Mormon chapters 8 and 9. Written by Moroni after the death of his father, Mormon. I'm beginning where he is talking about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon (the records of his people).
“It shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall . . .” Say what? I thought this was talking about pre-restoration, pre-LDS. Just how broad is Moroni's view, who has seen us and our day (verses 34-35)? He doesn't seem to differentiate between pre and post Joseph Smith. Well, let's continue.
“It shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord because of secret combinations and works of darkness.” I guess I don't know about these because they are so secret I cannot see them, though I have heard of rumors of child/infant sacrifices to the god of this world.
“It shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied.” Hm. Do we deny the power of God when we “bless the hands of the doctors” instead of “bless to be healed”? Do we deny the power of God when we brainwash ourselves to think that going to practitioners who cannot heal is “doing all we can for ourselves, because God will not heal us unless we do all we can”? For an excellent work on this topic I would recommend the book Confessions of a Medical Heretic by Robert Mendehlson. An old book but still very applicable in important ways. It will give you an idea of one arm of the great and abominable church of the devil. I, myself, am trying to extricate myself from the false church of “God can't heal you, but the medical practitioners can give you prostheses, drugs, and cut pieces out of you which is as good as you can expect today.”
A day when “churches become defiled and lifted up in the pride of their hearts.” Surely Moroni is only speaking of other churches. The true and living church of Jesus Christ surely cannot fit this description! Hm. I've known of some pretty dark sins amongst the members (and even lower level leadership). Pride? You betcha! I grew up thinking I was better than nonmembers, and that anyone who smoked cigarettes was going to hell for sure. It took leaving Utah and a lot of work on my part to overcome those two attitudes (and I was a typical LDS – I mean it was at church and amongst the LDS I lived around that I learned this stuff; I certainly didn't get it from my mother).
“Even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches.” I've nothing to say about this. I've not had experience with it in regards to any religion – though I suspect the reason Joseph Smith was treated so violently as a boy was because of the envy of the leaders of the churches who thought they should have had a vision if such was to be had, not some nobody like Jo Smith.
Verses 29 through 31 were apparently happening in Joseph Smith's time, and they have not gotten any better. In fact, it seems to me that things in these areas have gotten a whole lot worse.
Churches that forgive sin if you give them money. I don't have enough experience to comment on this one.
Well, you know Moroni couldn't be talking to the people who lived before the Book of Mormon came out because it wasn't there for them to read. He calls them and us – wicked, perverse, stiffnecked people who have “built up churches unto yourselves”. Have we done that? Do we build up churches unto ourselves, even in the Lord's own church? Not only “unto yourselves” but “unto yourselves to get gain.” Do we do that? When I went on a mission, I thought we had an unpaid clergy. I was totally shocked when my companion said, during a discussion, that the general authorities get a “small living allowance”. Say what? Well, I don't know enough about that to know if it applies to this scripture or not.
But there was a volunteer seminary teacher who did a marvelous job of teaching. She had more than ten kids coming to her early morning class. Well, the seminary teacher (paid) from a town about 30+ minutes drive away got wind of her success (easy to do since he was her “superior” and came over a couple of times a year to see how she was doing).
She was summarily put into the YW presidency and released as a seminary teacher. Obviously expecting to reap her results, he drove over to our area every day after school. A sacrifice of time with his family, he assured me.
Well, he didn't get the same results she did. By the end of the year, he was lucky to have two or three students showing up. The kids knew that he didn't care about them. He treated them as if they were “typical mindless school kids” but none of them were. Several were home schooled (thus used to being treated with respect) and the rest went to a school that was not the product of “typical” children who needed to be entertained and treated as lower class citizens. He had to have the center spot, when I visited. He did not let the students talk like the volunteer had. There were no discussions that I could see. And the big failing, as far as I could tell, was that he was doing it for money and not “for the welfare of zion.”
“Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God.” Oh, yeah, they messed with the Bible. Okay, but how much of what Joseph Smith taught, that God told him to teach, is being taught today? Are we being taught that the only reason the church was restored was so that there would be a people who could stand in the presence of God? No. We're being taught that family is the ruling icon. Ignored is the fact that we are supposed to reach a point to see Jesus face to face in this life. Ignored is the fact that we should be literally raising the dead, seeing angels, healing the sick (without the intermediary of any man, no matter what degree s/he holds), having meetings directed by the Spirit and not a handbook, that our lives should be dictated by the Spirit and not by a handbook, nor by opinions from elite leaders in a distant city (or nearby, if one lives in the holy city).
As I said, Moroni assures us that he has seen us, and he knows our doing. He knows we walk in the pride of our hearts. Wearing very fine apparel (clothing). Envying. Strifes. Malice. Persecutions. All manner of iniquity. And your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. Say what? Every one? Well, obviously, Moroni isn't talking about Jesus' sacred church. That church has a guarantee that it will be perfect in every way, right?
Then, Moroni adds “for” – a connecting word, then says, “ye do love money and your substance and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted.”
Yes, but this was all before the Book of Mormon came out right? (Then why was Moroni bothering to mention it?) Well, at least it applies to every church but ours? Every church but Jesus' own?
Read and wake up. The very next verse (38) – “O ye pollutions, ye hypocrits, ye teachers who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?” Can't get much plainer than that, can you? Moroni has been talking about the holy church of God, by which he means US.
He wants to know why we're ashamed to take upon us the name of Christ. He wants to know why we think the praise of the world is more valuable than endless happiness. He wants to know why we adorn ourselves with that which has no life, yet allow the suffering and needy to pass by us and we don't even notice they are there.
Could anything Moroni is saying in this chapter have anything to do with building a several billion dollar mall when there are poor and needy and so forth in Jesus' own church who could use a decent place to live (even in the US)?
Moroni mentions “secret abominations” to get gain. Secret. Gain. Would that have anything to do with the members of Jesus' church not being allowed to know how their tithes and offerings are spent (including the interest on their tithes and offerings, which Jesus says in a parable belongs to Him)?
Skipping to the last verse in chapter 8, the blood of the saints is mentioned again. Perhaps there is a whole lot more wickedness going on than we realize, or perhaps God views things a bit differently than we do, when the fatherless and widows and poor are tokenly helped, if at all.
So that chapter is largely to those who are members of Jesus' church, in general. Chapter 9, beginning in verse 1, is to those, whether in His church or out of it, to those who do not believe in Christ. Verse 7 begins Moroni's words to those (whether in Jesus' church or not) who deny the revelations of God, and who deny miracles.
Well, this post is already too long, so I will end now.