- “I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me” (Moroni 1:1).
- “I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord” (Moroni 1:4).
Jesus said, “Love your enemies” (3 Nephi 12:44, Matthew 5:44). As a disciple of Christ, Moroni epitomizes this principle. All of his friends and family, including his father, Mormon, have been been destroyed in battle with the Lamanites. Those who escaped “were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed” (Mormon 8:2). Moroni was forced to constantly move “for the safety of mine own life” (Moroni 1:3). And yet, when he returns to his father’s book to write the final chapters, who is his audience? The Lamanites.
In the first chapter of his book, Moroni emphasizes the danger he faces because the Lamanites “put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2). Yet he immediately tells us that he is writing these final words for their benefit. The next to last chapter in his book is a letter from his father describing the brutality of both the Nephites and the Lamanites. Yet Moroni’s final chapter is addressed to “my brethren, the Lamanites” (Moroni 10:1). On the title page, he expands the audience somewhat, to include “Jew and Gentile,” but the first audience he mentions is “the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel.”
What is the message to us? A disciple of Jesus Christ loves all of God’s children—even those with whom we disagree, who are unkind to us, or who don’t seem to deserve our love.
Referring to the Savior’s teaching to love our enemies, President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
Most of us have not reached that stage of compassion and love and forgiveness. It is not easy. It requires a self-discipline almost greater than we are capable of. But as we try, we come to know that there is a resource of healing, that there is a mighty power of healing in Christ, and that if we are to be His true servants we must not only exercise that healing power in behalf of others, but, perhaps more important, inwardly.“The Healing Power of Christ,” General Conference, October 1988
And President Dallin H. Oaks assured us:
Loving our enemies and our adversaries is not easy…. But it must be essential, for it is part of the Savior’s two great commandments to “love the Lord thy God” and to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). And it must be possible, for He also taught, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7).“Love Your Enemies,” General Conference, October 2020
Today, I will follow Moroni’s example. I will strive to love and serve others, even those who are difficult to love. I will remember that the Savior’s admonition to love others includes all of God’s children.