What’s happening? The Lamanites, led by Nephite dissenters, are waging war against the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and the Nephites. Captain Moroni is called to lead.
Why does it matter? This is the beginning of what are causally referred to as the war chapters.
Between the lines: Some people have a tendency to skip over the so-called war chapters (Alma 43-63) but look for hidden gems amid the history chronicle.
Quote of the day: “We must be involved in a good and a righteous cause. We must see through the glass clearly, with an objective look at ourselves and families so as not to be caught in the second great calamitous worldwide flood that is even now all around us. It has been prophesied that the faithful will win this great war, that they will triumphantly rise up to meet the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His second coming.” ~ DA Woolsey, 1995
43:2-3 Knowing the Book of Mormon is specifically for our day, why do you think Mormon included so much about war?
“War is basically selfish. Its roots feed in the soil of envy, hatred, desire for domination. Its fruits, therefore, is always bitter…. War impels you to hate your enemies. The Prince of Peace says, pray for them that curse you. War says, injure and kill them that hate you. The risen Lord says, ‘do good to them that hate you.'” ~ DO Mckay
43:5-7 What do we know about the Amalekites and Zoramites?
43:11-14 Is it wrong to go to war or support a war effort?
“I have worn the uniform of my native land in the time of total conflict. I have smelled the stench of human dead and wept tears for slaughtered comrades. I have climbed amid the rubble of ravaged cities and contemplated in horror the ashes of a civilization sacrificed to Moloch (Amos 5:26); yet knowing this, with the issues as they are, were I called again to military service, I could not conscientiously object!” ~ BK Packer, 1968
43:16-17 Why do you think the Lord raised up a Captain Moroni? See also Alma 48:11, 13, 17
[Captain Moroni] had the courage to defend the truth at a time when there were many dissensions and wars which put at risk the very survival of the entire Nephite nation. Although he was brilliant in exercising his responsibilities, Moroni remained humble. This and other attributes made him an extraordinary instrument in the hands of God at that time. The book of Alma explains that if all men had been like Moroni, “the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; [and] the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” All of Moroni’s attributes stemmed from his great faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. and his firm determination to follow the voice of God and His prophets…. Captain Moroni aligned his faith in God and his testimony of the truth with the knowledge and wisdom found in the scriptures. In this way, he trusted that he would receive the blessings of the Lord and would obtain many victories, which is what, in fact, happened.” ~ U Soares, 2015
43:22-24 What does it tell you about a military leader who seeks guidance from a prophet? See also 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 18; 3 Nephi 3:19.
43:29-30 Why is it okay to use deception or stratagem against a warring enemy?
43:43-45, 48 How did the Nephites fight and why?
“There are, however, two conditions which may justify a truly Christian man to enter—mind you, I say enter, not begin—a war: (1) An attempt to dominate and to deprive another of his free agency, and, (2) Loyalty to his country. Possibly there is a third, viz., Defense of a weak nation that is being unjustly crushed by a strong, ruthless one. …Paramount among these reasons, of course, is the defense of man’s freedom. An attempt to rob man of his free agency caused dissension even in heaven…. To deprive an intelligent human being of his free agency is to commit the crime of the ages…. So fundamental in man’s eternal progress is his inherent right to choose, that the Lord would defend it even at the price of war. Without freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of action within lawful bounds, man cannot progress.” ~ DO Mckay, 1942