Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Captain - Moroni - Preface

The following is the preface of a manuscript that I wrote several years ago about Captain Moroni. I may eventually post the whole thing here, or maybe just excepts


With the exception of Jesus Christ, few individuals who did not actually write upon the gold plates play as prominent a role in a significant portion of the Book of Mormon as Moroni--commonly called Captain Moroni for his calling as Chief Captain of the Nephite armies. His devoted service to the cause
of freedom and the preservation of his religion, family, nation, and people make up the greater part of nearly 20 chapters of the Book of Mormon. Moroni is first mentioned in Alma 43:16 when we learn that he was appointed chief captain of all the Nephite
armies at the age of 25. He led the armies and directed the defense of his nation for at least 17 years. These years were filled with incessant conflict. The Lamanites, incited by angry
Zoramites and wicked Nephite dissenters, initiated several bloody campaigns against the Nephites throughout this period. In conjunction with these campaigns, factions led by ambitious and
vain individuals severely weakened the Nephite nation and brought the nation to the very brink of destruction. Moroni confronted each threat, uniting his countrymen beneath the Title of Liberty
in defense of their freedom, religion, families, and nation.

Moroni's great zeal in the cause of freedom and dedication to his faith, fused with intense personal energy and charisma, inspired the Nephites to rally to his banner, covenanting with the Lord
before Moroni to fight to maintain their rights and religion or to be destroyed. Indeed, Moroni's energy and steadfast faith were so significant in the cause of freedom that, although he was
never identified as a prophet or church leader, Mormon pays him high compliment:

"Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, 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.

It should be our endeavor to likewise render enduring
service for the sake of freedom and righteousness. Yet Moroni is a figure painted in such heroic proportions that the task of emulating so noble an individual may seem beyond our capabilities. Even though we cannot shrink or compress the mighty works of Moroni to fit some myopic vision of our own
abilities, we can, with effort, expand our knowledge and understanding of our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ and our relationship to these Divine Beings and thereby magnify our vision and our abilities. Therefore, this work is predicated
upon the fact that we are the children of our Heavenly Father and that through faith in our elder brother Jesus Christ, The Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, who died and was resurrected, and who made possible our repentance by his infinite
atonement, we can return to our Heavenly Father and become like unto Him. If we can become like our Heavenly Father, we can follow the example of the Savior and the examples of those like Moroni who faced times and circumstances which differed from the
times and circumstances which the Savior faced but who nevertheless lived what must be termed Christ-like lives. Thus, by following the example of Moroni, we are also following an example consistent with the example of Jesus Christ.

In harmony with our pursuit of Christ's example, this work examines Moroni's accomplishments and the qualities that he exhibited so that we can improve ourselves, our families, and our nations. This examination of Moroni's life will help us to
achieve an understanding of Moroni, his challenges, motivations and accomplishments, and thereby emblazon upon the fleshy tablets of our hearts the desire to emulate his righteous works.

Part One of this work relates the events and accomplishments of Moroni's life. Part One includes some commentary and thoughts on the application of the events to our lives and also periodically reviews the elements of Moroni's character as
manifested by a particular set of events. Part Two examines the example of Moroni and other righteous figures and discusses how we might emulate those examples. Part Three presents a discussion of the elements of Moroni's character with brief notes
about Moroni's companions in the defense of liberty and about the individuals who threatened that liberty.

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