“The Horrible Scene of Blood and Carnage”

Monte S. Nyman

Mormon further described the horrible scene of blood and carnage (v. 11) in a letter to his son Moroni that will be discussed below (Moroni 9). Every heart being hardened (Mormon 4:11) reminds us of the conditions of Noah before the flood. Of these people the Lord said: “The earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth” (Moses 8:30; see also Genesis 6:13). The Lord warned his disciples in Jerusalem of the same situation existing before his Second Coming: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also at the coming of the Son of Man” (JS–Matthew 1:41; see also Matthew 24:37–38). Our generation is coming to that same condition. President Gordon B. Hinckley has called upon “the women of the Church to stand together for righteousness,” and he saw them “as the one bright shining hope in a world that is marching toward self-destruction.” Furthermore, the delight of all the people in the shedding of blood is in contrast to the great chief captain after whom Moroni was named; “a man that did not delight in the shedding of blood” (Alma 48:11).

The words of the Lord saying that there never had been such great wickedness (Mormon 4:12) was probably personal revelation to Mormon, either as he was writing or in his leadership role. There is no other statement to that effect in the Book of Mormon regarding this time period.

The sacrifice of women and children (v. 14) was apparently a religious ceremony. This happened during Abraham’s time in Egypt (see Abraham 1:7–11). It was also a practice during the time of Moses, and the children of Israel following the time of Moses (see Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Chronicles 28:3). The devil is certainly in power when he turns murder into a religious ceremony.

The 367 year (Mormon 4:15) is the same year that the events in verses 10–14 took place. The sacrifice of their women and children incited the Nephites with great strength, and they succeeded in driving out the Lamanites from their land (v. 15). There is no record of the next seven years, A.D. 368–74, except for the Lamanites not coming to battle during that time.

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Mormon Make a Record