Alma 60: Moroni's Letter to Pahoran

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 141


Captain Moroni watched as the balance of power tipped to the Lamanites. As the Lamanite army strengthened in numbers, the Nephites received neither supplies nor reinforcements from Pahoran. If you were Moroni, what would be your concerns? How would you feel about Pahoran? Alma 60 is a letter Moroni wrote to Pahoran. See if Moroni’s thoughts and feelings were similar to those you would have had.

Understanding the Scriptures

Alma 60

Rendered (v. 5)Given, delivered
Stupor (v. 7)Mental dullness
Slothfulness (v. 14)Laziness
Dispersed (v. 16)Scattered
Insurrections (v. 27)Rebellions
Usurp (v. 27)Unjustly or violently take
Bestir yourselves (v. 29)Wake yourselves up, take action
Impede (v. 30)Get in the way of, hinder
Adhere (v. 34)Remain loyal, support

Alma 60:23–24—“The Inward Vessel Shall Be Cleansed First”

It is more important to keep our hearts and minds clean than to be overly concerned with outward cleanliness because, as a proverb teaches, “as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). When confronted about His disciples not performing a traditional washing of their hands before eating, Jesus taught that “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” He continued, saying that “these are the things which defile a man” not unwashed hands (Matthew 15:19–20).

Moroni was concerned that the soul of his nation was spiritually sick and needed to be cleansed. President Ezra Taft Benson taught about the need for such a cleansing in our day:

“If we are to cleanse the inner vessel, we must forsake immorality and be clean. …

“My beloved brethren and sisters, as we cleanse the inner vessel, there will have to be changes made in our own personal lives, in our families, and in the Church” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 4, 6; or Ensign, May 1986, 5, 7).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Alma 60.

Activity A iconChoosing a Leader

Imagine that Captain Moroni was a candidate to become the leader of your country. Read Alma 60:2–10 and list those qualities you think would make him a good leader.

Activity B iconChoose the Statements

Captain Moroni

Look through Alma 60:10–15 and write in your notebook three of the following statements that you feel best represent Moroni’s ideas expressed in his letter to Pahoran.

  1. 1.

    The leaders of the Nephites loved and supported their soldiers.

  2. 2.

    The leaders of the Nephites were responsible for the deaths of their troops.

  3. 3.

    The Nephite leaders sat around doing nothing while soldiers died in battle.

  4. 4.

    The Nephite soldiers died because of their lack of faith.

  5. 5.

    The Nephite government was lazy and neglected its army.

Activity C iconRewrite the Phrases

Below are several phrases taken from Alma 60:23–36. Read each one in the context of its related verses and then rewrite the phrase in your own words.

  1. 1.

    “Until we have first cleansed our inward vessel” (v. 24)

  2. 2.

    “I will stir up insurrections among you” (v. 27)

  3. 3.

    “It is because of your iniquity that we have suffered so much loss” (v. 28)

  4. 4.

    “Except ye do administer unto our relief, behold, I come unto you” (v. 30)

  5. 5.

    “Your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world” (v. 32)

  6. 6.

    “I seek not for power, but to pull it down” (v. 36)