Lesson 44: I Speak unto You As If Ye Were Present

Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999), 194–97


Purpose

To help class members understand the warnings and counsel given by Mormon and Moroni to people living in the latter days.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      Mormon 7. Mormon exhorts the latter-day descendants of Lehi to repent, believe in Christ, and be baptized.

    2. b.

      Mormon 8. Moroni prophesies that the Book of Mormon will come forth in a day of great wickedness.

    3. c.

      Mormon 9. Moroni calls on people in the latter days to believe in Christ. He proclaims that the Lord is a God of miracles.

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Bible Dictionary, “Miracles,” 732–33; title page of the Book of Mormon.

  3. 3.

    You may want to speak with four class members in advance, asking each of them to prepare to read aloud one of the following passages: 2 Nephi 28:2–6; Mormon 9:7; Joseph Smith—History 1:17–19, 21–22; and Articles of Faith 1:7.

  4. 4.

    If you are using the attention activity, write the following statements on the chalkboard before class begins:

    • “I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not.”

    • Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.”

Suggestions for Lesson Development

Attention Activity

As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson.

Explain that teachers often use stories, object lessons, or interesting questions at the beginning of lessons to catch people’s attention. Then refer to the statements that you have written on the chalkboard (see “Preparation,” item 4).

  • Why should these statements catch our attention? (In about A.D. 400, when Moroni made these statements, he was talking directly to us. See Mormon 8:35.)

Point out that all the teachings in Mormon 7–9 are directed to people living in the latter days. Mormon 7 contains counsel specifically for latter-day descendants of Lehi, and Mormon 8–9 contains counsel for all people in the latter days.

Scripture Discussion and Application

Prayerfully select the scripture passages, questions, and other lesson material that will best meet class members’ needs. Discuss how the selected scriptures apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share appropriate experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

1. Mormon exhorts the latter-day descendants of Lehi to repent, believe in Christ, and be baptized.

Read and discuss Mormon 7, which contains Mormon’s words to the latter-day descendants of Lehi. You may want to explain that latter-day descendants of Lehi are found among the people of North, Central, and South America and the Pacific Islands.

  • Have a class member read Mormon 7:2 aloud. Point out that in this final message, these were Mormon’s first words to the latter-day descendants of Lehi. Why is it important for the descendants of Lehi to know that they are “of the house of Israel”? What blessings has the Lord promised to righteous members of the house of Israel? (See Abraham 2:8–11.)

  • What instructions did Mormon give the latter-day descendants of Lehi? (See Mormon 7:3–10 and the list below. Some items in the list include questions to encourage discussion.)

    1. a.

      Repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Mormon 7:3, 5, 8, 10).

    2. b.

      Lay down weapons of war unless God commands differently (Mormon 7:4).

    3. c.

      Come to the knowledge of their ancestors (Mormon 7:5). Why is it important for the latter-day descendants of Lehi to gain a knowledge of their ancestors? (See Mormon 7:9 and the title page of the Book of Mormon.) How can we all benefit from a knowledge of God’s works among our ancestors?

    4. d.

      Believe in Jesus Christ and His Atonement (Mormon 7:5–7, 10).

    5. e.

      Study the gospel in the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Mormon 7:8–9). How does the Book of Mormon help people believe the Bible? (See Mormon 7:9; see also 1 Nephi 13:38–40; 2 Nephi 3:11–12.)

  • In this dispensation the Lord has said that “the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose” (D&C 49:24). How is this prophecy being fulfilled today?

2. Moroni prophesies that the Book of Mormon will come forth in a day of great wickedness.

Read and discuss selected verses from Mormon 8. Explain that this chapter contains Moroni’s first writings after the death of his father, Mormon.

  • Have a class member read Mormon 8:1–5 aloud. What emotions do you sense from Moroni as you read these words? What can we learn from Moroni’s diligence despite being so alone?

  • Moroni prophesied of Joseph Smith, saying, “Blessed be he that shall bring this thing [the Book of Mormon] to light” (Mormon 8:16; see also verses 14–15). What role did Moroni play in Joseph Smith’s bringing the Book of Mormon “out of darkness unto light”? (See Mormon 8:14; Joseph Smith—History 1:30–35, 46, 59.) What can we do so the Book of Mormon will continue to be “brought out of darkness unto light”?

