Monday, October 23, 2017

Moroni 1: Last of the Time Lords

Well, we're on the home stretch, folks.  Our last Book of Mormon prophet has just a few more pages to finish his tragic tale and impart his final words of advice.  Or something.

Double Standards Only Apply to Other People
Moroni briefly touches on the current attitude of Lamanite society in verse 2:
For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ.
Why does Moroni seem to think this is such a terrible thing?  I mean, it's basically the religious version of what Captain Moroni did, and he's a valiant hero in the annals of Mormonism.  He put to death every Lamanite prisoner who wouldn't agree to the cause of freedom.  The Lamanites are apparently putting to death every Nephite who wouldn't disagree with the cause of Christianity.  Both of these things appear to me to be equally morally repugnant.  But somehow, there's a world of difference between slaughtering people who won't abandon a different political ideology and slaughtering people who won't abandon a different religious ideology.  Or maybe the important distinction here is that this time it's the bloodthirsty savages doing it instead of the white and delightsome people.

Travel Logistics
It cracks me up that in verses 1 and 4, Moroni is basically like, "Well, I figured I'd be dead by the time I finished abridging the Jaredite records, but apparently I'm still alive.  So what the hell, I'll just write down some more stuff."

But more importantly, I don't understand why he apparently has to keep wandering around, lugging these metal plates with him everywhere.  It's a big continent.  Couldn't he have traveled to an area hundreds of miles outside of the Lamanite territory and just built himself a little hut to live out the rest of his years in?  I think most of us have this romantic image in our heads of Moroni spending his final days in constant motion, hiding from murderous Lamanites, but that doesn't actually make a lot of sense.  If he's the last of his kind, I really doubt that the Lamanites are going to expend much effort to hunt down one guy.

If the Book of Mormon took place in the heartland of the USA, Moroni could have just gone to Mexico.  If it took place in South America, he could have retired to California.  If it took place in both places, surely there was somewhere he could escape to.  I'm sure he'd be cold in Canada, but cold beats dead any day.  So really, this concept of an always-moving Moroni scribbling down the final chapters of the Book of Mormon while he's on the run for his life makes very little sense.  Was Moroni really that dumb that he didn't realize that just travelling a couple hundred miles north would be enough for the Lamanite armies to give up the chase?

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