Moroni, the Son of Mormon: Death of a Nation
Golden Statue of Moroni
Featured modernly as the image of an angel atop many temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Moroni is one of the most notable people from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. His fame does not come from his stories in the book alone, but his post-resurrection activities. Following is a brief treatment of the life of Moroni, the son of Mormon.
Moroni's Young and Old Portrait
Light in the Dark
Two great men in the Nephite record have the name of Moroni. One is Captain Moroni, a noteworthy general before the coming of Christ. The other one and subject of this article is Moroni, the son of Mormon.
Moroni grew to maturity in a dark time in Nephite history. When his father Mormon was a youth, civil war began to tear the Nephite nation to shreds. The fighting began as religious and social disagreement progressing yearly into national chaos. By the time Moroni was born, his nation was in shambles and on the brink of destruction.
Moroni took charge of the abridgment which bears the name of his father Mormon after the destruction of his nation in the Land of Cumorah. Mormon had buried the records in a prominent hill in Cumorah, also called Cumorah, to save the abridgment from destruction, which he delivered to Moroni.
There is no record of how the exchange occurred between father and son. Mormon was in his early to mid-seventies at the time. It is likely that Moroni was between 30 to 50 years of age. The record does not indicate the birth of Moroni in its current form since only one-third was translated and the other two-thirds are sealed.
In Moroni's writings he details the precarious nature of his existence as he records:
...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 was in a different position than was his father Mormon. Moroni lived with the constant threat of being discovered by Lamanites or robbers and killed for his association with the defeated Nephite government or his religious beliefs. The Lamanite organizations and the like would kill any person who they suspected had a belief in Christ or who remained loyal to the dead Nephite cause.
The bitterness in spirit between the Nephite and Lamanite people are akin to those between the Palestinian and Israeli. There was no resolution to the conflict between the Lamanites and Nephites at this juncture since the allegiances of these two parties no longer followed the lines of heritage/religion exclusively, but included political intrigue.
From Peace to Destruction of the Nephites
Moroni's writings bemoan the pressures he faced to exist. 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
Other than these brief references that Moroni gave of his society, there is no record. Mormon did not wish to harrow up, to torture the souls of the readers of his writings regarding the debauchery of his days. And apparently, he is of the same mind by not mentioning the terrible scenes from his days of hiding.
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 with the Nephites and took upon themselves the name of Lamanites after more than a hundred years of no such distinction in their part of the world--since the advent of Christ who taught them unity.
They also 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 was over one hundred years entrenched into the hearts of those people at all levels of society, no longer in the minority.
It was not uncommon for there to be people of differing belief systems among the children of Lehi at any stage of their existence; however, during Moroni's time, it was not beneficial to be a believing child of Lehi as the entire face of the land was at war with itself--at least that is how it appeared to Moroni. All was lost to him, so he turned to the records given to him by his father Mormon for comfort and purpose
Questions & Answers
How long did Moroni wander before he buried the plates?
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.Helpful 1
© 2018 Rodric Anthony