1 Nephi 12:1-3 — LeGrand Baker — “wars, and rumors of wars”

1 Nephi 12:1-3  

1 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea.
2. And it came to pass that I beheld multitudes gathered together to battle, one against the other; and I beheld wars, and rumors of wars, and great slaughters with the sword among my people.
3 And it came to pass that I beheld many generations pass away, after the manner of wars and contentions in the land; and I beheld many cities, yea, even that I did not number them.

One day, a friend came to my office to ask: “Where is Hell?” Without any hesitation, and with no more contemplation, I replied, “You’re in it.”

That was not intended to be a flippant response, and since then we have thought even more about that. There is evidence that devils “who kept not their first estate” move freely among, and influence the humans in this world. The people whom Nephi describes in these verses live here, in this world. The people who murdered Jesus lived here. There are presently some very bad people in our world who delight in hurting and killing innocent people. But there are also some very, very good people who in our world—noble and great ones who fought and won the first war in heaven. The concluding battles of that war are being fought in our world. Ultimately, goodness will prevail, this earth will be redeemed, and the bad guys will have to go somewhere else.

But here, now, if evil men and devils are free to walk about, then their society is pretty much the same as hell. In the end, the final hell will be worse only because all the good people will be gone and only the bad guys will be left to interact with each other. But sometimes this world gets like that too (like at the very end of the Book of Mormon)— all the good guys are killed or gone, and only the bad guys are left to create and manage their own affairs.

We wonder about other worlds. We wonder about why this one is filled with people who enjoy hurting and enslaving and murdering each other. We believe that if we understood more about those things we would also have some answers about why the very best of the best of God’s children also came here to this world. Sometimes the scriptures ask more questions than they give answers to.

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