In a defining moment during the Nephite struggle against their adversaries, the Lamanites, an anonymous soldier distinguished himself not only as a defender of his Captain, Moroni, but also as an agent of psychological warfare pivotal to ending a fierce conflict. In the face of Moroni’s proposed terms for peace, the Lamanite leader, Zerahemnah, launched an assassination attempt on Captain Moroni, but was thwarted by the quick actions of this soldier. With deft skill, he incapacitated Zerahemnah by breaking his sword and removing his scalp (Alma 44:12). This impromptu tactic was followed by a calculated display, wherein the soldier elevated the severed scalp upon his sword, and emphatically declared that just as Zerahemnah’s scalp had fallen, so would all Lamanites who refused to lay down their arms and agree to peace.
This speech struck fear and realization into many of the Lamanite warriors, leading them to surrender (Alma 44:14-15). Although remaining unnamed in the scriptural account, the soldier’s actions at this juncture speak volumes of his valor, commitment to the cause of liberty and his leaders, and his understanding of the psychological impact of symbolism within warfare. Moroni’s soldier’s actions did not merely impact the immediate battle but added a storied chapter to the enduring legacy of Nephite military prowess and resolve.