Appendix

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2012


Scripture Reading Charts

We help fulfill the Objective of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion as we encourage students to (1) read and study the scriptures daily and (2) read the scriptures for the course of study. You may want to give students charts like those shown below to help them keep track of their progress. If you would like to report students’ daily reading of the scriptures, follow the directions in the Scripture Reading Reporting Instructions. Search for these instructions on si.lds.org using the phrase “scripture reading reporting instructions.”

Book of Mormon Reading Chart

1 Nephi

1

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2 Nephi

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Jacob

1

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Enos

1

          

Jarom

1

          

Omni

1

          

Words of Mormon

1

        

Mosiah

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Alma

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Helaman

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3 Nephi

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4 Nephi

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Mormon

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Ether

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Moroni

1

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10

 

Daily Scripture Reading Chart

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

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(29)

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31

Pacing Guide for Daily Teachers

Suggested Schedule for 36-Week School Year

Week

Scripture Block to Be Taught

Reading Block

1

Day 1:Lesson 1The Role of the Learner

Day 2:Lesson 2Studying the Scriptures

Day 3:Lesson 3The Plan of Salvation

Day 4:Lesson 4Title Page, Introduction, and Testimonies of Witnesses

Day 5:Lesson 5Overview of the Book of Mormon

Title page, Introduction to the Book of Mormon, Testimonies of Witnesses, Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon

2

Day 1:Lesson 61 Nephi 1

Day 2:Lesson 71 Nephi 2

Day 3:Lesson 81 Nephi 3–4

Day 4:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 5:Lesson 91 Nephi 5

1 Nephi 1–5

3

Day 1:Lesson 101 Nephi 6 and 9

Day 2:Lesson 111 Nephi 7

Day 3:Lesson 121 Nephi 8

Day 4:Lesson 131 Nephi 10–11

Day 5:Lesson 141 Nephi 12–13

1 Nephi 6–13

4

Day 1:Lesson 151 Nephi 14

Day 2:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 3:Lesson 161 Nephi 15

Day 4:Lesson 171 Nephi 16

Day 5:Lesson 181 Nephi 17

1 Nephi 14–17

5

Day 1:Lesson 191 Nephi 18

Day 2:Lesson 201 Nephi 19

Day 3:Lesson 211 Nephi 20–22

Day 4:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 5:Lesson 222 Nephi 1

1 Nephi 182 Nephi 1

6

Day 1:Lesson 232 Nephi 2 (Part 1)

Day 2:Lesson 242 Nephi 2 (Part 2)

Day 3:Lesson 252 Nephi 3

Day 4:Lesson 262 Nephi 4

Day 5:Lesson 272 Nephi 5

2 Nephi 2–5

7

Day 1:Lesson 282 Nephi 6–8

Day 2:Lesson 292 Nephi 9:1–26

Day 3:Lesson 302 Nephi 9:27–54 and 2 Nephi 10

Day 4:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 5:Lesson 312 Nephi 11 and 16

2 Nephi 6–11; 16

8

Day 1:Lesson 322 Nephi 12–15

Day 2:Lesson 332 Nephi 17–20

Day 3:Lesson 342 Nephi 21–24

Day 4:Lesson 352 Nephi 25

Day 5:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

2 Nephi 12–15; 17–25

9

Day 1:Lesson 362 Nephi 26

Day 2:Lesson 372 Nephi 27

Day 3:Lesson 382 Nephi 28

Day 4:Lesson 392 Nephi 29–30

Day 5:Lesson 402 Nephi 31

2 Nephi 26–31

10

Day 1:Lesson 412 Nephi 32

Day 2:Lesson 422 Nephi 33

Day 3:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 4:Lesson 43Jacob 1–2:11

Day 5:Lesson 44Jacob 2:12–35

2 Nephi 32Jacob 2

11

Day 1:Lesson 45Jacob 3–4

Day 2:Lesson 46Jacob 5:1–51

Day 3:Lesson 47Jacob 5:52–77; Jacob 6

Day 4:Lesson 48Jacob 7

Day 5:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Jacob 3–7

12

Day 1:Lesson 49Enos

Day 2:Lesson 50Jarom and Omni

Day 3:Lesson 51Words of MormonMosiah 1

Day 4:Lesson 52Mosiah 2

Day 5:Lesson 53Mosiah 3

EnosMosiah 3

13

Day 1:Lesson 54Mosiah 4

Day 2:Lesson 55Mosiah 5–6

Day 3:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 4:Lesson 56Mosiah 7–8

Day 5:Lesson 57Mosiah 9–10

Mosiah 4–10

14

Day 1:Lesson 58Mosiah 11–12:17

Day 2:Lesson 59Mosiah 12:18–14:12

Day 3:Lesson 60Mosiah 15–17

Day 4:Lesson 61Mosiah 18

Day 5:Lesson 62Mosiah 19–20

Mosiah 11–20

15

Day 1:Lesson 63Mosiah 21–22

Day 2:Lesson 64Mosiah 23–24

Day 3:Lesson 65Mosiah 25

Day 4:Lesson 66Mosiah 26

Day 5:Lesson 67Mosiah 27

Mosiah 21–27

16

Day 1:Lesson 68Mosiah 28–29

Day 2:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 3:Lesson 69Alma 1–2

Day 4:Lesson 70Alma 3–4

Day 5:Lesson 71Alma 5:1–36

Mosiah 28Alma 5:36

17

Day 1:Lesson 72Alma 5:37–62

Day 2:Lesson 73Alma 6–7

Day 3:Lesson 74Alma 8

Day 4:Lesson 75Alma 9–10

Day 5:Lesson 76Alma 11

Alma 5:37–11:46

18

Day 1:Lesson 77Alma 12

Day 2:Lesson 78Alma 13

Day 3:Lesson 79Alma 14

Day 4:Lesson 80Alma 15–16

Day 5:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Alma 12–16

19

Day 1:Lesson 81Alma 17

Day 2:Lesson 82Alma 18

Day 3:Lesson 83Alma 19–20

Day 4:Lesson 84Alma 21–22

Day 5:Lesson 85Alma 23–24

Alma 17–24

20

Day 1:Lesson 86Alma 25–26

Day 2:Lesson 87Alma 27–29

Day 3:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 4:Lesson 88Alma 30

Day 5:Lesson 89Alma 31

Alma 25–31

21

Day 1:Lesson 90Alma 32

Day 2:Lesson 91Alma 33

Day 3:Lesson 92Alma 34–35

Day 4:Lesson 93Alma 36

Day 5:Lesson 94Alma 37

Alma 32–37

22

Day 1:Lesson 95Alma 38

Day 2:Lesson 96Alma 39

Day 3:Lesson 97Alma 40

Day 4:Lesson 98Alma 41

Day 5:Lesson 99Alma 42

Alma 38–42

23

Day 1:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 2:Lesson 100Alma 43–44

Day 3:Lesson 101Alma 45–48

Day 4:Lesson 102Alma 49–51

Day 5:Lesson 103Alma 52–55

Alma 43–55

24

Day 1:Lesson 104Alma 56–58

Day 2:Lesson 105Alma 59–63

Day 3:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 4:Lesson 106Helaman 1–2

Day 5:Lesson 107Helaman 3–4

Alma 56Helaman 4

25

Day 1:Lesson 108Helaman 5

Day 2:Lesson 109Helaman 6–7

Day 3:Lesson 110Helaman 8–9

Day 4:Lesson 111Helaman 10

Day 5:Lesson 112Helaman 11–12

Helaman 5–12

26

Day 1:Lesson 113Helaman 13

Day 2:Lesson 114Helaman 14

Day 3:Lesson 115Helaman 15–16

Day 4:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 5:Lesson 1163 Nephi 1

