Moroni

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Subpages: Chapter 1 Chapters 2-6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10

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Summary[edit]

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Story. Moroni can be thought of in six sections corresponding generally to a chapter each:

  • Chapter 1: Moroni's situation. Moroni briefly describes his situation twenty years after the destruction of the Nephite nation.
  • Chapters 2-6: Church practices. Moroni provides guidance on basic issues of church administration that have spiritual significance: conferral of the Holy Ghost, ordination to the priesthood, the sacrament, conditions for baptism, and the shepherding of members.
  • Chapter 7 and Chapter 10: Faith, hope, and charity. These two chapters are addressed to the followers of Christ as individuals and exhort them to seek after faith, hope, and charity. Chapters 7 discusses how these concepts enable one to lay hold on every good thing. Chapter 10 discusses these concepts in connection with gifts of the spirit that enable miracles.
  • Chapter 8 and Chapter 9: Moral decay. In chapter 8 Moroni refutes the doctrine of infant baptism, illustrating the state of decay even within the church. In chapter 9 he describes the wicked condition of the Lamanites and even worse condition of the Nephites, illustrating the state of decay within society at large at the point of its destruction. These chapters also illustrate how followers of Christ should respond to such circumstances.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Moroni include:

  • Church practices:
  • Why the Nephites were destroyed.
  • Faith. In both Ether and Moroni, faith is addressed in conjunction with hope and charity, and is addressed as a principal of power that can cause miracles.

Relationship to Book of Mormon. The relationship of Moroni to the Book of Mormon as a whole is discussed at Book of Mormon: Unities.


Historical setting[edit]

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In Mormon 8-9, Moroni wrote what he thought was a farewell to the reader, stating that he was alone, without ore, and almost out of pages on which to write. Now, two decades later, Moroni has written the book of Ether as well as writing or transcribing the sealed two thirds of the Book of Mormon gold plates. Here, in the book of Moroni, he gives the reader another, lengthier farewell along with items of instruction that he believes will be of particular benefit.


Discussion[edit]

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Direct address to the reader[edit]

Moroni's purpose in writing: preface[edit]

Moroni prefaces this final book in the Book of Mormon by stating in verse 1:4 his hope that what he will write will be "of worth" to future generations of his people. The footnote on "worth" appropriately references 2 Ne 3:12. This verse is a portion of a prophecy made by Joseph of Egypt, cited by Lehi in his final father's blessing to his son Joseph. Moroni may very well have had this prophecy in mind as he prayerfully considered what he should write in his remaining time alive. In fact, the Joseph prophecy outlines several of the primary purposes of the Book of Mormon (in this case in tandem with the Bible). This then leads to the question: To what extent does the Book of Moroni address these purposes? Let's consider them one by one.

  • Confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions
  • One must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 2) and priesthood ordination (Moroni 3) by one who has authority and by the laying on of hands.
  • There are specific prayers that are to be said when priesthood holders administer the sacrament (Moroni 4-5).
  • The Church of Jesus Christ keeps track of and cares for its members (Moro 6:4), meets together often to worship and partake of the sacrament (Moro 6:5-6), in a manner which is led by the Holy Ghost (Moro 6:9), and requires continual repentance (Moro 6:7-8).
  • Establishing peace among the house of Israel
  • Lasting and everlasting peace come when individuals develop faith, hope and charity (Moroni 7).
  • Infant baptism is not of God (Moroni 8).
  • Salvation is in Christ (Moroni 10).
  • Bringing Israel to the knowledge of their fathers
  • Pride destroyed the Nephites (Moro 8:27).
  • The Nephites and Lamanites turned from the Lord and became extremely wicked and depraved (Moroni 9).
  • Bringing Israel to the knowledge of the Lord's covenants
  • There are both prerequisites as well as continuing expectations associated with baptism (Moro 6:1-4).

Moroni's purpose in writing: direct address in farewell[edit]

In the first part of chapter 10 Moroni expressly states that he is writing "unto my brethren the Lamanites" and that he will seal up the Book of Mormon record "after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you." He then specifically exhorts the reader to remember that God is merciful, to not deny the gifts and power of God, and to remember that Christ is the unchangeable source of every good gift (Moro 10:1-3, 7-8, 18-19).

In the latter part of chapter 10 Moroni addresses himself to "all the ends of the earth," exhorts them to remember that gifts and power of God are always available when there are people who do good, and exhorts them to come unto Christ and lay hold on every good gift (Moro 10:24, 27, 30).

These are points that Moroni makes sure cannot be overlooked, and they should therefore have a significant influence on understanding Moroni's purpose in writing. It is also worth looking back at points of direct address in Moroni's previous farewell many years earlier in Mormon 8-9.

Two witnesses[edit]

Chapter 7 is a sermon that Mormon gave to the ancient Nephites, while chapter 10 contains a sermon from Moroni directly to the latter day readers of his words. Both sermons cover much of the same doctrinal ground, and so provide two testimonies or witnesses of the doctrines that appear in both sermons. The overlap also shows that God's doctrine that applied anciently is the same doctrine applicable to modern readers today.

Treatment of women[edit]

It is interesting that when Moroni describes the wickedness at the point of their destruction, he does not mention the usual formulation of showing that they are ripe in iniquity because they cast out the righteous. Instead he describes how the Nephites treat women even worse than the wicked Lamanites.


