After the final battle between the Nephites and Lamanites, Mormon wrote to the future descendants of the Book of Mormon people about the importance of knowing who they are and what they must do to be saved. With great love for the future descendants of his enemies, Mormon taught the importance of following the gospel of Jesus Christ, that it might “be well with you in the day of judgment” (Mormon 7:10). After Mormon died, Moroni was left alone to write about the destruction of his people.
In Mormon 6 you learned that there were 230,000 Nephite casualties in the final battle with the Lamanites. Imagine that you survived a great battle like this, but your friends and family did not. How would you feel about the descendants of the people who killed your loved ones and conquered your nation? Read Mormon 7:1–4, and look for what Mormon wrote to the descendants of the Lamanites.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What did Mormon want the Lamanites and their descendants to know?
How does this compare with how you thought you might feel about the descendants of the people who had killed your friends and family in the imagined situation?
What attribute of the Savior do you see in Mormon’s response to his enemies?
Mormon continued to write to the descendants of the Lamanites. Read Mormon 7:5–7, and mark at least three truths Mormon exhorted the descendants of the Lamanites to believe about the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Select one of the truths about Jesus Christ that you identified, and write in your scripture study journal how believing that doctrine has affected your life.
Mormon might have felt justified in writing words of condemnation to the Lamanites who had killed so many of his people, but because of his knowledge of the truth, he wrote to teach them what they (and we) must do to become guiltless before God at the judgment bar. Read Mormon 7:8–10, and identify what Mormon testified a person must do. You may want to mark what you identify in your scriptures.
These verses teach that the Lord offers salvation to all and will redeem those who accept the principles and ordinances of His gospel. You may want to write this principle in your scriptures. Notice that Mormon taught that the way we come to know how to live this principle is through our study of the scriptures (see Mormon 7:8). It may be helpful to understand that the phrase “this record” refers to the Book of Mormon, and “the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews” refers to the Bible. Similarly, “this” in Mormon 7:9 refers to the Book of Mormon, and “that” refers to the Bible. You may want to mark these distinctions in your scriptures.
As you conclude Mormon 7, take a moment to ponder Mormon’s example of charity and Christlike compassion in writing such a message of hope and encouragement to the descendants of those who were his bitter enemies.
In your scripture study journal, record your thoughts about the following question: How can I follow Mormon’s example and treat others, including those who might mistreat me, in a way that reflects their eternal worth?
Think of a time when you were alone. How did you feel about being alone? Imagine being alone for many years.
Notice the dates in the chapter summaries or at the bottom of the pages in Mormon 7 and 8. How many years passed between the time Mormon wrote his last words in chapter 7 and when Moroni began to write on the plates in chapter 8?
Read Mormon 8:1–2, and look for what happened after the great battle at Cumorah. Then read Mormon 8:3–9 and mark phrases that describe Moroni’s circumstances after the destruction of his people. Ponder how you would feel if you were in similar circumstances.
Think of a time when you felt alone in your beliefs or standards. Did your determination to follow the Savior and keep His commandments during that time increase, stay the same, or decrease? Why?
Look again at Mormon 8:1, 3 to find what Moroni was resolved to do regardless of his circumstances. Moroni’s example illustrates that even when you are alone, you can choose to remain faithful. You may want to write this truth in your scriptures.
There are others in the Book of Mormon who, like Moroni, remained faithful even when alone. Abinadi stood and testified alone before King Noah and his priests (see Mosiah 12–17). Alma was the lone priest who believed Abinadi’s words and tried to defend him (see Mosiah 17:1–4).
Elder Richard G. Scott shared the following story about a young man who chose to be faithful even when standing alone:
“Consider the example of [this] young man. Through the years I have watched how his parents have taught him from infancy to unwaveringly live the commandments of God. By example and precept, they nurtured him, together with their other children, in truth. They encouraged the development of discipline and sacrifice to obtain worthy goals. This young man chose swimming to instill in his character those qualities. Early-morning practice sessions required discipline and sacrifice. Over time he excelled in that sport.
“Then came the challenges—for example, a championship swim meet on Sunday. Would he participate? Would he rationalize an exception to his rule of not swimming on Sunday to help his team win the championship? No, he would not yield, even under intense peer pressure. He was called names, even physically abused. But he would not yield. The rejection of friends, the loneliness, and the pressure brought times of sadness and tears. But he would not yield. He was learning firsthand what each of us must come to know, the reality of Paul’s counsel to Timothy, ‘All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ (2 Tim. 3:12). Over the years this consistent pattern of righteous living—woven from hundreds of correct decisions, some in the face of great challenge—has developed a character of strength and capacity. Now, as a missionary, he is appreciated by his peers for his ability to work, his knowledge of truth, his unwavering devotion, and his determination to share the gospel. One who earlier was rejected by his peers now has become a respected leader of his peers” (“First Things First,” Ensign, May 2001, 8).
Read Mormon 8:10–11, and identify one way the Lord sustained Moroni and Mormon (before his death) during the difficult circumstances they faced. The following encouragement by President Thomas S. Monson can help you in your resolve to stay faithful even when you are alone:
“As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? …
“… May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven” (“Dare to Stand Alone,” Ensign and Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60, 67).
In your scripture study journal, write answers to the following questions:
Who else do you know that is an example of standing faithful even when standing alone?
How does President Monson’s statement help you resolve to remain faithful even when you are alone?
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mormon 7:1–8:11 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: