Book of Mormon
“Come unto Christ”
Mormon explains how to judge between good and evil.
Mormon explains the importance of faith, hope, and charity.
Mormon teaches that little children are saved through Christ's Atonement.
The Holy Ghost testifies of all truth. Spiritual gifts follow those
who come unto Christ.
A study of this lesson will teach us how to judge between good and evil and how
to receive a testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon.
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 48 Handout (PDF
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE "PEACEABLE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST"?
HOW DO WE BECOME PEACEABLE FOLLOWERS?
WHAT IS THE REWARD?
Bruce R. McConkie: "True saints enter into
the rest of the Lord while in this life, and by abiding in the truth, they
continue in that blessed state until they rest with the Lord in heaven. The rest of the Lord, where mortals are concerned, is to gain a perfect
knowledge of the divinity of the great latter-day work." (Mormon
Joseph F. Smith: "The ancient prophets speak
of 'entering into God's rest'; what does it mean? To my mind, it means
entering into the knowledge and love of God, having faith in his purpose
and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we are right, and that
we are not hunting for something else, we are not disturbed by every wind
of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who lie in wait to
deceive." (Gospel Doctrine, p58)
WHAT IS MORMON TELLING US HERE ABOUT OUR MOTIVES FOR DOING GOOD?
President Marion G. Romney: "About a quarter of
a century ago Sister Romney and I moved into a ward in which they were
just beginning to build a meetinghouse. The size of the contribution
the bishop thought I ought to contribute rather staggered me. I thought
it was at least twice as much as he should have asked. However, I
had just been called to a rather high Church position, so I said, 'Well,
I will pay it, Bishop, but I will have to pay it in installments because
I don't have the money.' And so I began to pay. And I paid
and paid until I was down to about the last three payments, when, as is
my habit, I was reading The Book of Mormon, and came to the scripture which
said: "'...if a man...giveth
a gift ...grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he
had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.'
"This shocked me because
I was out about a thousand dollars. Well, I went on and paid the
three installments I had promised to pay, and then I paid several more
installments to convince the Lord that I had done it with the right attitude."
(Relief Society Magazine, Feb 1968)
HOW CAN WE PURIFY OUR MOTIVES FOR DOING GOOD?
President Romney's story teaches us to:
Study the scriptures - to help us understand the workings of the Lord.
Go the extra mile (don't just do the minimum).
Several years ago I was involved in the Sustaining Membership campaign
for the Boy Scouts. The Scout Executive for the council would often
instruct us to tell people to "give until it feels good." How true this
is. Sacrifice makes a difference.
Mormon continues and discusses the relationship of faith to hope and charity.
WHAT DID MORMON TEACH ABOUT HOW WE CAN DISCERN GOOD FROM EVIL?
That which is evil invites and entices one to sin (v12).
That which invites and entices one to do good, love God, and serve him
is from God (v13).
The Spirit of Christ, given to every man, enables one to discern between
good and evil (v16).
HOW HAVE YOU FELT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST HELP YOU DISCERN GOOD FROM EVIL?
I think all of us, from our earliest memories, have been influenced by
the "light of Christ" when encountering a choice between right and wrong,
good and evil. And as we contemplated the wrong choice, we knew that
it was a wrong choice. What a wonderful blessing to be endowed with
such a personal compass.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "The basic human
decency of so many people on this planet, their love of goodness and of
God, their devotion even to Jesus Christ—many of them at least—is so clear.
This is because the Light of Christ, or conscience, lights every soul to
some degree." (We Talk of Christ, p25)
HOW CAN WE BECOME MORE RECEPTIVE TO THE GUIDANCE OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST?
- Search diligently in the light of Christ (v19).
- WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS?
- Lay hold upon every good thing and condemn it not (v19).
Mormon asks the question: "How is
it possible to lay hold upon every good thing?" (v20)
HOW DOES MORMON ANSWER THIS QUESTION?
Through faith (see v21-26).
"Wherefore, by the ministering of angels,
and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began
to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon
every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ"
WHAT GOOD THINGS HAVE COME TO YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR FAITH IN THE SAVIOR?
