Leaders of integrity or infamy found in The Book of Mormon provide the fodder for spiritual growth and self-improvement. It was made for us.
The detracting society of the ancient Americans called Nephites is where Moroni's ministry began during fierce ethnic cleansing around 421 A.D. Moroni witnessed the fabric of his society tear at the seems as people forming rivalries among themselves after their common enemy, the Nephites, ceased existing as a recognizable people.
Moroni, a historian similar to Josephus, decided not to write any other things regarding the people of his time because of his charge to finish the record destined to become what is now called The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and deposit it in the earth.
Moroni recorded that he received heavenly manifestations, visitations, and confirmation through the Spirit of the Lord just as his father, Mormon. The prophecies and revelations of hundreds of years had come to the brink of fulfillment in the days of Moroni. Did Moroni have the same hopes and desires as his father Mormon for the people of God?
Mormon supplicated without faith, according to his writings, for his people to repent, knowing that the people had become gross in wickedness during his time because of their response to the mere mention of the word of God. It must have been a difficult time to be a Christian let alone a fully ordained apostle during this time of apostasy.
As a minister, Moroni had no contemporary audience--none that he mentions. Some good people may have helped him hide and given him shelter from time to time as God granted him longevity during this fierce ethnic cleansing that ended the culture of the Nephite nation. Solitary living would be the lot of his life if the record he left is an indication of his situation. Contrarily, since Moroni had limited gold ore on which to write, he could have purposely left out his spouse and children, conjecture, of course.
Moroni took on his ministry as the first official Apostle to bear testimony and preach Christ to the latter-days.
He ministers to those of the last days before the coming of the Savior for His millennial reign in glory. The Book of Moroni is divided into two parts. According to L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
He writes first to the members of the Church and then to those who have not embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moroni’s last words to the members of the Church are written as a voice of warning. He writes as one who sees the history of his people repeating itself in the future. “Behold, the Lord Hath Shown unto Me Great and Marvelous Things” - L. Tom Perry
Moroni articulated the mode and manner of the sacrament, the qualifications for membership in the church, the doctrine regarding infant baptism, and provided counsel and direction regarding following Christ. Why did he do this?
...the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you. Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
How very telling. How very convicting to later generations and the modern day for someone to sit and observe the culture, tradition, and times--then provide commentary based on that information.
Moroni included words on charity. Seeing modern times, he saw that there exist many creeds and churches in the art of money accrual instead of soul-saving. He saw that people would not be as giving or helpful. He saw that society accepts all manner of wicked traditions--teaching for doctrine the precepts of men.
Truth is Considered Fiction
Moroni saw that the gospel surrounds a great many of the people in modern society in the form of books, media, and good Christian Churches!
Comparing his day to modern times he could not imagine why righteousness does not abound more other than false teaching and pride. So, he included in his writings teachings to combat those deniers of Christ. Most of his book, The Book of Moroni, gives instruction on basic functions within the true Church of Jesus Christ from his day. Little wonder that the modern Church of Christ uses some of those same practices.
Unfortunately, Moroni's words are curtailed by detractors that claim him to be fictional--part of the imagination of a con man. Sinister are the works of men in these last days.
It seems strange that a book, a testimony of Christ, that proves beyond reason that Jesus is real would not be more accepted. All of the prophets Mormon included in his record seems to have stressed some concern about people accepting their record as valid. Each received the same promise from God to give them comfort.
Nephi, the father of record keeping among the Nephites, recorded upon completing his writings-- speaking to each modern person,
...you and I shall stand face to face before his [Jesus Christ's] bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness. 2 Nephi 33:11
The promise is that all people who have access to the record that Moroni deposited and sealed in the side of a hill will one day know that he and all the other prophets therein mentioned were commanded by Jesus Christ to write the history and testimonies. The book purports to be the word of God. It is.
Angel Moroni with the Everlasting Gospel to Preach. Sometime after depositing the Gold Plates and his visit to the boy Joseph Smith Jr., Moroni received a glorious and Christ-provided resurrection so that he could fulfill his mission regarding the plates as its last guardian in mortality.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Rodric Anthony Johnson