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.
If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. Alma 48:17
Spiritually Astute Moroni
Moroni, born before Jesus Christ came to mortality, was a Christian. As odd as it may seem to the uninitiated, Christianity existed as a faith among the Nephites who lived in ancient America though they did not refer to it as such. Though they practiced the Law of Moses, these people lived Judaism like Messianic Jews, which is what they were, technically. However, Christian applies as well.
Moroni lived within a culture that understood that the Law of Moses did not represent the end of Jehovah's commandments. They understood the full law as it pertained to Jesus Christ.
Generally, Nephites knew that all the sacrifices of livestock under an obligation to the law they perform represented a similitude of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ that would occur in their future.
After Moroni became the captain of all the armies, and before he went to battle the first time, he sought the guidance of a prophet of God. This was the kind of faith Moroni had, one of substance and strength--and in Jesus Christ.
Captain Moroni, the innovator, did not only arm his people with shields, breastplates, helmets, and thick clothing for battle--an uncommon act among the cultures of his society--he also armed his people with the Lord's advice. Never a move he made without first consulting God.
Mormon, chief writer of the Book of Mormon, informs that "Moroni, ...knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him, desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites" Alma 43:23.
The conglomeration of cultures represented what the writers in the Book of Mormon call the Lamanites invaded the sovereign territory of the Nephites only to succumb to fright of the tactical gear with which the Nephites adorned themselves--deciding to flee back to their own lands. Captain Moroni did not act without the word of the Lord. Using his keen logic and the aid of a prophet, Captain Moroni prepared his people in faith, battle skill, and arms.
Knowing the hatred the Lamanites harbored toward his people, Moroni wanted to know if God would allow them to retaliate against them for invading their lands--where to find them.
God told Alma that those dissenters who left the Nephite nation and Lamanites would attack the less secure parts of the country in answer to his request. God told the prophet Alma to informed the Captain to head them off, which they did. A severe battle ensued and Moroni prevailed.
Moroni told these people that he defeated them because of his Christian faith. Said the Captain to Zerahemnah, "ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith," Alma 44:3-4. Speaking to the leader of the Lamanite army Zerahemnah, Captain Moroni exclaimed to his defeated enemies that the reason he prevailed over them was due to his religion!
Moroni quickly gave the credit to God that his army won, witnessing to those people that God would protect any people who would put their trust in Him and keep His commandments. Imagine the incredulous looks of critics of the modern era to hear such a thing!
FYI, another Moroni
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ mentions two men named Moroni. Chief Captain Moroni, the subject of this article and Moroni the son of Mormon. The latter is who kept the record from which The Book of Mormon was translated safe until Joseph Smith, Jr. could obtain them and return them to him following the translation.
Captain Moroni was Full of Compassion and Passion!
God allows his people to defend themselves as long as they do not commit the first or second offense as Moroni learned, which empowered him to wage a just war, a defensive war. Seeing the decimation his army inflicted on the Lamanites bear skins, Moroni, full of compassion stopped the bloodshed and entreated the Lamanites to stop the unjust war they waged upon the Nephites.
It was not in his character to seek the destruction of any person. Moroni only sought to maintain the freedom of his people, which came at high costs.
Moroni's passion climaxed in his speech to Zerahemnah when he informed them that God had delivered them into the Nephites power and that they should make an oath to never attack the Nephites again. Zerahemnah declined to make that oath! With is very life in the hands of his enemy, Zerahemnah refused to make an oath of peace.
Further, he said of the Nephite victory "take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise, we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer" Alma 44:8. He did not believe it was because of their religion that they won, being that he was a former Nephite himself. He told the Captain that it was the gear that saved them.
"We are not of your faith," Zerahemnah declared. "We do not believe that it is God that has delivered us into your hands; but we believe that it is your cunning that has preserved you from our swords" Alma 44:9.
"Here are our weapons of war," Zerahemnah surrendered. "We will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that we shall break," Alma 44:8.
Moroni was astonished I would assume. He returned all the weapons to the Lamanites and informed them, "We will end the conflict," Alma 44:10.
I imagine that Zerahemnah was livid at this point. Oaths were obviously important to him since he would rather die than commit himself to an idea to which he knew he would not adhere.
"Now," continued Captain Moroni, "I cannot recall the words which I have spoken, therefore as the Lord liveth, ye shall not depart except ye depart with an oath that ye will not return again against us to war," Alma 44:11. More conversation occurred but suffice it to say that the Nephites massacred them until they sued for peace.
Captain Moroni is a Man of Honor
Zerahemnah ate every word he uttered against Moroni when he sued vehemently for the work of death to cease! His words were not recorded in the record we have today, but I am sure they were pathetic--and not in a disgusting way but a shameful display due to his arrogance.
This man knew that Moroni meant business following that battle. Zerahemnah had underestimated the Nephites' ability and tenacity. Once Zerahemnah and the remaining members of his army made the covenant of peace Moroni allowed them to depart in peace as promised. It took a lost scalp and a few more deaths to get the oath to end this great war. This group of Lamanites left with every intention to honor the oath they had taken, but being wicked by choice, these people later proved that they did not venerate the oath just as Zerahemnah feared would happen.
Following the oath of peace, there was stability in the land for several years, which Moroni and his people took to prepare spiritually, mentally, and militarily. Moroni was a man of faith and action. Another article discusses Moroni's political views and his call to action when war begins again.
- Captain Moroni: Shaker of Hell
This is about the life of Captain Moroni. He was a patriot and a man of God who did not fear to fight for his country and his Faith! Part one covers cultural and military aspects of Moroni's life.
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.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson