Sunday, March 10, 2013

Today's Maxwell Quote

From "But for a Small Moment" (1985), 65-66:
As one begins to appreciate further the Book of Mormon, both as a historical record and as a witnessing, religious volume, another parallel out of human history comes to mind. In the book, earnest prophets who witnessed social deterioration, including terrible slaughters, were moved upon to make a record of those things.
But behold, the land was filled with robbers and with Lamanites; and notwithstanding the great destruction which hung over my people, they did not repent of their evil doings; therefore there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land, both on the part of the Nephites and also on the part of the Lamanites; and it was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land (Mormon 2:8).
‎And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed away. (Mormon 2:15.)
For Mormon, seeing thousands of bodies "heaped up as dung upon the face of the land" must have produced profound emotions within him, not unlike those a British journalist experienced when he went to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II, the opening lines of whose dispatch were, "It is my duty to describe something beyond the imagination of mankind" (Time Magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 133, International Edition).