Moroni exhorted the Lamanites, and all others who would read his testimony, to learn for themselves the truth of his words by asking God. He taught that a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ would come by the power of the Holy Ghost. Moroni boldly declared that he would meet his readers before the bar of God, where God would confirm the truth of his words.
Review the introductory lessons on the Book of Mormon in unit 1 of this manual. Can you remember the purpose of the keystone in an arch and how a keystone relates to the Book of Mormon? Turn to the introduction to the Book of Mormon (found at the beginning of the book), and read the statement from the Prophet Joseph Smith in the sixth paragraph.
The Prophet Joseph Smith described the Book of Mormon as the “keystone” of our religion, meaning that our testimony of the Book of Mormon holds up and strengthens our testimony of all the truths of the restored gospel. Read the last paragraph of the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and look for truths a person can come to know by obtaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Just as a keystone holds an arch together, how is your testimony held together and strengthened by the Book of Mormon?
About 1,400 years before Joseph Smith received the gold plates, Moroni concluded his father’s record by writing his final exhortation to those who would receive the Book of Mormon in the last days (see Moroni 10:1–2). The word exhort means to strongly encourage someone. Moroni used this word eight times in the final chapter of the Book of Mormon. He exhorted all who receive the Book of Mormon to seek a testimony of its truth and divinity.
Read Moroni 10:3–4, and identify the things Moroni said we should do to obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. You may want to mark these things in your scriptures. Study the following information about each thing Moroni said we should do:
The first step in gaining a witness that the Book of Mormon is true is to read it. Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy shared how one young woman benefited from reading the entire Book of Mormon:
“A 14-year-old girl … said that she had been discussing religion with one of her friends at school. Her friend said to her, ‘What religion do you belong to?’
“She replied, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons.’
“Her friend replied, ‘I know that church, and I know it’s not true.’
“‘How do you know?’ came the reply.
“‘Because,’ said her friend, ‘I have researched it.’
“‘Have you read the Book of Mormon?’
“‘No,’ came the answer. ‘I haven’t.’
“Then this sweet young girl responded, ‘Then you haven’t researched my church, because I have read every page of the Book of Mormon and I know it’s true’” (“The Book of Mormon—a Book from God,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 76).
Why do you think that reading the Book of Mormon is necessary in order to gain a testimony of its truthfulness?
The next step in the process is to “remember how merciful the Lord hath been.” Remembering the Lord’s mercies in our lives can soften our hearts and prepare us to receive the Holy Ghost. Ponder times when you have felt the Lord’s mercy in your life.
In the beginning of the Book of Mormon, Nephi declared that through his writings he would show us examples of the Lord’s tender mercy (see 1 Nephi 1:20). At the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni asked us to remember the mercies of the Lord to us (see Moroni 10:3). You might want to write the cross-reference 1 Nephi 1:20 next to Moroni 10:3.
In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions:
What evidence of the Lord’s mercy have you seen in your life?
How do you think remembering the Lord’s mercy helps someone receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon?
Remembering the mercy of the Lord to others and ourselves can prepare us to ponder the Book of Mormon’s message for us.
The next step Moroni taught is to “ponder it in your hearts.” Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how pondering can help us receive the Holy Ghost in our lives:
“As I study the scriptures, I am challenged and moved by the word ponder used so frequently in the Book of Mormon. Dictionaries say that ponder means to weigh mentally, think deeply about, deliberate, meditate. … Moroni used this term as he closed his record [see Moroni 10:3].
“By pondering, we give the Spirit an opportunity to impress and direct. Pondering is a powerful link between the heart and the mind. As we read the scriptures, our hearts and minds are touched. If we use the gift to ponder, we can take these eternal truths and realize how we can incorporate them into our daily actions. …
“Pondering is a progressive mental pursuit. It is a great gift to those who have learned to use it. We find understanding, insight, and practical application if we will use the gift of pondering” (“There Are Many Gifts,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 20).
In your scripture study journal, answer one or both of the following questions:
How has pondering as you have studied the Book of Mormon helped you feel the Holy Ghost?
What could you do to ponder more consistently and effectively as you study the scriptures?
When people “pray sincerely and have real intent,” it means that they “intend to act on the answer they receive from God” (Preach My Gospel , 111).
A man named Rodolfo Armando Pérez Bonilla learned the importance of praying with real intent. He was baptized at age nine but his family was not active in the Church. When he became a teenager, he began thinking about the gospel and had the following experience:
“Occasionally I prayed to know what was right, but it was more of a passing thought than a sincere question. Then one night I decided to pray with ‘real intent.’
“I told Heavenly Father that I wanted to know Him and to be part of His true Church. I promised: ‘If Thou will let me know whether Joseph Smith is a real prophet and whether the Book of Mormon is true, I’ll do whatever Thou would have me do. If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true Church, I’ll follow it and never give it up.’
“I had no spectacular manifestation, but I felt at peace and went to bed. Several hours later I awoke with a distinct thought: ‘Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true.’ The thought was accompanied by an indescribable peace. I fell asleep again, only to awake later with the exact same thought and feeling.
“Since that time, I have never doubted that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know that this is the Savior’s work and that Heavenly Father will answer our sincere petitions” (“How I Know,” Ensign, Oct. 2011, 64).
Think about how much you want to have a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Write in your scripture study journal some of the things you have already done to obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Then write what you could do to gain a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon.
Search Moroni 10:4, and identify what Moroni testified God would do for those who follow this process of reading, remembering, pondering, and asking. You may want to mark this promise in your scriptures. (Moroni 10:4–5 is a scripture mastery passage.)
Read Moroni 10:5–7, and look for what else Moroni promised we can know through the Holy Ghost.
One principle we can learn from Moroni 10:3–7 is: If we seek in faith, we can receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost. You may want to write this in your scriptures by these verses.
Do the following in your scripture study journal:
Record how reading, remembering, pondering, and praying this year has strengthened your testimony of the Book of Mormon and the truths it teaches or has helped you obtain a testimony of it.
Think about when you have felt the Holy Ghost testify to you of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon or another gospel truth. It is important to remember that most revelation does not come in a spectacular way. Most people will feel quiet and subtle promptings from the Holy Ghost, such as a warm, peaceful feeling or an assurance of the truth. The Spirit may also testify of gospel truths line upon line, helping us learn the truths gradually over time. Write about a time when you have felt the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost.
Read Moroni 10:27–29, and consider how these verses teach the following principle: Those who have received the Book of Mormon will be accountable to God for their response to it. Imagine that you have the opportunity to meet Moroni at the judgment bar of God. Ponder what you would say to him about the Book of Mormon and how it has affected your life.
Memorizing Moroni 10:4–5 can be of great help to you in sharing the message of the Book of Mormon with others. Consider taking some time now to memorize it word for word. One way to do this is to read the passage out loud several times. Then write it out word for word three times on a piece of paper or in your scripture study journal. When you have finished, see if you can recite these verses from memory.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Moroni 10:1–7, 27–29 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: