Author: Thorne, Melvin J.
The first Moroni mentioned in the Book of Mormon (died c. 56 B.C.) was twenty-five years old when he was appointed captain of the nephite armies (Alma 43:16). He upheld the liberty of the Nephites against threats posed by invading armies and by "kingmen" who tried to reestablish a monarchy by force after failing to win popular support. Moroni rallied his people for a seven-year struggle by raising "the title of liberty," a banner on which he wrote his reasons for defense, and by having his people covenant to defend their freedom and obey God's commandments (Alma 46:12-13, 20).
Despite many battles, Moroni did not become bloodthirsty. He operated within legal authority, and when he gained advantage over enemies, he offered them freedom if they would lay down their weapons and take an oath not to war again. He introduced new armor and fortifications and sought the direction of a prophet about what his armies should do (Alma 43:23; see also Book of Mormon, History of Warfare in). Five hundred years later, Mormon, the chief editor and compiler of the Book of Mormon, wrote, "If all men had been like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever" (Alma 48:17). Mormon even named his son, Moroni 2, after him.