Today I read Alma 46, which most people will recognize as the chapter that Captain Moroni hoists the title of Liberty. I however, view this chapter as a good example instead of why Mormon later says his famous line about Moroni that if all men had been and would be men like Moroni, it would cause the powers of hell to shake. This chapter helps us understand why that is.
The reason Mormon said that about Moroni, and the reason it is true, can be found in verse 35. Moroni would not allow any dissention on the cause of freedom and liberty. When the people of Amalickiah were captured Moroni offered them a choice, swear an oath to uphold liberty, or be put to death.
Now to some that may seem harsh, but it is necessary. I remember a Sunday School lesson once that my Dad actually taught on the Old Testament. He talked about the Israelites taking over Israel when they moved in after their 40 years of wandering and how the Lord commanded them to slaughter every man, woman and child. My Dad asked why that was and no one had an answer. Then he said something profound. It only takes one spec to make something imperfect. Just one small, tiny imperfection makes it imperfect. The Lord knows that, that is why we are commanded to be perfect. Moroni knew it too.
Moroni recognized that if he allowed these people to live, who openly stated that they had no intention of upholding the freedoms of the people, it would spread like a cancer. He knew that as harsh as it was, just like a cancer, it had to be cut out immediately before it could spread. He was actually quite ruthless about it. But think of the benefits that were gained from doing this! What if each of us could cut out the imperfections in each of us just as effectively. What good could we do?
If each of us were as brutal with ourselves as Moroni was with the dissenters, the powers of hell really would be shaken forever, never to recover. If each of us could root out our imperfections with such tenacity, there would be peace on earth. That is why every man should strive to be a Captain Moroni. We should each of us strive to be the type of man who will not rest when an imperfection in ourselves is found until it is purged. That is why every young woman should strive to marry a Captain Moroni.
Now it should be pointed out of course that Moroni was not a bloodthirsty man. I fully believe that he took no pleasure in doing what had to be done. It was necessary and so he did it, but I believe it was hard for him to do. And that's the difference between Moroni and a tyrant who kills those who will not follow him. In the coming days we will talk more about Moroni and who we should all strive to be like him as we read the rest of the war chapters. For I believe this is the very reason they were included in the Book of Mormon. Until tomorrow.