Lesson 160: Moroni 10:8–26, 30–34

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2012


Introduction

After teaching how to obtain a witness of the truth of all things through the Holy Ghost, Moroni exhorted those who would read his words to receive and recognize spiritual gifts. Moroni concluded the Book of Mormon record by exhorting all people to come unto Jesus Christ, lay hold on every good gift He offers, and be perfected through Him.

Suggestions for Teaching

Moroni 10:8–26

Moroni teaches about gifts of the Spirit and their purpose in the Lord’s work

Invite students to think of a time when Heavenly Father helped them do something that they could not have done on their own. Ask students to read Moroni 10:8 silently, looking for the phrase that describes the spiritual abilities or blessings God gives to the faithful (“gifts of God”). Explain that we often refer to these gifts as gifts of the Spirit or spiritual gifts.

  • According to Moroni 10:8, why does God give gifts of the Spirit to His children? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: God grants gifts of the Spirit to profit His children. You may need to explain that in this context, profit means to bless or help.)

Ask students to read Moroni 10:9–16 silently, looking for the gifts of God that Moroni described in these verses. You may want to suggest that students mark what they find.

  • Which gifts of the Spirit did you identify in these verses? (As students respond, you may want to write their answers on the board.)

  • What examples of these gifts have you seen in the Church?

  • When have you seen people receive blessings because others have exercised their spiritual gifts? (You may want to be prepared to share an example that you have seen.)

  • How can gifts of the Spirit profit the person who receives them?

Invite a student to read Moroni 10:19, 24 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for a barrier to receiving and recognizing spiritual gifts.

  • What barrier to receiving and recognizing spiritual gifts did you discover?

  • Why do you think people in a condition of unbelief cannot recognize or receive the power and gifts of God?

Invite students to read Moroni 10:25–26 silently, looking for what will happen to those who reject the gifts and power of God. Ask them to report what they find.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 10:20–23. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the blessings of having faith, hope, and charity. (Before students read, you may want to explain that the phrase “expedient unto me” in Moroni 10:23 refers to things that are in harmony with God’s will.)

  • What blessings did Moroni teach would come to those who have faith, hope, and charity?

As students respond, write the following principle on the board: If we have faith, we will be able to do what the Savior wants us to do. You may want to suggest that they mark this principle in Moroni 10:23.

  • How do you think the two principles on the board might relate to each other? (If we have faith, God will give us the gifts that we need in order to do the work He has for us to do.)

  • How can knowing these two principles help you now and in the future?

Write the following incomplete statements on the board. To help students see how the promise found in Moroni 10:23 has been fulfilled or could be fulfilled in their lives, give them a few minutes to complete one of the statements in notebooks or scripture study journals:

I experienced the promise in Moroni 10:23 when …

The promise found in Moroni 10:23 can help me when …

After sufficient time, invite students to share what they have written with a partner.

Moroni 10:30–34

Moroni invites all to come unto Jesus Christ and be perfected in Him

Write the word Perfection on the board. Underneath it, write Possible or impossible?

Invite students to share their thoughts concerning the question on the board. After a brief discussion, ask a student to read 3 Nephi 12:48 aloud.

  • What did the Savior say is the ultimate aim for each of us? (To become perfect.) How is this possible?

After students share their insights, invite a student to read the following explanation by President James E. Faust of the First Presidency:

“Perfection is an eternal goal. While we cannot be perfect in mortality, striving for it is a commandment, which ultimately, through the Atonement, we can keep” (“This Is Our Day,” Ensign, May 1999, 19).

Explain that although perfection is not attainable in this life, we can eventually become perfected. Moroni taught what we can do to become perfected through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Copy the following chart on the board, leaving out the answers in parentheses.

What I must do …

What God promises …

(Answers may include that we must come unto Jesus Christ; seek for and receive good gifts; avoid evil gifts and unclean things; deny ourselves of all ungodliness; and love God with all our might, mind, and strength.)

(Answers may include that He will fulfill His covenants; His grace will be sufficient for us; we will be perfect in Jesus Christ; we will receive the grace of God; we will be sanctified and receive a remission of our sins; and we will become holy, without spot.)

Ask students to search Moroni 10:30–33 for phrases that describe what we must do and what God promises to do to help us become pure and perfect. Invite a student to record students’ responses in the appropriate columns of the chart. Point out that the word grace refers to the divine help and strength we receive because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  • What statement would you write underneath this chart to summarize what Moroni teaches about becoming pure and perfect? (Students may use different words, but their answers should reflect the following truth: As we come unto Jesus Christ, we can be purified and perfected through His Atonement.)

If possible, provide students with a copy of the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite a student to read the statement aloud as the rest of the class follows along. Before the student reads, encourage the class to listen carefully, considering what they can do to come unto Jesus Christ as a result of studying the Book of Mormon this year.

“That final, last, lonely appeal of the keystone of our religion and the most correct book ever written is to touch not the unclean thing; it is to be holy and without spot; it is to be pure. And that purity can come only through the blood of that Lamb who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, the Lamb who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, the Lamb who was despised and afflicted, but whom we esteemed not (see Mosiah 14). …

“Purity—through the blood of the Lamb. That is what this book pleads for” (“A Standard unto My People” [address to CES religious educators, Aug. 9, 1994], 13–14, si.lds.org).

Ask students to identify phrases in Moroni 10:32–33 that emphasize that we can be perfect only “in Christ,” or through the cleansing power and grace of His Atonement.

