Alma 62

Alma 62:4 he did raise the standard of liberty in whatsoever place he did enter

Hugh Nibley

" soon as Moroni raised his Title of Liberty the people flocked in ecstatic thousands to the well-known banner. Moroni and Pahoran, now fast friends, made a triumphant progress through the land, culminating in a battle in which the army of King Pachus and his supporters was quickly beaten (Alma 62:3-8)...This was the third time that his Title of Liberty had been called out to put down a royalist coalition, timed to take advantage of a great national crisis..." (Since Cumorah, p. 328.)

Alma 62:10 whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed

Ironically, a Nephite was more likely to suffer execution at the hands of Moroni than a Lamanite was. Time and time again, Moroni lets the Lamanite prisoners go if they covenant to fight no longer. On the other hand, Moroni considered Nephite traitors a much greater threat than Lamanite soldiers. Accordingly, for the safety of their country, he speedily executed those who remained in defiance. Tragically, the Nephite inner vessel was cleansed by the blood of its own people.

"One might ask, Why compel men to fight or be executed? The answer is simple: treason is a serious offense. Pachus and his men were committed to the overthrow of Nephite freedom. To permit to live men who insisted on using the sword to destroy the very thing Moroni's soldiers were fighting and dying to preserve would be treason to the God-inspired cause of liberty. This neither Moroni nor Pahoran would do." (Book of Mormon Student Manual, 1981, p. 348)

Alma 62:29 all the prisoners of the Lamanites did join the people of Ammon

Hugh Nibley

"Plainly everybody was getting rather tired of war when thousands of Lamanite warriors began to see the light-that the people of Ammon were the really sensible people after all. And so the wicked Lamanites, who had made life a hell for the Nephites for as long as anyone could remember, whose territories and resources still remained intact and unravaged by war, and who still outnumbered the Nephites by an immense margin, were dismissed without even a reprimand, and in short order became model citizens of the Nephite realm (Alma 62:29). This also solved the vexing prisoner of war problem." (Since Cumorah, p. 328.)

Alma 62:39 they had had wars, and bloodsheds, and famine, and affliction , for the space of many years

The war had been constant for the last 6 years (Alma 51-62), but Moroni had been fighting wars, off and on, for the last 14 years or so. An entire generation was raised amidst a continual revolution of war and bloodshed. We can only imagine what kind of effect this had upon the people.

"Mormon has every right to comment at the end of his war account...Mormon's long report of this costly war almost gives us a distaste for war just by its sheer length, not to mention the account of suffering, destruction, and blood. It is almost as if Mormon were using the length of the account to help us feel the tedium of war. He certainly does not glorify war. He shows that men, women, and children suffer and die. He shows the great Nephite general, Moroni, angry and frustrated that the war drags on and that suffering and death continue (Alma 60). He also shows that the Nephites should have believed God's word and repented. He shows that the word of God is more powerful than the sword because it prevents the sword-it prevents sorrow and suffering. It sanctifies the soul, and brings salvation. The best the sword can do is humble someone enough to pay attention to the word of God." (Gerald Hansen, Jr., Alma, the Testimony of the Word, edited by Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr., p. 278 - 279.)

Alma 62:40 because of the prayers of the righteous, they were spared

Spencer W. Kimball

"There are many upright and faithful who live all the commandments and whose lives and prayers keep the world from destruction." (Ensign, June 1971, p. 16 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 370)

Alma 62:41 many had become hardened...and many were softened

"As a missionary in Germany I was reading one evening Alma 62:41, which states:  'But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.'

"I thought, how true to life. As we tracted from door to door a few years after Germany's defeat in World War I and saw the people's suffering, we found many Germans bitter and asking how God could permit such suffering. And we met many who were humble and compassionate as a result of their suffering. Ever since, I have observed how suffering and privation affect people. I find it either hardens or refines them, just as the Book of Mormon observed in that day." (Lowell Bennion, Converted to Christ through the Book of Mormon, edited by Eugene England, p. 160-1)

Spencer J. Condie

"Participants in that great [Nephite] war had all suffered similar deprivations and hardships. The terror of war had impacted them more or less equally. But from this same experience, some of the people 'had become hardened' while many others were 'softened because of their afflictions.' We may not be able to change our current circumstances, our failing health, our economic challenges, our loneliness from being apart from loved ones, but we can employ our moral agency to change our attitude toward those circumstances and toward the future. There are many, many avenues to joy and fulfillment within the constraints of our immediate environment, and one of the most productive courses of action is to forget ourselves and begin serving others." (Your Agency, Handle with Care, p. 21)

Dallin H. Oaks

"...great adversities are not without some eternal purpose or effect. They can turn our hearts to God...Such large-scale adversities as natural disasters and wars seem to be inherent in the mortal experience. We cannot entirely prevent them, but we can determine how we will react to them. For example, the adversities of war and military service, which have been the spiritual destruction of some, have been the spiritual awakening of others. The Book of Mormon describes the contrast: (quotes Alma 62:41).

"I read of a similar contrast after the devastating hurricane that destroyed thousands of homes in Florida some years ago. A news account quoted two different persons who had suffered the same tragedy and received the same blessing: each of their homes had been totally destroyed, but each of their family members had been spared death or injury. One said that this tragedy had destroyed his faith; how, he asked, could God allow this to happen? The other said that the experience had strengthened his faith. God had been good to him, he said. Though the family's home and possessions were lost, their lives were spared and they could rebuild the home. For one, the glass was half empty. For the other, the glass was half full. The gift of moral agency empowers each of us to choose how we will act when we suffer adversity." (Ensign, July 1998, p. 7)

Alma 62:43 Moroni yielded up the command of his armies...that he might spend the remainder of his days in peace

Moroni was probably only about 42 years old when he retired. His military career had been a long and arduous one, and it took its toll. Hugh Nibley said of Moroni, "He's an overachiever, he's a military genius, and he only lives a very short life. He just wears himself out, I think. He's that sort of person." (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1, p. 190)

While he could have expected any political office or social standing, he preferred to drift off into a peaceful oblivion. As Douglas MacArthur once said, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." Moroni's faithful fading away was the final proof that he had no personal political agenda-that he did not seek for power, honor, or glory, except for the glory of his God (Alma 60:36).

Joe J. Christensen

"This Moroni is a heroic ideal and model for our times. He is one whose life and characteristics should be understood by the older and taught to the younger so that they will never be able to say honestly that they do not have a hero worthy of emulation. He is one who taught us powerfully of those values-those priceless blessings-worth fighting and even dying for.

"Captain Moroni was a believer in Christ and defended His cause. He followed the example of the Savior's development and 'increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man' (Luke 2:52). Of him it has been recorded: 'Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men' (Alma 48:17).

"Our young people today need heroes who go beyond the popular musicians, comedians, great athletes, the rich, and the famous. They, and all of us, need to know of people like Captain Moroni, whose influence will live long after the applause of those who are currently popular has faded away.

"May we all emulate his example." (Heroes from the Book of Mormon, p. 133-4)