When Moroni visited Joseph Smith on the night of September 21, 1823, he did more than just tell him about “a book deposited, written upon gold plates,” he also quoted various biblical prophecies, indicating that they were soon to be fulfilled. Among those prophecies was Malachi 3–4, but Joseph remembered that when quoting Malachi 4, there was “a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles”.
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As Moroni is finishing this vital record for perhaps the third or fourth time, he seems to be doing a debriefing of all he has read, experienced, and written. But this chapter seems to be more important to him than just a review as he sealed the book with his personal witness. Perhaps this is more what he had in mind.
This simple but important message is taught right there in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants: "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself". Jesus Christ doesn't make excuses, there's a lesson in that for us.
At times we too might feel like Abish or the shepherds, unnoticed by the world. We might consider ourselves to be an unlikely witness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Yet during this Christmas season, like Abish and the shepherds, we too can share the joyous news.
As Moroni prepared to seal up the record that he and his father had worked so diligently to compile, abridge, and preserve, he thought it was important to add some final “words by way of exhortation” to future generations of Lamanites and ultimately to all the world.
The scriptures are full of patterns. The Book of Mormon writers repeat over and over their reasons for preserving this record and sharing the things they chose to share. Do you know what their purpose was? Have you observed the pattern?