I… Will Not Deny the Christ

Moroni 1

Moroni presents just a matter of fact account of his situation where for the safety of his own life, and the integrity of his personal witness of the Christ, he must keep himself hidden. The reason for all this: Lamanites will kill any Nephite who will not deny the Christ, Moroni will not deny the Christ.

Again, it seems like a matter of fact statement: He doesn’t want to die, but he won’t deny the Christ. The footnotes suggest to me that there is much more depth to this statement, and how I, in less perilous circumstances, can act in relationship to my testimony of the Christ.

Matthew 10:32-33 give us the setup. To confess or deny the Christ before men; this has eternal ramifications. But then 3 Nephi 29:5 reveals the meat of issue: “Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!” This reminds me that financial systems, the philosophies of Babylon, and social agendas of the day are not the works of the Lord. Or rather that the works of the Lord are different from all this. There is much more for me to unpack here on a different day.

New Day, in the halls of my memory is a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley which I’ve gone searching for this morning:

The Church has been moving out across the world in a remarkable and wonderful way, and the story of its growth and expansion is the story of God moving in His majesty and power.

“An Ensign to the Nations”, Church News, October 1997

I need not remind you that this cause in which we are engaged is not an ordinary cause. It is the cause of Christ. It is the kingdom of God our Eternal Father. It is the building of Zion on the earth, the fulfillment of prophecy given of old and of a vision revealed in this dispensation.

“An Ensign to the Nations”, General Conference, October 1989

This latter quote offers great perspectives on service in the church. Am I denying the Christ and his works by withholding my labors in the Church?

Moroni then sets the stage for a few final instructions. He had assumed the book was complete, but the will of the Lord was that there was more to be had. And these final chapters are what in my mind cement the Book of Mormon into being the most correct of any book on earth. It is amazing what is added at the end, when previously, even Moroni assumed the work was completed.

As I re-read Moroni’s speculations in verse 4, “contrary to that which I had supposed” and “that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day,” I can’t help but feel that Moroni was truly wrestling with the Lord in these matters. These final chapters then are the “further in, and further up” described by C. S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia. This is the will of the Lord being dictated to a prophet, after he thought his work was done. The more I contemplate the position of this book, the more excited I get about it, even though I feel I know it all very well.

This is also the second chapter in a row that ends with an acknowledgement of the will of the Lord being realized. Ether ended his book with that declaration. Moroni now stands a second witness that the will of the Lord will be done.

Leave a comment