Moroni finished his father’s record by calling upon those who do not believe in Jesus Christ to turn to God through repentance. He taught that God is a God of miracles who does not change. He also taught that miracles cease only when people stop having faith. He encouraged all mankind to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ to receive those things they need.
Imagine what you might think and feel if you were to enter into God’s presence today. How do you think wicked people would feel in His presence? Read Mormon 9:1–5, and notice that Moroni described what will eventually happen when people who choose not to believe in Jesus Christ are finally brought into God’s presence.
President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that many people mistakenly believe that they will feel comfortable in God’s presence even if they have not repented of their sins:
“There can be no salvation without repentance. A man cannot enter into the kingdom of God in his sins. It would be a very inconsistent thing for a man to come into the presence of the Father and to dwell in God’s presence in his sins. …
“I think there are a great many people upon the earth, many of them perhaps in the Church—at least some in the Church—who have an idea they can go through this life doing as they please, violating the commandments of the Lord, and yet eventually they are going to come into his presence. They think they are going to repent, perhaps in the spirit world.
“They ought to read these words of Moroni: ‘Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with him [Christ] under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws?
“‘Behold I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell. For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you’ [Mormon 9:3–5]” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:195–96).
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think it is wrong to wait to repent in this life, believing you can repent in the next life? (You may want to use what you learn from Mormon 9:1–5; Alma 12:14; and Alma 34:32–34 in your answer.)
Read Mormon 9:6, and look for what the “unbelieving” must do to avoid the anguish Moroni described. Consider marking the words in Mormon 9:6 that describe the condition of people who turn to God and ask Him for forgiveness. From this verse we learn: If we will repent and call upon God, we will be spotless when we come into His presence. You may want to write this principle in your scriptures or your scripture study journal.
In your scripture study journal, write a few sentences about how you imagine you would feel in God’s presence if you knew you had been made pure and spotless through the Savior’s Atonement.
Through repentance and righteous living, you can prepare to be comfortable in God’s presence. Ponder the most important thing you feel you could do now to be prepared to meet God.
Have you ever witnessed or experienced a miracle? Write your definition of the word miracle:
Look up the word miracle in the Bible Dictionary or the Guide to the Scriptures to clarify or add to your definition. Why do you think some people today do not believe in miracles?
As recorded in Mormon 9:7–8, Moroni wrote to people in the last days who would deny that God lives, that He gives revelations, and that He pours out gifts upon the faithful. Moroni taught powerfully that there is a God and that He is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Mormon 9:9). He continues to work miracles among faithful people in all ages. Read Mormon 9:9–11, 15–19, and identify what Moroni taught about God’s nature so that he could help people believe that God still works miracles.
In your scripture study journal, write what you learned from Mormon 9:9–11, 15–19 about God’s nature. Also write your answer to this question: What do these verses teach you about God’s willingness and ability to perform miracles in the lives of people today?
Read Mormon 9:20, and look for reasons why some people may not experience miracles.
Moroni’s words recorded in Mormon 9:9–19 teach this principle: Because God is unchangeable, He will provide miracles according to His children’s faith. You may want to write this principle next to Mormon 9:19–20 in your scriptures.
We can experience God’s miraculous power in many ways in our lives. After reviewing some of the great miracles described in the scriptures, Sister Sydney S. Reynolds, who served in the Primary general presidency, taught:
“Just as important as these ‘mighty miracles’ are the smaller ‘private miracles’ that teach each of us to have faith in the Lord. These come as we recognize and heed the promptings of the Spirit in our lives. …
“I believe that all of us can bear witness to these small 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” (“A God of Miracles,” Ensign, May 2001, 12).
Write in your scripture study journal about an experience you have had or one that you know of that confirms God is still a God of miracles today.
Can you recall a time when you felt that Heavenly Father gave you the help you needed because you had prayed? Read Mormon 9:21, and look for what Moroni taught about praying to Heavenly Father for help.
Read the following statement, and look for what it means to pray in the name of Christ: “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”).
Consider your own prayers based on what you just read. What can you do to more fully pray in the name of Jesus Christ?
To provide an example of people who believed in the Savior and were able to work miracles, Moroni quoted what Jesus Christ taught His Nephite disciples. As recorded in Mormon 9:22–25, the Savior commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and He promised that miraculous “signs shall follow them that believe” (Mormon 9:24). Moroni then continued his teachings about prayer.
Read Mormon 9:27–29, and identify what Moroni taught about how we should pray in faith. Write the things you identify in your scripture study journal. Then write a few sentences describing how you can use one of these teachings to improve your own prayers.
You might want to write the following principle in your scriptures near Mormon 9:27: If we pray in faith to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, He will grant us blessings that will help us work out our salvation.
As Moroni concluded his words, he expressed concern that some people in the last days would reject the Book of Mormon because of the imperfections of those who wrote it (see Mormon 9:30–34). Read Mormon 9:35–37, and look for what Moroni declared about the purposes of the Book of Mormon.
Consider how the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is additional evidence that God is a God of miracles and that He answers prayers.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mormon 9 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: