Moroni


It was dark in the shadows where Moroni was hiding. Outside the sun shone, but Moroni dared not venture forth yet. He knew the Lamanites would kill him, as they had killed his brave ten thousand warriors, and his father’s ten thousand, and tens of thousands of other Nephites. Death and destruction were everywhere.

Moroni’s father, Mormon, and all his kinfolk had been slain in battle. He had no friends and nowhere to go. He was left alone to write the sad story: “… their 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.”

When it was night, Moroni hunted for food to sustain life, for he had a great work to do: to finish the record his father had made and seal it in the hill with the many other writings.

When Moroni finished his father’s record, he would have placed it with the other plates for safekeeping. But among the many histories, Moroni found twenty-four gold plates, the story of the families of Jared and his brothers who had come to America before the Nephites. The story was recorded by the prophet Ether. It was long and powerful and beautifully written.

Carefully and prayerfully Moroni began to shorten the story. He found that the words of the brother of Jared were so mighty it was overpowering to read them, for the brother of Jared was a man of great faith. And Moroni said to the Lord, “… thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, … wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words. …”

The Lord comforted Moroni by saying, “I give men weakness that they may be humble. … And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong.” He also told Moroni to write the words of the brother of Jared as they were, but to seal that part of the book for awhile. This Moroni did, and he added it to his father’s book. He painstakingly inscribed two letters, filled with truth and wisdom, that his father, Mormon, had written him.

Moroni was alone in the land. He wrote a final message on the plates before he sealed them up as he had been told to do. He told of the goodness of Jesus, and of how the members of the church had met together often to pray and talk about the gospel, how they were baptized, how they administered the sacrament, and of the prayer for its blessing.

He wrote to the people of our day, too, who would receive this record, for he said, “Jesus Christ has shown you unto me, and I know your doing.” Then he pled with us never to deny the power of God nor the gifts of God. He made this promise: “If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient.” Then he added, “And when ye shall receive these things, ask God if these things are not true; … And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

More than four hundred years had passed since the Savior had visited the Nephites on the American continent. Mormon finished the record, and wrote, “Now I seal up these records. … And now I bid unto all, farewell.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Gary Kapp