Captain Moroni

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Captain Moroni, commander of the Nephite forces from approximately 74-56 BCE. Artist's interpretation. Digital ZSculpt by Josh Cotton.
This article is about Captain Moroni, the Nephite leader who raised the Title of Liberty in The Book of Mormon. For other uses of this name, see Moroni.

According to the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni was an important Nephite military commander and patriot who lived during the 1st century BC. He is perhaps best known for raising a "title of liberty" as a call to arms for his people to defend their country, family, freedom, peace, and religion.[1] He is first mentioned in the Book of Alma as "the chief captain over the Nephites."[2]

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.

Captain Moroni shares a name with the prophet Moroni; the former is indexed[3] in the LDS edition of the Book of Mormon as Moroni1.

Early command[edit]

According to the Book of Mormon, Moroni was "only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain" of the Nephites.[4] 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. Moroni's overriding 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.

Moroni introduced to the Nephites revolutionary strategies in military tactics, safety, and precaution. He kept the people physically safe, while praying, guiding and leading his armies by divine intervention. 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[edit]

Captain Moroni raises the "Title of Liberty", as found in the 1910 book Cities in the Sun.

Moroni is 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 tore his coat and wrote upon it, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children".[5] With these words, he rallied his people to defend their families and their freedom and drove out the armies of Amalickiah. Moroni put to death any dissenters that remained and raised up the title of liberty upon every Nephite tower.

Moroni sought to strengthen the Nephites spiritually so as to be better prepared against the Lamanites, leading Mormon to comment on Moroni's righteousness.[6]

King-men[edit]

Years later, Moroni encountered 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 Pahoran in the process for failing to respond. Pahoran wrote back, saying that the king-men had driven him from the judgment seat and he had been unable to respond to Moroni's requests for assistance. Morini left command of his armies in the hands of his deputies and led an insurrection of the people against the king-men. The leader of the king-men, Pachus, was killed and his follwers were taken prisoner. Moroni and Pahoran regained control of the city of Nephihah, which they had lost, restoring the previous form of government by judges.

Retirement[edit]

After fortifying the Nephites' lands, Moroni transferred command of his armies to his son Moronihah and permanently retired to his own home. Four years later, in the 36th year of the reign of the judges (or approximately 56 B.C.), Moroni 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.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Source: Book of Mormon, Book=Alma, Chapter=46, Verse=12
  2. ^ Alma 43:16
  3. ^ Index
  4. ^ Alma 43:16-17
  5. ^ Alma 46:10-12
  6. ^ Alma 48:16-18

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Zoram
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
Succeeded by
Moronihah