Friday, November 12, 2010

A type of Christ: Captain Moroni freeing the prisoners of the city of Gid

This was something that I realized in a flash yesterday, so I went back to the chapter to check and see and it seems it is true. In many respects, this story about Captain Moroni liberating the city of Gid is a very good type of Christ and how He saves us from our sins. (I just have to say at the beginning that I’m not sure how the strategy of getting the Lamanite guards drunk fits into it (if you have any ideas, please share them in the comments), but in other respects, the story closely parallels how Christ helps us.)
16 And now this was according to the design of Moroni. And Moroni had prepared his men with weapons of war; and he went to the city Gid, while the Lamanites were in a deep sleep and drunken, and cast in weapons of war unto the prisoners, insomuch that they were all armed;
17 Yea, even to their women, and all those of their children, as many as were able to use a weapon of war, when Moroni had armed all those prisoners; and all those things were done in a profound silence….
19….Moroni…did not delight in murder or bloodshed, but he delighted in the saving of his people from destruction….
20 But he had obtained his desires; for he had armed those prisoners of the Nephites who were within the wall of the city, and had given them power to gain possession of those parts which were within the walls.
21 And then he caused the men who were with him to withdraw a pace from them, and surround the armies of the Lamanites.
22 Now behold this was done in the night-time, so that when the Lamanites awoke in the morning they beheld that they were surrounded by the Nephites without, and that their prisoners were armed within.
23 And thus they saw that the Nephites had power over them; and in these circumstances they found that it was not expedient that they should fight with the Nephites; therefore their chief captains demanded their weapons of war, and they brought them forth and cast them at the feet of the Nephites, pleading for mercy.
24 Now behold, this was the desire of Moroni. He took them prisoners of war, and took possession of the city, and caused that all the prisoners should be liberated, who were Nephites; and they did join the army of Moroni, and were a great strength to his army. (Alma 55:16-17, 19-24)
Notice all the things that Captain Moroni did. He prepared his men. They prepared weapons. (Armor of God, anyone? Sword of the Spirit?) He armed the prisoners. He gave them power to gain possession of the city. He withdrew and surrounded the city. Then, when the Lamanites surrendered, he took them prisoners. He took possession of the city. And he liberated all the prisoners.

When we are prisoners of sin, Christ has a plan for freeing us. Christ prepared His weapons—the great Atonement, the armor of God, and the sword of the Spirit. He prepares His men, all the prophets and church leaders and missionaries. He gives to those of us who want to be free weapons and armor to use—again, the armor of God and the sword of the Spirit, and the Atonement—which gives us power to free ourselves. Then He withdraws a bit and surrounds us with His armies of servants, so that we know we’re not doing it alone. In these conditions, sin MUST and DOES surrender, and Christ takes sin and the devil prisoner. Then Christ takes possession of our lives and liberates us and join him and his army and add our strength to it. (What a great truth that is—when Christ takes possession of us, we are liberated!)

One extra thing I want to point out—there is a curious phrase used in this story. When the prisoners were being armed, it says that “all those things were done in a profound silence.” Why do you think it was a “profound silence” instead of just “silence”?

I looked up “profound” using my dictionary widget and it said that it meant
  • “(of a state, quality, or emotion) very great or intense”
  • “(of a person or statement) having or showing great knowledge or insight”
  • “(of a subject or thought) demanding deep study or thought”
  • “at, from, or extending to great depth; very deep.”
How does that word “profound” make a difference in the meaning of this story if we are comparing it to how Christ liberates us from sin? Please share with me what you think.


Morgan D said...

Excellent post Micheala. For the getting drunk part perhaps you could look at Christ who "drank the bitter cup" the Father gave him, who "trod the winepress alone", who will let us drink of the leaves" (thats a wine term from the B of Revelation) and other similar analogies. Oh and don't forget that the harlot in revelation drinks of the whine of fornication and other such phrases. So I think there is alot you could compare with the getting drunk part of the story.

Michaela Stephens said...

Good ideas, Morgan.

I thought of one too. Just like Captain Moroni got the Lamanites drunk to rearm the prisoners, Christ has to subdue our natural man to begin the process of liberating our spiritual man.