“Every Man That Is Cursed”

Brant Gardner

Mormon concludes this unit by providing the moral of this particular story. The elements of Mormon’s lesson are that the Amlicites were unaware that they were fulfilling prophecy, and that they brought the condemnation on themselves.

That one does not know when they are fulfilling prophecy is an important point for understanding the nature of God’s dealings with men. Many prophecies appear to require some special circumstances, but when the fulfillment is seen in retrospect, the conditions were quite natural to bring about the fulfillment. Many of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies fit this mold, where in looking forward the fulfillment is not easily seen. Nevertheless, looking backwards from the life of Christ, the points of correspondence are clear. The Lord continues to work miracles, but many of them are couched in contexts that make them appear quite natural. In this way the option of faith is preserved, and those miraculous occurrences do not force belief.

That one brings condemnation upon himself is another important lesson. While there are punishments for disobeying God, most of them are better seen as consequences rather than active punishments. Surely a curse might be claimed as an active punishment from God, but Mormon indicates that the Amlicites volunteered for it. So it is with most of the punishments of God. God does not so much meet them out as we rush to embrace them in the guise of something else we think we are after.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon