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JEREMIAH, AS DID MORMON, MOURNED OVER FALLEN PEOPLE

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A similarity can be drawn between the mission of Jeremiah and the mission of Mormon.

As stated in the Old Testament student manual prepared by the Church Educational System: "Jeremiah, like Mormon, was called to labor among a people for whom there was no hope because they refused to repent, and `the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually,' (Morm. 2:15). Mormon, after witnessing the destruction of the Nephite nation, cried out for his people. (See Morm. 6:17-19.) Here was a righteous man, one of the best, lamenting over his people who were so blind, so foolish, so spiritually dead. Jeremiah, too, mourned his people's wickedness. You may think of Jeremiah as a stern, harsh man as you read his scorching denunciations of the Jewish people and the lives they were living, but he was not. His motivation, like Mormon's, was love."A prophet does not select where and when he will serve the Lord. God chooses when and to whom the prophets will be sent. One may be an Enoch and build Zion, or a David O. McKay and preside over the Church in times of peace and prosperity. Another may be a Mormon or a Jeremiah and try in vain to save a rebellious and backsliding people. Each has his calling. Each has his time."

The lament of Jeremiah contained in chapter 9 perhaps gives an indication of the depth of his sadness over the fate of his people. The student manual contains this comment: "Except, perhaps, for David's cry over his son Absolom (see 2 Sam. 18:33), or Jesus' prophetic lament over Jerusalem (see Matt. 23:37), or the lament of Mormon over the destroyed Nephite nation (see Morm. 6:16-22), few passages lamenting the results of sin in the scriptures are as moving as Jer. 9.

"In Jer. 9:17-22, the Lord referred to the custom in ancient Israel of hiring professional mourners, women who were paid to wail and lament for long periods of time at someone's death. Jeremiah was told to hire professional mourners to lament over Judah."