"By telling the stories of both Nephite and Jaredite societies and their destructions, the Book of Mormon drives home its powerful warning for modern readers."
It would appear that the author is stating the above quoted from the article is the reason why the rise and fall of two nations is written about in the Book of Mormon. It is no doubt true that the Lord wishes for us to be aware of the blessings and cursings on this land based on our righteousness or wickedness. It is not, however to drive home a powerful warning simply by giving us two examples. It is a testimony of the truthfulness of what we are being told. A testimony by two (or more) witnesses. There are always two or more witnesses to confirm the Lords words. To answer the prior post - At the last day we will not be able to stand before him and say that we were not warned should we find ourselves among the wicked. That is how it is relevant to us today. This warning of course being more particular to Lehi's descendants and those of us living on this continent than say similar warnings in the bible.
Why, indeed. I expected this article would not be about our attempt to map the record to historical people. What about what it is meant to suggest to us, to whom we believe it was written? If the Book of Mormon really was written for us, the readers, and contains less than 1% of the records available to the primary composer, selected as directed by the Lord Himself, why does it contain these two accounts of civilizations being destroyed? Could it be in any way related to the "consumption decreed [that will make] a full end of all nations"? (D&C 87:6) Which nations of our world are excluded from this pronouncement by the Lord? Does it exclude, for example, the United States? If it truly means "all", why might these accounts in the Book of Mormon be relevant to us today?
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