Moroni 1–6

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 267–270


Introduction

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve wrote: “What Moroni first recorded in the book carrying his own name were vignettes—a brief catalog, if you will—of things he felt needed to be recorded before he died and the Book of Mormon saga ended. These included the words of Christ to his twelve disciples when they were commissioned to bestow the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, the prayer by which priests and teachers were ordained, the sacramental prayers, and instructions as to how those who were baptized were to be received into the ‘church of Christ’ and numbered among the ‘people of Christ.’” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 332).

The ordinances and practices recorded in Moroni 1–6 illustrate that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same in every age.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Note: Prayerfully study each assigned scripture block and consider the principles in this section before preparing your lessons.

  • We have a covenant obligation to remain steadfast in our testimonies regardless of any danger, sacrifice, or temptation we face (see Moroni 1:1–3; 4:3; 5:2; 6:1–3).

  • Priesthood ordinances are sacred ceremonies by which we make covenants with God. They must be performed in the proper way by those who have authority from God (see Moroni 2–3; 4:1; 5:1; see also 3 Nephi 11:21–28).

  • We take the sacrament to renew our baptismal covenants and to help us remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see Moroni 4–5; 6:5–6; see also Mosiah 18:8–13; D&C 20:75–79).

  • Church members are to meet together often to take the sacrament and to strengthen one another spiritually. Church meetings should be conducted as directed by the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 6:4–9; see also D&C 20:53–55).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 144–45.

Suggestions for Teaching

Note: Choose from the ideas in this section, or use some of your own, as you prepare to teach the assigned scripture block.

Moroni 1. We have a covenant obligation to remain steadfast in our testimonies regardless of any danger, sacrifice, or temptation we face. (20–25 minutes)

Read the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“Many years ago, large packs of wolves roamed the countryside in Ukraine, making travel in that part of the world very dangerous. These wolf packs were fearless. They were not intimidated by people or by any of the weapons available at that time. The only thing that seemed to frighten them was fire. Consequently, travelers who found themselves away from cities developed the common practice of building a large bonfire and keeping it burning through the night. As long as the fire burned brightly, the wolves stayed away. But if it were allowed to burn out and die, the wolves would move in for an attack. Travelers understood that building and maintaining a roaring bonfire was not just a matter of convenience or comfort; it was a matter of survival. (See Mary Pratt Parrish, ‘Guardians of the Covenant,’ Ensign, May 1972, p. 25.)

“We do not have to protect ourselves from wolf packs as we travel the road of life today, but, in a spiritual sense, we do face the devious wolves of Satan in the forms of temptation, evil, and sin. We live in dangerous times when these ravenous wolves roam the spiritual countryside in search of those who may be weak in faith or feeble in their conviction. [See 1 Peter 5:8; D&C 122:6.] We are all vulnerable to attack. However, we can fortify ourselves with the protection provided by a burning testimony that, like a bonfire, has been built adequately and maintained carefully.

“Unfortunately, some in the Church may believe sincerely that their testimony is a raging bonfire when it really is little more than the faint flickering of a candle. Their faithfulness has more to do with habit than holiness, and their pursuit of personal righteousness almost always takes a back seat to their pursuit of personal interests and pleasure. With such a feeble light of testimony for protection, these travelers on life’s highways are easy prey for the wolves of the adversary” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 45–46; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 34).

Read Moroni 1:1–3 and discuss the following questions:

  • What enemies did Moroni face?

  • How do you think the threat of physical death he faced compares to the threat of spiritual death Elder Wirthlin warned of?

  • How did Moroni’s testimony protect him?

  • What sacrifices did he have to make to remain faithful to his testimony?

  • What can you learn about testimony and commitment from Moroni’s example?

  • Read Moroni 1:4. What does this verse add to your understanding of the power of Moroni’s testimony?

Read this 1867 prophecy by President Heber C. Kimball, who was a member of the First Presidency:

“Let me say to you, that many of you will see the time when you will have all the trouble, trial and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and his work. This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. …

“… The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?” (in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball [1945], 449–50).

Discuss the following questions:

  • What do you think it means to “endure on borrowed light”?

  • Why can’t we endure on borrowed light?

  • What are some scriptural examples of people who had strong testimonies?

Encourage students to be firm in their testimonies. Share the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:

“I offer three suggestions that will fan the flame of personal testimony as a protection against the wolves of evil that are prowling all around us to threaten our spiritual security.

“First, make sure your testimony is built upon a solid foundation of faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. …

“Anchored with that faith, we are ready for my second suggestion—another layer of kindling on the bonfire of testimony. It is humble, sincere repentance. Few things extinguish the fervor of the Holy Spirit in the heart of any individual more quickly than does sin. …

“My third suggestion is that we follow the example of the Savior. He set the pattern.

“In any pursuit and under any condition, we can ask ourselves what Jesus would do and then determine our own course accordingly” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 47–48; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 35–36).

Encourage students to do what is required to build strong, bright testimonies.

Moroni 2–3. Priesthood ordinances are sacred ceremonies by which we make covenants with God. They must be performed in the proper way by those who have authority from God. (20–25 minutes)

Invite some Aaronic Priesthood holders in your class to participate in a panel discussion. Ask them the following questions, and allow other class members to ask them questions regarding the priesthood.

  • How did you feel when you received the Aaronic Priesthood?

  • What priesthood office do you currently hold?

  • Who ordained you to that office?

