After writing about the destruction of his people and the death of his father, Moroni prophesied of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and warned those who would condemn it. Moroni saw that the Nephite record would come forth in a day of great wickedness, when many would love worldly possessions more than God. He testified that the Book of Mormon would be “of great worth” (Mormon 8:14) during the spiritually dangerous conditions of the last days.
Write what you believe are some of the greatest gifts you have ever been given: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Take a moment to think about why these gifts have been a blessing to you.
Read the following statement from President Ezra Taft Benson: “I would like to speak about one of the most significant gifts given to the world in modern times. The gift I am thinking of is more important than any of the inventions that have come out of the industrial and technological revolutions. This is a gift of greater value to mankind than even the many wonderful advances we have seen in modern medicine. It is of greater worth to mankind than the development of flight or space travel. I speak of the gift of ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.”
What do you think the gift President Benson referred to might be? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Moroni taught about this gift in Mormon 8. Read Mormon 8:12–14 to find out what the gift is. The phrase “this record” refers to the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the gift that President Benson spoke of (see “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 4). Write the Book of Mormon in the blank at the end of President Benson’s statement.
Look again at Mormon 8:12–14 to identify what Moroni taught about the value of the Book of Mormon. What did he teach about the financial value of the plates? Moroni explained that while the Lord would not allow the plates to be used for financial gain, the writings upon the plates are of great worth.
The manner in which the Book of Mormon came forth can help us understand the importance of this book. Read Mormon 8:15–16, and identify what Moroni taught about how the Book of Mormon would come forth.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What do you think it means that the Book of Mormon could be brought forth only by someone who had “an eye single to [God’s] glory”? (Mormon 8:15).
Moroni warned those who would condemn or oppose the Book of Mormon. Look for his warnings as you read Mormon 8:17–22. Why is it important for you to know that “the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled”? (Mormon 8:22).
Moroni explained that the Lord had made a covenant with the “saints who have gone before me” (Mormon 8:23)—including prophets such as Nephi, Jacob, Enos, and Alma. The Lord had covenanted that He would bring forth these prophets’ words in the latter days. As you study Mormon 8:23–25, identify whom these prophets prayed for.
These prophets prayed for “their brethren” (Mormon 8:24), meaning the Lamanites and their descendants. They also prayed for the person who would “bring these things forth” in the latter days (Mormon 8:25; see also Mormon 8:16), meaning the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was chosen to bring forth the Book of Mormon to the world in these latter days (see D&C 3:5–10). Many of the ancient prophets were aware of Joseph Smith and prayed for his success to translate and publish the Book of Mormon, thus fulfilling the purposes of God (see Mormon 8:22, 24–25; D&C 10:46).
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of the role that Joseph Smith played in bringing forth the Book of Mormon:
“To assume that [Joseph Smith] produced [the Book of Mormon] without help and without inspiration is preposterous.
“The truth is, simply, that he was a prophet of God—nothing more and not one whit less!
“The scriptures did not come so much from Joseph Smith as they did through him. He was a conduit through which the revelations were given. He was otherwise an ordinary man, as were the prophets in ancient times and as are the prophets in our day. …
“The Prophet Joseph Smith was an unschooled farm boy. To read some of his early letters in the original shows him to be somewhat unpolished in spelling and grammar and in expression.
“That the revelations came through him in any form of literary refinement is nothing short of a miracle” (“We Believe All That God Has Revealed,” Ensign, May 1974, 94).
Imagine that you are Moroni, who lived approximately 1,600 years ago and through the power of God was allowed to see our day. Read Mormon 8:35, and consider what you might think of the spiritual conditions of our day. Then read Mormon 8:26–32, which contains Moroni’s prophetic description of the time when the Book of Mormon would come forth—our day.
In your scripture study journal, write two or more of Moroni’s descriptions of our day. Also write why you find these particular descriptions interesting and applicable to our day.
Concerning the Book of Mormon, President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
“We must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study [because] it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. …
“Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations. …
“If they saw our day, and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, ‘Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?’” (“The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” 6).
To ponder the value of the Book of Mormon for you personally, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Think about how accurate Moroni’s prophecies are about the conditions of our day (see Mormon 8:26–32). What do these prophecies teach you about the value of the Book of Mormon for our day?
Why do you think the Book of Mormon is, as President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “one of the most significant gifts given to the world in modern times”? (“The Book of Mormon—Keystone of our Religion,” 4).
If a friend asked you why the Book of Mormon was important to you, how would you respond?
Think of a time when you noticed someone in need—someone with a temporal, emotional, social, or spiritual need. Consider what you did or could have done to help that person. Ponder why you chose to help or not help that person. Why do you think people sometimes don’t help those in need?
Read Mormon 8:36–41, and look for the reasons Moroni gave for why some people in the last days will not help those in need. Consider marking these reasons in your scriptures. It may be helpful to understand that the word adorn means “make beautiful” or “decorate.”
What are some examples of how youth today might love the things money can buy and following worldly pursuits more than being a true disciple of Jesus Christ? Study Mormon 8:38, 41, and identify the consequences people will face for their pride, wickedness, and neglect of the poor and the needy.
Write a principle in your scripture study journal that summarizes what you have learned from Mormon 8:36–41.
One example of a principle taught in these verses is: God will hold us accountable for how we treat the poor and those in need.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What are some of the most common needs—temporal, social, emotional, and spiritual—among youth in your school or community? Then think of something you can do in the next week to care for someone in need. Write this goal in your scripture study journal.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mormon 8:12–41 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: