Poignantly placed after the description of the Lehite utopia, these are the darkest, most disturbing chapters in the Book of Mormon. It seems a fitting time to wrestle with the human potential for evil, the reality of the terrible things we do to each other, almost as a rule. And after reading his life’s work, we get to meet Mormon as a main character. He reluctantly leads the Nephites in battle, refuses, and then returns. This is the end of the Book of Mormon civilization. In addition, we also read a haunting letter that I don’t think Mormon actually intended to include in the Book of Mormon (If you notice, Mormoni has an inferiority complex and actually contributes very little to the Book of Mormon. Most of his content is letters from his dad and then he edits Ether because his dad said he would and never was able to). We will also look at what we learn from Mormon’s shining example in the midst of such terrible circumstances.
This is not going to be a pleasant lesson, but it should be an important one. What is the root of human evil? Why do we commit such sickening atrocities? What factors remove our native empathy? When is rehabilitation possible? Is there hope to become better as cultures and a species?
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Natasha, Emily, and Allen provide able discussion of an extremely difficult topic.
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Thanks as always to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his hard work in postproduction, and to Trent Oliphant for updating the episode.