1 Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.
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.
3 And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
After writing the history of the Jaredite civilization and believing that his work was done, Moroni wandered for a long time, perhaps years. When he returned to the record, surprised to have survived for so long, he gave his modern readers a diverse collection of materials as a kind of epilogue to the book:
- Some specific instructions from the Savior about how to perform ordinances (Moroni 2-5).
- An overview of how the church should operate (Moroni 6).
- One of his father’s sermons and two letters from his father (Moroni 7-9).
- Some concluding exhortations to his readers (Moroni 10).
In the passage above, he describes his own circumstances. His people, the Nephites, have been destroyed. Their enemies, the Lamanites, are all fighting against each other. Every Nephite who is found by the Lamanites must disavow their belief in Jesus Christ or be killed. But Moroni refuses to face that choice: “I…will not deny the Christ,” He tells us; “wherefore, I wander withersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.”
There ought to be things that we value more than life itself. There ought to be causes that matter more to us than our own survival. For Moroni, it was his faith in Jesus Christ. He knew that the Savior lives, and he was willing to live a solitary and precarious existence in order to be true to that faith.
Today, I will strive to follow Moroni’s example. I will recommit to the fundamental truths I know and which matter more to me than my own life: that I have a Heavenly Father who loves all of His children, that I have a Savior who gave His life for me, and that God really does communicate with His children through prophets and through the gift of the Holy Ghost.