Mormon goes into a surprising amount of detail as he tells his son about the worsening depravity of both the Lamanites and the Nephites. We're down to the last few dozen verses of the Book of Mormon and as Moroni is throwing this all together, he's not choosing to spend the final chapters on the central doctrines of salvation or the essential truths that will be most needed for the era in which this record will be unearthed. So far it's doom and gloom. He's discussing how the Lamanites are forcing their prisoners to eat the flesh of their dead loved ones to survive. He's talking about Nephites raping, torturing, murdering, and cannibalizing Lamanite women. He isn't discussing faith or atonement or even the commandments. He's trying to cram in as many awful taboos as possible.
While this may make for a compelling plot point on an envelope-pushing HBO series, it does not make for good scripture. And it doesn't make any sense considering that, as far as the modern day is concerned, these are basically Mormon's dying words—and Moroni's dying words as he shares them.
A Father's Prayer
Mormon makes a really creepy wish for his son's future in verse 22:
But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction; for I know that they must perish except they repent and return unto him.Okay, first of all, Mormon, did you even read all that crap you spent a lifetime compiling and abridging? Do you really think there's any hope for your civilization? After all the references to the Nephite covenant with God that they will inhabit the land as long as they remain righteous, after all of your own failed preaching and lamentations about the state of your society, after Nephi's vision of the future in which the Lamanites defeat the Nephites, how in the hell do you think there's any hope that your people will return unto God?
But enough about that. The weirdest part is that he hopes that his son will live to see the Nephites return to their former pious glory...or to see them completely annihilated? He's praying to God that his son has a 50/50 chance of winding up completely alone as the only surviving member of his people. That's messed up.
Pay No Attention to the Apocalypse Behind the Curtain
But Mormon doesn't want all this bad stuff to bring his boy down (verse 25):
My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.He just talked about children eating the flesh of their fathers to avoid starving to death. He just said that most likely all of Moroni's friends and acquaintances will be exterminated. He just discussed rape, torture, and more cannibalism. And then he adds, "But don't let it bother you, keep thinking happy thoughts!"
Mormon is a terrible father.