<Babylon 5 theme music>
The time is 58/59 RJ...
The name of the place is Nephite lands (after several Lamanite attacks, 1 mass baptism event, 2 Judgement Seat takeovers, at least 2 years of political unrest and civil war)...
Which part of Nephite society had already left (in broad terms - it almost seems like the truly righteous and truly rebellious left):
1. Rebellious People - went to the Lamanites in 54 RJ and successfully formented dissension (Helaman 4:1).
2. People of Ammon (defined by Pacifist ancestry, great humility, can trace their identity back to Lamanites at some point) - left in large numbers in 46 RJ (Helaman 2:3).
3. People who felt they were better off "elsewhere" - may be for economic expansion reasons (Helaman 3:3), or political/tribal reasons.
Remaining People Who Did NOT Leave (NOTE: This assumes that the people did not drift into Nephite territory and/or into one of these groups that were preached to in that 21 year period.There could be groups of people or individuals who drifted in at any point and integrated these events into their existence.):
- Were aware of/survived Lamanite attacks of 38 RJ and 41 RJ (Alma 63: 16, Helaman 1:14).
- Participated in/were aware of judgment seat events in 40 RJ and 42 RJ (Helaman 1:1, Helaman 1:42).
- Did not leave in 46 RJ (even though there was civil unrest/discord for approx 2 years)(Helaman 3:17, 3:22) .
- Participated in/were aware of the mass baptism event in 49 RJ (Helaman 3:24)
- Participated in/were aware of the nation-wide and/or church-wide bullying that came to a theological head in 51 RJ (Helaman 3:33). NOTE: This is likely when church membership started dwindling (Helaman 4:22-23)
- Were in a group of people that Moronihah, Nephi, or Lehi was speaking to in approx 58/59 RJ (Helaman 4:8, Helaman 4:14-17).
- Were a minority surrounded by Lamanites (Helaman 4:19-20).
1. "Pride of Heart" (Helaman 4:12) / "Profess to belong to the church of God" (Helaman 4:11)
2. Oppression of the Poor and their physical needs & bullying (could it be that those dissenters who left were dissatisfied in poverty? Or is it the non-application of the 2 great commandments to place blame?)(Helaman 4:12)
3. "Making a mock of that which was sacred" (Helaman 4:12)
4. Not believing prophecies and revelation (Helaman 4:12)
5. Disobeying 10 commandments (murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, adultery) (Helaman 4:12)
6. Betraying/Leaving the Nephites and Nephite cause (Helaman 4:12)
7. Boasting in own strength (Helaman 4:13)
GROUP RECRIMINATION (REASONS OF CONFLICT REWORDING/REBUTTAL):
1. Forgot/Disregarded the prophecies of Alma (former leader) and Mosiah (Helaman 4:21). I think that Moronihah/Nephi/Lehi's bullet points 1-2 were covered in this statement by those chastised Nephites.
2. Forgot/Disregarded the Commandments of God through Defiling/Trampling the 10 Commandments (as they understood them - probably orginated with Nephi) (Helaman 4:21-22). I think that Moronihah/Nephi/Lehi's bullet point number 5 is covered here.
3. Corrupted Laws of the Land (Helaman 4:22). I think that Moronihah/Nephi/Lehi's bullet point number 5 is covered here.
4. "Became Wicked" and "Weak" like Lamanites (Helaman 4:24, Helaman 4:26)
5. Left Church (Helaman 4:23). I think that Moronihah/Nephi/Lehi's bullet point number 1 is covered here with a twist. These people are stated by Moroniha/Nephi/Lehi to "profess to belong to the church of God" while the people being chastised claim to have left the church.
6. Disbelieve sprit of prophesy/revelation (Helaman 4:23). I think that Moronihah/Nephi/Lehi's bullet points 3-4 were covered in this statement by those chastised Nephites.
ALL OF THESE ACTIONS LED TO "the Lord did cease to preserve them by his miraculous and matchless power"
True/False Analysis Question-
- I don't know. When I look at what happened historically, I can see where being taught the prosperity gospel would provide the leadership with these reasons to scold their followers. I can also see where the Nephites would feel guilty and change to a certain degree (enough that Moronihah started leading them to reclaim land again, but not enough that when the Lamanites flip-flop becoming righteous and baptized, they are compared against the Nephites again.
- I just don't feel comfortable saying that the Lamanites were beating the Nephites because the Nephites weren't being righteous enough. When I looked at everything these folks went through, I almost feel that Moronihah/Nephi/Lehi were "blaming the victims" as it were because the people who remained had been through a lot and may not have been causing the problems more than passively being involved. We know that powerful dissenters from the Nephites left 5 years before and were a powerful influence on the Lamanites (Helaman 4:4). It stands to reason that they had been a powerful influence in Nephite society prior to leaving.
- I think it was a different time then. I think that it matters that in the U.S. - there is a seperation between church and state that the Nephites did not have as distinctly as we do. I think that there was a national/tribal association - that if you broke from the religious leader's philosophy then, you were breaking from the family, from the tribe as well as religious inclination. There was no middle ground like there is today.
I can admit that as a human I am more prideful in my heart and boast in my own strength more than I should.
It could be said that I do "profess to belong to the church of God" in that I am not walking in a traditional way - but since I am still working on what I believe, and still asking for assistance from God to "help my unbelief" in what I do and why I do it, I feel that I am striving to find the "church of God" in my life to belong to.
I strive not to oppress the poor (physical poor, poor in spirit, mentally poor, emotionally poor) by my actions, words or deeds. I am striving to take care to "Do No Harm" to others spiritually, physically, mentally, or emotionally (even when I come across people whose actions in these areas try my patience and charity - actually especially when I come across these people).
I am striving to identify that which is sacred in my life and striving to not make a mock of that which is sacred to others as much as possible. However, I am sure it could be said that I "make a mock" of sacred things by evaluating them against non-sacred measures. I am not in a good place to judge sacredness - I just do the best I can.
I am pretty sure that the "stone cut without hands" will move on without me if I step back a little to learn how to identify prophesy correctly instead of blindly following prophets.
I believe that I have most of the 10 commandments underway. At least I don't swear, steal, murder, plunder, lie, or commit adultery (which were the big ones the Nephites were being called out on).
I don't know that the Lord has ceased to preserve me in my imperfections. I just don't know.
My grandfather is a professional philosopher (taught college classes for over 30 years) and long time atheist and we have had some interesting conversations over the years. I can see where he made different life choices - and where he didn't judge my parents for making theirs. His behavior taught me that one did not have to be Christian to act in ways that would appear Christlike to others. In fact, in some cases, I think he had to make more deliberate choices to demonstrate ethical behavior and provide a narrative based on personal belief - not "because God (or his representatives) said so".
1) Who are the souls receiving these teachings?
2) Is this an accurate summation of events as recorded?
3) Is Mormon/Moroni's conclusion valid?
4) Is Mormon/Mornoni's conclusion still valid today?