1) Much of the Book of Mormon deals with military conflict. In diverse, informative, and morally instructive accounts, the Book of Mormon reports a wide variety of military customs, technologies, and tactics similar to those found in many pre-modern societies (before A.D. 1600-1700), especially some distinctive Israelite beliefs and conventions as adapted to the region of Mesoamerica.
The Book of Mormon teaches that war is a result of iniquity. Wars and destructions were brought upon the Nephites because of the contentions, murderings, idolatry, whoredoms, and abominations “which were among themselves,” while those who were “faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times” from captivity, death, or unbelief (Alma 50:21-22).
The Book of Mormon implicitly condemns wars of aggression. Until their final calamity, all Nephite military objectives were strictly defensive. It was a mandatory, sacred obligation of all able-bodied Nephite men to defend their families, country, and religious freedoms (Alma 43:47;46:12), but only as God commanded them.
2) Mulek son of Zedekiah, escaped the sack of Jerusalem (587 B.C.) and went with others to a place in the Western Hemisphere that they called the land of Mulek (Hel. 6:10). Later a region was named for Zarahemla, a descendant of Mulek (Mosiah 25:2). These people were eventually discovered by Nephite refugees from Lamanite predations in the south. Mulek is important because he established one of the tribes of the New World.
3) Responsibilities and Blessings of the Tribe of Ephraim. If all of us Ephraimites read our patriarchal blessings properly we are commanded to learn these things.
I. “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
“And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
“Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
“And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.” (Ezek. 37:15–20.)
From this commandment from God to the prophet Ezekiel, these provisions should be noted:
1. That a stick or record was to be kept for Judah, and that a stick or record was to be kept for Joseph;
2. That the two records were to be joined together into “one stick,” or record, in the hands of that prophet.
Where is the fulfillment of this important commandment? Who claims to have the record of Joseph today?
The Book of Mormon Fulfills Joseph’s Prophecy
The record of Joseph has been brought forth in this day to Joseph Smith by a messenger sent from God.
Basically what our responsibilities are is we need to share and “flood the earth” with the Book of Mormon.
4) he Book of Ruth, which appears in the third section of the Hebrew Bible (*K’tuvim), is a beautiful folktale written in four short chapters. It celebrates the loyalty and reward of a young Moabite widow (Ruth) who chooses to follow her Israelite mother-in-law (Naomi) back to Bethlehem after Naomi was bereaved of her own husband and two sons. Ruth’s sister-in-law, Orpah, who was married to one of the two deceased brothers, returns to her community, but Ruth decides to “cleave” to Naomi and share her fate in Judah.
*K’tuvim is Hebrew for writings.