Helaman 133 Nephi 1

27

Day 1:Lesson 1173 Nephi 2–5

Day 2:Lesson 1183 Nephi 6–7

Day 3:Lesson 1193 Nephi 8–10

Day 4:Lesson 1203 Nephi 11:1–17

Day 5:Lesson 1213 Nephi 11:18–41

3 Nephi 2–11

28

Day 1:Lesson 1223 Nephi 12

Day 2:Lesson 1233 Nephi 13

Day 3:Lesson 1243 Nephi 14

Day 4:Lesson 1253 Nephi 15–16

Day 5:Lesson 1263 Nephi 17

3 Nephi 12–17

29

Day 1:Lesson 1273 Nephi 18

Day 2:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 3:Lesson 1283 Nephi 19

Day 4:Lesson 1293 Nephi 20

Day 5:Lesson 1303 Nephi 21–22

3 Nephi 18–22

30

Day 1:Lesson 1313 Nephi 23

Day 2:Lesson 1323 Nephi 24–26

Day 3:Lesson 1333 Nephi 27

Day 4:Lesson 1343 Nephi 28

Day 5:Lesson 1353 Nephi 29–30

3 Nephi 23–30

31

Day 1:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 2:Lesson 1364 Nephi

Day 3:Lesson 137Mormon 1–2

Day 4:Lesson 138Mormon 3–4

Day 5:Lesson 139Mormon 5–6

4 NephiMormon 6

32

Day 1:Lesson 140Mormon 7–8:11

Day 2:Lesson 141Mormon 8:12–41

Day 3:Lesson 142Mormon 9

Day 4:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 5:Lesson 143Ether 1

Mormon 7Ether 1

33

Day 1:Lesson 144Ether 2

Day 2:Lesson 145Ether 3

Day 3:Lesson 146Ether 4–5

Day 4:Lesson 147Ether 6

Day 5:Lesson 148Ether 7–11

Ether 2–11

34

Day 1:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 2:Lesson 149Ether 12:1–22

Day 3:Lesson 150Ether 12:23–41

Day 4:Lesson 151Ether 13–15

Day 5:Lesson 152Moroni 1–3

Ether 12Moroni 3

35

Day 1:Lesson 153Moroni 4–5

Day 2:Lesson 154Moroni 6

Day 3:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Day 4:Lesson 155Moroni 7:1–19

Day 5:Lesson 156Moroni 7:20–48

Moroni 4–7

36

Day 1:Lesson 157Moroni 8

Day 2:Lesson 158Moroni 9

Day 3:Lesson 159Moroni 10:1–7, 27–29

Day 4:Lesson 160Moroni 10:8–26, 30–34

Day 5:Flexible day (see suggestions for flexible days)

Moroni 8–10

Suggestions for Flexible Days

The pacing guide for daily teachers is based on a 36-week or 180-day school year. This manual provides 160 daily lessons, leaving 20 days for which no teaching material is provided. These 20 “flexible days” should be used wisely for worthwhile goals and activities, including the following:

  1. 1.

    Adapting the daily lessons. You may want to spend extra time on a lesson that takes longer to effectively teach. You may also want to use the supplemental teaching ideas that appear at the end of some lessons or take time to answer students’ questions about a particular scripture passage or gospel topic. Flexible days allow you to take advantage of these opportunities while maintaining your pacing schedule and fulfilling your commission to teach the scriptures sequentially.

  2. 2.

    Mastering key scripture passages and Basic Doctrines. You may want to use the review activities for scripture mastery passages that are found throughout the manual and in the appendix. You could create additional scripture mastery review activities that meet the specific needs and interests of the students in your class. You could also use part of a flexible day for activities that help students review and deepen their understanding of the Basic Doctrines. Early in the year, you could use a flexible day to administer a Basic Doctrines Assessment (BDA) that has been designed to help teachers assess the extent to which students understand, believe, know how to apply, and are able to explain some basic doctrines of the Church. To find the Basic Doctrines Assessment and other assessments on the S&I website (si.lds.org), search using the keyword assessment. The BDA reports help teachers who have administered the assessment to analyze their students’ needs and adapt teaching to better meet those needs.

  3. 3.

    Reviewing previous material. It is helpful for students to periodically look back at what they have learned in previous lessons or from a particular book of scripture. You could provide students with an opportunity to explain a truth from a previous lesson and share how that truth has influenced their lives. You could also create and administer a quiz or learning activities that review previous material.

  4. 4.

    Allowing for schedule interruptions. School activities or assemblies, community events, weather, and other interruptions may require you to cancel or shorten class periodically. Flexible days can be used to allow for such interruptions.

Pacing Guide for Home-Study Teachers

This manual contains 32 home-study lessons that correspond to the 32 units in the Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students. You may adapt the lessons and pacing as needed for the number of weeks you have to teach your class.

