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According to the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni (c. 100 BC-56 BC) was an important Nephite military commander and patriot who lived during the 1st century BC. He is perhaps best known for raising the "Title of Liberty" as a call to arms for his people to defend their country, family, freedom, peace and religion. He is first mentioned in the Book of Alma, as "the chief captain over the Nephites."
Captain Moroni is presented as a righteous and skilled military commander. Among his accomplishments were his extensive preparations for battle and his fierce defense of the right of the Nephites to govern themselves and worship as they saw fit.
According to the Book of Mormon, Moroni was "only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain" of the Nephites. The appointment came in response to a looming war with Lamanites and Zoramites, a force which was led by Zerahemnah and included many Nephite dissenters. The Lamanite army attacked the Nephites in the land of Jershon and the battle ended on the banks of the river Sidon. In this war, Moroni set to work readying the Nephite people with body armor for the first time. He sent spies to investigate the Lamanites' weaknesses, following which he led his troops with the plan to surround those of the Lamanites. The entire time, his objective was to defend his people and their right to worship their God as they pleased. Ultimately, Moroni met this objective, which resulted in keeping many of the Lamanites from ever coming to combat against the Nephites again.
Known for his revolutionary strategies in all realms of military tactics, safety, and precaution, he kept the people physically safe, while praying, guiding and leading his armies by divine intervention, he was able to keep his people out of the hands of his enemy while seeing to their needs physically and spiritually. He was also known by his people for his firm ideology and integrity and willingness to support the causes of personal freedom gaining the people's trust and never failed them.
Title of Liberty
Moroni is usually associated with the "Title of Liberty", a standard which he raised to rally the Nephites to defend their liberties from a group of dissenters who wanted to establish their leader as a king. Moroni was so angry with Amalickiah's dissention and wicked influence that he rent his coat and wrote upon it, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children". With these words, he rallied his people to defend their families and their freedom, chasing the armies of Amalickiah away in the process. Any dissenters that remained, Moroni put to death, and raised up the title of liberty upon every Nephite tower, having been granted power from the chief judges and people to do such things.
Moroni had many other adventures besides those mentioned. One of these was, after having an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate prisoners with Ammoron, the time he sent a man among his people, by the name of Laman, who was a descendant of Laman the son of Lehi, to get the Lamanites drunk in the city of Gid and arm and rescue the prisoners in that city, and reclaim possession of it.
Years later, Moroni was having some problems with a group of men called king-men, who were so called because they wanted to destroy the liberty of the people and replace the chief judge with a king. Moroni had written to Pahoran for help in the war, and the Lamanites attacked before the help could arrive. Moroni wrote again, chastising him in the process, and this time Pahoran wrote back, saying that these king-men had driven him from the judgment seat. Moroni was happy that Pahoran was faithful to his country, but at the same time he was angry at this development, and went through the land, leaving command of his Armies in the hands of trusted Command Staff, and led an insurrection of the people to the aid of Pahoran, and to battle against these king-men, killing their king, Pachus, and taking his men prisoner. He and Pahoran then proceeded to regain control of their city of Nephihah, which they had lost, restoring the peoples form of representative government.
After fortifying the Nephites' lands, Moroni transferred command of his armies to his son Moronihah, and permanently retired to his own home. And less than four years after that event, in the 36th year of the reign of the judges, or 56 BC, Captain Moroni, military leader of the Nephite people, died. According to the chronology of years, listing the time from when Moroni took command of the armies at age 25, he would have been approximately 45 years old when he died.
Apparently, Mormon himself regarded Moroni as a great leader, for he gave that name to his own son and added a rather unique and lengthy editorialization of him in Alma 48:11-13, 16-18.
|Nephite military leader
From the 18th year of the reign of the judges, or c. 74 BC, to the 31st-35th years, or 60-57 BC
Notes and references
- Source: Book of Mormon, Book=Alma, Chapter=46, Verse=12
- Alma 43:16
- Alma 43:16-17
- Alma 46:10-12
- Alma 48:16-18
- Valletta, Thomas R. (1992). "The Captain and the Covenant". In Nyman, Monte S.; Tate, Charles D., Jr. The Book of Mormon: Alma, the Testimony of the Word. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. p. 223–48. ISBN 0-8849-4841-2.