Lesson 48: Come unto Christ

Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999), 210–14


Purpose

To teach class members how to judge between good and evil and how to receive a testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      Moroni 7:1–19. Mormon explains how to judge between good and evil (note that these words were recorded by Mormon’s son Moroni).

    2. b.

      Moroni 7:20–48. Mormon explains that faith in Christ is the power by which miracles are wrought. He explains the importance of faith, hope, and charity.

    3. c.

      Moroni 8. In a letter to Moroni, Mormon outlines the conditions of salvation and explains that little children are saved through the Atonement of Christ.

    4. d.

      Moroni 10. Moroni explains that the Holy Ghost bears witness of all truth to those who ask in faith. He describes spiritual gifts and exhorts all to come unto Christ.

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Bible Dictionary, “Light of Christ,” 725.

Suggestions for Lesson Development

Attention Activity

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

Tell the following story:

One cold day in February 1910, Vincenzo di Francesca, a Protestant minister, came across a weather-beaten copy of a religious book with no title page. Curious, he wrapped the book in newspaper and took it with him. At home he cleaned and read the book. “I read and reread, twice and twice again, and I found it fit to say that the book was a fifth gospel of the Redeemer,” he said.

The book he had found was the Book of Mormon. When he had read it, he followed the admonition in Moroni 10:4. “At the end of the day, I locked the door of my room, knelt with the book in my hands, and read chapter ten of the book of Moroni. I prayed to God, the Eternal Father, in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, to tell me if the book were of God, if it were good and true, and if I should mix its words with the words of the four gospels in my preaching.

“I felt my body become cold as the wind from the sea. Then my heart began to palpitate, and a feeling of gladness, as of finding something precious and extraordinary, bore consolation to my soul and left me with a joy that human language cannot find words to describe. I had received the assurance that God had answered my prayer and that the book was of greatest benefit to me and to all who would listen to its words.”

The testimony Vincenzo di Francesca received at this time helped him through many difficult experiences. He was stripped of his position as a minister because he taught from the Book of Mormon. It was 1930 before he learned the name of the book and the name of the Church that published it. Because of war and other political problems, another 21 years passed before he was able to be baptized. Throughout these difficulties, he maintained a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. (See Vincenzo di Francesca, “I Will Not Burn the Book!” Ensign, Jan. 1988, 18–21.)

Point out that this lesson discusses the final chapters of the Book of Mormon. Included in these writings are Moroni’s instructions about how each of us can gain a personal testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

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 explains how to judge between good and evil.

Discuss Moroni 7:1–19. Invite class members to read selected verses aloud. Point out that Moroni 7 contains the words of Mormon, as recorded by his son Moroni.

  • Mormon referred to the members of the Church as “peaceable followers of Christ” (Moroni 7:3). On what basis did Mormon make this judgment about the Church members? (See Moroni 7:4–5.) How do we become “peaceable followers of Christ”?

  • What did Mormon teach about the importance of our motives for doing good works? (See Moroni 7:6–9.) What does it mean to give a gift or pray “with real intent”? How can we purify our motives for doing good?

  • What did Mormon teach about how we can discern good from evil? (See Moroni 7:12–19.)

    Write on the chalkboard Does __________ invite me to love and serve God? Is __________ inspired of God? Encourage class members to use these questions when they are evaluating whether a thing or action is good or evil. (You may want to point out that it can be easier to judge whether or not something leads us toward God than it is to judge whether or not something leads us toward the devil. Satan’s deceitful practices often encourage us to think that something is “not so bad”—that it is not really evil, even if it is not good. Emphasize that anything that does not lead us toward God only leads us away from Him.)

  • Mormon cautioned the people to “take heed … that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good … to be of the devil” (Moroni 7:14; see also 2 Nephi 15:20). What are some ways in which you see this happening today? (You may want to list class members’ responses on the chalkboard under the headings Evil presented as good and Good presented as evil.)

  • What influence have we been given to help us judge good from evil? (See Moroni 7:16, 18–19.)

    Explain that the “Spirit of Christ” or “light of Christ” is “an uplifting, ennobling, persevering influence that comes upon mankind because of Jesus Christ” (Bible Dictionary, “Light of Christ,” 725). It is available to all people and can prepare a person to find truth and receive the Holy Ghost. In its role of helping us discern between right and wrong, the light of Christ is often called our conscience.

  • In what ways has the light of Christ helped you discern good from evil? How can we become more receptive to the guidance of the light of Christ?

2. Mormon explains the importance of faith, hope, and charity.

Read and discuss selected verses from Moroni 7:20–48.

  • Mormon asked, “How is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?” (Moroni 7:20). How did he answer this question? (See Moroni 7:21–26. “All things which are good cometh of Christ,” and we can “lay hold” on them by exercising faith in Him.)

    Ask class members to think about blessings that have come to them or to others because of faith. Invite them to share these examples as appropriate.