Unit

Home-Study Lesson

Unit 1

Day 1:Studying the Scriptures

Day 2:The Plan of Salvation

Day 3:Title Page, Introduction, and Testimonies of Witnesses

Day 4:Overview of the Book of Mormon

Teacher Lesson:Studying the Scriptures–Overview of the Book of Mormon

Unit 2

Day 1:1 Nephi 1

Day 2:1 Nephi 2

Day 3:1 Nephi 3–4

Day 4:1 Nephi 5–6; 9

Teacher Lesson:1 Nephi 1–6; 9

Unit 3

Day 1:1 Nephi 7

Day 2:1 Nephi 8

Day 3:1 Nephi 10–11

Day 4:1 Nephi 12–14

Teacher Lesson:1 Nephi 7–8; 10–14

Unit 4

Day 1:1 Nephi 15

Day 2:1 Nephi 16

Day 3:1 Nephi 17

Day 4:1 Nephi 18–19

Teacher Lesson:1 Nephi 15–19

Unit 5

Day 1:1 Nephi 20–22

Day 2:2 Nephi 1

Day 3:2 Nephi 2

Day 4:2 Nephi 3

Teacher Lesson:1 Nephi 202 Nephi 3

Unit 6

Day 1:2 Nephi 4–5

Day 2:2 Nephi 6–8

Day 3:2 Nephi 9

Day 4:2 Nephi 9–10

Teacher Lesson:2 Nephi 4–10

Unit 7

Day 1:2 Nephi 11–16

Day 2:2 Nephi 17–20

Day 3:2 Nephi 21–24

Day 4:2 Nephi 25

Teacher Lesson:2 Nephi 11–25

Unit 8

Day 1:2 Nephi 26–27

Day 2:2 Nephi 28

Day 3:2 Nephi 29–30

Day 4:2 Nephi 31

Teacher Lesson:2 Nephi 26–31

Unit 9

Day 1:2 Nephi 32

Day 2:2 Nephi 33

Day 3:Jacob 1–2

Day 4:Jacob 3–4

Teacher Lesson:2 Nephi 32Jacob 4

Unit 10

Day 1:Jacob 5–6

Day 2:Jacob 7

Day 3:Enos

Day 4:Jarom and Omni

Teacher Lesson:Jacob 5Omni

Unit 11

Day 1:Words of MormonMosiah 2

Day 2:Mosiah 3

Day 3:Mosiah 4

Day 4:Mosiah 5–6

Teacher Lesson:Words of MormonMosiah 6

Unit 12

Day 1:Mosiah 7–8

Day 2:Mosiah 9–10

Day 3:Mosiah 11–14

Day 4:Mosiah 15–17

Teacher Lesson:Mosiah 7–17

Unit 13

Day 1:Mosiah 18

Day 2:Mosiah 19–20

Day 3:Mosiah 21–24

Day 4:Mosiah 25

Teacher Lesson:Mosiah 18–25

Unit 14

Day 1:Mosiah 26

Day 2:Mosiah 27

Day 3:Mosiah 28–29

Day 4:Alma 1–4

Teacher Lesson:Mosiah 26Alma 4

Unit 15

Day 1:Alma 5:1–36

Day 2:Alma 5:37–62

Day 3:Alma 6–7

Day 4:Alma 8–10

Teacher Lesson:Alma 5–10

Unit 16

Day 1:Alma 11

Day 2:Alma 12

Day 3:Alma 13

Day 4:Alma 14–16

Teacher Lesson:Alma 11–16

Unit 17

Day 1:Alma 17–18

Day 2:Alma 19–20

Day 3:Alma 21–22

Day 4:Alma 23–24

Teacher Lesson:Alma 17–24

Unit 18

Day 1:Alma 25–29

Day 2:Alma 30

Day 3:Alma 31

Day 4:Alma 32

Teacher Lesson:Alma 25–32

Unit 19

Day 1:Alma 33–35

Day 2:Alma 36

Day 3:Alma 37

Day 4:Alma 38

Teacher Lesson:Alma 33–38

Unit 20

Day 1:Alma 39

Day 2:Alma 40–41

Day 3:Alma 42

Day 4:Alma 43–44

Teacher Lesson:Alma 39–44

Unit 21

Day 1:Alma 45–49

Day 2:Alma 50–52; 54–55

Day 3:Alma 53; 56–58

Day 4:Alma 59–63

Teacher Lesson:Alma 45–63

Unit 22

Day 1:Helaman 1–2

Day 2:Helaman 3–4

Day 3:Helaman 5

Day 4:Helaman 6–9

Teacher Lesson:Helaman 1–9

Unit 23

Day 1:Helaman 10

Day 2:Helaman 11–12

Day 3:Helaman 13–14

Day 4:Helaman 15–16

Teacher Lesson:Helaman 10–16

Unit 24

Day 1:3 Nephi 1

Day 2:3 Nephi 2–5

Day 3:3 Nephi 6–10

Day 4:3 Nephi 11:1–17

Teacher Lesson:3 Nephi 1–11:17

Unit 25

Day 1:3 Nephi 11:18–12:48

Day 2:3 Nephi 13

Day 3:3 Nephi 14

Day 4:3 Nephi 15–16

Teacher Lesson:3 Nephi 11:18–16:20

Unit 26

Day 1:3 Nephi 17

Day 2:3 Nephi 18

Day 3:3 Nephi 19

Day 4:3 Nephi 20–22

Teacher Lesson:3 Nephi 17–22

Unit 27

Day 1:3 Nephi 23

Day 2:3 Nephi 24–26

Day 3:3 Nephi 27

Day 4:3 Nephi 28–30

Teacher Lesson:3 Nephi 23–30

Unit 28

Day 1:4 Nephi 1

Day 2:Mormon 1–2

Day 3:Mormon 3–6

Day 4:Mormon 7:1–8:11

Teacher Lesson:4 Nephi 1Mormon 8:11

Unit 29

Day 1:Mormon 8:12–41

Day 2:Mormon 9

Day 3:Ether 1–2

Day 4:Ether 3

Teacher Lesson:Mormon 8:12Ether 3

Unit 30

Day 1:Ether 4–5

Day 2:Ether 6

Day 3:Ether 7–11

Day 4:Ether 12

Teacher Lesson:Ether 4–12

Unit 31

Day 1:Ether 13–15

Day 2:Moroni 1–5

Day 3:Moroni 6

Day 4:Moroni 7:1–19

Teacher Lesson:Ether 13Moroni 7:19

Unit 32

Day 1:Moroni 7:20–48

Day 2:Moroni 8–9

Day 3:Moroni 10:1–7, 27–29

Day 4:Moroni 10:8–26, 30–34

Teacher Lesson:Moroni 7:20–10:34

Introduction to Scripture Mastery

Seminaries and Institutes of Religion has selected 25 scripture mastery passages for each of the four seminary courses. These passages provide an important scriptural foundation for understanding and sharing the gospel and for strengthening faith. The scripture mastery passages for the Book of Mormon are as follows:

Seminary students are encouraged to develop a “mastery” of these passages. You will be better able to help your students if you master these passages as well. Mastery of scripture passages includes the following:

  • Locating the verses by knowing the associated scripture references

  • Understanding the context and content of the scripture passages

  • Applying the gospel principles and doctrines taught in the scripture passages

  • Memorizing the passages

Consistency, Expectations, and Methods

As you plan to help students master scripture passages, you will be more successful if you refer to scripture mastery passages with consistency, maintain appropriate expectations, and use methods that appeal to different learning styles.

Consistency and repetition in teaching scripture mastery will help students place truths in their long-term memories for future use. It may be helpful to outline the course of study for the year and create a plan to consistently provide opportunities in the classroom for students to master scripture passages. Be wise in determining how often and how much time to spend helping students learn the scripture mastery passages. Ensure that scripture mastery activities do not overshadow daily sequential study of the scriptures. You could decide to spend a few minutes each day reviewing scripture mastery passages with your students. Or you might decide to provide a short mastery activity once or twice each week for 10 to 15 minutes. No matter how you plan to help students learn scripture mastery passages, be consistent and appropriate in your efforts.

Base your expectations for scripture mastery on each student’s abilities. Mastering scripture passages takes effort on the part of the learner. Communicate to students that their success with scripture mastery depends largely on their attitudes and willingness to work. Encourage them to set goals that push their abilities to higher levels. Be sensitive to students who may have difficulty memorizing, and be willing to adapt your expectations and teaching methods according to the needs of your students.

To appeal to a wider range of personality and learning styles, vary the methods you use to help students master scripture passages. As in all gospel teaching and learning, be wise in your choice of activities so that the Holy Ghost can support students’ scriptural and doctrinal mastery. You will find a number of appropriate scripture mastery teaching methods in the lessons in this manual. For additional scripture mastery teaching methods, see the scripture mastery activities listed below.

Scripture Mastery in the Curriculum

Scripture mastery is written into the curriculum in a number of ways. A scripture mastery icon identifies the treatment of scripture mastery passages in the lesson material. Scripture mastery passages are introduced and discussed in the context of the chapter where they are located. Additional teaching ideas for scripture mastery passages appear at the end of the lessons in which they are located. These additional teaching ideas help balance the four elements of scripture mastery (locating, understanding, applying, memorizing) with regard to each passage. For example, if the lesson helps students to understand and apply the scripture mastery passage, then the additional teaching idea will help them with locating or memorizing the passage.

The curriculum also regularly provides scripture mastery review activities that can be used as time allows and in harmony with the scripture mastery goals of your class. These reviews can be supplemented with scripture mastery activities listed below. You might use extra time at the beginning or end of a shorter lesson to do one of these review activities.

Suggested Approaches for Scripture Mastery

To aid students with locating skills, you could plan to introduce the 25 mastery passages near the beginning of the course and then work on deepening mastery throughout the course. Or you could introduce a few passages each month and focus on mastering those passages during that month. Such introductions could include suggesting that students mark scripture mastery passages in their individual copies of the scriptures, helping students think of ways to remember key words and references, and explaining doctrines and principles contained in each passage. You could also involve students in introducing scripture mastery passages by assigning them to use passages in their devotionals or by inviting them to teach each other how to remember and locate the passages. Provide accountability for remembering scripture mastery passages with periodic quizzes and locating activities (see the scripture mastery activities below for examples). A list of the 25 mastery passages for this course of study can be found on the student bookmarks and scripture mastery cards.

To assist students in their understanding of scripture mastery passages, emphasize these passages as they come up in your daily lessons. You might also use the scripture mastery activities below to increase students’ knowledge of and ability to explain the truths contained in the passages. Give students opportunities in devotionals or during class to explain how the truths in scripture mastery passages help them better understand the Basic Doctrines.

To support students in their application of truths found in scripture mastery passages, encourage them to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost to understand how the truths in the passages apply in their lives. To help students act on the truths they learn, you could occasionally post on a bulletin board in class a challenge related to a scripture mastery passage. Or you could give students opportunities in class to practice teaching doctrines and principles of the gospel using the scripture mastery passages (see the scripture mastery activities below for ideas). You might also invite students to apply the principles they learn in the lessons where scripture mastery passages appear. Provide students with opportunities, in devotionals or at other times, to report their experiences. This will help them to increase their witness of the truths they have learned from the scripture mastery passages.

