Friday, July 13, 2007

Alma 59-63

Epistle Unanswered

After Moroni received the epistle from Helaman, he sent an epistle to Pahoran asking him to send reinforcements. But they never arrived and the city of Nephihah fell. Moroni and his commanders marveled at this turn of events. It must have been frustrating for them to work so hard only to have their efforts defeated because of lack of concern from Zarahelma.

These events prompted Moroni to write another epistle to Pahoran and was also the cause of Moroni's tongue-lashing.


Moroni reminds Pahoran that he cannot sit idly and watch and expect the Lord to deliver them. (Alma 60:11) They must act … they must do something. So must we act in our callings. Nothing is free in life. We all must pay the price of work and commitment to accomplish our goals.

The Benefit of the Doubt

Moroni used heavy words in his epistle to Pahoran. He even accused Pahoran of being a traitor! But despite all these accusations and assumptions, Pahoran did not strike back. He held his tongue and even rejoiced in "the greatness" of Moroni's heart.

Are we quick to judge and assume the worst in others? I recall a quote I read while I was in the MTC. I copied it down in my notebook and read it often during my mission. The quote is from Marvin J. Ashton.

He said, "Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other." (Marvin J. Ashton, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, 18)

The End of the War

Once the elitists were rooted out in Zarahemla, Moroni sent provisions and men to Helaman and Lehi and Teancum. Then Moroni and Pahoran successfully regained Nephihah. From there, they went to the Land of Lehi and battled the Lamanites. Lehi and Teancum were also there. Teancum went on his 2nd assassination mission and killed Ammoron. But this time Teancum did not escape. The next day, the Nephites route the Lamanites and the war ended.

End Notes

The last chapter of Alma closes many doors. Moroni retires and gives his command to his son Moronihah. Moronihah successfully defeats the Lamanites.

Over five thousand men with their families, depart to the land northward. Perhaps this was a strategic move on the Nephites part. Just as Moroni had people settle the east wilderness after he cleared it of Lamanites, the Nephites saw a need to establish cities and lands to the north.

Hagoth builds ships and sails west. It is commonly believed, in the Church, that the Polynesians are descended from Hagoth and those who went with him. There is an interesting article in the March 1975 Ensign that refers to this belief. Click the link to read more.

Alma gave the records to his son Helaman. Helaman gave the records and sacred things to his brother Shiblon. Shiblon gave the records and sacred things to Helaman's son named Helaman.

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