Friday, February 10, 2017

Mormon 1: Iniquity Abounds, as Iniquity is Wont to Do

Mormon himself finally makes an appearance at a time when the descendants of Lehi have reached what seems to be their numerical zenith and their moral nadir.

Where Have All the Buildings Gone?
Verse 7 makes a statement that seems difficult to reconcile with modern knowledge:
The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.
With that many edifices erected and that many people populating the continent, shouldn't there be a lot more evidence of the urban sprawl remaining today? Like, a lot?  I know it's a common argument against the validity of the Book of Mormon.  But because of verses like this one, it certainly bears repeating.

God Ceases to be God
Mormon describes a civilization festering in spiritual putrescence, a kind of moral post-apocalypse in which he is the only righteous inhabitant—even The Three Nephites have been whisked away by God.  But does Mormon try to influence his wicked countrymen for good?  Nope.  Look at verse 17:
But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts; and because of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake.
Okay, so apparently these people were really wicked.  (How wicked were they?)  They were SO wicked...that God completely gave up on them and specifically forbade the one believer in the entire society from preaching the good word.  That doesn't sound like the God Mormons teach about, does it?  You know the God I mean...the one who famously said this:
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
...unless, of course, that man and all his friends and family are too wicked.  In that case, screw 'em.

There's no talk here of divine strategy.  There's no discussion of not teaching them the gospel to spare them further punishment or simply waiting for the right missionary who could have the most powerful impact or anything like that.  It's just that they were too hardhearted.  As opposed to God, who is apparently quite coldhearted. 

It's an important distinction.

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