Lesson 142

Mormon 9

“Lesson 142: Mormon 9,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


Introduction

Moroni finished his father’s record by calling upon those who do not believe in Jesus Christ to turn to the Lord through repentance. He taught that God is a God of miracles who does not change and that miracles cease only because of unbelief. He encouraged people to believe in Jesus Christ and to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ in order to receive the things they need.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mormon 9:1–6

Moroni calls upon those who do not believe in Jesus Christ to repent

the Second Coming

Display the picture The Second Coming (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 66; see also lds.org/media-library).

  • What are various reactions people may have when they are brought to stand in the Lord’s presence?

Remind students that in their study of Mormon 8 they learned that Moroni prophesied that the Book of Mormon would come forth in a day of great wickedness and unbelief. Explain that Mormon 9 contains Moroni’s words to people in our day who do not believe in Jesus Christ. As students study Mormon 9 today, invite them to look for what Moroni wrote to help people in the latter days prepare to stand in the Lord’s presence.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Mormon 9:1–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words and phrases that describe how people who have chosen to not believe in Jesus Christ and have not repented of their sins will feel when they stand before Him.

  • According to these verses, how will the wicked feel in the presence of Jesus Christ?

  • Why will they feel this way?

Invite a student to read Mormon 9:6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what those who are unbelieving must do so they can feel comfortable in the Lord’s presence.

  • What must those who are unbelieving do so they can feel comfortable in the Lord’s presence?

  • What do you think it means to be “cleansed by the blood of the Lamb”? (To be made clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.)

  • What principle can we identify from Moroni’s teachings in Mormon 9:6? (Using their own words, students may identify a principle such as the following: Those who turn from their unbelief to the Lord can be cleansed from their sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.)

  • Why is it necessary to believe in the Lord before we can be cleansed from our sins?

Invite students to think of someone they know who may not believe in Jesus Christ or is questioning his or her belief in Him.

  • What would you encourage this person to do in order to turn from his or her unbelief to the Lord? (As students respond, you might ask them to explain why they would give that advice.)

Testify that through repentance and righteous living, we can prepare to be clean and comfortable in the Lord’s presence. Invite students to ponder what they should do now to be prepared to meet the Lord.

Mormon 9:7–20

Moroni declares that God performs miracles

Write miracles on the board. Ask students how they would define this word. After a few students have responded, invite the class to look up miracles in the Bible Dictionary. Ask them to read the entry, looking for information that might clarify or add to the definitions they have suggested.

  • Why do you think some people do not believe in miracles?

Summarize Mormon 9:7 by explaining that Moroni addressed people in the last days who would claim that revelation, prophecy, spiritual gifts, and miracles no longer occur.

Divide students into pairs. Invite one partner to read Mormon 9:8–11 silently while the other reads Mormon 9:16–19 silently. Ask each student to write the main points Moroni made to persuade people to believe in miracles. When students have had enough time to finish, invite them to report to their partners what they have written.

On the left side of the board, write Miracles cease when we …

On the right side of the board, write Miracles can happen when we …

Invite a student to read Mormon 9:20 aloud, and ask the class to look for three reasons why God might cease to do miracles among His children. Invite a student to write these reasons on the board to complete the statement on the left side of the board, as shown in the following chart.

Ask students to rephrase each statement regarding why miracles cease in a way that expresses a condition that makes miracles possible. Their responses should be similar to the examples on the right side of the chart.

Miracles cease when we …

Miracles can happen when we …

Dwindle in unbelief

Increase our faith

Depart from the right way

Live in the right way, or keep God’s commandments

Know not the God in whom we should trust

Come to know and trust in God

Invite students to quickly review Mormon 9:9, 19, looking for Moroni’s teachings about God’s nature. After students report what they have found, ask:

  • Since we know God is unchanging and that He performed miracles among His children in former times, what truth can we learn from verse 19 about His willingness to perform miracles in our lives today? (Although students may use different words, they should express the following truth: God has always performed miracles, and because He is unchangeable, He still works miracles according to our faith. Write this truth on the board, and invite students to consider writing it next to Mormon 9:19–20 in their scriptures.)

To help students consider ways in which God is still a God of miracles, invite a student to read the following statement by Sister Sydney S. Reynolds, who served as a member of the Primary General Presidency:

Sydney S. Reynolds

“I believe that all of us can bear witness to … miracles. We know children who pray for help to find a lost item and find it. We know of young people who gather the courage to stand as a witness of God and feel His sustaining hand. We know friends who pay their tithing with the last of their money and then, through a miracle, find themselves able to pay their tuition or their rent or somehow obtain food for their family. We can share experiences of prayers answered and priesthood blessings that gave courage, brought comfort, or restored health. These daily miracles acquaint us with the hand of the Lord in our lives” (Sydney S. Reynolds, “A God of Miracles,” Ensign, May 2001, 12).