To help students memorize the 25 scripture mastery passages, you could plan to commit to memory two or three passages each month in class. You could also challenge students to memorize certain passages at home (they could do this with their families or recite passages to a parent or family member). You could make memorization a part of daily devotionals by asking the class to recite a passage or by providing time for students to memorize in pairs. Giving students opportunities to recite scripture mastery passages in pairs or small groups or in front of the class can help them be accountable for their efforts. The scripture mastery activities below include a variety of memorization methods. Take care to tailor memorization expectations to each student’s abilities and circumstances. Students should not be made to feel embarrassed or overwhelmed if they are unable to memorize.

Scripture Mastery Activities

Introduction

This section provides some ideas you can use to assist students in mastering key scripture passages. As you assist and encourage students to develop these skills, you are helping them to become self-reliant in their study of the scriptures. Students can use these mastery skills throughout their lives to better locate, understand, apply, and memorize passages in the scriptures. Teaching ideas for each element of scripture mastery are listed below. Using a variety of these types of activities can help students to more successfully master scripture passages.

Activities That Help Students Locate Scripture Mastery Passages

Marking Passages

Marking scripture mastery passages can help students remember these passages and locate them more quickly. Consider encouraging students to mark these key passages in their scriptures in a way that sets them apart from other passages they mark.

Knowing the Books

Memorizing the names and order of the books in the Book of Mormon can help students locate scripture mastery passages more quickly. The following are examples of activities that can help students become familiar with the books in the Book of Mormon:

  • Find the Table of Contents—Help students find the table of contents in the Book of Mormon, which is titled “Names and Order of Books in the Book of Mormon.”

  • Sing a Song—Teach students the song “The Books in the Book of Mormon” (Children’s Songbook, 119). Have them sing it periodically throughout the year to help them remember the names and order of the books in the Book of Mormon.

  • Use First Letters—Write the first letters of the books in the Book of Mormon on the board (1N, 2N, J, E, and so on). Have students practice saying the names of the books that correspond with each letter. Repeat this activity until they can recite the names of the books from memory.

  • Book Chase—Call out one of the books in which a scripture mastery passage is located, and have students open their scriptures to any page in that book. Time how long it takes the entire class to find each of the books. This activity could be repeated to allow students to become more proficient at remembering and finding the books in the Book of Mormon.

Remembering References and Content

As students learn the location and content of scripture mastery passages, the Holy Ghost can help them recall scripture references as needed (see John 14:26). Key words or phrases, such as “I will go and do” (1 Nephi 3:7) and “free to choose” (2 Nephi 2:27) can help students remember the content and doctrinal teachings of each passage. The following methods can help students associate scripture mastery references with their content or key words. (You may want to save activities that involve competition, racing, or being timed for later in the year, after students have demonstrated that they know where the scripture mastery passages are located. Such activities will then help reinforce what they have learned.)

  • References and Key Words—Encourage students to memorize the references and key words of each scripture mastery passage listed on the scripture mastery cards. (Scripture mastery cards can be ordered online at store.lds.org. You could also have students create their own sets of scripture mastery cards.) Give students time to study the cards with a partner and then quiz each other. Encourage students to be creative in the ways they study together and quiz each other. As they become more proficient with the scripture mastery passages, you might invite them to use clues that involve context or application of doctrines and principles from the passages. The person being quizzed could respond verbally or in writing.

  • Scripture Mastery Cards—This activity could be used to introduce or review a set of scripture mastery passages. Select a number of the scripture mastery cards, and prepare to distribute them among your students. (Be sure to have multiple copies of each card so more than one student receives the same scripture mastery passage. You may want to have enough cards for each student to have two or three different passages.) Pass them out to the class. Allow students time to study the scripture mastery passage, the reference, the key words, the context statement, the doctrine or principle, and the application ideas on each card. Call out some clues from the cards (for example, words from the scripture mastery passage or the key words, context, doctrine or principle, or application). Students who have the associated card should stand and say the scripture mastery reference aloud.

  • Scripture Chase—Use clues to help students practice quickly locating passages in their scriptures. For clues, you could use key words, context statements, doctrines and principles, and application ideas from the scripture mastery cards. You could also make up your own clues. Scripture chase activities in which students race to locate passages can help them actively engage in learning scripture mastery passages. When using scripture chase activities to help with scripture mastery, do it in a way that does not cause hurt feelings or offend the Spirit. Help students avoid treating their scriptures irreverently or being overly competitive. Also consider having students compete against a standard rather than each other. For example, students could race against the teacher, or you could have them race to see if a certain percentage of the class can find a particular passage in a specified amount of time.

  • Story Chase—Give clues by making up scenarios that demonstrate the relevance of scripture mastery passages to everyday life. For example, as a clue for 1 Nephi 3:7, you could say, “John knows that the Lord commands all worthy young men to serve missions, but he worries that his shyness will prevent him from serving effectively. Then he remembers how Nephi responded to the difficult task of retrieving the brass plates. John takes courage that the Lord will provide a way for him to become an able missionary.” As students listen to the scenarios, have them locate relevant scripture mastery passages in their scriptures.

  • Quizzes and Tests—Provide students with opportunities to test their memory of scripture mastery passages. Clues could include key words or scripture references, quotations from passages, or scenarios that illustrate the truths taught in passages. Quizzes and tests could be given verbally, on the board, or on paper. After students have taken a quiz or test, consider pairing high-scoring students with students who have lower scores. The higher-scoring student could act as a teacher to help the student with the lower score study and improve. As part of this effort, the pair could also set a goal to achieve a higher combined score on the next test. Consider creating a chart or bulletin board to display students’ goals and recognize their progress.

Activities That Help Students Understand Scripture Mastery Passages

Defining Words and Phrases

Defining words and phrases in scripture mastery passages (or helping students to define them) will help students understand the meaning of the entire passage. When such definitions are critical to understanding the doctrines and principles in a passage, you may want to encourage students to write these definitions in their scriptures. Review meanings of words and phrases as you review scripture mastery passages.

Identifying Context

Identifying the context of a scripture passage can help students better understand the meaning of the passage. Context includes information concerning who is speaking to whom and why, the setting of the passage (historical, cultural, and geographical), and the question or situation from which the content of the scripture passage arose. For example, the context of 1 Nephi 3:7 includes the fact that Nephi had been asked by his father, Lehi, who was a prophet, to return to Jerusalem and secure the brass plates. Knowing this information can help students understand more clearly why Nephi says, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.” As you teach lessons that include scripture mastery passages, emphasize the context surrounding those passages. Additional activities like the one below can also help students understand these key passages.

  • Identify Context—Write the following headings across the top of the board: Speaker, Audience, Purpose, Other Helpful Insights. Divide students into groups, and assign each group a scripture mastery passage. Invite them to discover the context of their assigned passages by identifying information that corresponds to the headings on the board. Have them write their findings on the board. Then ask each group to explain the context of their assigned passages and how this information affects their understanding of the truths in each passage. To add another dimension to this activity, you might want to challenge the class to guess the scripture mastery references based on the descriptions on the board before each group explains what they have written.

Analyzing

Analyzing involves identifying doctrines and principles found in scripture passages. It also includes helping students understand how these truths are relevant to them. This can lead to deeper application of doctrines and principles in their lives. The following activity can help students analyze scripture mastery passages:

  • Write Clues—As students become more familiar with scripture mastery passages, invite them to create questions, scenarios, or other clues that illustrate the doctrines and principles taught in the passages. These could be used to quiz the class.

Explaining

Having students explain scripture passages deepens their understanding and improves their ability to teach doctrines and principles from the scriptures. The following are two methods that can help students learn to explain scripture mastery passages:

  • Key Words and Phrases—Invite students to read the same scripture mastery passage on their own and identify a word or phrase they think is especially important to the meaning of the passage. Then invite a student to read the passage to the class and give emphasis to the word or phrase he or she has chosen. Ask the student to explain why that word or phrase is important to understanding the passage. Invite a few other students to do the same. Students may choose different words or phrases for the same passage. As class members hear these different points of view, they can gain deeper understanding of the passage.

