Book of Moroni
|Books of the Book of Mormon|
- For people and places also called Moroni, see Moroni
Moroni's people had been destroyed by the Lamanites down to every last man, woman, and child, even taking his father. And they were hunting Moroni so they could make the genocide complete. But when he was not fleeing for his life, he took the time to write a few things that might be edifying to those same Lamanites.
The first thing he wrote down was the procedure that Jesus used to make apostles, priests, and teachers. Then he described the procedure for administering the ordinances of the Last Supper and baptism. If a member of the church committed sin, and three witnesses condemned them before the church elders and they still did not repent, then their names were blotted out of the church rolls.
Moroni chapter eight is an epistle from Mormon to his son Moroni written soon after his son was elevated to the ministry, and it focuses almost solely on the doctrine of baptism. Specifically, it calls paedobaptism (infant baptism) extreme error.
Mormon says that Jesus came to call sinners to repentance, but children are not capable of committing sin. Mormon denies the dogma of Original Sin, in other words. "Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell."
In Moroni chapter 9, his father Mormon reports that he is still alive, but the Lamanites were victorious in battle, and a number of leading Nephites have been slain. Mormon fears that the Lamanites will utterly destroy his people. Nevertheless he is still preaching the Word of God to them, but when he uses harsh words they get angry, and when he uses soft words they harden their hearts against it.
The Lamanites took many prisoners in the battle. They slew all the men. They fed to the women the flesh of their husbands and they fed the children the flesh of their fathers, and gave them almost no water.
Still, these atrocities pale in comparison to those of the Nephites in Mariantum, who availed themselves of the daughters of the Lamanites, tortured them to death, and ate their flesh. Mormon asks his son, rhetorically, how God could be expected to withhold judgment from such a people. He especially grieves for the widows and their daughters in Sherrizah, who are starving because both armies have carried away most of the food. And Mormon can do nothing for them, because the army of the Lamanites is between him and that city.
In 421 CE Moroni wrote a few more things before adding his plates to the ones his father sealed up in the hill Cumorah. He asks anyone who reads these records in the latter days to ponder them in his heart and ask God in prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, if the things are true. And if they ask with a sincere heart, the truth of them will be made manifest through the power of the Holy Spirit. Then he falls silent, and the last of the Nephites has died. The Lamanites reign victorious throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Chapter 1 is a short introduction.
Chapters 2-6 contain some direction as to how the church was organized. The ordinances of baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament are detailed. Also, some general instruction on the laws in the church are given.
- 15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
- 16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
- 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
- 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.
- 38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.
- 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
- 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
- 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Chapters 8 and 9 contain two letters to Moroni from his father, Mormon. The first talks about the beginnings of apostasy among the Nephites, focusing particularly on the practice of infant baptism. The second details the awful state of the Nephites and foreshadows their destruction.
Chapter 10 contains Moroni's Promise and some advice for people in the present day. He writes about spiritual gifts, faith, hope and charity. Moroni declares that his words are the words of one "speaking out of the dust" which alludes to a prophecy of Isaiah (see Isaiah 29:4). Moroni 10 contains some of the most well-known and most often quoted verses in the Book of Mormon.
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