Jarom and his colleagues understand the intent of the law of Moses—to help people look forward to the Messiah, even the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in Him as if He had already come. The prophet leaders of the Nephites continually teach the people the ways of the Lord—to repent and keep the commandments. Their priesthood agenda is much like it is today: “to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament” (D&C 20:46). The tendency of the people to harden their hearts can be kept in check only by the valiant, proactive ministry of the prophets, priests, and teachers: “for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance” (verse 12). Thus Jarom confirms that the promptings of the Spirit can prevail above the allure of worldly pride and materialism, if the people will only give heed and obey.
The word of God has power to encourage us to do what is right and to move us to repentance. If we hearken to the word of God, we will be inspired to repent. Let us encourage our families to abide by gospel principles and honor our covenants with the Lord. Let us do better in keeping the commandments and avoiding the sin of pride. Let us bring ourselves to a higher level of obedience and devotion. Our duty to God is too sacred to neglect, our destiny too glorious to ignore.
“According to the Word of God”
Since Old Testament times, our prophets have admonished us to walk in the ways of the Lord. Jarom recorded, along with the other Book of Mormon prophets, that the leaders taught the people the ways of the Lord. Our prophets today continue to exhort us to righteousness by teaching us the ways of the Lord. Our beloved prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley has recently given us the magnificent talk about the “B’s”:
Be grateful. There are two little words in the English language that perhaps mean more than all others. They are “thank you.” Comparable words are found in every other language… .
Be smart. You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get… .
Be clean. We live in a world that is filled with filth and sleaze, a world that reeks of evil. It is all around us. It is on the television screen. It is at the movies. It is in the popular literature. It is on the Internet. You can’t afford to watch it, my dear friends. You cannot afford to let that filthy poison touch you. Stay away from it. Avoid it. You can’t rent videos and watch them as they portray degrading things. You young men who hold the priesthood of God cannot mix this filth with the holy priesthood… .
Be true. Said Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man” (Hamlet, I, iii, 78–81). You have a tremendous inheritance. You have a great background of noble ancestry. Many of you are descendants of the pioneers, who died by the hundreds and thousands in testimony of the truth of this work. If they were to look down upon you, they would plead with you: “Be true. Be loyal. Be ‘true to the faith that our parents have cherished, true to the truth for which martyrs have perished.’” They would say, “Faith of our fathers, holy faith, we will be true to thee till death …” (Hymns, 254, 84).
Be humble. There is no place for arrogance in our lives. There is no place for conceit. There is no place for egotism… . The Lord has said, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers …” (D&C 112:10).
Be prayerful. You cannot do it alone. I look at this vast congregation, and I know that you are young people who pray, who get on your knees and speak with the Lord. You know that He is the source of all wisdom.
You need His help, and you know that you need His help. You cannot do it alone. You will come to realize that and recognize that more and more as the years pass. So live that in good conscience you can speak with the Lord. Get on your knees and thank Him for His goodness to you and express to Him the righteous desires of your hearts. The miracle of it all is that He hears. He responds. He answers—not always as we might wish He would answer, but there is no question in my mind that He answers. (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Ensign, Jan. 2001, 2–10)
Oh how grateful we should be for living prophets whose sole desire is to help us keep on the strait and narrow path. (Ed J. Pinegar)