Alma 54: An Exchange of Letters

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 138

Captain Moroni wrote a letter to Ammoron, the Lamanite leader, to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. What would you write in a letter to an enemy? What Moroni chose to write may surprise you. As you read Moroni’s letter and Ammoron’s response, notice the deep feelings on both sides of the conflict.
Moroni's letter to Ammoron

Ammoron I will trade one Lamanite for ...

Understanding the Scriptures

Alma 54

Provisions (v. 2)Food and supplies
Epistle (vv. 4, 11, 14–15, 24)Letter
The sword of his almighty wrath (v. 6)God’s punishment
Land of our first inheritance (v. 12)Place where our people first lived (the land of Nephi)
Avenge his blood upon you (v. 16)Kill you because you killed him
Breathed out (v. 19)Spoke, expressed
Extinction (v. 20)Complete destruction

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Alma 54.

Activity A iconThree Letters

Review the exchange of letters in Alma 54:1–4, 11–12, 15, 20.

  1. 1.

    Who wrote the first letter? What did he request?

  2. 2.

    Who wrote the second letter? What was Captain Moroni’s plan for the exchange of prisoners?

  3. 3.

    Who wrote the third letter? Why did he agree to the terms?

Activity B iconRewrite the Promises

Consider Captain Moroni’s promises and rewrite them in modern language.

  1. 1.

    First promise (see Alma 54:6)

  2. 2.

    Second promise (see v. 10)

  3. 3.

    Third promise (see v. 12)

  4. 4.

    Why do you think Moroni was so angry with Ammoron? How do you feel when you see someone threatening others with physical force?

Activity C iconCompare the Two Men

Compare Moroni’s words (see Alma 54:4–14) with Ammoron’s (see vv. 16–24). Write what you learned about those two men from the things they wrote.