Mormon directed his final message to the descendants of Lehi in the latter days (see Mormon 7:1). Moroni also directed his words to people in the latter days, saying: “I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing” (Mormon 8:35). He declared that the Book of Mormon would miraculously come forth in a time of wickedness, when many in the world would say that “miracles are done away” (Mormon 8:26). As you conduct discussions about the teachings of Mormon and Moroni, you can help students recognize that the Book of Mormon was written for them. Students’ faith will increase as they draw nearer to the “God of miracles” of whom Mormon and Moroni testified (see Mormon 9:10–15).
Some Doctrines and Principles
The Lord offers salvation to all who believe in Him and accept His gospel (see Mormon 7).
The Book of Mormon was written for our day (see Mormon 8:26–41).
Miracles, signs, and revelations are poured out on the faithful (see Mormon 9:7–27).
God is an all-knowing, unchangeable being (see Mormon 9:9–11, 19).
Suggestions for Teaching
Mormon 7. The Lord Offers Salvation to All Who Believe in Him and Accept His Gospel
Ask students to imagine that they are about to die and that they have an opportunity to leave a final written message. Give each of them a piece of paper, and invite them to list some things they might write. After a few minutes, invite them to share their lists with each other.
Explain that Mormon 7 contains the last message Mormon wrote on the plates. (You may need to point out that Moroni wrote the words in Mormon 8–9. Some of Mormon’s teachings appear later, in Moroni chapters 7–9, but Moroni, not Mormon, recorded those teachings on the gold plates.)
Instruct students to silently read Mormon 7 and identify significant teachings Mormon included.
After students have read, help them see how Mormon’s message is relevant in their lives by asking some or all of the following questions:
Which of Mormon’s teachings do you feel are particularly meaningful or poignant?
How can coming “to the knowledge of [our] fathers” (verse 5) influence our desire to repent and live the gospel?
How can knowing that we will be resurrected to “stand before [Christ’s] judgment-seat” (verse 6) influence our desire to repent and live the gospel?
Mormon said that we should “lay hold upon the gospel of Christ” (verse 8). What does this mean to you?
Mormon 7:8–9. The Bible and the Book of Mormon Witness of Jesus Christ
The Book of Mormon and the Bible support each other and share a common purpose: to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. Ask a student to read the statement by President Brigham Young on pages 354–55 in the student manual. Then invite another student to read Mormon 7:8–9. Explain that in verse 8, the phrase “this record” refers to the Book of Mormon, and the phrase “the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews” refers to the Bible. In verse 9, the word this refers to the Book of Mormon, and the word that refers to the Bible.
In what ways does the Book of Mormon strengthen your faith in the teachings in the Bible? In what ways does the Bible strengthen your faith in the teachings in the Book of Mormon?
Why are you grateful to have both records?
Mormon 8:12–25. Accepting the Book of Mormon Brings Blessings
Invite a student to read Mormon 8:12, 17. Then ask students to turn to the introduction page of the Book of Mormon and read the sixth paragraph, which contains the Prophet Joseph Smith’s testimony of the Book of Mormon.
Even though Moroni expressed concern about possible “imperfections” and “faults” in the Book of Mormon, what was Joseph Smith’s assessment of the book?
What blessing did the Prophet Joseph Smith promise those who accept the Book of Mormon and abide by its principles?
What did Moroni say would come to those who receive the record and do not condemn it?
Read Mormon 8:14 with the students. Call attention to Moroni’s declaration that the record is “of great worth.”
Invite students to silently read Mormon 8:15, 21–25, looking for reasons why the Book of Mormon is of great worth. After students have read, invite them to share what they have found. Answers might include the following:
It is for “the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord” (verse 15).
It shows that the Lord remembers His covenant with the house of Israel (verse 21).
It shows that “the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled” (verse 22).
It demonstrates that the Lord is fulfilling the promises He made to writers in the book who prayed for the welfare of their brethren (verses 23–25).
Help students see that prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will help them grow in the testimony of its “great worth” and will help them secure the blessings promised by Moroni and Joseph Smith.
Mormon 8:26–41. The Book of Mormon Was Written for Our Day
Invite students to describe, in general terms, the wickedness in the world today. You might suggest that they contrast the Ten Commandments or the standards in For the Strength of Youth with the worldliness surrounding them. After they share a few comments, ask them to read Mormon 8:26–30, taking turns reading the verses. After each verse is read, discuss as a class how the conditions described in that verse are evident today.
Read Mormon 8:31. Suggest that students highlight or mark the prophecy that the Book of Mormon “shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions.” Ask them to identify the pollutions listed in the verse. Then share the statement by Elder Joe J. Christensen on pages 356–57 in the student manual.
In addition to physical pollution, what kinds of spiritual pollutions exist in our day? (See page 357 in the student manual.)
According to President Benson, how did the Book of Mormon writers know which stories, teachings, and events would be the most helpful to us?
In what ways can this knowledge affect the way you study the Book of Mormon?
Mormon 9:7–27. Miracles, Signs, and Revelations Are Poured Out on the Faithful
Consider sharing some experiences that illustrate that the Lord is a God of miracles. As appropriate, encourage students to share miracles they have witnessed. To help students recognize that we believe in a God of miracles today, share the statements by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Bruce R. McConkie on page 359 in the student manual.
Write Mormon 9:7–8, 19–21, 24–25 on the board:
Ask students to silently read these verses and consider what they teach concerning miracles. Invite them to share their thoughts.
Why should we expect to have revelations, signs, and miracles in the Church today?
What prevents miracles from happening?
Encourage students to write in their journals about miracles they have experienced. Suggest that they review these journal entries periodically.
Mormon 9:9–11, 19. God Is an All-Knowing, Unchangeable Being
Why is it important for you to know that God is all-knowing and unchangeable?
Explain to students that in order to “exercise faith in God unto life and salvation,” we must have “a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes” (Lectures on Faith , 38; italics in original). Direct students’ attention to Moroni’s warning that some people “have imagined … a god who doth vary” (Mormon 9:10).
How does it help you to know that God is unchanging?
Share the statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell on pages 358–59 in the student manual.
According to Elder Maxwell, why is it important to know that God is all-knowing?
How can we strengthen our faith in God’s unchanging and perfect nature?
List the following scripture references on the board:
Invite students to study one or more of these passages, looking for principles about the unchanging character of God. You may want to encourage them to create a scripture chain of these verses (for information on scripture chains, see page 360 in the student manual).
How do these scripture passages help you increase your trust in Heavenly Father?
Explain that in addition to being all-knowing and unchangeable, God delights to bless us and reward our faithfulness.
If God is unchangeable and bestowed visions, blessings, and revelations upon His children anciently, what does this mean for us today?
Share your testimony of the confidence that comes from understanding the unchanging character of God. Encourage students to share their testimonies regarding the character of God with family members or friends who may be struggling to gain the correct idea of God’s character.