WHAT IS HOPE? WHAT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS BETWEEN FAITH AND HOPE?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "As used in the
revelations, hope is the desire of faithful people to gain eternal salvation
in the kingdom of God hereafter.... Faith and hope are inseparable. Hope enables us to have faith in the first instance then because of faith
that hope increases until salvation is gained." (Mormon Doctrine,
"And again, behold I say
unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and
lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope
is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in
heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power
of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity;
for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have
charity." (Moroni 7:43-44)
HOW CAN WE HAVE CHARITY?
Mormon defines the characteristics of charity. By seeking to include
and refine those traits in our character, we will grow towards perfect
charity. "And charity suffereth long, and
is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is
not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but
rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth
all things, endureth all things" (v45).
This chapter records a letter written to Moroni by his father Mormon.
- Mormon writes: "And now, my son, I speak
unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth
me that there should disputations rise among you. For, if I have learned
the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism
of your little children. And now, my son, I desire
that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed
from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle."
WHY DO LITTLE CHILDREN NOT NEED BAPTISM?
Little children are whole and not capable of committing sin (v8).
The curse of Adam is taken from them in the Lord (v8).
Little children are alive in Christ (v12).
Little children cannot repent (v19).
"And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting
love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little
children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation"
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Actually, baptism is a
spiritual rebirth into the kingdom of God (meaning both the Church on earth and
the celestial kingdom in heaven), and since little children are already alive in
Christ because of his atoning sacrifice, they do not need to born again to
spiritual things. Further: Baptism follows repentance and is for the remission
of sins, and because little children cannot sin and have no need of repentance,
the false practice of infant baptism is of no avail." (Mormon
The Formula For Receiving A Testimony.
(see Daniel H. Ludow, Ensign, Mar 1986, pp50-51)
Brother Ludlow: "To understand the promise
found in Moroni 10:4, a person should read and ponder the verses immediately
before and after."
"Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good;
and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites; and I would that they should
know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since
the sign was given of the coming of Christ" (v1).
Moroni is addressing himself to the Lamanites, but we know that these words
and those of all the Book of Mormon also apply to the Jews and Gentiles.
Phrases from the title page to the Book of Mormon:
"Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of
the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile--"
"And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile
that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD..."
"And I seal up these records, after I have spoken
a few words by way of exhortation unto you" (v2).
Moroni is referring to the record upon which he was
writing, the plates of Mormon - the same which were later received and
translated by Joseph Smith.
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall
read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that
ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of
men, from the creation of Adam even down unto the time that ye shall receive
these things, and ponder it in your hearts"
ACCORDING TO VERSE 3 WHAT MUST THE HONEST SEEKER OF TRUTH
Read the Book of Mormon.
"These things" refers to the Book of Mormon, the
record which Moroni is completing.
"Remember how merciful" the Lord has been
unto the children of men.
"Ponder" the dealings of God with men as recorded
in the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
HOW MANY OF US SPEND TIME PONDERING THAT WHICH WE
READ IN THE BOOK OF MORMON?
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would
exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ,
if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart,
with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of
it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost"
Note: the word "read" is not even included in this
verse; rather, the verb is "receive".
"Receive" these things seems to refer back to verse
3 and the steps we should take.
We need to then put ourselves into a frame of mind
where we are willing to "receive" or "accept" all these things.
The next step is to ask "with
a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ".
If we have followed these steps, then we will be
entitled to receive a manifestation of the truth of the Book of Mormon.
"And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know
the truth of all things" (v5).
Brother Ludlow: "This
verse indicates that the principles contained in the formula for learning
truth as explained in verses one through four can also be applied to areas
other than learning the truth of the Book of Mormon."
Brother Ludlow: "When
a person follows this divine formula, the results are certain: He will
gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. God cannot and does not lie,
and his promises made through his prophets are sure. Therefore, any
person who claims to have followed the various requirements but says he
has not gained a testimony should check to see which step he has not followed
faithfully or completely."
The formula as outlined by Brother Ludlow:
We should read and ponder the Book of Mormon--all
We should remember the methods God has used in working
with the peoples of both the Book of Mormon and the Bible--and ponder these
things in our hearts.
We should put ourselves in a frame of mind where
we will be willing to accept (receive) all of "these things"--the Book
of Mormon, the Bible, and the way God works with men.
