- and do trample under their feet the Holy One
- he observed that many of the difficulties they faced came from within
- that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people”
- the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world”
By Elder Stephen D. Nadauld
Of the Seventy
“Yea, and we may see at the very time when he [the Lord] doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.”
After Mormon rehearses that pattern of iniquity, he provides in verse six a classic one-verse analysis of the problem: “Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.” Mormon is amazed that a people can continue in such self-destructive behavior instead of simply acknowledging the goodness of the Lord and letting themselves be led by His counsel.
Alma had firsthand experience with this principle. As both the chief judge and presiding high priest over his people, he observed that many of the difficulties they faced came from within: “For they saw and beheld with great sorrow that the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world” (Alma 4:8). And so he appointed another to fill the office of chief judge and retained the office of high priest. “And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, … that he might preach the word of God unto them … and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people” (Alma 4:19). Alma recognized that there was enormous power in teaching the plan—the doctrine, the word of God. This is equally true today.