According to the Book of Mormon, Moroni was the son of Mormon, the prophet for whom the Book of Mormon is ostensibly named. Moroni is often easily confused with Captain Moroni, a much earlier Book of Mormon figure that Mormon greatly admired. It is not explicitly stated in the Book of Mormon whether this Moroni is named after Captain Moroni and at least one alternate theory has also been proposed.
The Book of Mormon tells that Moroni served under his father, the commander in chief of 220,000 Nephites who battled against the Lamanites. Upon the Nephites' defeat, Moroni was forced to go into hiding and to wander from place to place to avoid being killed by the victorious Lamanites. (See Cumorah for more information on this battle.) Moroni was the last known survivor of the Nephite nation.
Moroni had been commanded by his father to complete the Nephite record, which Mormon had abridged from previous records. Moroni is the ascribed author of chapters 8 and 9 of the Book of Mormon (Mormon's record within the larger Book of Mormon), the entire Book of Moroni, and the Title Page of the Book of Mormon. He is also said to have written the Book of Ether, which is primarily an abridgment of Jaredite writings but also contains extensive commentary by Moroni, especially in Ether 4, Ether 5, Ether 8, and Ether 12. Moroni was the last prophet to write in the Book of Mormon.
Moroni claimed that he had seen and spoken to Jesus face to face and that he had been shown extensive visions of the future. Speaking directly to modern-day readers of the Book of Mormon, Moroni writes, "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing."
Upon completion of the record, written on golden plates, Moroni supposedly buried the plates in a stone box in a hill in what is now Wayne County, New York, where they were recovered by Joseph Smith. A 12-meter granite and bronze monument to Moroni has been placed by Latter-day Saints on this hill, which they call Cumorah.
In Latter Day Saint belief, Moroni was resurrected after his death and became an angel who was tasked with guarding the golden plates, and with eventually directing Joseph Smith to their location in the 1820s.
- Smith, Joseph, Jr. (July 1838), "Editor's note", Elders' Journal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1 (3), http://www.solomonspalding.com/docs/eldjur03.htm .
|Nephite record keeper|
A.D. ca. 400 - ca. 421