But a wicked person or a good person who still trusted in Babylon would not be so fortunate. Because he was in the selfish habit of hiding his treasure unto himself and not unto the Lord, he would soon discover to his horror that his treasure had become “slippery.”[vii]
Consequently, the fortunes of those who were wicked or those good people who still trusted in Babylon would slip away from them; the economy would collapse, and financial ruin would result: “And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them.”[viii]
Vulnerability to Enemies
Then things would go from bad to worse. In the people’s impoverished situation, they would be vulnerable to attack from their enemies, particularly those enemies who constituted secret combinations. We note here that Samuel’s prophecies were followed by the near destruction of the nation by the Gadianton robbers.[ix] Samuel foretold that following the economic collapse the people would “flee before their enemies”[x] Their lamentations should strike fear in every person who trusts in his riches and adores Babylon:
And in the days of your poverty ye shall cry unto the Lord; and in vain shall ye cry, for your desolation is already come upon you, and your destruction is made sure; and then shall ye weep and howl in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts. And then shall ye lament, and say:
O that I had repented, and had not killed the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out. Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us.
Behold, we lay a tool here and on the morrow it is gone; and behold, our swords are taken from us in the day we have sought them for battle.
Yea, we have hid up our treasures and they have slipped away from us, because of the curse of the land.
O that we had repented in the day that the word of the Lord came unto us; for behold the land is cursed, and all things are become slippery, and we cannot hold them.
Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls. Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And this shall be your language in those days.
But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.
First economic collapse then vulnerability to attacks from our enemies!
Failure to Repent
After Samuel’s martyrdom, his prophecies began to be fulfilled. But the Nephites did not repent. Mormon reported that “there was but little alteration in the affairs of the people, save it were the people began to be more hardened in iniquity.” Neither economic cataclysms and vicious attacks from terrorists within their borders prodded them from their insanity.
Even when “great signs [were] given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled,” the Nephites hardened their hearts.”[xii] They simply would not believe the signs or respond to the Lord’s warning to repent.
Mormon identified four reasons why the people did not repent:
1) Prophecies are nothing more than good guesses: “Some things they [the prophets] may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.”
2) Prophecies do not make sense: “And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying: That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come.
3) Prophecies are false traditions: “But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass… therefore they can keep us in ignorance.”
4) Prophets deceive us to keep us bound to them: “And they [the prophets] will, by the cunning and the mysterious arts of the evil one, work some great mystery which we cannot understand, which will keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them, for we depend upon them to teach us the word; and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives.”
Satan’s Great Hold on the People’s Hearts
Mormon informed us that the Nephites “began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom.” They “imagine[d] up in their hearts” “many more things” “which were foolish and vain.”
Mormon said that the people “were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come. And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.”[xiii]
It is difficult to read this account and not see the condition of Babylon today.