Book of Mormon
“To Keep Them in the Right Way”
Having survived the destruction of the Nephites, Moroni continues his writings.
Moroni teaches about essential gospel ordinances.
Moroni explains the requirements for Church membership and the need for
record keeping and fellowshipping.
A study of this lesson will increase our understanding of gospel ordinances and
of the need to strengthen one another.
Scripture references for study:
notes: Click on links for expanded information.
Lesson 47 Handout (PDF)
Moroni 1 - An Introduction
This final book of the Book of Mormon was written by Moroni after his father's
It was probably written 15 to 35 years after the battle at Cumorah.
MORONI 1:1-4. Moroni's preface to his own book.
This would be a difficult way to live the last years of one's life.
Can you imagine living totally alone, for several years, having to
whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life" (v3)?
Moroni thought that the book of Ether would be the last of his writings, but he
said that he had not "perished" so he wrote "a few more things, that perhaps
they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day"
The next five chapters deal with procedures and practices of the church
in Moroni's day: conferring the Holy Ghost, ordinations, the sacrament,
baptism, and conducting church meetings.
WHY DID MORONI INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION REGARDING THE OPERATION OF THE
CHURCH IN HIS DAY?
He had seen our day and was writing to his latter-day brethren, the Lamanites.
He must have seen the incorrect practices of the latter-days and wished
to provide a witness to correct procedures, practice, and doctrine.
Moroni 2 & 3
These chapters clarify the doctrine of authority.
The world of Christianity often teaches that one obtains authority in the
ministry through a divinity degree or simply through a desire to serve.
"The words of Christ, which he spake unto his
disciples, the twelve whom he had chosen, as he laid his hands upon them--
And he called them by
name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer;
and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye
shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall
ye give it, for thus do mine apostles." (Moroni 2:1-2)
ACCORDING TO MORONI, WHAT SHOULD PRIESTHOOD BEARERS
EMPHASIZE IN THEIR TEACHING?
"...preach repentance and remission of sins through
Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end" (v3).
Though brief, these chapters in Moroni are a witness
to the unchanging nature of the gospel. How one obtains authority
to act in the ministry, how one administers the gift of the Holy Ghost,
and what we should teach remain the same. As we see in Moroni 4
and 5, the administration of the Sacrament also remains unchanged.
Moroni 4 & 5 - Sacramental Prayers
As Moroni looked forward to our day and observed a typical Christian Sabbath,
he must have been amazed at the multitude of apostate practices surrounding
the holy, yet simple ordinance of the sacrament as practiced in various
He gave his testimony regarding these sacramental prayers:
"...wherefore we know the manner to be true"
Both prayers contain the phrase "always remember him".
HOW MUCH OF A CHALLENGE IS IT TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE LORD?
Recall: In 3 Nephi 1, prior to the birth of the Savior, a plan had been
made to slay the righteous.
Nephi prayed and was told that the sign regarding the Lord's birth would
The signs given to the people were so tremendous that "the
more part of the people did believe, and were converted to the Lord"
(3 Nephi 1:22).
The story continues: "And it came to pass that thus passed
away the ninety and fifth year also, and the people began to forget those signs
and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a
sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their
hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had
heard and seen." (3 Nephi 2:1)
HOW DO PEOPLE "BEGIN TO FORGET"? DID THESE
ANCIENT NEPHITES ACTUALLY FORGET THEY HAD SEEN A DAY, A NIGHT, AND A DAY
AS ONE DAY? DID THEY FORGET THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GREAT SIGNS THEY
HAD BEEN GIVEN?
I don't think the Nephites forgot the signs, but
many of them did forget the spiritual significance of that experience.
In a similar way, a returned missionary will never
forget his mission, but he may forget the spiritual feelings and experiences. Unfortunately, many returned missionaries fall into inactivity.
This occurs because one neglects the admonition issued
weekly in the sacramental prayers to "always remember him."
President Spencer W. Kimball:
you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what
it is? It could be remember. Because all of you have made covenants--you
know what to do and you know how to do it--our greatest need is to remember. That is why everyone goes to sacrament meeting every Sabbath day, to take
the sacrament and listen to the priests pray that they 'may always remember
him and keep his commandments which he has given them.' Nobody should
ever forget to go to sacrament meeting. Remember is the word. Remember is the program." (quoted in Studies In Scripture, 8:286)
Moroni 6 - Nourishing New Members
"And after they had been received unto baptism,
and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they
were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names
were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word
of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful
unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author
and the finisher of their faith" (v4).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "NOURISH" THE NEW MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH?
The words "nourish" and "new" almost seem to go together. A new baby
requires care and nourishment or it will not survive. A new plant
needs close care and nourishment or it will wither. A new employee
needs attention and constant instruction in order to master the job.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "With the
ever increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial
effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs
three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with 'the good
word of God' (Moroni 6:4)." (Ensign, May 1997, p47)
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "The greatest tragedy
in the Church...is the loss of those who join the Church and then fall
away. With very few exceptions it need not happen. I am convinced
that almost universally those who are baptized by the missionaries have
been taught sufficiently to have received knowledge and testimony sufficiently
to warrant their baptism. But it is not an easy thing to make the
transition incident to joining this Church. It means cutting old
ties. It means leaving friends. It may mean setting aside cherished
beliefs. It may require a change of habits and a suppression of appetites. In so many cases it means loneliness and even fear of the unknown. There must be nurturing and strengthening during this difficult season
of a convert's life. A tremendous price has been paid for his presence
in the Church. The long efforts of the missionaries and the cost
of their service, the separation from old relationship and the trauma associated
with this makes it imperative that these precious souls be welcomed, reassured,
helped in their times of weakness, praised for what they do, given responsibility
under which they may grow strong, and encouraged and thanked for all they
do." (Ensign, Oct 1987)
WHAT CAN WE DO TO FOLLOW PRESIDENT HINCKLEY'S COUNSEL?
- WHAT EXPERIENCES AND BLESSINGS HAVE YOU ENJOYED BY SEEKING TO FELLOWSHIP NEW
- Consider the comments of Elder Carl B. Pratt. He told of the feelings
his family experienced as they visited different wards in the Church.
"Some wards our children loved to visit because they
quickly found friends among the youth, and we all received a warm and hearty
welcome. But there were other wards to which our children returned with
less enthusiasm, and there was a noticeable absence of the warm and hearty
"We then began to observe that in some wards
we visited . . . , if we had been investigators or new members, we would
not have felt very welcome.
"These experiences . . . made us conscious of
the need we all have to improve what we call our fellowshipping skills.
"Brothers and sisters, we have the richest blessings
that God can give to His children. We have the fulness of the gospel
of Jesus Christ. We ought to be the most open, friendly, happy, kind,
considerate, thoughtful, loving people in the whole world . . . .
"Will nonmembers, new converts, and visitors
to our chapels recognize us as His disciples by the warmth of our greeting,
by the ease of our smiles, by the kindness and genuine concern that shine
in our eyes?" (Ensign, Nov 1997, pp11-12)
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings of Moroni. How can you
better remember the Savior? How can you better serve the members of your ward or
Resources Used In This Lesson
Studies In Scripture, Volume 8, edited by Kent P. Jackson.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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24 October 2016