The Book of Mormon is a voice from the past—the sacred record of truth preserved by the Lord as a compass for our day and age. It is a beacon of hope amidst the gloom of iniquity that all too frequently characterizes worldly conditions. The Lord has preserved His sacred record that all might be persuaded to come unto Christ. The Lord will not allow us to have happiness in wickedness—for this is contrary to eternal principles. Faith, repentance, and obedience are the requisite gateways to peace and joy. Now, toward the end of the Book of Mormon account when a great nation has fallen, we can remember once again the prophecy of Lehi, given nearly a thousand years earlier:
Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them. (2 Nephi 1:9–10)
Modern prophets as well confirm the eternal nature of God’s design for the happiness of His children. President Ezra Taft Benson has testified of this as follows:
My beloved brethren and sisters, these things are true. This work is true. God the Father and his beloved Son did appear to Joseph Smith. This was the greatest event that has transpired in the world since the resurrection of the Master. This is our message and our warning to the world. It is a world message from a world organization—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These warnings of the prophets, ancient and modern, shall in very deed be fulfilled. The Lord is “angry with the wicked.” [Psalm 7:11; D&C 63:32; Moses 5:56] He is “holding his Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.” [D&C 63:32] The one hope for this wicked world is to accept and live the gospel, to keep the commandments, to heed the warnings of the prophets, ancient and modern. (God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974], 95)