To help students understand that Captain Moroni’s faith in Christ and his devotion to the Savior were the key to his character and the source of his greatness.
Note: This presentation is designed to be used with Mormon’s tribute of Captain Moroni in Alma 48:11–18. Teach the Alma 43–48 scripture block (possibly two or three days). Then use the video and lesson activities with Mormon’s tribute to emphasize Moroni’s great character as a follower of Christ.
Before the Video
Ask students to name a few popular men and women they think are heroes. You may wish to list them on the board. Have students name the abilities these people possess that they think are heroic. Discuss the qualities of a hero. (A hero is someone we can pattern our lives after. A true hero should be a person of high moral character.) If necessary, help students recognize that some of the persons they named do not qualify as someone we should pattern our lives after. Suggest that it might be interesting to see if today’s popular heroes could merit Mormon’s tribute of Captain Moroni. Read Alma 48:17 as a class. Then substitute for Moroni the names of some of the heroes the class suggested and see if Mormon’s tribute is as valid for them as it was for Moroni. Suggest that the class try to discover what made him a truly exceptional hero.
Moroni was twenty-five years old when he was appointed commander of all the Nephite armies (see Alma 43:16–17). He obviously had great ability. Have students examine Alma 48:11–13 and identify some of Moroni’s character and qualities. You may wish to list these on the board and discuss what they mean. The following may help:
Have students read Alma 48:13–16 and identify how Moroni’s faith in Christ molded his character, abilities, and strategy to preserve the freedom of his people. The following may help:
He had sworn with an oath to defend his people, rights, country, and religion (see v. 13).
He taught his people not to give offense, but only to defend life (see v. 14).
By keeping the commandments, he and the people would be warned by God to flee or to prepare for war, and where to defend themselves (see vv. 15–16).
He gloried “in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity” (v. 16).
The devil did not have power over his heart (see v. 17).
Moroni’s faith in Christ gave him the ability to be a great leader. Share the following quote by President Ezra Taft Benson and discuss its meaning and how it applies to Moroni. “Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson , 361).
Using the Video
“Look For” Activity
Because Moroni was “firm in the faith of Christ,” he was different than other military leaders. Have the students look for examples of how his leadership was different because of this faith and how the Lord blessed him because of it.
Show Segment 1
In segment 1 (17:55) a grandfather and grandson discuss what makes a great hero. The grandfather’s example is Captain Moroni, who led the Nephites against Zerahemnah and the Lamanites, prepared the title of liberty, prayed mightily to the Lord, and rallied his people.
Discuss the things Moroni said and did that could be considered unusual for a military leader. (He stopped the battle when the Nephites were winning. He offered to let Zerahemnah go. He returned the swords to the Lamanites when they refused to take an oath of peace.) Why did he do what he did? (Have students search Alma 44:3–5 to discover the source of Moroni’s strength and identify what motivated Moroni.) How does the title of liberty illustrate Moroni’s faith in Christ? (Student response.) What did Moroni use the title of liberty for, even before Amalickiah attacked? (see Alma 48:7).
Suggest that the students read Alma 48:17 and substitute their own name for Moroni’s. If this tribute were being given in honor of you, would it truly represent you? By patterning our lives after Moroni’s faith in Christ, the Lord can do great things with us also. Suggest that the students reflect on the qualities they found for Moroni and how well they are developing those traits in their lives.
Read the above quotation from President Benson to the class again. Discuss each blessing and how the Lord will help them as they turn their lives over to Christ as Moroni did.
Show Segment 2
Segment 2 (3:45) is a music video summarizing Captain Moroni and other heroes depicted in the Book of Mormon Video presentations who showed a desire and ability to follow Christ.