Moroni 7:1-3. Mormon’s Sermon
Moroni 7 records a sermon delivered by Mormon to “the peaceable followers of Christ” “in the synagogue which they had built for the place of worship” (Moroni 7:1-3). How is it possible that there could be any devout Christians remaining at this time? When Mormon was but fifteen years of age, there was such wickedness among the people that “the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people. And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief” (Mormon 1:13-14). In the years that followed, this scene of apostasy grew worse.
I have wondered about this, too, as also about Mormon’s letter congratulating his son Moroni on his recent “calling to the ministry” (Moroni 8:1). Clearly there were some believers, albeit it few in number. I don’t know of any studies of this situation, but there are similar situations in the Bible. For example, Noah and his family were the only righteous ones saved from destruction. One gets the impression that there were few believers in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We do not know in which year Mormon delivered the sermon recorded in Moroni 7. It may have been before things got really bad (perhaps even before Moroni’s birth and before the events surrounding Mormon’s sixteenth year) or after he had succeeded in converting a few people. The fact that his audience had built a synagogue suggests that earlier synagogues were no longer in use.