  • Prepare a Devotional—Give students opportunities to use scripture mastery passages as they prepare and present devotionals at the beginning of class. Help them prepare to summarize context, explain doctrines and principles, share meaningful experiences or examples, and testify of the doctrines and principles in the passages. You might also suggest that students consider using an object lesson to explain the ideas in the passages.

Feeling the Importance of Doctrines and Principles

Help students understand and gain a spiritual witness of the doctrines and principles taught in the scripture mastery passages. Elder Robert D. Hales explained, “A true teacher, once he has taught the facts [of the gospel] … , takes [the students] a step further to gain the spiritual witness and the understanding in their hearts that brings about the action and the doing” (“Teaching by Faith” [address to CES religious educators, Feb.1, 2002], 5, si.lds.org). When students feel the truth, importance, and urgency of a doctrine or principle through the influence of the Holy Spirit, their desire to apply that truth in their lives grows. Teachers can help students invite and nurture these feelings of the Holy Spirit by giving them opportunities to share experiences they have had with living the gospel principles found in scripture mastery passages. This will help students better understand the truths taught in the scripture mastery passages and ensure that these truths are written in students’ hearts. The following activity can help students feel the importance of the doctrines and principles taught by scripture mastery passages:

  • Listening for Scripture Passages—Invite students to listen for scripture mastery passages in talks and lessons at church, in general conference addresses, and in discussions with family and friends. Periodically invite students to report on which passages they have heard, how the passages were used, what truths were taught, and what experiences they or others have had with the truths that were taught. Look for opportunities to testify (and invite students to testify) of the truths taught by scripture mastery passages.

Activities That Help Students Apply Scripture Mastery Passages

Teaching

The scripture mastery passages and the Basic Doctrines were developed together and intentionally aligned for the benefit of students. (Scripture mastery passages are shown throughout the Basic Doctrines document.) When students learn and express the doctrines and principles contained in scripture mastery passages, they will also be learning and expressing the Basic Doctrines. And as students learn to express the Basic Doctrines in their own words, they may rely on memorized scripture mastery passages to help them. Giving students opportunities to teach doctrines and principles of the gospel using scripture mastery passages can increase their confidence in themselves and in their knowledge of the scriptures. When students teach and testify of the doctrines and principles found in scripture mastery passages, they can also strengthen their testimonies. Encourage students to use scripture mastery passages to teach and explain the gospel in class and in conversations with friends, family, and others.

  • Present a Message—Assign students to prepare 3- to 5-minute talks or lessons based on scripture mastery passages. Have them prepare in class or at home. In addition to the scripture mastery passages, they could use other resources to help them prepare, such as scripture mastery cards, the Topical Guide, the Guide to the Scriptures, or True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference. Each talk or lesson should include an introduction, the scripture mastery passage, a story about or an example of the principle being taught, and the student’s testimony. Students could volunteer to present their messages in class, in a family home evening, or to their quorums or classes as part of their Duty to God or Personal Progress efforts. If students present their talks or lessons outside of class, consider inviting them to report on their experiences.

  • Missionary Role Play—Prepare a number of cards with questions an investigator might ask that can be answered with the help of scripture mastery passages (for example, “What do members of your church believe about Jesus Christ?”). Invite pairs of students to come to the front of the class to answer a question chosen from the cards. To help students understand how missionaries might answer similar questions, you could suggest a few effective teaching methods, such as (1) stating the context of the scripture passage, (2) explaining a doctrine or principle, (3) asking questions to find out if those they teach understand or believe what has been taught, (4) sharing experiences and testimony, and (5) inviting those they teach to act on the truth that was taught. Ask the class to give feedback on what they liked about how each companionship answered their question.

  • Testify—Invite students to look through the scripture mastery passages and choose one that contains a doctrine or principle of which they can testify. Invite them to testify of the truth they have selected and share experiences that led them to be able to testify of it. As students share their testimonies, the Holy Ghost to will confirm the truth of the doctrines or principles of which they are testifying. Their testimonies may also inspire others to act in faith.

    Note: Opportunities for students to share their testimonies should be voluntary. Students should never be forced to share their testimonies or be made to feel that they must profess knowledge they don’t feel they have. In addition, some students are reluctant to share their testimonies because they mistakenly think that they need to open with “I want to bear my testimony …” or that their expression of testimony must be accompanied by a display of emotion. Help students understand that when they testify, they can simply share doctrines or principles they know to be true. Sharing testimony can be as simple as saying “I believe this to be true” or “I know this is true” or “I believe this with all my heart.”

Living

Suggesting ways that students may apply the doctrines and principles contained in scripture passages (or inviting students to think of ways) gives them the opportunity to learn by exercising faith. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

“A learner exercising agency by acting in accordance with correct principles opens his or her heart to the Holy Ghost and invites His teaching, testifying power, and confirming witness. Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception. It is in the sincerity and consistency of our faith-inspired action that we indicate to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, our willingness to learn and receive instruction from the Holy Ghost” (“Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 64).

Give students opportunities to share and testify of the experiences they have had with applying doctrines and principles. The following is one way to encourage students to apply scripture mastery passages in their lives:

  • Set Goals—Based on the application section of the scripture mastery cards, invite students to set specific goals to better live the principles found in scripture mastery passages. Have them write their goals on a piece of paper to carry with them as a reminder. When appropriate, invite students to report on their successes.

Activities That Help Students Memorize Scripture Mastery Passages

Memorizing

Memorization of scripture passages can deepen understanding and enhance a student’s ability to teach the gospel. When students memorize scriptures, the Holy Ghost can bring phrases and ideas back to their memory in times of need (see John 14:26; D&C 11:21). Remember to adapt memorization activities to the abilities of your students. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged the memorization of scriptures when he said:

“Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change” (“The Power of Scripture,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 6).

Each of the following activities could be repeated several days in a row at the beginning or end of class to help students achieve long-term memorization:

  • One-Word Race—Challenge the class to say a scripture mastery passage one word per student at a time. For example, when helping students memorize Alma 39:9, the first student would say the word now, the second student would say my, the third student would say son, and so forth until the entire verse is completed. Time the class, and give them multiple tries to achieve a target time. As you repeat this activity, consider shifting the order of students so they have to say different words.

  • First Letters—Write on the board the first letters of each word in a scripture mastery passage. Point to the letters as the class repeats the passage with you, using their scriptures as needed. Repeat this activity until students feel confident in their ability to recite a passage with only the help of the first letters. You may want to erase a few of the letters each time students recite the passage. This will gradually increase the challenge until students can repeat the passage without using the first letters.

  • Wordstrip Puzzles—Write, or have students write, the words of a scripture mastery passage on a lined piece of paper. Cut the paper in strips, leaving lines of the scripture intact. Cut some of the strips shorter to include just a few words of the passage on each. Mix up the paper strips and give them to pairs or small groups of students. Challenge students to arrange the paper strips in order, using their scriptures as a guide. Have them practice until they no longer need to use their scriptures. After they have finished, ask them to recite the passage aloud. You could also time students to see which group can put the strips in the correct order the fastest. Or you could time the entire class to see how long it takes for all of the groups to complete the puzzle (as the first groups finish, let them assist the slower groups).

