What’s happening? Mormon tells us how he interprets what has just happened to the Nephites.
Why does it matter? It is helpful to have Mormon point out what these historical happenings have to do with salvation and judgment.
Between the lines: We learn what happens to the repentant and the unrepentant, those who rely on the Lord, and those who only think of themselves.
Quote of the day: “Most of us, like the Nephites of old, have ourselves taken a few laps around the pride cycle. I used to wonder how the Nephite nation could run the entire cycle in a period of as short as five years. I have since come to believe that we can run the cycle in five years and we can run it in five minutes. It is a pernicious pattern of thinking and behavior that permeates our society. It is so common that it sometimes becomes hard to recognize…. But… instead of becoming proud we become thankful, then we will exit the pride cycle…. We must recognize that every blessing we receive comes from Heavenly Father. He is the source of all that is good in our lives—the fount of every blessing.” ~ WW Anderson, 2017, The Pride Cycle
12:1-3 Why is comfort in prosperity something everyone has to watch out for with vigilance?
“As people heed the words of the prophets, the Lord blesses them. When they disregard His word, however, distress and suffering often follow. Over and over, the Book of Mormon teaches this great lesson. In its pages we read of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent who, because of their righteousness, were blessed of the Lord and became prosperous. Yet often this prosperity turned into a curse in that it caused them to ‘harden their hearts, and … forget the Lord their God.'” ~ JB Wirthlin, 2005, Journey to Higher Ground
12:4-6 How can we avoid the trap of not recognizing God’s goodness to us individually and collectively?
“God the Eternal Father did not give that first great commandment because He needs us to love Him. His power and glory are not diminished should we disregard, deny, or even defile His name. His influence and dominion extend through time and space independent of our acceptance, approval, or admiration. No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.” ~ DF Uchtdorf, 2009, The Love of God
12:7-13 In what way can God’s children be infinite in potential but also “less than the dust of the earth”?
“Spiritual worth means to value ourselves the way Heavenly Father values us, not as the world values us. Our worth was determined before we ever came to this earth…. On the other hand, worthiness is achieved through obedience. If we sin, we are less worthy, but we are never worth less! We continue to repent and strive to be like Jesus with our worth intact. As President Brigham Young taught: ‘The least, the most inferior spirit now upon the earth … is worth worlds.’ No matter what, we always have worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.” ~ JD Jones, 2017, Value Beyond Measure
12:21-23 Why is obedience and sticking to the eternal plan as simple as these scriptures? See also D&C 63:2-6.
12:24 What does grace for grace mean? See also John 1:16; D&C 93:12, 19-20.
12:25-26 What does eternal life and damnation look like and why are they called “everlasting”?
“Eternal life is God’s life. It is that gift by which the righteous not only dwell in his presence, but by which they become like him…. As all things have their opposites, there is a punishment which is the opposite to eternal life…. This is the second or spiritual death, which is banishment from the presence of God and from his light and truth forever. In speaking of the second death as eternal death, we do not mean that those who partake of it are doomed eternally to the dissolution of the body and also of the spirit. The spirit of man is eternal and cannot die in the sense of ceasing to exist.” ~ JF Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:217-18