    President Ezra Taft Benson said: “I commend you faithful Saints who are striving to flood the earth and your lives with the Book of Mormon. Not only must we move forward in a monumental manner more copies of the Book of Mormon, but we must move boldly forward into our own lives and throughout the earth more of its marvelous messages” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3; or Ensign, May 1989, 4).

  • Have a class member read Mormon 8:21–22 aloud. How can Moroni’s words in Mormon 8:22 strengthen us as we labor in the Lord’s cause?

  • What did Moroni prophesy about conditions in the world when the Book of Mormon would come forth? (Have class members take turns reading verses from Mormon 8:26–33. As they read, ask them to discuss ways in which the conditions described in these verses are evident today.) Why was Moroni able to prophesy so clearly concerning the last days? (See Mormon 8:34–35.)

  • Moroni said that he would speak to those of us in the last days “as if [we] were present” (Mormon 8:35). Then he said, “I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts” (Mormon 8:36). What did Moroni say about pride in the last days? (See Mormon 8:36–41.)

  • How does pride affect people’s attitudes toward the needy? (See Mormon 8:37, 39.)

  • Have a class member read Mormon 8:38 aloud. Why might some people be “ashamed to take upon [themselves] the name of Christ”? Why might it help us to remember that “endless happiness” has more value than “the praise of the world”?

  • What should be our response to Moroni’s prophecies about pride?

    President Ezra Taft Benson said:

    “The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness (see Alma 7:23). It is the broken heart and contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:20; 12:19; D&C 20:37; 59:8; Psalm 34:18; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2). …

    “God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. …

    “Let us choose to be humble” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 6; or Ensign, May 1989, 6).

3. Moroni exhorts people in the last days to believe in Christ.

Read and discuss selected verses from Mormon 9.

  • Mormon 9 begins with Moroni’s words to people in the latter days who do not believe in Christ (Mormon 9:1). Why would such people be “more miserable to dwell with … God [than] to dwell with the damned souls in hell”? (See Mormon 9:3–5.) What does Mormon 9:6 teach about what we must do so we can dwell in God’s presence? (See also D&C 121:45.)

  • Invite four class members to read the following scripture passages: 2 Nephi 28:2–6; Mormon 9:7; Joseph Smith—History 1:17–19, 21–22; and Articles of Faith 1:7 (see “Preparation,” item 3). How do these four passages relate to one another? What did Moroni say to people who do not believe in the gifts of the Spirit? (See Mormon 9:8–10.)

  • To those who believe that God no longer performs miracles, Moroni said, “I will show unto you a God of miracles” (Mormon 9:11). What did he teach to show that the Lord is a God of miracles? (See Mormon 9:11–17, which is outlined on the next page. Point out that these doctrines summarize the plan of redemption.)

    1. a.

      The creation of the heavens, the earth, and mankind (Mormon 9:11–12, 17).

    2. b.

      The Fall (Mormon 9:12).

    3. c.

      Redemption through Jesus Christ (Mormon 9:12–13).

    4. d.

      The resurrection of all people (Mormon 9:13).

    5. e.

      The return of all people to the Lord’s presence to be judged (Mormon 9:13–14).

  • Moroni referred to the “many mighty miracles” performed by Jesus and His Apostles (Mormon 9:18). What are some miracles performed by Jesus and His Apostles that have inspired you?

  • What causes miracles to cease for some people? (See Mormon 9:20.) What signs will continue to follow those who believe in Christ? (See Mormon 9:21–25.)

  • If someone were to tell you that the Lord is not a God of miracles, how would you respond? What experiences could you appropriately share to bear witness that the Lord is a God of miracles?

  • Moroni exhorted us to “doubt not, but be believing” (Mormon 9:27). In this dispensation, the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, “Where doubt is, there faith has no power” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 46). What can we do to overcome our doubts?

    Joseph Smith taught: “Those who know their weakness and liability to sin would be in constant doubt of salvation if it were not for the idea which they have of the excellency of God, that he is slow to anger and long-suffering, and of a forgiving disposition, and does forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin. An idea of these facts does away doubt, and makes faith exceedingly strong” (Lectures on Faith, 42).

Conclusion

If you have not already done so, ask a class member to read Mormon 9:27. Point out that although Moroni warned of the judgments of God, he also testified of the Lord as a “God of miracles,” whose Atonement brings to pass “the redemption of man” (Mormon 9:11–12).

As directed by the Spirit, testify of the truths discussed during the lesson.