100 Scripture Mastery Passages

Old Testament

New Testament

Book of Mormon

Doctrine and Covenants

Moses 1:39

Matthew 5:14–16

1 Nephi 3:7

D&C 1:37–38

Moses 7:18

Matthew 11:28–30

2 Nephi 2:25

D&C 6:36

Abraham 3:22–23

Matthew 16:15–19

2 Nephi 2:27

D&C 8:2–3

Genesis 1:26–27

Matthew 22:36–39

2 Nephi 9:28–29

D&C 10:5

Genesis 2:24

Matthew 28:19–20

2 Nephi 25:23, 26

D&C 13:1

Genesis 39:9

Luke 24:36–39

2 Nephi 28:7–9

D&C 18:10–11

Exodus 19:5–6

John 3:5

2 Nephi 31:19–20

D&C 18:15–16

Exodus 20:3–17

John 14:6

2 Nephi 32:3

D&C 19:16–19

Joshua 24:15

John 14:15

2 Nephi 32:8–9

D&C 19:23

1 Samuel 16:7

John 17:3

Mosiah 2:17

D&C 25:13

Psalm 24:3–4

Acts 2:36–38

Mosiah 3:19

D&C 46:33

Psalm 119:105

Acts 3:19–21

Mosiah 4:30

D&C 58:27

Psalm 127:3

1 Corinthians 6:19–20

Alma 7:11–13

D&C 58:42–43

Proverbs 3:5–6

1 Corinthians 15:20–22

Alma 32:21

D&C 64:9–11

Isaiah 1:18

1 Corinthians 15:40–42

Alma 37:35

D&C 76:22–24

Isaiah 5:20

Galatians 5:22–23

Alma 39:9

D&C 76:40–41

Isaiah 29:13–14

Ephesians 4:11–14

Alma 41:10

D&C 78:19

Isaiah 53:3–5

Philippians 4:13

Helaman 5:12

D&C 82:10

Isaiah 58:6–7

2 Thessalonians 2:1–3

3 Nephi 12:48

D&C 88:124

Isaiah 58:13–14

2 Timothy 3:15–17

3 Nephi 18:15, 20–21

D&C 89:18–21

Jeremiah 1:4–5

Hebrews 12:9

Ether 12:6

D&C 107:8

Ezekiel 37:15–17

James 1:5–6

Ether 12:27

D&C 121:36, 41–42

Amos 3:7

James 2:17–18

Moroni 7:41

D&C 130:22–23

Malachi 3:8–10

1 Peter 4:6

Moroni 7:45, 47–48

D&C 131:1–4

Malachi 4:5–6

Revelation 20:12

Moroni 10:4–5

JS—H 1:15–20

Introduction to Basic Doctrines

The following Basic Doctrines should be highlighted in seminary:

  • Godhead

  • Plan of salvation

  • Atonement of Jesus Christ

  • Dispensation, Apostasy, and Restoration

  • Prophets and revelation

  • Priesthood and priesthood keys

  • Ordinances and covenants

  • Marriage and family

  • Commandments

Teachers are to help students identify, understand, believe, explain, and apply these basic doctrines of the gospel as they study the scriptures. Doing so will help students strengthen their testimonies and increase their appreciation for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Learning the Basic Doctrines will also help students be better prepared to live the gospel and teach these important truths to others. The lessons in this manual were created with the Basic Doctrines in mind. It is important to recognize that other significant doctrines of the gospel will also be emphasized in this manual, even though they are not listed among the Basic Doctrines.

The teaching of basic doctrines of the gospel occurs as you study the scriptures daily with students and as you help them master key scripture passages. You should not divert from sequential scripture study to focus on these doctrines. Rather, you should give attention to them as they naturally arise in the course of study and as you help students master key scripture passages. For example, as you teach the truth that “prophets warn against sin and teach salvation through Jesus Christ” in 1 Nephi 1, you might want to point out to students that this truth can help them understand the Basic Doctrine of “prophets and revelation.” You might ask students to explain what else they know about prophets and revelation. Also, as students learn the scripture mastery passage 2 Nephi 25:23, 26, you could help them see that the passage illustrates one way that prophets fulfill their duty to teach salvation through Jesus Christ. Growth in understanding, believing, and living the Basic Doctrines is a process that occurs over the four years of seminary and continues for the rest of a student’s life.

You may want to provide students with a list of the Basic Doctrines.

Basic Doctrines Assessment

A Basic Doctrines Assessment has been designed to provide teachers with information they can use to better bless the lives of their students. We recommend that teachers administer this assessment during the first week of class and again toward the end of the year. To find the Basic Doctrines Assessment and other assessments on the S&I website (si.lds.org), search using the keyword assessment.

Teachers who send their students’ assessment results to the S&I Office of Research will receive a report that will help them adapt their teaching to better meet the needs of their students. For example, if results indicate that students did not understand the doctrine of repentance, several lessons in the yearly curriculum would be identified that may help students better understand this doctrine. As teachers prayerfully use this information in their sequential scripture teaching, our youth and young adults will be better prepared to accomplish the Objective of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion.

Basic Doctrines

The Basic Doctrines should be highlighted in both seminary and institute classes. Teachers are to help students identify, understand, believe, explain, and apply these doctrines of the gospel. Doing so will help students strengthen their testimonies and increase their appreciation for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. A study of these doctrines will also help students be better prepared to teach these important truths to others.

The 100 scripture mastery passages selected by Seminaries and Institutes of Religion were chosen to support students’ understanding of the Basic Doctrines. Most of the scripture references listed below refer to scripture mastery passages. They have been included to show how they relate to the Basic Doctrines.

1. Godhead

There are three separate personages in the Godhead: God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost (see Joseph Smith—History 1:15–20). The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bone, and the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit (see D&C 130:22–23). They are one in purpose and doctrine. They are perfectly united in bringing to pass Heavenly Father’s divine plan of salvation.

God the Father

God the Father is the Supreme Ruler of the universe. He is the Father of our spirits (see Hebrews 12:9). He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He is also a God of perfect mercy, kindness, and charity.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of the Father in the spirit and is the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New Testament.

Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and made a perfect Atonement for the sins of all mankind (see Alma 7:11–13). His life is the perfect example of how all mankind should live (see John 14:6; 3 Nephi 12:48). He was the first person on this earth to be resurrected (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22). He will come again in power and glory and will reign on the earth during the Millennium.

All prayers, blessings, and priesthood ordinances should be done in the name of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 18:15, 20–21).

Related references: Helaman 5:12; D&C 19:23; D&C 76:22–24

The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Comforter.

The Holy Ghost bears witness of the Father and the Son, reveals the truth of all things, and sanctifies those who repent and are baptized (see Moroni 10:4–5).

Related references: Galatians 5:22–23; D&C 8:2–3

2. Plan of Salvation

In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father introduced a plan to enable us to become like Him and obtain immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39). The scriptures refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the great plan of happiness, the plan of redemption, and the plan of mercy.

The plan of salvation includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all of the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel. Moral agency—the ability to choose and act for ourselves—is also essential in Heavenly Father’s plan (see 2 Nephi 2:27). Because of this plan, we can be perfected through the Atonement, receive a fulness of joy, and live forever in the presence of God (see 3 Nephi 12:48). Our family relationships can last throughout the eternities.

Related references: John 17:3; D&C 58:27

Premortal Life

Before we were born on the earth, we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father as His spirit children (see Abraham 3:22–23). In this premortal existence we participated in a council with Heavenly Father’s other spirit children. During that council, Heavenly Father presented His plan and the premortal Jesus Christ covenanted to be the Savior.

We used our agency to follow Heavenly Father’s plan. We prepared to come to earth, where we could continue to progress.

Those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were permitted to come to the earth to experience mortality and progress toward eternal life. Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan. He became Satan, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven and denied the privileges of receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality.

Related reference: Jeremiah 1:4–5

The Creation

Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth under the direction of the Father. The earth was not created from nothing; it was organized from existing matter. Jesus Christ has created worlds without number (see D&C 76:22–24).

The Creation of the earth was essential to God’s plan. It provided a place where we could gain a physical body, be tested and tried, and develop divine attributes.

We are to use the earth’s resources with wisdom, judgment, and thanksgiving (see D&C 78:19).

Adam was the first man created on the earth. God created Adam and Eve in His own image. All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26–27).

