(December 27, 2013)
There are two thoughts that I had as I read these chapters. The first was on Moroni’s reaction to Ether. Sometimes the Book of Mormon will have moments that seem correct, but at the same time don’t seem like the kind of things that an imaginative author would do. In this case, the last verse of Ether highlight’s Ether’s reaction to his isolation and his willingness to trust in the Lord. It is out of place in the narrative, but it is clearly in place when reviewed in light of Moroni’s situation. When he translates this line and adds it, it is not an afterthought to him. Instead, Moroni finds himself in the very same position as Ether – a lone witness to the destruction of his people. Of course Moroni would add such a line to his translation (and, in the same fashion, of course Moroni would translate the record we have in Ether for the same reason). It makes perfect sense, but it doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing you would expect an author to pick up. An unlettered boy would not exercise such precise control of his narrator. I see things like these (and they are scattered across the Book of Mormon) as other evidences of the legitimacy of the Book of Mormon as a translated work.
The second thought was on Moroni’s days spent in isolation. Presumably, he had a wife and children at some point (the record is unclear on this fact, but it is a safe assumption). If nothing else, he had a father and friends. All of them were lost to him. With his faith, it would have been easy to have wished for an end to his mortal probation. But because he was willing to continue serving – even alone – he was able to bless the lives of untold millions of people through his efforts. At various points in our lives, we might feel alone or that our efforts are irrelevant. This is not the case. We are never alone, and the Lord can always take the few loaves and fishes we have to offer and use them to feed a multitude.