Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Nephite Golden Age Began After Christ’s Visit – Part II

Continuing from the previous post with more information on this 200-year Nephite Golden Age period and how it’s understanding affects us today.
    On October 14, just 22 months after getting into the War, the Air Force Bomber Command lost 642 airmen and 60 B-17 bombers, plus 22 more to severe damage or flight fatalities, and 121 others repairable damage (only 12 of the originally scheduled 350 bombers returned unscathed, while only 265 made it all the way to the target) during a daylight run that cast a dim future on the entire European battle plan and the future of the daylight bomber offensive.
    Faced with flying 400 miles over German territory without fighter protection, Bomber Command faced the possibility of aborting the bombing runs on German held territory, which would have delayed the eventual invasion of Europe by a year or two, which would have given Germany time to finish the development of several super weapons, including both their rocket missiles and jet fighters.
    “When we look back to the darkest days of World War II, we remember and revere the acts of courage and personal sacrifice that each of our soldiers gave to their nation, to achieve Allied victory over Nazism and Fascism” (Proceedings and Debates of the 106th Congress, Second Session, Congressional Record, Vol 146, Part 4, US Printing Office, April 12, 2000, p5462).
    How can younger generations not want to know what happened in the past, where their heritage lies, how they live in the environment in which they do, and what debt of gratitude they owe to those who have given their lives to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today? And what younger generation should not consider themselves responsible to leave their world in a better position and state than that which they found it?
    Yet, it is that very younger generation that so often has, as Mormon wrote: “For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted” (Helaman 5:2). It has always been so that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it—even a casual reading of the Book of Mormon will show you what happens when people neglect their heritage, fail to do honor to those who have come before them, and step up to make sure that those freedoms left them remain available to those who will follow.
    During the second generation following the death of Nephi, son of Lehi, and that great age he ushered in with his righteousness, we find “that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices” (Jacob 1:15). And again, “there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers” (Mosiah 26:1). When the second generation following Christ’s appearance to the Nephites had all passed away (4 Nephi 1:22), a new, rising generation in which “were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world. And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them” (4 Nephi 1:24-25), and soon Satan “did get hold upon their hearts” (4 Nephi 1:28), and “nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hearts, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word” (4 Nephi 1:31), and finally, “in this year, yea, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people” (4 Nephi 1:35).
    It does not take long. Once a generation rises that does not accept their parents’ tenets of God, and Christ is held in derision by them, the collapse of the nation soon follows. We, in America, are in that time now. A new generation has replaced the old generation across the land, God is no longer revered, Christianity is under attack, morality is sliding ever downward, we argue on a national level who can go to what bathroom, leadership who promised hope and change, it seems that the change, was not what many thought it would be—in one month, February 2009, the country’s deficit rose $221 Billion, $58 billion more in one month than it rose in the entire previous year!
    King Noah was considered an evil leader—he raised taxes, used the money for his own building ideas, removed righteous men as priests and replaced them with his own evil priests, and they lived riotous lives with many wives and concubines.
    Despite the advent of the Savior, the older generation and of people walking and talking with Christ, after a devastating calamity that “changed the face of all the Earth” in 200 years the vast majority of people had no knowledge of the events and fought against those who still believed. By another 100 years, Mormon describes that all the Nephites had lost their grace (Mormon 2:15). In just 350 years from being with the resurrected Christ, the Nephites had become so evil, they had lost all their promises and covenants with the Lord and were removed from off the face of the earth. 
    When king Benjamin gave his talk that resulted in all the Nephites making a pledge with the Lord and dedicating their lives to serving him (Mosiah 5:2,5), the next generation rose up not knowing King Benjamin.
    As can be seen, it does not take long to lose God’s grace, and within 50 years, the Nephites were wiped out to the man. One might think that after such great and marvelous knowledge, that the next generation grows up with some of the same feelings and understandings, but within one or two generations, it is completely lost. The younger generation seems always bent on having to reinvent the wheel each time, of having to find out for themselves that God lives and is in charge of the world, and that obedience to God and his Plan is the only certainty to obtaining life everlasting—the problem is, with each subsequent generation, this becomes more difficult and fewer people grow up with such an interest.
    In the two hundred years following Christ’s visiting the Nephites, they lived in an ideal world, but unable to teach that concept to their children for more than a single generation or two, the attitude and understanding was completely lost. One would think that following generations could see the idealistric life their parents led, with everything common among them and no poor or rich, no wars, fights or contentions, and peace across the land.
Yet, each subsequent generation seems to grow up in a vacuum, unaware of the workings of God around them, of his love for them, and his benign guidance meant to help them live better and more productive lives. Nephi, King Benjamin, even Christ himself, could only set the stage and provide the path—each generation must follow that path if they are to maintain the righteousness they inherit.
    This is one of the great lessons the Book of Mormon teaches as it traces the Nephite Nation's 1000-year history briefly across its pages. And it is a lesson that our society needs to learn today more than ever.


  1. Restoration to apostasy takes less than 200 years according to the BOM. Let's see now 1830-2016=186 years. Also 1776-2016=240 years. Looks like we are about due.

  2. Looks like it has already started

  3. Good thoughts Del and lessons learned - Thanks Del.