Hatred, Conflict, and Wickedness

From the book of Jarom to the first chapter of Mosiah, we have only a few pages in the Book of Mormon. But their laconic statements carry powerful meanings. They show the connection between the wickedness of a nation and how embroiled in conflicts born of hatreds that it becomes.

While Jarom was able to exert sufficient effort to maintain his people’s righteousness, he notes that it was possible only through extraordinary efforts and that he spent much of his time in conflict with a rival nation. The implication here is that the people, in their wickedness, do not love their neighbors. They hate them. This hatred makes conflicts easier to develop and to escalate.

This is not good news for Jarom’s nation. His son notes that he was less righteous and more embroiled in conflict. The brief notes that follow in generational succession speak of more wickedness, more hatred, and more wars. We read that “the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed.” Even with the more wicked part being destroyed, the Nephites remain in danger, as the prophets write how God is not preserving them in their wickedness.

Five generations after Jarom, the prophet Amaleki writes about Mosiah, who took the people that would listen to him and led them out of the land of Nephi. The implication is that those who remained, like their ancestors in Jerusalem, were destroyed in their wickedness.

But the people did not know true peace in their land until they finally became more righteous, righteous enough to enjoy the blessings of protection from God. If there is a place in the world that is overrun with contention and violence, it is not more contention and more violence that will solve those problems. It will be righteous people ready to sacrifice themselves in the name of peace and love who solve those problems. It will be openness and fairness that resolve those issues, not paranoia and developing an “us against them” attitude.

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