I had never thought about the flood in this way before. Number nine really surprised me and got me thinking. It's encouraging to see that even in the midst of natural disasters, God is always merciful and loving.
After all earlier attempts to bring men to repentance had failed [which were considerable] and the righteous had been removed to a place of safety, the Lord cleansed the earth by water.
The scriptures suggest eight things that were happening on the earth that led to this cataclysm. A ninth condition leading to the flood was suggested by President John Taylor.
The daughters of Noah’s sons, “the sons of God,” began to marry the “sons of men,” that is, they married out of the covenant. Thus the possibility of a righteous seed being preserved in the earth became less and less likely.
“And Noah and his sons hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed, and they were called the sons of God. And when these men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of men saw that those daughters were fair, and they took them wives, even as they chose. And the Lord said unto Noah: The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves; for behold mine anger is kindled against the sons of men, for they will not hearken to my voice” (Moses 8:13-15).
2. Wickedness was everywhere. Everyone was drenched in evil.
“And God saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually” (Moses 8:22).
3. Genesis and Moses show us that as a result of this evil, the world was spiraling into anarchy. Things are almost always bad somewhere. But we are not shown corruption in some places nor violence in some cities or nations. In the days of Noah things were bad everywhere.
“The earth . . . was filled with violence. And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth” (Moses 8:28,30).
4. The word “corrupt” has synonyms such as spoiled, contaminated, or My dictionary defines the word as meaning “morally unsound or debased.”
“And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth” (Moses 8:29)
5. God showed Enoch the state of the world after the translation of Zion but before the flood. Darkness reigned and Hell rejoiced
“And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced” (Moses 7:26).
This laughter, this Satanic rejoicing in the face of rampant wickedness and impending destruction was repeated in the Book of Mormon. This report comes from the time just following the destructions in America, during the three days of darkness.
“Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen!” (3 Nephi 9:2).
7. The ultimate purpose of the adversary is to “disrupt, disturb, and destroy the home and the family” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Father and the Family,” Ensign, May 1994, 19). Note what the following passage suggests about Satan’s success in this matter in the days of Noah:
“And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood” (Moses 7:33)
8. Of course the Lord has created worlds without number, and peopled them with his own children. But this world became unusual because of the iniquity preceding the flood.
“I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren” (Moses 7:36).
Regarding this wickedness Brigham Young said,
“We are inhabitants of a world of sin and sorrow; pain and anguish, every ill that can be heaped upon intelligent beings in a probation we are heirs to. I suppose that God never organized an earth and peopled it that was ever reduced to a lower state of darkness, sin and ignorance than this. I suppose this is one of the lowest kingdoms that ever the Lord Almighty created, and on that account is capable of becoming exalted to be one of the highest kingdoms that has ever had an exaltation in all the eternities. In proportion as it has been reduced so it will be exalted, with that portion of its inhabitants who in their humiliation have cleaved to righteousness and acknowledged God in all things” (Journal of Discourses, X. 175).
9. The final cause of the flood takes us to the other side of the veil. There were billions of spirit children there, waiting and anxious for the blessings of bodies and mortality. But as they peered through the veil at the condition of the world they were to be sent to, they had understandable concerns.
“Let us go back to the time when Satan rebelled against the Almighty and drew away one-third of the hosts of heaven. We find that there were pure spirits that stood that test and who had given to them the promise of bodies on this earth. Let us suppose that you and I were there as spirits, awaiting the privilege of taking bodies, and that we could see the wickedness and corruption that was going on upon the earth, and that we could see Prophets going about teaching the principles of righteousness and warning the people of judgments that should come, of the flood that should overwhelm them and of the prisons prepared in which the ungodly should be cast. And we say, “Father, you see the people on the earth that they are wicked and depraved, fallen and corrupt! Yes. Is it right and just that we who have done no wrong should have to enter into such corrupt bodies and partake of the influences with which they are surrounded?” “No,” says the Father, “it is not just, and I will cut them off, I will cause the floods to come upon them to destroy them, and I will send those wicked and disobedient spirits into prison,” which he did” (John Taylor, JD XXII, 301-302).
Read the full article on Meridian Magazine.