There are 11 thoughts on “An Ancient Survival Guide: John Bytheway’s Look at Moroni”.

  1. These reviews and comments prompt me to review my own experience of being a single man, active in the church from ages 14 to until 35.
    I was available. I served in teaching roles, on bishoprics and high councils. I could visit every church unit in the stake on a Sunday and not neglect my family. I did good work.
    Moroni was available. He wandered alone but not lonely too often. I see him in my minds eye visiting with those others who escaped. Building relationships here and there with those who remained faithful who went to the south and those of his hunters who may have stumbled across him from time to time. Until one day, towards the end, he really was left alone and he wrote those mournful and lonely words. That may have taken 18 of the 20 years.
    A sense of mission is palpable in his writings. His perspective was one of being about his Father’s work in a difficult situation.
    Many there are in our day who share that perspective, alone but not lonely, struggling against depression and sadness perhaps, but always maintaining a sense of going forwards towards better days.
    Moroni is a shining example for them.

  2. One of the joys in our life in China is spending Friday nights with young single adults who come over for dinner and Institute. There is so much promise and goodness among them, and they are doing great things in the Kingdom and in the world. Thank you for reminding us that some of the greatest things accomplished by Joseph and Moroni were done while single.

    • I rejoice in being reminded by Riddick’s review (and hence by Bytheway’s book) that Moroni accomplished great things, including moving the record that Mormon redacted (to which he contributed) to the place where young Joseph Smith recovered that record and thereby blessed all of us. I also marvel at Jeff Lindsay’s accomplishments, and I envy his experiences in China. We should all strive, even if single at whatever age or for whatever reason, to endure well our mortal probation.

  3. Jared Riddick, in this nice review, seems to have enjoyed reading Moroni’s Guide, and also crafting his delightful review essay. I envy Jared. I sometimes comment on books with which I must find fault. However, I have a book by N. T. (Tom) Wright. In 440 pages he addresses the what in the life, death (and hence the cross) and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth constitutes atonement. He specifically engages the penal substitution theory of atonement advanced by Luther and Calvin, which is the standard among conservative Protestant theologians.

    In this theory God the Son incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth becomes guilty of all sins of the entire human race. This draws the wrath of God the Father so that he has the incarnate God the Son murdered in the most terrible possible way. This divine justice, since Jesus of Nazareth got what he deserved. Humans who either happen to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, or who are predestined to do so, are freed from sin, and have their seat locked up in heaven.

    Wright challenges this non-negotiable element of the Protestant Reformation. I would love to try to engage his arguments on this and related issues, but I must fashion commentaries on books sometimes written by or about the history and faith of Latter-day saints that have serious flaws. This is neither easier nor more enjoyable, but still necessary.

  4. Pingback: An Ancient Survival Guide: John Bytheway’s Look at Moroni - Jared Riddick - The Mormonist

  5. Thanks for the review! I’ll have to give the book a look now.

    I’m reluctant at the idea of Moroni being forever a bachelor though. I don’t think there’s enough evidence to conclude that Moroni was never married. That he was alone during his wilderness wanderings is more apparent but we don’t know how old Moroni was when he was one of the Nephite generals in Mormon 6:12. I don’t imagine an exceeding young youth is leading ten thousand men into battle. Moroni is also old enough to be thoroughly trained in both writing and reading ancient scriptures, something that implies a more mature age. In Moroni’s introduction in Mormon 8:5 Moroni says that among his father being slain were also all of his kinsfolk. Really vague word that just might imply Moroni’s wife and children, among siblings and other extended family.

    So I don’t agree that the Book of Mormon makes it obvious that Moroni was both unmarried and a teenager. I think Bytheway points out a decent application for YSA and SA members of the church, I’m just not convinced that his conclusion squares up to the historical reality.

      • It looks like I read the article a little too quickly and it’s now clear that Joseph Smith was the teenager mentioned. Now I definitely need to read this book so that I’m not misrepresenting what is said in Brother Bytheway’s book. XD

    • The review indicates Bytheway is saying that the “unmarried teenager” through whom the restoration came was Joseph Smith, and that Moroni was a single adult for “at least the last twenty years of his life.” So Moroni could very well have been married at one time, but likely lost his wife and other family members prior to him being alone, as he describes, without friends or kinsfolk (Mormon 8:5).

    • Agreed, but those conclusions are not made in this book. We don’t know how old he was, or whether he may have been unmarried, or he may have lost his wife, it just doesn’t say in the text. The book only implies that he was unmarried at the time he took over for his father at the beginning of Mormon 8, since he said “I even remain alone” (Mormon 8:3), that he had no friends, and that “all [his] kinsfolk” had been killed (Mormon 8:5).

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