Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher
The following summary of the doctrines and principles students learned as they studied Ether 13–Moroni 7:19 (unit 31) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of your students.
Day 1 (Ether 13–15)
The Jaredites rejected the prophet Ether and persisted in wickedness and war until they ultimately destroyed one another. From this account, students learned that if we reject the Lord’s warnings to repent, His Spirit withdraws and Satan gains power over our hearts. Students were also able to see that anger and vengeance lead us to make choices that hurt ourselves and others. In his account of the destruction of the Jaredites, Moroni gave his readers hope by declaring that the New Jerusalem, or Zion, would be built in the latter days.
Day 2 (Moroni 1–5)
While Moroni was wandering for the safety of his life, he recorded further information on the priesthood and ordinances of the gospel. He wrote that conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost and ordaining to priesthood offices are done by the laying on of hands by those in authority. Moroni’s attention to the sacrament provided students a chance to ponder how the emblems of the sacrament can help them remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They were also reminded that as they faithfully keep the covenants associated with the sacrament, they can always have the Lord’s Spirit to be with them.
Day 3 (Moroni 6)
Moroni emphasized the importance of baptism, fellowship in the Church, and directing Church meetings through the Holy Ghost. Students learned that through baptism we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and serve Him to the end. They also learned about the responsibility they have to spiritually nourish other Church members by meeting together often to fast and pray and to partake of the sacrament in remembrance of Jesus Christ. In addition, students learned that as often as we repent and seek forgiveness with real intent, we will be forgiven.
Day 4 (Moroni 7:1–19)
Moroni recorded a discourse given by his father, who taught that in order to be blessed for our good works, we must do those works with real intent. In this discourse Mormon also taught how we can make righteous judgments. Students discovered that whatever comes from God invites us to do good and to love and serve God, and whatever persuades us to do evil and fight against God comes from the devil. Mormon implored his listeners to search diligently in the Light of Christ, which would give them power to discern between good and evil.
Today’s lesson emphasizes the reasons and need for each of us to attend Church meetings. It also encourages students in their determination to discern between good and evil and to search diligently in the Light of Christ in order to make good judgments.
Suggestions for Teaching
Write 2,000,000 on the board. Ask students to imagine how many people two million is compared to the number of people who live in their city. Invite a student to read Ether 15:1–2 aloud as the class reviews what happened to two million Jaredites.
Ask if any of the students can summarize the events that led to the destruction of the Jaredites as recorded in Ether 14–15. If students have trouble responding, invite them to review the following scripture passages: Ether 14:5–10, 24; 15:1–6, 19, 22.
Ask: What are some lessons we can learn from the destruction of the Jaredites?
These two truths were highlighted in the students’ lessons during the week: (1) If we reject the Lord’s warnings to repent, His Spirit will withdraw and Satan will gain power over our hearts. (2) Anger and vengeance lead people to make choices that hurt themselves and others.
Ask: What are some situations in which these lessons could apply in the life of a young man or young woman today?
Invite a student to read Moroni 1:1–4 aloud. Then ask the class the following questions:
Why would the Lamanites have killed Moroni?
What does this show about Moroni’s faith and courage? How can we develop such a firm testimony of Jesus Christ?
Write the following phrase on the board: Why I should go to church on Sunday. Invite students to search Moroni 4–6 and prepare a one- to two-minute response to this statement by making a few notes in their scripture study journals. Encourage them to include in their responses at least two of the following elements (you may want to write these on the board or prepare them on a handout):
A scripture passage from Moroni 4–6 that explains a reason for meeting together at church.
A doctrine or principle that explains why we should attend Church meetings.
A personal experience that illustrates why we should attend Church meetings.
A personal testimony of the importance of attending Church meetings.
Once students have had sufficient time to prepare their thoughts, invite a few of them to share their insights with the class.
After students have shared what they have learned, add your testimony of the truths they identified and of the importance of meeting together in Church meetings regularly.
Before class, fill a cup with water and another cup with a mixture of water and white vinegar (or salt). The cups should look identical. Inform the class that you have two cups of water that appear to be identical, but one of them tastes sour (or salty). Ask for a volunteer to determine which cup holds the good water and which cup holds the sour (or salty) water (they might do this by tasting it or by smelling it).
Ask: How can we tell that something is evil without actually trying it?
Explain that in his record Moroni included a sermon from his father, Mormon, that gives insight into this question. Invite a student to read Moroni 7:11–13, 15–16 aloud. Ask the class to choose at least one phrase that stands out to them that explains how we can discern between good and evil. Allow a few students an opportunity to share a phrase they chose.
Invite a student to read Moroni 7:19 aloud, and ask the class to look for what Mormon said we should do in order to know good from evil.
Ask: What did Mormon counsel us to do so that we can discern between good and evil?
Students should be able to identify the following principle: As we search diligently in the Light of Christ, we can discern between good and evil.
Ask students the following questions:
From your studies this week, what do you understand the Light of Christ to be?
When has the Light of Christ helped you discern between good and evil?
Give students a minute or two to write a list of their favorite television shows, songs, music groups, Internet sites, apps, video games, or personal possessions. Invite them to use Moroni 7:16–19 to determine whether the items on their lists help them come closer to God or move farther from Him.
Remind students of the invitation they received in their study this week to eliminate from their lives those things that are not good and to “lay hold upon every good thing” (Moroni 7:19). You may want to share an experience you have had when you followed the Light of Christ and were able to discern between good and evil.
Next Unit (Moroni 7:20–10:34)
Invite students to consider the following questions as they study the next unit: What is charity? How can a person obtain charity? Why shouldn’t little children or infants be baptized? How did Mormon and Moroni stay faithful even when they were surrounded by wickedness? What were Moroni’s final words? Why are they important?