  • What is the relationship between faith and miracles? (See Moroni 7:28–30, 35–38.) Why is it necessary for faith to precede miracles? (See Moroni 7:37; see also Ether 12:12, 18 and the quotation below.) Why don’t miracles alone provide a firm foundation for faith?

    President Brigham Young said, “Miracles, or these extraordinary manifestations of the power of God, are not for the unbeliever; they are to console the Saints, and to strengthen and confirm the faith of those who love, fear, and serve God” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 341).

  • What is hope? What relationship exists between faith and hope? (See Moroni 7:40–42.)

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “As used in the revelations, hope is the desire of faithful people to gain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God hereafter. … Faith and hope are inseparable. Hope enables [us] to have faith in the first instance and then because of faith that hope increases until salvation is gained” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 365–66).

  • What quality must precede faith and hope? (See Moroni 7:43.) Why must a person be “meek, and lowly of heart” to have true faith and hope?

  • Mormon taught that in addition to faith and hope, we must have charity. What is charity? (See Moroni 7:46–47.) What are the characteristics of charity? (See Moroni 7:45. You may want to list class members’ responses on the chalkboard.) How have experiences in your life confirmed that “charity never faileth”?

  • How can we increase our faith and hope? How can we become filled with the pure love of Christ? Why must we strive to possess faith, hope, and charity? (See Moroni 10:20–21.)

3. Mormon teaches that little children are saved through Christ’s Atonement.

Read and discuss selected verses from Moroni 8. Point out that this chapter contains a letter from Mormon to his son Moroni.

  • Why do little children not need baptism? (See Moroni 8:8–9, 11, 19–20. Note that Mormon’s teachings about little children also apply to “all they that are without the law” [Moroni 8:22], which refers to those who are mentally incapable of understanding the commandments and ordinances of the gospel.) Why is the baptism of little children “mockery before God”? (See Moroni 8:20, 22–23.)

  • Little children are saved because they are innocent and incapable of sinning. How can those of us who have sinned gain salvation through the Atonement of Christ? (See Moroni 8:10, 24–26.)

4. The Holy Ghost testifies of all truth. Spiritual gifts follow those who come unto Christ.

Read and discuss selected verses from Moroni 10.

  • As the final chapter in the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10 contains Moroni’s closing words. To whom is this chapter addressed? (See Moroni 10:1.) Moroni closes with “a few words by way of exhortation” (Moroni 10:2). What does the word exhort mean? (To advise or urge strongly.) Ask class members to quickly read through the chapter and identify the things Moroni exhorts his readers to do. (Answers are listed below. You may want to have class members read aloud each verse that contains an exhortation.)

    1. a.

      “Remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men” (verse 3).

    2. b.

      “Ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true” (verse 4).

    3. c.

      “Deny not the power of God” (verse 7).

    4. d.

      “Deny not the gifts of God” (verse 8).

    5. e.

      “Remember that every good gift cometh of Christ” (verse 18).

    6. f.

      “Remember that [Christ] is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (verse 19).

    7. g.

      “Remember these things [that Moroni has written]” (verse 27).

    8. h.

      “Come unto Christ” (verse 30).

  • Invite class members to think about whether they have gained a testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. What is the role of the Holy Ghost in our gaining testimonies of spiritual things? (See Moroni 10:4–5.) Why can’t we gain our testimonies through our intellect alone? (See 1 Corinthians 2:11; Alma 26:21–22; Moroni 10:6–7.)

  • Moroni exhorted us to “deny not the power of God” (Moroni 10:7). In what ways might we sometimes deny God’s power? (In addition to asking for class members’ responses, you may want to read the statement below.)

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:

    “The Savior said, ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ (John 14:27).

    “I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: as concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help or thought his or her interest was unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments” (“Come unto Me,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 19).

  • What did Moroni teach about spiritual gifts? (See Moroni 10:8–19.) Why do we each receive different gifts from God? (See D&C 46:11–12.)

  • What have you learned and felt as you have pondered the messages of the Book of Mormon? (Invite class members to ponder this question silently if they do not want to share their thoughts with the class.)

  • How does Moroni’s exhortation to “come unto Christ” reflect the entire message of the Book of Mormon? (Moroni 10:30, 32). In what specific ways has this year’s study of the Book of Mormon helped you come unto Christ?

Conclusion

As directed by the Spirit, testify of the truths discussed during the lesson and invite class members to do the same.

Additional Teaching Idea

You may want to share the following statements as you encourage class members to continue their study of the Book of Mormon:

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “I would like to urge every man and woman … and every boy and girl who is old enough to read to again read the Book of Mormon during this coming year. … There is nothing we could do of greater importance than to have fortified in our individual lives an unshakable conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Living Son of the Living God. … That is the purpose of the coming forth of this remarkable and wonderful book” (in Church News, 4 May 1996, 2).

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “No member of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1961, 18).

President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The Book of Mormon is studied in our Sunday School and seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members in their personal and family study. We need to read daily from the pages of the book that will get a man ‘nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book’ (History of the Church, 4:461)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 3; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 4).

President Benson also said: “Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 97; or Ensign, May 1975, 65).