With a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith
in Christ, we should ask God, the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ
"if these things are not true."
We should be able to recognize the promptings and
feelings which will be evidences to us of the truth of "these things" (including
the Book of Mormon) as they are made manifest "by the power of the
WHY CAN'T WE GAIN TESTIMONIES THROUGH OUR INTELLECT
what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in
him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of
God." (1 Corinthians 2:11)
Come Unto Christ.
WHAT DID MORONI TEACH ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
(see verses 8-19)
Deny not the gifts of God (v8).
There are many gifts (v8).
The gifts are administered in different ways (v8).
The gifts are given by the manifestations of the
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Moroni
says that the gifts of God come from Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost
and by the Spirit of Christ. In other words, the gifts come by the
power of that Spirit who is the Holy Ghost, but the Spirit of Christ (or
light of Christ) is the agency through which the Holy Ghost operates."
They are to profit men (v8).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Their
purpose 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 they shall never be done away as long as the
earth continues in its present state, except for unbelief, 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 with'."
(Mormon Doctrine, p314)
Each may receive different gifts (v9-16).
WHY DO EACH OF US RECEIVE DIFFERENT GIFTS FROM GOD?
"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." (D&C
"...and they come unto every man severally, according
as he will" (v17).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "By
the grace of God--following devotion, faith, and obedience on man's part--certain
special blessings called gifts of the Spirit are bestowed upon men. Their receipt is always predicated upon obedience to law, but because they
are freely available to all the obedient, they are called gifts. They are signs and miracles reserved to the faithful and none else."
(Mormon Doctrine, p314)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE FAIL TO USE OR DEVELOP THE GIFTS
THE LORD HAS GIVEN US?
They die in their sins and cannot be saved in the
kingdom of God.
heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given;
and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth
to have." (Luke 8:18)
WHAT CAN WE DO IF WE FIND THAT THE POWER AND GIFTS
OF GOD ARE NOT BEING EXERCISED IN OUR LIVES?
again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon
every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing."
HOW DOES MORONI'S EXHORTATION TO "COME UNTO CHRIST"
REFLECT THE ENTIRE MESSAGE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON?
A primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince men
that Jesus is the Christ.
Every incident reflects this message:
Alma's missionary efforts.
The leadership of King Benjamin.
The struggles of Nephi in 3 Nephi.
The pleading of Mormon and Moroni after seeing the
destruction of their nation.
HOW HAS THIS YEAR'S STUDY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON HELPED
YOU COME UNTO CHRIST?
MORONI 10:33-34. Moroni's
WHAT DOES MORONI TEACH ABOUT THE GRACE OF GOD?
He promises us that through the grace and power of
God, but dependent upon our willingness to demonstrate good works, we are
sanctified through the atoning blood of the Savior and cleansed completely
Continue To Study The Book of Mormon
The course of study for next year's Gospel Doctrine class is the Doctrine
WHAT PLACE SHOULD THE BOOK OF MORMON HAVE IN OUR PERSONAL STUDY NEXT YEAR?
President Ezra Taft Benson: "The Book of Mormon
is studied in our Sunday School and seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members
in their personal study. We need to read daily from the pages of
the book that will get a man 'nearer to God by abiding by its precepts,
than by any other book'." (Ensign, Nov 1988, p4)
President Ezra Taft Benson: "Every Latter-day
Saint should make the study of the book a lifetime pursuit."
(Ensign, May 1975, p65)
President Joseph Fielding Smith: "No member
of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously
and carefully read the Book of Mormon." (CR,
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "I would like
to urge every man and woman . . . and every boy and girl who is old enough
to read to again read the Book of Mormon during this coming year . . .
. There is nothing we could do of greater importance than to have
fortified in our individual lives an unshakable conviction that Jesus is
the Christ, the Living Son of the Living God . . . . That is the
purpose of the coming forth of this remarkable and wonderful book."
(Church News, 4 May 1996, p2)
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
- Record your thoughts on the teachings found in this lesson. How has this
year's study of the Book of Mormon helped you come unto Christ? How will you
continue to utilize the Book of Mormon in your future scripture study?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Conference Reports (CR).
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Relief Society Magazine.
We Talk of Christ by Neal A. Maxwell.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
15 October 2012