Points to ponder[edit]

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I have a question[edit]

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Relation to other scriptures[edit]

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Related scriptures[edit]

The relationship of Moroni to the rest of the Book of Mormon is discussed at Book of Mormon: Unities.

Most of the book of Mormon was written by just four authors: Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and Moroni. The books of Ether and Moroni are the two written by Moroni. Moroni nevertheless returns from Jaredite history to a closing description of the wicked Nephite condition.

Moroni gives us four great "faith sermons" at the end of the Book of Mormon, two in Ether that can be seen as a pair (Ether 3-5 and Ether 12), and two more in Moroni that can be seen as another pair (Moroni 7 and Moroni 10). All four sermons talk about faith as more than just a principle of action leading to obedience. Rather, these four sermons assume that the listener is already trying to be righteous, and so address faith in connection with hope and charity as a door to exaltation and as a principle of power that allows one to exercise gifts of the spirit and work miracles. These four faith sermons can all be read as a group since they were all written or edited by a single author and they all address a single general topic.

Parallel passages[edit]

Previous editions[edit]


Complete outline and page map[edit]

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Moroni


● Moroni's situation (1)
● Church practices: ordinances and shepherding (2-6)

a. conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost (2:1-3)
a. ordaining to the priesthood (3:1-4)
b. prayer to bless the sacrament bread (4:1-3)
b. prayer to bless the sacrament water (5:1-2)
c. baptism (6:1-4)
c. church shepherding (6:5-9)

A. Faith, hope, and charity; laying hold on every good thing (7)

• judging between good and evil (1-19)
address to followers of Christ who have obtained hope as shown by their peaceableness, hope defined (1-4)
• good people yield good fruit, evil people yield evil fruit (4-11)
• good comes from God, evil comes from the devil, judge between them carefully in the light of Christ (12-19)
- God entices to do good, the devil entices to do evil (12-13)
- judge carefully through the Spirit of Christ that is given to every man (14-16a)
- God entices to do good, the devil entices to do evil (16b-17)
- judge carefully in the light of Christ and lay hold on every good thing to be a child of Christ (18-19)
• faith, angelic visitations, and miracles (20-39)
• people lay hold on good things by faith on the words of angels and prophets (20-26a)
• Christ has said: good things requested in faith will be received (26b)
• Q&A: miracles and angelic visitations have not ceased with Christ's ascension (27-29)
• angels proclaim the word of Christ to prophets who declare it to the people, so people can have faith on those words (30-32)
• Christ has said: faith in him provides power to do any expedient thing (33)
• Christ has said: repentance, baptism and faith in him lead to being saved (34)
• Q&A: miracles and angelic visitations never cease unless because of unbelief (35-38)
Mormon judges that his audience has faith because of their meekness (39)
• hope and charity (40-48)
• hope defined (40-42)
• importance of meekness and lowliness of heart (43-44)
• charity defined, importance as the greatest (46-47)
• pray for charity to obtain hope, hope again defined (48)
B. Decay within church: infant baptism of those not accountable because incapable of sin or repentance (8)
• My beloved son, I rejoice in your faithfulness and call to the ministry (1-3)
• And now my son, I grieve that there are disputations regarding infant baptism (4-5)
• And now my son, remove this error because there is no need, little children cannot sin so it is mockery, my beloved son (6-9)
• Behold I say, teach that parents need baptism unto remission of sins, little children do not need repentance or baptism, God is impartial (10-13)
• Behold I say, its proponents have not faith, hope or charity for it is awful wickedness to suppose that those lacking baptismal ordinances are cast off (14-15)
• Wo to proponents who shall perish (boldly), but I am filled with love, God is impartial, little children cannot repent so it is awful wickedness to deny them the mercies of Christ, they are alive in Christ (16-20)
• Wo to proponents who are in danger of hell (boldly), those without law cannot repent so they are alive in Christ and it is mockery denying the mercies of Christ and putting trust in dead works (21-23)
• Behold my son, this ought not to be for repentance leads to baptism unto remission of sins, visitation of the Holy Ghost, hope and perfect love (24-26)
• Behold my son, I fear the wicked Nephites will soon perish (27-30)
B. Decay within society: wickedness and accountability of the Nephite nation (9)
a. Labors to save unrepentant Nephites through war and preaching (1-6)
• account of Mormon's labors in battle (1-2)
• account of Mormon's labors in preaching (3-5) >
• necessity of trying to save Nephites through preaching (6)
b. Description of and lament for wicked condition of society (7-19)
• account of Lamanite army atrocities on Nephite prisoners (7-8)
• account of Nephite army atrocities on Lamanite prisoners (9-10)
• lament for the wicked condition of Nephites (11-15)
• account of helpless condition of Nephite civilians (16-17)
• lament for the wicked and helpless condition of Nephites (18-19)
a. Instructions that Moroni remain faithful and witness (20-26)
• inability to recommend wicked Nephites to God (20-21)
• instruction that Moroni write a final witness regarding Nephites (22-24)
• exhortation that Moroni continue faithful in Christ (25-26)

A. Faith, hope, and charity; gifts of the Spirit (10)

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)


Resources[edit]

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Cited references[edit]

Other resources[edit]

Notes[edit]

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