(November 19, 2014)
I think we all mostly recognize that we are in a prosperous, yet wicked, time in human history. In fact, it could well be said that we are in the King Noah era of human history. If we look at what is said and left unsaid in that time period, it is clear that people generally prospered financially during Noah’s reign – even as they spiritually atrophied.
So despite our prosperity (and some positive cultural improvements), we are largely stuck in a time of wickedness and immorality. So the description Mormon gave of the time of Lachoneus was enlightening. In particular, there was one point that was quite key – even during this time of general wickedness, there were still those who went about doing much preaching and prophesying among them. Just as in those times, even in our wicked time there are those who do much preaching and prophesying in the name of the Lord. What’s more, we each have the capacity to remain righteous ourselves even during this wicked time. This is an important truth worth remembering.
The second thought I had was related to Mormon going out of his way to speak of Lachoneus and his wisdom for gathering his people in the land southward. Understanding the general geography, we would expect them to be gathering northward. After all, the Lamanites traditionally attacked from the south, and more distance means longer supply chains and so forth.
But I wonder whether that assumption is appropriate here. After all, these are not Lamanites attacking – they are Gaddianton Robbers. And with what we know about the Gaddianton Robbers, they are always identified and associated with north in the Book of Mormon. It is not surprising that Mormon, knowing what he knows about the culmination of the Nephite story, imputes motives to Lachoneus for gathering southward (after all, look at where Mormon ended up fighting his final battle – and the course of the war was likely taking shape up to that point). Lachoneus, though, may have simply been making the appropriate and practical decision to gather as far away from his enemies (assuming the Gaddianton Robbers came from the north) as possible.