20. Did Moroni Foresee the Time of His Death?


20. Did Moroni Foresee the Time of His Death?

Copyright © 2015 by Jerry L. Ainsworth

I believe that Moroni buried the plates twice in upstate New York—where young Joseph Smith discovered them some fourteen hundred years later. The first time Moroni buried the plates, he expected to be discovered and killed in short order. When that did not happen, he retrieved the plates, added his short book, and reburied them (see Moroni 1:1 and Moroni 1:4).

Moroni and the Brother of Jared Saw All Events on the Earth

One of the questions that such a scenario raises is the following: How could Moroni not have known when he would be discovered and killed because he, as well as the brother of Jared, Ether, and others, had seen everything that had happened and would happen on this planet?

And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth. (Ether 3:25)

Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared. (Ether 4:4)

They Saw Events—but No Timeline

Here’s my explanation. Although the Urim and Thummim, as well as the plates of Ether, did show to Moroni every event to take place on this planet, there was not a timeline associated with those visuals. In other words, even though Moroni knew he was to be killed by the Lamanites, which is implied in Moroni 1:1, he did not know the precise timeline for that happening:

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. (Moroni 1:1)

To me, this suggests that Moroni expected his murder to take place immediately after he buried the plates. Because that did not happen, he decided to write a little more, which is why we have the book of Moroni.

As I thought about this, I realized that although it is possible for a seer to envision the whole history of the planet in a very short space of time, it would be next to impossible for those images to have a precise timeline with each image. If that were the case, we would have to watch the history of the world in real time—or close to it.

A seer, when envisioning these events of the world, knows where they fit in relationship to the history of the world by their relationship to other events—rather than by a detailed timeline. In other words, events A, B, and C took place before Christ, whereas events X, Y, and Z took place after Christ (an oversimplification).

No Person Knows the Hour of the Savior’s Coming

If true, this may explain why Jesus said that even though people like the brother of Jared, Ether, and others had seen the whole history of the world, no one knew the day or the hour of His Second Coming (see Matthew 24:22).

There was not a timeframe associated with these events. The seers who viewed these future events clearly understood that Jesus would have to hasten His coming, but they were given no timeline in connection with what they saw. That is, none of them knew the day or the hour of the Second Coming.

Contact me with a question or comment: eljefejla@aol.com

Ainsworth, Jerry L.