  • What duties or responsibilities do you have in the priesthood?

  • Why do you think it is important to magnify your callings in the priesthood?

  • How important is the priesthood in your life? Why?

Ask the class: In what ways may young women receive the promised blessings of the priesthood?

Invite the class to read Moroni 2–3, and ask the following questions. (If time allows you could also study the accompanying scriptures.)

  • Which verses in Moroni 2–3 teach that the priesthood is to be conferred by the laying on of hands? (see also Articles of Faith 1:5).

  • What evidence can you give that the prayers accompanying priesthood ordinations were inspired? (see also D&C 20:60).

  • What responsibilities were the priesthood holders in these chapters given?

  • How do those responsibilities compare with those of priests and teachers today? (see also D&C 20:46–59).

  • Why is it significant that this same pattern is followed today? (see also Articles of Faith 1:6).

Moroni 4–6. We take the sacrament to renew our baptismal covenants and to help us remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ. (20–25 minutes)

Tell students: Imagine you are a priest in a sacrament meeting. You have just broken the bread. You kneel to say the sacrament prayer and realize that the card you usually read the prayer from is missing.

  • What would you do?

  • How could your scriptures help?

  • Where in the scriptures can you find the sacrament prayers? (Moroni 4–5; D&C 20:77, 79.)

  • What word from the scriptures do you need to change when giving the prayer on the water?

Tell students: Imagine you are a member of the congregation in a sacrament meeting. The sacrament hymn has just concluded and everyone is prepared to listen to the blessing on the sacrament.

  • What do you think about?

  • What distractions do you try to avoid?

  • What do you do that helps you focus on the Savior?

Invite students to consider how often they feel the Lord’s Spirit during the sacrament and how strongly they feel that Spirit.

Tell students: Imagine a deacon has just brought the sacrament to where you are sitting and you are about to take it.

  • What promises are you about to make?

  • What blessings may you receive from this experience?

  • Why is this ordinance important to you?

  • What can you do to improve your experience of partaking of the sacrament?

Invite students to read Moroni 4–5 to find the promises we make when we take the sacrament and the promises the Lord gives in return. Invite students to ponder the importance of the sacrament. Ask: What can an Aaronic Priesthood holder do to help make the sacrament more significant for others?

Give several students two pieces of rope. Allow them thirty seconds to tie the two pieces together using any knot they choose. Have the students show their knots. Ask the class which of the knots they would trust most if they were being rescued with this rope. Explain that, like a knot, the covenants we make with the Lord “tie” or “bind” us to Him. Ask:

  • Why is it important to be bound to the Lord?

  • Since we all need the Atonement to rescue us from our sins, how strong would you like the “knot” or covenant between you and the Lord to be?

  • In what ways can worthily partaking of the sacrament strengthen our covenant relationship with the Savior?

  • How can improving your understanding of the sacrament strengthen your bond with Jesus Christ?

Sing or read a sacrament hymn, and encourage students to try to make their time taking the sacrament more sacred.

Moroni 6:4–9. Church members are to meet together often to partake of the sacrament and to strengthen one another spiritually. Church meetings should be conducted as guided by the Holy Ghost. (20–25 minutes)

Ask a student to read the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared: ‘After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel’ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 113). …

“Every one of the Presidents of the Church following Joseph Smith has spoken on this important matter.

“Great is our work, tremendous is our responsibility in helping to find those to teach. The Lord has laid upon us a mandate to teach the gospel to every creature. …

“Having found and baptized a new convert, we have the challenge of fellowshipping him and strengthening his testimony of the truth of this work. We cannot have him walking in the front door and out the back. Joining the Church is a very serious thing. Each convert takes upon himself or herself the name of Christ with an implied promise to keep His commandments. But coming into the Church can be a perilous experience. Unless there are warm and strong hands to greet the convert, unless there is an outreach of love and concern, he will begin to wonder about the step he has taken. Unless there are friendly hands and welcome hearts to greet him and lead him along the way, he may drop by the side.

“There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work unless we hold on to the fruits of that effort. The two must be inseparable. These converts are precious. Every convert is a son or daughter of God. Every convert is a great and serious responsibility. It is an absolute imperative that we look after those who have become a part of us” (“Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep,” Ensign, May 1999, 107–8).

Divide the class into four groups. Assign the first group to take the role of a new convert, the second a missionary, the third a ward member and neighbor of the new convert, and the fourth a priesthood or Relief Society leader. Invite students to read Moroni 6:1–6 and think about what it teaches from the perspective of the person their group was assigned to be. Discuss the following questions as a class:

  • What did you learn from these verses about your responsibility as a new convert, missionary, neighbor, or ward leader?

  • Why do you think it would be important for someone who is being baptized to have “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” and to have truly repented? (v. 2).

  • What could a missionary do to help ensure that those who are baptized truly take “upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end”? (v. 3).

  • What could a home teacher or visiting teacher, neighbor, or friend do for a new convert to help make sure that person is “remembered,” “nourished by the good word of God,” kept “in the right way,” and “continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ”? (v. 4).

  • Why do you think the Lord commanded Church leaders to number and take the names of new converts? (see v. 4).

  • How would holding regular church meetings and speaking about the welfare of the soul of each member help new converts? (see v. 5).

  • What other responsibilities are outlined in Moroni 6:7–9 that can help all members of the Church come to Christ?

  • Why do you think Moroni may have included these teachings on the gold plates?