Many times in the scriptures, God commands His people to remember things:
- "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19)
- "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation..." (Helaman 5:12)
- "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:17)
- "I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old." (Psalms 77:11)
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, "The scriptures also enlarge our memory by helping us not forget what we and earlier generations have learned. Those who either don’t have or ignore the recorded word of God eventually cease to believe in Him and forget the purpose of their existence" (see "The Blessings of Scripture", Ensign, May 2010).
King Mosiah and the Jaredites
One Book of Mormon story shows how scripture saved an entire kingdom.
A Nephite king named King Mosiah knew he would soon die, and his people asked that his son Aaron be their next king. But all of Mosiah's sons refused to be king (see Mosiah 28:10). During this time, Mosiah also translated scriptures recorded by earlier prophets among the Jaredite people, who had lived on the land many years earlier. (These scriptures are found in the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon.)
The Jaredites were led by a man named Jared and his brother Mohanri Moriancumer. The Jaredites wanted one of Jared's or Moriancumers's sons as their next king, but all of those sons refused the throne. Moriancumer opposed a monarchy ("Surely this thing leadeth into captivity") but he and Jared ultimately relented and allowed the people to choose a king (see Ether 6:22-25). Over time, many of the kings led their people into sin. Usurpers and other political rivals opposed the current king with their rival kingdoms, causing much violent conflict (see Ether 7-10). Ultimately, the prevailing wickedness and wars killed nearly all of the Jaredites.
When King Mosiah finished reading and translating these scriptures, he realized that choosing a king for his people would bring the same fate. He proposed an inspired alternative:
"Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord. Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people" (Mosiah 29:25-26).This inspired pattern of judges, with checks and balances between upper and lower courts of judges and the people, also exists in our day. King Mosiah saved his people from a more rapid destruction largely because he considered the word of God in his decision.
"And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people" (Mosiah 29:10).
I know that God has given us scripture because He loves us. The Holy Bible is not only literature worth studying or the writings of good teachers, but contains instruction from our loving Heavenly Father to help us successfully navigate the challenges of this life and return to live with Him.
I know that the Book of Mormon is scripture. It contains the writing of God's prophets who He called among the people of the ancient Americas and contains the fulness of Jesus Christ's teachings. It was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith by the gift and power of God into English, fulfills prophecies found in the Bible, and is important evidence that God keeps the covenants He makes with us. I know that it shows His love for us.