Lessons from Moroni: an unepected path

 I love reading the Book of Mormon and search every time I read for something I can relate to my own life:"for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23).

Just a note here though, sometimes I let the busy-ness of my life overwhelm me and I take a nibble instead of sitting down for the full feast that is there for me....but, I digress... that is not what this post is about!!

This past week I have been reading about Moroni.

Moroni gives us the sacrament prayers, he talks about how "Jesus gave the twelve Nephite disciples power to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost", how to ordain priests and teachers, how to administer the sacrament, how the Church operates and how repentant people are forgiven and baptized and nourished by "the good word of God".

At this time, Moroni is not blessing and passing the sacrament to anyone. He is not baptizing or ordaining others, he is not actually doing any of the things he is writing about. Now, he may have done these things previously, but for a large part of his life, his people were at war. He is not necessarily speaking from his own experience, but rather, he is reading and learning from the records he is reading....just as we learn from reading about the experiences of those whose writings are contained in the Book of Mormon. We don't have to learn from our own experiences alone. Just as Moroni did, we can glean from the words of others.

Moroni then goes on to recall what his father had taught about faith and hope and charity. This is one of the most powerful parts of the book of Mormon to me because Moroni has been surrounded his entire life by war and destruction and evil and yet he is writing of faith and hope and love. Moroni understands the role of Jesus Christ in our salvation and in helping us endure our trials. Moroni speaks of hoping for salvation through Christ: he talks of charity, the pure love of Christ. Moroni might know of praying for charity with "all energy of heart" as he himself prayed for love for those who caused so much destruction around him.

And Moroni understands our relationship with our Savior. We are not perfected by ourselves: it is "by his grace" that we "may be perfect in Christ": we become compete through our dependence on Christ.

What wonderful scriptures came from Moroni's very different path. He didn't think he was going to still be around. In chapter 1 he says: (vs.1) "I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me" (vs.2) "because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ" (vs.3) "I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life." (vs.4) "Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more"

Do you get the picture that this is not at all what Moroni was anticipating? He had thought he would be done and not writing anything more. But here he is, constantly fleeing for his life, and writing for us. Like Moroni, are we on very different paths that we thought we would be on? If so, we can learn from Moroni that no matter what we are going through, no matter how difficult the circumstances we find ourselves in, we need to "remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts" (chpt 10: vs. 3). Then through prayer, faith, hope, and charity, we can also be blessed with the assurance that Moroni had despite his circumstances.