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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chapter 54

Chelsea and I have decided to switch days, so this is my first Wednesday post. Hopefully I'll do a little better about getting it done on my actual day and not the day after!

This is an interesting chapter. It's done completely in letters between Moroni and Ammoron, king of the Lamanites. Moroni is interested when Ammoron proposes an exchange of prisoners. One thing that shows the difference between the two armies was that the Nephites only took soldiers prisoner, but the Lamanites took women and children too. So Moroni hopes to exchange one Lamanite for one Nephite plus his wife and children. The language of the epistle surprises me. Moroni calls Ammoron a "child of hell", tells him that the wrath of God will be coming upon him and his armies, and really uses such harsh language that Ammoron's response is no surprise. I've always wondered why he is so harsh if he really wanted to have a chance at exchanging prisoners. I bet that at this point he was so disgusted with the evilness of Ammoron that he didn't really want to negotiate with him. He says "ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to defend ourselves." This to me is one of the principles that stands out in these war chapters. War is an evil thing. Captain Moroni does sometimes go on the offensive, but he largely sticks to a defensive strategy, and because of this the Lord blesses them. Both sides end up killing the other, but for the Lamanites it is murder and for the Nephites it is only defending themselves, and the Lord judges them accordingly.

Ammoron responds in anger. While he does agree to Moroni's terms for the exchange of prisoners, he insults the Nephites and their religion, tells Moroni that they will both be in hell together (yikes!) and weirdly enough, accuses their ancestors of wrongly stealing the Lamanites' right to government. What? That is such a strange claim. I guess they felt that they should have ruled over the Nephites from the beginning. I can't even comprehend how they must have twisted history to think that way.

Anyway, there's not a lot to this chapter, but it's interesting to witness the difference between the righteous anger of Moroni and the wicked anger of Ammoron.

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