Epistles of Mormon to Moroni
composed between ca. 355 and 375 ad
An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni. And it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:
My beloved son, Moroni,
I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work. I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.
And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly: for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you. For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children. And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you. For, for this intent I have written this epistle.
For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:
Listen to the words of Christ, your redeemer, your lord and your god.
Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners
To repentance! The whole need no physician, but they that are sick.
Wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable
Of committing sin. Wherefore the curse of Adam is taken
From them in me, that it hath no power over them.
And the law of circumcision is done away in me.
And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me. Wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children!
Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach: Repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin. Yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized! And humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world. If not so, God is a partial god, and also a changeable god, and a respecter to persons. For how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless Hell.
Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity! For he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity. Wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to Hell. For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism. Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God. And I fear not what man can do: for perfect love casteth out all fear.
And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love. Wherefore, all children are alike unto me. Wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love, and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. For I know that God is not a partial god, neither a changeable being. But he is unchangeable: from all eternity to all eternity!
Little children cannot repent. Wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy. And he that saith that little children need baptism, denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption. Wo unto such, for they are in danger of Death, Hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly. God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.
For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law. Wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent! And unto such baptism availeth nothing. But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.
Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be. For repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law. And the first fruits of repentance is baptism. And baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments. And the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins. And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart. And because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.
Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent. Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them. And in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God. And they are denying the Holy Ghost. And after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon, unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our savior himself.
Farewell, my son, until I shall write unto you, or shall meet you again.
The Second Epistle of Mormon to his son:
My beloved son!
I write unto you again that ye may know that I am yet alive. But I write somewhat of that which is grievous. For behold, I have had a sore battle with the Lamanites, in which we did not conquer. And Archeantus has fallen by the sword, and also Luram and Emron. Yea, and we have lost a great number of our choice men. And now behold, my son, I fear lest the Lamanites shall destroy this people. For they do not repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another.
Behold, I am laboring with them continually. And when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me. And when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it. Wherefore, I fear lest the spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them. For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death. And they have lost their love, one towards another, and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.
And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently. For if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation. For we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the Kingdom of God.
And now I write somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the Tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children. And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain. And they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers. And no water, save a little, do they give unto them. And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners. And after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue. And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner: Torturing their bodies even unto death! And after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts, and they do it for a token of bravery.
O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization and only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people!
But O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in so much abomination, how can we expect that God will stay his hand in judgment against us?
Behold, my heart cries: Wo unto this people! Come out in judgment, O God, and hide their sins, and wickedness, and abominations from before thy face!
And again, my son, there are many widows and their daughters who remain in Sherrizah. And that part of the provisions which the Lamanites did not carry away, behold, the army of Zenephi has carried away, and left them to wander whithersoever they can for food. And many old women do faint by the way and die. And the army which is with me is weak. And the armies of the Lamanites are betwixt Sherrizah and me. And as many as have fled to the army of Aaron have fallen victims to their awful brutality. O the depravity of my people!
They are without order and without mercy. Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I cannot any longer enforce my commands. And they have become strong in their perversion. And they are alike brutal, sparing none, neither old nor young. And they delight in everything save that which is good. And the suffering of our women and our children upon all the face of this land doth exceed everything; yea, tongue cannot tell, neither can it be written.
And now, my son, I dwell no longer upon this horrible scene. Behold, thou knowest the wickedness of this people. Thou knowest that they are without principle, and past feeling; and their wickedness doth exceed that of the Lamanites. Behold, my son, I cannot recommend them unto God lest he should smite me.
But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved. And I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction. For I know that they must perish except they repent and return unto him. And if they perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, because of the willfulness of their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge. And if it so be that they perish, we know that many of our brethren have deserted over unto the Lamanites, and many more will also desert over unto them. Wherefore, write somewhat a few things, if thou art spared and I shall perish and not see thee. But I trust that I may see thee soon, for I have sacred records that I would deliver up unto thee.
My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death. But may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever. And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.