In contrast to his father Tjita, who adhered to the traditional totemic religion, the young boy Tjalkabota (born most likely in 1872) had concerns about aspects of traditional religion especially periodic tribal massacres.
He had painful memories from very early childhood of his family’s efforts to avoid never ending revenge killings. This was especially after the massacre of neighbours at Running Waters Irpmangkara in 1875, which included two of his playmates. (Moses biography, p242) His family group had deadly enemies on most sides and, as explained by Peter Latz, having no knowledge of anything better, young Tjalkabota could only assume that revenge was what life was all about. The situation changed with the arrival of Missionary Kempe and his group in 1875.
Tjalkabota accepted Christianity and chose Moses as his baptismal name in 1890. He was forcibly initiated in 1892, an event that would have given him acceptance later among his traditional people. Tjalkabota grew up to be a famous evangelist. Inspired by Pastor Kempe, Tjalkabota constantly showed pictures to his listeners as he argued that they demonstrated the truth behind the bible stories. He said that he could show pictures of Christ and his crucifixion to demonstrate the truth, unlike the symbolic marks incised on the stone or wood tjurrunga, which was given to each young initiate with his individual design. 
The symbolic marks on the sacred tjurunga stone, Philip Jones explained, were part of a flexible vocabulary of symbols.  Ian McLean states that tjurungas are pieces of stone or wood that are engraved with pictographic records of the owners’ Dreaming stories or genealogy. They are the most secret sacred objects for the Arrernte and a few other groups in central Australia.  Philip Jones continued that the two most potent “objects” in Arrernte cultural life have been the sacred tjurunga and the landscape which embodies these.  
Moses was an engaging talker. He was very intelligent. He had a dignified presence both in manner and in his custom of dressing in white. Moses was persuaded by Pastor Carl Strehlow, who took charge of the Mission in 1894, that the venereal diseases pervading and killing the local people could be controlled if partners were faithful to each other. Moses sought to persuade locals to change from violence in both revenge killings and toward women.
In keeping with his traditional marriage arrangements made for him, Moses married his promised bride, 15 year old Sofia in 1903. They had nine children. He was struck blind by measles in 1906. They coped with profound misfortune and sadness including the death of all of their children. Little is known of his wife Sofia who guided him steadfastly in his far ranging visits away from Ntaria over the area of influence of the Finke River Mission. When Carl Strehlow died tragically in 1922, Moses filled the immediate void until Pastor F.W. Albrecht took charge in 1926.
A year or two before he died in 1954, Moses dictated the story of his long life to missionary Pastor F.W. Albrecht. It was translated and published in 2002 by Paul Albrecht, son of F.W. Albrecht. Fortunately, Peter Latz, who was much closer to the Aboriginal world than his lay missionary parents, completed the biography by including explanations of aspects of Arrernte life that Moses did not need to explain to Pastor Albrecht. Peter Latz knew Moses personally when Peter was a child in Hermannsburg. Latz stated that as he was no longer a believer he felt able to be somewhat dispassionate about the lives of the Missionaries.