The Fall

In the Garden of Eden, God commanded Adam and Eve not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the consequence of doing so would be spiritual and physical death. Spiritual death is separation from God. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the mortal body. Because Adam and Eve transgressed God’s command, they were cast out from His presence and became mortal. Adam and Eve’s transgression and the resultant changes they experienced, including spiritual and physical death, are called the Fall.

As a result of the Fall, Adam and Eve and their posterity could experience joy and sorrow, know good and evil, and have children (see 2 Nephi 2:25). As descendants of Adam and Eve, we inherit a fallen condition during mortality. We are separated from the presence of the Lord and subject to physical death. We are also tested by the difficulties of life and the temptations of the adversary. (See Mosiah 3:19.)

The Fall is an integral part of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation. It has a twofold direction—downward yet forward. In addition to introducing physical and spiritual death, it gave us the opportunity to be born on the earth and to learn and progress.

Mortal Life

Mortal life is a time of learning when we can prepare for eternal life and prove that we will use our agency to do all that the Lord has commanded. During this mortal life, we are to love and serve others (see Mosiah 2:17; Moroni 7:45, 47–48).

In mortality, our spirits are united with our physical bodies, giving us opportunities to grow and develop in ways that were not possible in the premortal life. Our bodies are an important part of the plan of salvation and should be respected as a gift from our Heavenly Father (see 1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

Related references: Joshua 24:15; Matthew 22:36–39; 2 Nephi 28:7–9; Alma 41:10; D&C 58:27

Life after Death

When we die, our spirits enter the spirit world and await the Resurrection. The spirits of the righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise. Many of the faithful will preach the gospel to those in spirit prison.

Spirit prison is a temporary place in the postmortal world for those who die without knowledge of the truth and those who are disobedient in mortality. There, spirits are taught the gospel and have the opportunity to repent and accept ordinances of salvation that are performed for them in temples (see 1 Peter 4:6). Those who accept the gospel will dwell in paradise until the Resurrection.

Resurrection is the reuniting of our spirit bodies with our perfected physical bodies of flesh and bones (see Luke 24:36–39). After resurrection, the spirit and body will never again be separated and we will be immortal. Every person born on earth will be resurrected because Jesus Christ overcame death (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22). The righteous will be resurrected before the wicked and will come forth in the First Resurrection.

The Final Judgment will occur after the Resurrection. Jesus Christ will judge each person to determine the eternal glory that he or she will receive. This judgment will be based on each person’s obedience to God’s commands (see Revelation 20:12; Mosiah 4:30).

There are three kingdoms of glory (see 1 Corinthians 15:40–42). The highest of these is the celestial kingdom. Those who are valiant in the testimony of Jesus and obedient to the principles of the gospel will dwell in the celestial kingdom in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ (see D&C 131:1–4).

The second of the three kingdoms of glory is the terrestrial kingdom. Those who dwell in this kingdom will be the honorable men and women of the earth who were not valiant in the testimony of Jesus.

The telestial kingdom is the lowest of the three kingdoms of glory. Those who inherit this kingdom will be those who chose wickedness rather than righteousness during their mortal lives. These individuals will receive their glory after being redeemed from spirit prison.

Related reference: John 17:3

3. Atonement of Jesus Christ

To atone is to suffer the penalty for sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him or her to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect atonement for all mankind. His Atonement included His suffering for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shedding of His blood, His suffering and death on the cross, and His Resurrection from the tomb (see Luke 24:36–39; D&C 19:16–19). The Savior was able to carry out the Atonement because He kept Himself free from sin and had power over death. From His mortal mother, He inherited the ability to die. From His immortal Father, He inherited the power to take up His life again.

Through grace, made available by the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, all people will be resurrected and receive immortality. The Atonement of Jesus Christ also makes it possible for us to receive eternal life (see Moroni 7:41). To receive this gift, we must live the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring faithfully to the end (see John 3:5).

As part of His Atonement, Jesus Christ not only suffered for our sins but also took upon Himself the pains, sicknesses, and infirmities of all people (see Alma 7:11–13). He understands our suffering because He has experienced it. His grace, or enabling power, strengthens us to bear burdens and accomplish tasks that we could not do on our own (see Matthew 11:28–30; Philippians 4:13; Ether 12:27).

Related references: John 3:5; Acts 3:19–21

Faith in Jesus Christ

Faith is a “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21; see also Ether 12:6). It is a gift from God.

Faith must be centered in Jesus Christ in order for it to lead a person to salvation. Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him and trusting in His infinite Atonement, power, and love. It includes believing His teachings and believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does (see Proverbs 3:5–6; D&C 6:36).

More than passive belief, faith is expressed by the way we live (see James 2:17–18). Faith can increase as we pray, study the scriptures, and obey God’s commandments.

Latter-day Saints also have faith in God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and priesthood power as well as other important aspects of the restored gospel. Faith helps us receive spiritual and physical healing and strength to press forward, face our hardships, and overcome temptation (see 2 Nephi 31:19–20). The Lord will work mighty miracles in our lives according to our faith.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, a person may obtain a remission of sins and eventually be able to dwell in God’s presence.

Related reference: Matthew 11:28–30

Repentance

Repentance is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.

Our sins make us unclean—unworthy to return to and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Father in Heaven has provided the only way for us to be forgiven of our sins (see Isaiah 1:18).

Repentance also includes feeling sorrow for committing sin, confessing to Heavenly Father and to others if necessary, forsaking sin, seeking to restore as far as possible all that has been damaged by one’s sins, and living a life of obedience to God’s commandments (see D&C 58:42–43).

Related references: Isaiah 53:3–5; John 14:6; 2 Nephi 25:23, 26; D&C 18:10–11; D&C 19:23; D&C 76:40–41

4. Dispensation, Apostasy, and Restoration

Dispensation

A dispensation is a period of time when the Lord reveals His doctrines, ordinances, and priesthood. It is a period in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earth who bears the holy priesthood and who has a divine commission to dispense the gospel and to administer the ordinances thereof. Today we are living in the last dispensation—the dispensation of the fulness of times, which began with the revelation of the gospel to Joseph Smith.

Previous dispensations are identified with Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ. In addition, there have been other dispensations, including those among the Nephites and the Jaredites. The plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ have been revealed and taught in every dispensation.

Apostasy

When people turn away from the principles of the gospel and do not have priesthood keys, they are in a state of apostasy.

Periods of general apostasy have occurred throughout the history of the world. One example is the Great Apostasy, which occurred after the Savior established His Church (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3). Following the deaths of the Savior’s Apostles, the principles of the gospel were corrupted and unauthorized changes were made in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread wickedness, the Lord withdrew the authority and keys of the priesthood from the earth.

During the Great Apostasy, people were without divine direction from living prophets. Many churches were established, but they did not have the authority to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost or perform other priesthood ordinances. Parts of the holy scriptures were corrupted or lost, and the people no longer had an accurate understanding of God.

This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith and initiated the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel.

Restoration

The Restoration is God’s reestablishment of the truths and ordinances of His gospel among His children on the earth (see Acts 3:19–21).

In preparation for the Restoration, the Lord raised up noble men during what is called the Reformation. They attempted to return religious doctrine, practices, and organization to the way the Savior had established them. They did not, however, have the priesthood or the fulness of the gospel.

The Restoration began in 1820 when God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in response to his prayer (see Joseph Smith—History 1:15–20). Some of the key events of the Restoration were the translation of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, and the organization of the Church on April 6, 1830.

The Aaronic Priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist on May 15, 1829. The Melchizedek Priesthood and keys of the kingdom were also restored in 1829, when the Apostles Peter, James, and John conferred them upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

The fulness of the gospel has been restored, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D&C 1:30). The Church will eventually fill the whole earth and stand forever.

Related references: Isaiah 29:13–14; Ezekiel 37:15–17; Ephesians 4:11–14; James 1:5–6

5. Prophets and Revelation

A prophet is a person who has been called by God to speak for Him (see Amos 3:7). Prophets testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God’s will and true character. They denounce sin and warn of its consequences. At times, they prophesy of future events (see D&C 1:37–38). Many teachings of prophets are found in the scriptures. As we study the words of prophets, we can learn truth and receive guidance (see 2 Nephi 32:3).

