Lesson 28: Come unto Christ

Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, 2015


Introduction

One of the central purposes of the Book of Mormon is to invite all people to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32). As we exercise faith and “lay hold upon every good thing,” we can become the children of Christ (see Moroni 7:19). At the end of this lesson, students will have an opportunity to bear testimony of how the Book of Mormon has helped them come unto Christ.

Background Reading

  • Jeffrey R. Holland, “Safety for the Soul,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 88–90.

  • “A Christ-Centered Life,” chapter 24 in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson (2014), 297–306.

Suggestions for Teaching

1 Nephi 6:4; Jacob 1:7; Omni 1:26; 3 Nephi 9:13–14; Moroni 10:30, 32–33

The Book of Mormon invites us to come unto Jesus Christ

Invite students to think about a time when they invited someone to read the Book of Mormon.

  • Why did you invite this person to read the Book of Mormon?

Invite students to think about why they study the Book of Mormon. Explain that while there are many good reasons to read and study the Book of Mormon, the book itself contains a repeated message about one of its most important purposes.

Write the following scripture references on the board:

Invite students to read the passages silently, looking for a repeated theme found in the Book of Mormon. (You might encourage students to cross-reference these passages in their scriptures.)

  • What is a repeated Book of Mormon theme found in these verses?

  • What does it mean to “come unto Christ”?

  • What do these verses teach us to do to come unto Christ? (Answers should include the following: “offer your whole souls as an offering unto him,” fast, pray, endure to the end, repent, be converted, and “lay hold upon every good gift.”)

  • What does the phrase “offer your whole souls as an offering unto Him” mean to you?

To help students further understand what it means to come unto Christ, display and discuss the following statements by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Seventy:

Elder Richard G. Scott

“When we are consistently praying morning and night, studying our scriptures daily, having weekly family home evening, and attending the temple regularly, we are actively responding to His invitation to ‘come unto Him’” (Richard G. Scott, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 94).

Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander

“I bear my witness that we can come unto Christ and be perfected in Him by our worthy participation in the sacred ordinances appointed by God and instituted from before the foundation of the world” (Dennis B. Neuenschwander, “Ordinances and Covenants,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 26).

Explain that the final chapter of the Book of Mormon records counsel from the prophet Moroni about how to come unto Christ. Invite a student to read Moroni 10:32–33 aloud while the class looks for how the words “if” and “then” are used. Ask class members to ponder what these “if-then” statements teach about how we are blessed by the grace of Christ. (Note: Looking for the “if-then” statements will help students identify principles taught in the scriptures.)

  • What principle can we learn from these verses about how we are blessed by the grace of Christ as we come unto Him? (Students may use other words, but make sure they identify the following principle: If we come unto Jesus Christ and deny ourselves of all ungodliness, then we can be perfected, sanctified, and made holy through His grace. See also Alma 5:33–35.)

To deepen students’ understanding of this principle, share the following statement by Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy. Invite students to listen for how the Lord’s grace can bless us.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen

“The Lord’s grace, unlocked by the Atonement, can perfect our imperfections. ‘By his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.’ (Moroni 10:32.) While much of the perfection process involves a cleansing from the contamination of sin and bitterness, there is an additional, affirmative dimension through which we acquire a Christlike nature, becoming perfect even as the Father and Son are perfect. …

“The Savior’s victory can compensate not only for our sins but also for our inadequacies; not only for our deliberate mistakes but also for our sins committed in ignorance, our errors of judgment, and our unavoidable imperfections. Our ultimate aspiration is more than being forgiven of sin—we seek to become holy, endowed affirmatively with Christlike attributes, at one with him, like him. Divine grace is the only source that can finally fulfill that aspiration, after all we can do” (The Broken Heart [1989], 16, 20).

  • According to Elder Hafen, in what ways can the Lord’s grace bless us?

Invite students to think of a time when they felt that they were making efforts to come unto Jesus Christ. Ask them to respond to the following questions if their experiences are not too personal:

  • At that time, what were you doing to come unto Christ?

  • What blessings came into your life as you sought to come unto Jesus Christ?

Invite students to ponder what they can do to more fully come unto Christ so that they can become perfected and sanctified through His grace. Encourage them to follow any spiritual promptings they may receive.

Moroni 7:18–26

Lay hold upon every good thing in order to become children of Christ

Remind students that in Moroni 7, the prophet Moroni recorded a sermon that his father, Mormon, had given several years earlier. In this sermon, Mormon taught that we can know that something is inspired of God if it invites people to do good, to believe in Jesus Christ, and to love and serve God.

Invite a student to read Moroni 7:18–19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Mormon asks us to do.

  • According to verse 19, what will happen to us if we use the Light of Christ to discern good from evil and then “lay hold upon every good thing”? (We will be children of Christ.)

  • What does it mean to be the children of Christ? (Point out that we are spirit children of Heavenly Father and also children of our earthly parents. But, as President Joseph Fielding Smith [1876–1972] taught, Jesus Christ also “becomes our Father, in the sense in which this term is used in the scriptures, because he offers us life, eternal life, through the atonement which he made for us. [See Mosiah 5:7.] … We become the children, sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, through our covenants of obedience to him” [Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 1:29].)

Ask students to read Moroni 7:20 silently and identify the question asked by Mormon. Then divide students into pairs and invite them to study Moroni 7:21–26, looking for what the Lord has given us to help us to “lay hold upon every good thing.” After sufficient time, ask students to share their thoughts, and write their thoughts on the board. Answers may include the ministering of angels (verse 22), prophets (verse 23), the scriptures (verse 25), exercising faith (verse 25), and prayer (verse 26).

  • What do these verses teach us about the meaning of the phrase “lay hold upon every good thing”? (We are to seek after everything that is good, especially those things that lead to faith in Christ and salvation through His name.)

  • What good things have come into your life because of one of the items listed on the board?

Ask students to select one good thing they could start doing, or become better at doing, in order to come unto Christ. Encourage them to set a goal to work toward laying hold of that good thing in their lives.

Moroni 10:3–5

Moroni’s promise

Hold up a copy of the Book of Mormon and ask students to ponder how the Book of Mormon has helped them come unto Christ. Explain that Moroni extended an invitation and promise to all those who read and study the Book of Mormon.

Invite a student to read Moroni 10:3–5 aloud.

  • As recorded in verse 3, what did Moroni exhort us to do?

Invite students to ponder examples from the Book of Mormon and from their own lives that illustrate “how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men.” Ask several students to share their thoughts with the class.

  • What principle can we learn from Moroni’s invitation and promise in these verses? (When we ask God with real intent, having faith in Christ, if the Book of Mormon is true, we will receive a testimony of its truthfulness through the Holy Ghost.)

  • What does it mean to ask God “with real intent, having faith in Christ”? (It means that we have faith that God will answer our prayers and that we intend to act upon the answers He gives us.)

  • How does studying and praying about the Book of Mormon in this manner help us come unto Christ?

Ask students to ponder experiences they have had with reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know of its truthfulness. Ask students if any of them would like to share their testimony of the Book of Mormon with the class, particularly how the Book of Mormon has helped them to come unto Christ. Encourage students to continue to apply Moroni’s words to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon or to strengthen the testimony they already have.

Student Readings