“But Behold They Are Gone”

Alan C. Miner

According to Jerry Ainsworth, Moroni finally reports in A.D. 400--fifteen years after Cumorah--that "my father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go" (Mormon 8:5). Moroni further says--also fifteen years after Cumorah--that the Lamanites "have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more" (Mormon 8:7). That means that immediately after the battle of Cumorah the destruction of the Nephites was not complete. It was not until A.D. 400 that Moroni could say of the Nephite nation, "Behold, they are gone" (Mormon 8:3). Thus while Mormon had witnessed "almost all the destruction of my people" (Words of Mormon 1:1), it was left to Moroni to declare that "they are gone" (Mormon 8:3). Mormon's fears concerning the "utter destruction" of his people "like unto the Jaredites" had come true (see Moroni 9:22-23). Not only had Nephi, a thousand years earlier, predicted the utter destruction of the Nephites (2 Nephi 26:9-11), so had Alma in 73 B.C. (see Alma 45:14). [Jerry L. Ainsworth, The Lives and Travels of Mormon and Moroni, p. 197] [See the commentary on 3 Nephi 27:32]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary