Unit 32: Day 1, Moroni 7:20–48

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 318–21


Introduction

As recorded in Moroni 7:20–48, Mormon continued his sermon in the synagogue by teaching his listeners how to “lay hold upon every good thing” (Moroni 7:20–21, 25). He explained the importance of faith, hope, and charity. He concluded his sermon with a plea that his listeners would pray to the Father with all the energy of their hearts for the gift of charity—which Mormon defined as “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47).

Moroni 7:20–39

Mormon teaches about faith in Jesus Christ

Review Moroni 7:12–13, and consider what you learned in the previous lesson about how to tell good things from evil things. In the space provided, list examples of good things (things that come from God and persuade us to believe in Christ) and evil things (things that persuade us not to believe in Christ and not to serve God):

Good Things

Evil Things

  

Notice that Mormon encouraged us to “lay hold upon every good thing” (Moroni 7:19). Ponder what you think it means to lay hold on every good thing.

Mormon asked his listeners an important question, which he then went on to answer. Read Moroni 7:20, and find the question Mormon planned to address. Then search Moroni 7:21–26, looking for the answer to this question.

As you look at Moroni 7:21, 25, mark words or phrases that teach this principle: As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can lay hold upon every good thing.

  1. journal icon1.

    In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions:

    1. a.

      According to Moroni 7:22–26, in what ways does Heavenly Father seek to help us build faith in Jesus Christ?

    2. b.

      When has your faith in Jesus Christ helped you lay hold upon a good thing or helped you dismiss something evil?

Mormon went on to describe several of the good things that come to those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ. Read Moroni 7:32–34, and mark at least one blessing in each of these verses that results from having faith in Jesus Christ.

  1. journal icon2.

    Think of and pray about something you can do to exercise greater faith in Jesus Christ. When you have a goal in mind, write it down in your scripture study journal. This goal could be to do something specific that will help you follow the words of the prophets (see Moroni 7:23), pray with greater faith (see Moroni 7:26), or repent of a sin (see Moroni 7:34). As you write your goal, include specific details about how you are going to accomplish it. Also write how this goal will bring good things into your life.

Moroni 7:40–43

Mormon teaches about hope

In the sermon recorded in Moroni 7, Mormon identified three divine principles that are necessary for eternal life. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that these “three divine principles form a foundation upon which we can build the structure of our lives.” He said that these three principles “together give us a base of support like the legs of a three-legged stool” (“The Joy of Hope Fulfilled,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 33).

3-legged stool

The following material will help you find the three principles that Mormon identified. The first principle is faith, which you have just studied in Moroni 7:20–39. Label one of the legs of the stool above Faith in Jesus Christ. Find what the second leg represents by reading Moroni 7:40. Write that principle by another leg of the stool.

Read Moroni 7:41–42, and identify what Mormon taught we should hope for. (Moroni 7:41 is a scripture mastery passage.) You might wish to add “for eternal life” to the label you put on the second leg of the stool so that it reads “Hope for eternal life.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency spoke about the hope Mormon was referring to:

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. …

“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance” (“The Infinite Power of Hope,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 21–22).

One principle we learn from Moroni 7:40–42 is: If we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can obtain a hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be raised to eternal life.

Read Moroni 7:43, and identify characteristics that are required in order for a person to have the faith and hope that Mormon spoke of.

To be “meek, and lowly of heart” means to be truly humble, gentle, and submissive to the Lord’s will. Why do you think meekness and lowliness of heart are necessary in order to have faith and hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

  1. journal icon3.

    In your scripture study journal, describe how your faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement has given you hope.

Moroni 7:44–48

Mormon teaches about charity

Refer back to the stool diagram at the beginning of the lesson. Read Moroni 7:44, and identify the third principle taught by Mormon. Label the last leg of the stool with this final principle.

As recorded in Moroni 7:44–48, Mormon gave a powerful explanation of charity. Read Moroni 7:45–47, and mark words or phrases that Mormon used to define charity. (Moroni 7:45, 47–48 is a scripture mastery passage.) To help you better understand what Mormon was teaching, you might wish to write some of these definitions in your scriptures: “suffereth long” means to endure patiently, “envieth not” means to not be jealous, “not puffed up” means to be humble and meek, “seeketh not her own” means to put God and others first, “not easily provoked” means to not become angry easily, and “believeth all things” means to accept all truth.

  1. journal icon4.

    In your scripture study journal, answer one or more of the following questions:

    1. a.

      Based on the definition in Moroni 7:45–47, why do you think charity is the greatest spiritual gift we can receive?

    2. b.

      What do you think it means that charity will never fail?

    3. c.

      Why do you think we are nothing if we do not have charity?

After mentioning the Apostle Paul’s teaching on charity in 1 Corinthians 13, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, ‘the pure love of Christ’ (Moro. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes. Thus, as Moroni declared, ‘except men shall have charity they cannot inherit’ the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father (Ether 12:34; emphasis added)” (“The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 34.)

Read the following situations and consider how you might respond if you lacked the gift of charity and how you might respond if you were filled with charity:

  • Other students make fun of you or someone else at school.

  • You have a brother or sister who frequently annoys you.

  • You do not like one of your new quorum or class advisers as much as you liked the previous leader.

After explaining how important it is that we develop charity in our lives, Mormon explained how we can acquire this vital character trait. Read Moroni 7:48, and mark words or phrases that teach this principle: If we pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart and live as true followers of Jesus Christ, we can be filled with charity. Ponder why it is important to pray for the gift of charity with all the energy of your heart rather than praying casually for this gift.

  1. journal icon5.

    In your scripture study journal, write about a time when you felt that the Lord helped you to be charitable. Or write about a time when you saw someone else being charitable. In addition, set a specific goal for how you will improve in one of the characteristics of charity listed in Moroni 7:45. Pray for the gift of charity as you strive to accomplish your goal.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—Moroni 7:41

Write the entire verse on a piece of paper. Recite the verse several times. Erase (or cross out) words or phrases until you can recite the entire verse from memory.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—Moroni 7:45, 47–48

Write the first letter of every word in these three verses on a piece of paper. Refer to the paper to help you recite the verses. After you recite the verses several times, erase or cross out letters until you can recite the verses from memory. Then choose one of the following groups of people for whom you would like to have more charity: family, Church quorum or class members, school classmates, friends, or neighbors. Think about the people you chose as you read Moroni 7:45, and consider ways you will show these people more Christlike love.

  1. journal icon6.

    Write in your scripture study journal one or two ways you will show greater charity for these people. During the coming week, pray for the Lord’s help in developing greater charity for them. At the end of the week, share your experience with a friend or a family member.

  2. journal icon7.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Moroni 7:20–48 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: