1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him. [“Trust in the Lord.” The most important lesson for a servant of God.]
2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he 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 [creative method]; 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 [The Lord can, often through His holy angels and the prayers of the righteous, speak to the minds and hearts of our enemies and foes. Remember this when you pray for assistance and you exercise faith.]; 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. [Why does ease and property often lead to wickedness amongst the people? Is the acquiring of wealth and fortune a greater burden than to be poor? Could you give up everything you have if the Lord required it? Do you care more for the needs of others than for your own desires? If you are blessed with wealth seek to know the Lord’s will and be very cautious.]
3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him. [Often those who are of the covenant, or the people of God suffer when they fall into iniquity. The Lord allows them to stumble that they may be humbled and remember to repent.]
4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths!
Why is the world so wicked and slow to come unto the Lord? The answer lies in the kind of covenants that were made before birth. Most people come into this world with no intention of following Christ or the Adversary. They just want to live. Many of the children of men are very old souls, having existed in a telestial state for a very long time. Those who are born under the covenant are often the younger of souls, born in the first estate to the Father, and learning through their experiences to choose the good and reject the bitter. But, there is a time of reckoning and as the Times of the Gathering of Israel commences all must decide what they will finally choose.
6 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.
7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth. [Even the dust obeys God’s command.]
8 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
9 Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.
10 And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.
11 Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;
12 Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.
13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.
14 Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;
Mormon is describing the power of God, which is also the power of those who hold His sealing power.
15 And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun. [The Nephites were well aware of the cosmos and the moving of the planets and stars.]
16 And behold, also, if he say unto the waters of the great deep [oceans and seas]—Be thou dried up—it is done.
17 Behold, if he say unto this mountain—Be thou raised up, and come over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up—behold it is done. [This has occurred historically in the days of Enoch.]
18 And behold, if a man hide up a treasure in the earth, and the Lord shall say—Let it be accursed, because of the iniquity of him who hath hid it up—behold, it shall be accursed.
19 And if the Lord shall say—Be thou accursed, that no man shall find thee from this time henceforth and forever—behold, no man getteth it henceforth and forever.
20 And behold, if the Lord shall say unto a man—Because of thine iniquities, thou shalt be accursed forever—it shall be done. [The Lord has in the past hid up the treasures of the world and even the remains of entire civilizations. One of the miracles that will occur before the Second Coming in glory will be the discovery of entire civilizations hidden from the world by snow and ice.]
21 And if the Lord shall say—Because of thine iniquities thou shalt be cut off from my presence—he will cause that it shall be so. [The banishment of the damned to Outer Darkness.]
22 And wo unto him to whom he shall say this, for it shall be unto him that will do iniquity, and he cannot be saved; therefore, for this cause, that men might be saved, hath repentance been declared. [Those of perdition are claimed by the Adversary, Satan, and the dark realm, never to be redeemed worlds without end.]
23 Therefore, blessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved. [Those born without the law are saved from perdition, but must accept Christ to receive Eternal Life. Moroni 8:22]
24 And may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance [change of heart] and good works [covenants], that they might be restored [resurrected] unto grace for grace, according to their works. [This is a simple definition of the Everlasting Covenant, and it extends far beyond this life. “Grace” is another word for estates or glory. The individual must pass from one estate or glory to another until they are perfected in all things.]
25 And I would that all men might be saved. But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord; [Outer Darkness, or to a telestial world where the Lord does not go.]
26 Yea, who shall be consigned to a state of endless misery, fulfilling the words which say: They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is. Amen.
There is some confusion regarding the state of the damned. Yes, it is misery, but it is a conscious choice. These souls seek self gratification and dominion. No spirit is tricked or accidentally chooses Satan’s path, it is a their desire. many of these spirits are as repulsed by the works of righteousness as you are by their terrible deeds.