Invite students to think about experiences they (or family members or friends) have had that have helped them know that God works miracles today according to our faith. Encourage them to write one of these experiences in their class notebooks or study journals. After sufficient time, invite a few students to share what they wrote. Consider sharing an experience of your own as well.

Mormon 9:21–37

Moroni admonishes unbelievers to believe in Jesus Christ and to pray in His name

Invite a student to read Mormon 9:21 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Moroni taught about praying to Heavenly Father.

  • What promise did Moroni give? (Students’ answers should reflect the following principle: If we pray in faith and in the name of Christ, doubting nothing, Heavenly Father will give us what we ask for.)

  • What do you think is the difference between merely praying for something we want and praying in faith in the name of Jesus Christ?

To help students understand what it means to pray “in the name of Christ,” invite a student to read aloud the following statement:

“We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when His words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart” (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”).

  • How can this statement help us if we do not receive what we pray for?

  • How can we ensure that the things we pray for reflect what the Lord wants for us?

  • When have you seen the promise given in Mormon 9:21 fulfilled? (You may need to give students time to think about this question before they respond.)

Summarize Mormon 9:22–25 by explaining that the Savior promised great blessings to those who believe in Him.

Invite students to read Mormon 9:27–29 silently, looking for additional instructions Moroni recorded to help us pray in faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

  • What instructions did Moroni record to help us pray in faith in the name of Jesus Christ?

Summarize Mormon 9:30–37 by telling students that Moroni was concerned that some people in the last days would reject the message of the Book of Mormon because of the imperfections of those who wrote it and of the language it was written in. However, Moroni and others prayed in faith that the Book of Mormon would come forth in the latter days so that the descendants of their brethren, the Lamanites, could be restored to “the knowledge of Christ” and to the covenants that God had made with the house of Israel.

Briefly review the truths students identified in this lesson. Share your testimony of these truths, and encourage students to act on what they have learned.

Commentary and Background Information

Mormon 9:9–10. “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever”

Lectures on Faith states that in order to have perfect faith in God, one must have “a correct idea of [God’s] character, perfections, and attributes” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 38). One of God’s characteristics is that He will not change: “[God] changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday, today, and for ever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation” (Lectures on Faith, 41).

Mormon 9:10–26. Miracles

Moroni gave much evidence that bears witness to the miracles of God—the creation of heaven and earth, the creation of man, and the miracles wrought by Jesus and the Apostles (see Mormon 9:17–18). The “God of miracles” described by Moroni can still be found today. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that many miracles happen in our day and are present in the true Church of Jesus Christ:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Many miracles happen every day in the work of our Church and in the lives of our members. Many of you have witnessed miracles, perhaps more than you realize.

“A miracle has been defined as ‘a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand and of themselves cannot duplicate’ [Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1992), “Miracles,” 2:908]. The idea that events are brought about through divine power is rejected by most irreligious people and even by some who are religious. …

“… Miracles worked by the power of the priesthood are always present in the true Church of Jesus Christ [see George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, sel. Jerreld L. Newquist (1987), 151–52]. The Book of Mormon teaches that ‘God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles’ (Mosiah 8:18). The ‘means’ provided is priesthood power (see James 5:14–15; D&C 42:43–48), and that power works miracles through faith (see Ether 12:12; Moro. 7:37)” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, June 2001, 6, 8).

Mormon 9:32–34. Moroni wrote in reformed Egyptian

Moroni stated that he had the ability to write in at least two languages: Hebrew and reformed Egyptian. He noted that if the “plates had been sufficiently large,” he would have written in Hebrew; however, those who kept the record used “reformed Egyptian” due to the lack of space (see Mormon 9:32–33). Previously in the Book of Mormon, both Nephi and King Benjamin acknowledged their use of Egyptian. Nephi stated that he wrote in “the language of the Egyptians” when he engraved the small plates (1 Nephi 1:2).

When speaking to his sons about the importance of the brass plates, King Benjamin noted that Lehi could read the record because he had “been taught in the language of the Egyptians” (Mosiah 1:4). Therefore, we understand that Lehi taught both the gospel and the Egyptian language “to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children” (Mosiah 1:4). Evidently, this pattern continued through the generations of record keepers who followed until Moroni learned the language from his father. However, Moroni acknowledged that he wrote in “reformed Egyptian” that had been “handed down and altered … according to [their] manner of speech” (Mormon 9:32), indicating that some adaptations in the use of the language had occurred over the thousand years since the time of Lehi. This could explain why Moroni concluded with the comment that “none other people knoweth our language” but that God had “prepared means for” the eventual interpretation and translation of the record (Mormon 9:34).

Egyptian was commonly used in Lehi’s day, especially by merchants and traders who traveled widely throughout the region around Jerusalem. If, as some have suggested, Lehi’s profession required him to travel throughout the region, he likely would have made sure his sons learned the language of the Egyptians to support the family occupation.