  • Why do we need the Atonement of Jesus Christ to become pure and perfect?

  • What phrases in Moroni 10:32–33 do you find encouraging as you strive for purity and the eternal goal of perfection?

Invite students to choose one or two of the phrases from the first column of the chart on the board. Give them a few minutes to write in notebooks or scripture study journals any thoughts or impressions they have about how they can improve in these areas.

Conclude this lesson by reading Moroni 10:34 to the class. Ask students to follow along, looking for evidence that Moroni had faith and hope in Jesus Christ. After they report what they have found, invite students to write any thoughts or impressions they have as they conclude this year’s course of study on the Book of Mormon. Consider inviting students to share what they have written with the class. Testify of the blessings Heavenly Father has promised them if they will come unto Jesus Christ by following His teachings and exercising faith in His Atonement. Encourage students to make their study of the Book of Mormon a lifelong pursuit.

Moroni Review

Take some time to help students review the book of Moroni. Ask them to think about what they have learned from this book, both in seminary and in their personal scripture study. If needed, invite them to briefly review some of the chapter summaries in Moroni to help them remember. After sufficient time, invite a few students to share something from Moroni that was inspiring to them or that has helped them have greater faith in Jesus Christ.

Commentary and Background Information

Moroni 10:8–19. Gifts of the Spirit

Elder Bruce R. McConkie described the purposes and reasons for obtaining spiritual gifts:

“[The purpose of spiritual gifts] is to enlighten, encourage, and edify the faithful so that they will inherit peace in this life and be guided toward eternal life in the world to come. Their presence is proof of the divinity of the Lord’s work; where they are not found, there the Church and kingdom of God is not. The promise is that they shall never be done away as long as the earth continues in its present state, except for unbelief (Moro. 10:19), but when the perfect day comes and the saints obtain exaltation, there will be no more need for them. As Paul expressed it, ‘When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.’ (1 Cor. 13.)

“Faithful persons are expected to seek the gifts of the Spirit with all their hearts. They are to ‘covet earnestly the best gifts’ (1 Cor. 12:31; D. & C. 46:8), to ‘desire spiritual gifts’ (1 Cor. 14:1), ‘to ask of God, who giveth liberally.’ (D. & C. 46:7; Matt. 7:7–8). To some will be given one gift; to others, another; and ‘unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby.’ (D. & C. 46:29.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 314).

Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

“One of the great tragedies of life, it seems to me, is when a person classifies himself as someone who has no talents or gifts. …

“From Doctrine and Covenants 46:11–12, we have this truth: ‘For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.’

“‘To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.’

“God has given each of us one or more special talents. … It is up to each of us to search for and build upon the gifts which God has given. …

“God does live. He does bless us with gifts. As we develop and share our God-given gifts and benefit from the gifts of those around us, the world can be a better place and God’s work will move forward at a more rapid pace” (“There Are Many Gifts,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 20, 23).

Moroni 10:22. “Despair cometh because of iniquity”

President Ezra Taft Benson shared this insight regarding the need to do good to avoid despair:

“In the Book of Mormon we read that ‘despair cometh because of iniquity.’ (Moro. 10:22.) ‘When I do good I feel good,’ said Abraham Lincoln, ‘and when I do bad I feel bad.’ Sin pulls a man down into despondency and despair. While a man may take some temporary pleasure in sin, the end result is unhappiness. ‘Wickedness never was happiness.’ (Alma 41:10.) Sin creates disharmony with God and is depressing to the spirit. Therefore, a man would do well to examine himself to see that he is in harmony with all of God’s laws. Every law kept brings a particular blessing. Every law broken brings a particular blight. Those who are heavy-laden with despair should come unto the Lord, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (See Matt. 11:28–30.)” (“Do Not Despair,” Ensign, Oct. 1986, 2).

Moroni 10:34. Moroni’s farewell

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the following thoughts on Moroni’s concluding words in the Book of Mormon:

“Purity. Holiness. Character and conscience without blemish. All these through the grace of Christ, which cleanses our garments, sanctifies our souls, saves us from death, and restores us to our divine origins.

“With his last recorded breath Moroni bore witness of his own firm faith in such divine redemption. …

“Thus the Book of Mormon ends, flying as it were with Moroni, on the promise of the Holy Resurrection. [See Revelation 14:6.] That is most fitting, for this sacred testament—written by prophets, delivered by angels, protected by God—speaks as one ‘crying from the dead,’ exhorting all to come unto Christ and be perfected in him, a process culminating in the perfection of celestial glory” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 339).

Supplemental Teaching Idea

Moroni 10:8–19. Spiritual gifts

Point out that Moroni wrote about spiritual gifts right after he taught about how everyone can know for themselves that the Book of Mormon is true (see Moroni 10:1–6). The Book of Mormon itself is evidence of the gifts of God in our day.

  • How do you think some of the spiritual gifts mentioned in Moroni 10:8–19 were manifest in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon?

To help students answer the preceding question, invite them to read Joseph Smith—History 1:29–30, 34–35. Have them match what they find with the spiritual gifts listed in Moroni 10:8–19. (Joseph Smith exercised “exceedingly great faith” [Moroni 10:11; see Joseph Smith—History 1:29] in the prayer that led to the visit of Moroni. Because of this faith, the Prophet received the gift of “beholding of angels” [Moroni 10:14; see Joseph Smith—History 1:30]. He also received the gift of “the interpretation of languages” [Moroni 10:16; see Joseph Smith—History 1:34–35] that enabled him to translate the writing on the gold plates into English.)