records distributed and accessible among their whole nation. So President Benson was speaking specifically of The Book of Mormon as we have it not being present among them. The Book of Mormon, as the above quote states, was derived from the vast library of records that were had (and taught) among the Nephites. This is important to me because knowing that they had scriptures as we do now helps me identify with them and see just how easy we can make their same mistakes. I believe one of their mistakes was assuming previous scripture didn’t fully relate to them, and thus they failed to liken and avoid pitfalls of their progenitors. This helps me to see that I am just as capable of falling like the Nephite and Jaredite nations, but I am also equally capable of being a full hearted disciple of Christ like so many examples in both nations.

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