We sustain the President of the Church as a prophet, seer, and revelator and the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire Church. We also sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.

Revelation is communication from God to His children. When the Lord reveals His will to the Church, He speaks through His prophet. The scriptures—the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price—contain revelations given through ancient and latter-day prophets. The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s prophet on the earth today.

Individuals can receive revelation to help them with their specific needs, responsibilities, and questions and to help strengthen their testimonies. Most revelations to leaders and members of the Church come through impressions and thoughts from the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost speaks to our minds and hearts in a still, small voice (see D&C 8:2–3). Revelation can also come through visions, dreams, and visitations by angels.

Related references: Psalm 119:105; Ephesians 4:11–14; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; James 1:5–6; Moroni 10:4–5

6. Priesthood and Priesthood Keys

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. The keys of the priesthood are the rights of presidency, or the power given to man by God to govern and direct the kingdom of God on the earth (see Matthew 16:15–19). Through these keys, priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel and administer the ordinances of salvation. All who serve in the Church are called under the direction of one who holds priesthood keys. Thus, they are entitled to the power needed to serve and fulfill the responsibilities of their callings.

Related reference: D&C 121:36, 41–42

Aaronic Priesthood

The Aaronic Priesthood is often called the preparatory priesthood. The offices of the Aaronic Priesthood are deacon, teacher, priest, and bishop. In the Church today, worthy male members may receive the Aaronic Priesthood beginning at age 12.

The Aaronic Priesthood “holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism” (D&C 13:1).

Melchizedek Priesthood

The Melchizedek Priesthood is the higher, or greater, priesthood and administers in spiritual things (see D&C 107:8). This greater priesthood was given to Adam and has been on the earth whenever the Lord has revealed His gospel.

It was first called “the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God” (D&C 107:3). It later became known as the Melchizedek Priesthood, named after a great high priest who lived during the time of the prophet Abraham.

Within the Melchizedek Priesthood are the offices of elder, high priest, patriarch, Seventy, and Apostle. The President of the Melchizedek Priesthood is the President of the Church.

Related reference: Ephesians 4:11–14

7. Ordinances and Covenants

Ordinances

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act that has spiritual meaning. Each ordinance was designed by God to teach spiritual truths. The ordinances of salvation are performed by the authority of the priesthood and under the direction of those who hold priesthood keys. Some ordinances are essential to exaltation and are called saving ordinances.

The first saving ordinance of the gospel is baptism by immersion in water by one having authority. Baptism is necessary for an individual to become a member of the Church and to enter the celestial kingdom (see John 3:5).

The word baptism comes from a Greek word meaning to dip or immerse. Immersion is symbolic of the death of a person’s sinful life and his or her rebirth into a spiritual life, dedicated to the service of God and His children. It is also symbolic of death and resurrection.

After a person is baptized, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders lay their hands on the person’s head and confirm him or her a member of the Church. As part of this ordinance, called confirmation, the person is given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is different from the influence of the Holy Ghost. Before baptism, a person can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time and through that influence can receive a testimony of the truth (see Moroni 10:4–5). After receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a person has the right to His constant companionship if he or she keeps the commandments.

Other saving ordinances include ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing (see D&C 131:1–4). All saving ordinances of the priesthood are accompanied by covenants. In the temple, these saving ordinances can also be performed vicariously for the dead. Vicarious ordinances become effective only when the deceased persons accept them in the spirit world and honor the related covenants.

Other ordinances, such as administering to the sick and the naming and blessing of children, are also important to our spiritual development.

Related reference: Acts 2:36–38

Covenants

A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and man. God gives the conditions for the covenant, and we agree to do what He asks us to do; God then promises us certain blessings for our obedience (see D&C 82:10).

All the saving ordinances of the priesthood are accompanied by covenants. We covenant with the Lord at baptism and renew those covenants by partaking of the sacrament. Brethren who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood enter into the oath and covenant of the priesthood. We make further covenants in the temple.

Related references: Exodus 19:5–6; Psalm 24:3–4; 2 Nephi 31:19–20; D&C 25:13

8. Marriage and Family

Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the family is central to His plan of salvation and to our happiness. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Parents are to multiply and replenish the earth, rear their children in love and righteousness, and provide for the physical and spiritual needs of their children.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other. Fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and provide the necessities of life. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to continue beyond the grave. The earth was created and the gospel was revealed so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted eternally. (Adapted from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129.)

Related references: Genesis 2:24; Psalm 127:3; Malachi 4:5–6; D&C 131:1–4

9. Commandments

Commandments are the laws and requirements that God gives to mankind. We manifest our love for Him by keeping His commandments (see John 14:15). Keeping the commandments will bring blessings from the Lord (see D&C 82:10).

The two most basic commandments are “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. … And … love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36–39).

The Ten Commandments are a vital part of the gospel and are eternal principles that are necessary for our exaltation (see Exodus 20:3–17). The Lord revealed them to Moses in ancient times, and He has restated them in latter-day revelations.

Other commandments include praying daily (see 2 Nephi 32:8–9), teaching the gospel to others (see Matthew 28:19–20), keeping the law of chastity (see D&C 46:33), paying a full tithe (see Malachi 3:8–10), fasting (see Isaiah 58:6–7), forgiving others (see D&C 64:9–11), having a spirit of gratitude (see D&C 78:19), and observing the Word of Wisdom (see D&C 89:18–21).

Related references: Genesis 39:9; Isaiah 58:13–14; 1 Nephi 3:7; Mosiah 4:30; Alma 37:35; Alma 39:9; D&C 18:15–16; D&C 88:124

For more information on these topics, go to LDS.org, Teachings, Gospel Topics; or see True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference (2004).

The Plates and Their Relationship to the Published Book of Mormon

Some of the sources for the plates of Mormon

The plates of Mormon that were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith

  •   *

    Dates represent the approximate time period covered by each set of plates.

  •  

    It is not known exactly when the prophet Ether completed his record, but it was likely sometime between 589 B.C. and 131 B.C.

  • Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24

    1. 1

      Some Nephites seek to reclaim the land of Nephi. They fight amongst themselves, and the survivors return to Zarahemla. Zeniff is a part of this group. (See Omni 1:27–28; Mosiah 9:1–2.)

    2. 2

      Nephite group led by Zeniff settles among the Lamanites in the land of Nephi (see Omni 1:29–30; Mosiah 9:3–5).

      After Zeniff died, his son Noah reigned in wickedness. Abinadi warned the people to repent. Alma obeyed Abinadi’s message and taught it to others near the Waters of Mormon. (See Mosiah 11–18.)

    3. 3

      Alma and his people depart from King Noah and travel to the land of Helam (see Mosiah 18:4–5, 32–35; 23:1–5, 19–20).

      The Lamanites attacked Noah’s people in the land of Nephi. Noah’s son Limhi reigned while the people lived in bondage to the Lamanites. (See Mosiah 19–20.)

    4. 4

      Attempt to find Zarahemla: Limhi sends a group to find Zarahemla and get help. The group discovers the ruins of a destroyed nation and 24 gold plates. (See Mosiah 8:7–9; 21:25–27.)

    5. 5

      Search party led by Ammon journeys from Zarahemla to find the descendants of those who had gone to the land of Nephi (see Mosiah 7:1–6; 21:22–24).

    6. 6

      Limhi’s people escape from bondage and are led by Ammon back to Zarahemla (see Mosiah 22:10–13).

      The Lamanites sent an army after Limhi and his people. After becoming lost in the wilderness, the army discovered Alma and his people in the land of Helam. The Lamanites brought them into bondage. (See Mosiah 22–24.)

    7. 7

      Alma’s people escape from bondage and journey to Zarahemla (see Mosiah 24:20–25).