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Moroni, Son of Mormon: Death of a Nation

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.

Golden Statue of Moroni

Golden Statue of Moroni

Two great men in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ have the name Moroni. One captained the military of his ancient pre-Columbian society in the Americas, Nephites. The other one's attributed image tops the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Moroni, the son of Mormon, and the subject of this article.

Moroni's Young and Old Portrait


Light in the Dark

Moroni grew to maturity in a dark time in Nephite history. When his father was a youth, civil war began to tear the nation to shreds. The fighting, which began as religious and social disagreement, progressed yearly into national chaos. By the time of Moroni's birth, the nation faltered on the brink of destruction.

Safety precautions behooved Mormon to bury the records in a prominent hill called Cumorah in the land Cumorah to save the abridgment from destruction. Later, he revealed the location of the record to Moroni, who took charge of the abridgment after the collapse of his nation in the land of Cumorah.

Mormon, approximately in his early to mid-seventies, and Moroni, roughly 30 to 50 years of age, initiated charge of the record to Moroni. However, there's no documentation of how the exchange occurred between father and son. (The annals do not indicate the birth of Moroni in its current form since God authorized only one-third of it translated; the other two-thirds remained sealed)

Moroni details the precarious nature of his existence when he itched,

...after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfill the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not.

Society of Moroni

Moroni lived with the constant threat of discovery by Lamanites, robbers, or both! Discovery meant a death sentence for his association with the defeated Nephite government and religious beliefs. The Lamanite organizations and other groups, following the ethnic cleansing of the Nepbites, killed any person they suspected of a belief in Christ or who remained loyal to the dead Nephite cause.

The bitterness in spirit between the Nephite and Lamanite people resembles hatred akin to feelings between the Palestinians and Israelis. No lasting resolution to the conflict between the Lamanites and Nephites existed at that juncture since the allegiances of these two parties no longer followed lines of heritage/religion exclusively but lines of intrigue of every imagination--clans and tribes.


Moroni's writings bemoan the pressures he faced to finish and find a safe place to deposit the records in his trust for their future role. Each time he reached a stopping point in his engraving, he bade farewell as if it would be the final time he recorded anything. He wrote,

For behold, their [the Lamanites] wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ. And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life. Moroni 1:2-3

No other record exists besides these brief references Moroni gave of his society. Moroni did not wish to harrow up, to torture the readers' souls of his writings regarding the debauchery of his days. He is of the same mind by not mentioning the terrible scenes from his days of hiding.

From Peace to Destruction

Moroni lived in an anti-Christ society of the making of descendants of ex-members of The Church of Jesus Christ. In 231 A.D., a group of people split off from the people of the land and took upon themselves the name of Lamanites after more than a hundred years of no such distinction--since the advent of Christ, who taught them unity.

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This new group of displaced people following this religious and cultural delineation from Christ did not teach their children the gospel of Jesus Christ, becoming a budding minority group. By the time of Mormon and Moroni, this tradition of anti-Christ boasted over one hundred years entrenched into the hearts of those people at all levels of society, no longer in the minority.

Religious diversity was not uncommon among the children of Lehi at any stage of their existence. During Moroni's time, politics created a murderous atmosphere and bleak reality for believing posterity of Lehi. The entire face of the land warred with itself. That's how it appeared to Moroni! With all lost to him, he turned to the records given to him by Mormon for comfort and purpose


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.

Questions & Answers

Question: How long did Moroni wander before he buried the plates?

Answer: That is a good question. Short answer: We don't know.

The answer is not in the record as we have it.

We have on a third of the record translated. The other two-thirds were not allowed to be translated by God and could include a record of Moroni's travels trying to preserve the record before he buried them. His father Mormon hide the records in a hill called Cumorah before the Lamanites destroyed the last official army of the Nephites, destroying the nation as a political entity. Mormon told Moroni where the records were before he died.

It had to have been a considerable amount of time since he was allowed to write two additional books on the plates before having to deposit them. Each chapter he concluded seemed like he said farewell. He never knew when his time would end. It could have been months or years.

Moroni took the records and finished them and deposited them in what became New York. Assumptions have been made by the early Saints that Moroni placed the records back in the hill Cumorah, but there is no way for us to know that since Mormon placed ALL the sacred records in the hill, but only the Plates of God were shown to Joseph by Moroni. Others have returned to the hill seeking other treasures.

© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson


Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on July 14, 2019:

CORRECTION: Abraham is NOT Raphael. This information was incorrect and I apologize for the inaccuracy.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on July 02, 2019:

Michael, that is a good question. The quick answer is that all of us become angels when we die and get resurrected. The long answer you can find in several places, but I will show you one of my articles.

It starts with the truth that we are all children of God and therefore brothers and sisters no matter our race or nationality. "How," you may ask. It is because we lived with God as spirits before we were born. Read about it here -

You may or may not agree with this view, but it is the reason Moroni, is an angel. Also, Noah is Gabriel, Adam is Micheal, Abraham is Raphael and Satan was Lucifer. God, I believe, is only a mystery to those of us who do not know how to seek after Him and learn of His words. That is, by the way, no personal attack on anyone in any way. I am clueless on things in life because I do not seek after them. One day I will be ready and God can tell me the rest of the story. Until then, I take the bits I am able.

Michael McGuire on July 02, 2019:

I am intrigued on how Moroni became an Angel. No other Prophets became Angels.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 10, 2018:

I do too Alexander. I love him so much that I am writing a memoir that includes his name: Moroni Saw Me. You will see it advertised soon hopefully.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on August 10, 2018:

I love Prophet Moroni.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 10, 2018:

Eric, thanks for posting. Many people would think that the angel on the tops of the temples could be Gabriel. It would be fitting seeing as he is integral in the announcement of the birth of the Savior. He is possibly the angel who rolled the stone away at Christ's resurrection.

Moroni is unique because his only purpose was to introduce the new record of the Book of Mormon to us in the latter day. Your take on the identity of Moroni is new to me and intriguing. I appreciate you sharing.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 10, 2018:

As we passed by the Mormon Temple in La Jolla my son asked who is that angel. Sorry but I told him that it was Gabriel speaking to a new people who called him Moroni.

That is where I stand on that.

(by the way my son is named Gabriel) His Vietnamese name is My Son. which means American Saint. Given to him by a priest.

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