I can really see the testimony of Mormon come through here in these words. Imagine. Mormon is alone, abridging the who-knows-how-many plates into one record. He is abridging the record of Nephi and the people during this time and is so moved that he refrain from commenting.
"And thus we see"- a flag to us to "listen up!" This is the beginning of the verses that really get to the bottom line, the lesson we should heed.
1- And thus we see how false and unsteady the heart of men are. (v1)
2- the Lord in his infinite goodness blesses those that put their trust in Him (v1)
3- "at the very time when he doth prosper his people... they do harden their heart, and forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the holy One"... God is quick to reward,yet we are quicker to forget the Giver of the blassings.
4- The Lord chastens his people to help them remember Him (v3)
It might seem that Mormon is a little harsh here in his opinion of men. But I don't think so.
I think what he is saying is that the 'natural man', the man left to follow his own carnal devices, being led by the adversary, is this way.
Sadly, this is most of us at one time or other.
But, man, under the influence of God, can reach above the 'natural man' to the tap into the spiritual potential that is there for him. Look at Nephi- he was a human man, just as human as the others. The difference was the refiner of faith.
It was his choice to repent and believe, to be obedient and to serve. And because of those choices, he reached his potential. His character became so much like the Lord's that the Lord gave Nephi access to His power. That's pretty amazing.
We know that all the He has is promised to us. So, I cannot see how this would be any different. We are blessed when we repent and have faith in Him. When we turn away the natural man- the man that the devil has access and power over- and become men and women of God, that is where we begin to reach our potential. That is where be begin to become like our Heavenly Parents. That is how we obtain everlasting life.
And this is why the Lord tries us- because He wants us to remember Him, to choose the better way. Sometimes it takes hitting bottom to have something to push off of.
sigh... I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if only I were a little quicker to remember.