“Lesson 156: Moroni 7:20–48,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 156,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
Moroni recorded the conclusion of the sermon that his father, Mormon, had delivered in a synagogue years earlier. In the sermon, Mormon taught his listeners how to “lay hold upon every good thing” (Moroni 7:20, 25). He explained the relationship between faith, hope, and charity, and concluded with a plea to his people to pray to the Father with all the energy of heart for the gift of charity, “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47).
Before class, write the following question on the board:
At the beginning of class, give students one or two minutes to answer this question in notebooks or scripture study journals. Then invite them to read some of the things they have listed.
Read Moroni 7:24 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the source of all the good things that have come to them.
Who is the source of all the good things that have come to you? (Students’ responses may vary, but they should express the following truth: All good things come because of Jesus Christ.)
To help students further understand the doctrine taught in Moroni 7:24, explain that as descendants of Adam and Eve, we are “fallen” and unable to receive any blessings on our own (see also Alma 22:14; Ether 3:2; Articles of Faith 1:3). Without Jesus Christ and His Atonement, “there could no good thing come unto [us].” Everything good that we have ever received from our Heavenly Father has come through the Savior and His Atonement.
Invite a student to read aloud Mormon’s question in Moroni 7:20. Then invite students to read Moroni 7:21–24 silently, looking for what these verses teach about how we can lay hold on every good thing.
Based on what you have read Moroni 7:21–24, how would you answer Mormon’s question in Moroni 7:20? (As students respond, help them identify the following principle: As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can lay hold on every good thing.)
To help students understand how they can “lay hold upon every good thing,” ask a few of them to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 7:25–26, 32–38. Invite half of the class to identify ways we should show our faith in Jesus Christ. Invite the other half to look for good things that come to us as a result. (When a student reads verse 33, you may want to explain that the phrase “expedient in me” refers to things that are in harmony with the Lord’s will.)
After students report what they have found, consider asking them to write down a goal that will help them exercise greater faith in Jesus Christ and lay hold on all the good things that Heavenly Father desires to give them. Share your testimony that great blessings come through the Savior, His gospel, and His Atonement. Encourage students to exercise greater faith in Him.
Draw a picture of a three-legged stool on the board (or display a three-legged stool).
Read the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Three divine principles form a foundation upon which we can build the structure of our lives. … Together they give us a base of support like the legs of a three-legged stool” (“The Joy of Hope Fulfilled,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 33).
Label one of the legs of the stool with the phrase Faith in Jesus Christ. Ask students to think about what the other two legs might represent. Then invite students to read Moroni 7:40 silently to find out what the second leg represents. (The second leg represents hope.)
Read aloud the following expressions of hope. Invite students to listen for differences between these two expressions.
I hope it rains today.
I have hope in the promise of the Lord that I can feel peace through repentance.
In what ways are these expressions different? (Help students see that in the first example, the word hope refers to an uncertain wish. In the second example, the word hope is an expression of confidence. It is a motivation for action, and it is centered in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.)
To help students understand the word hope as it is used in the scriptures, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:
“Hope is a gift of the Spirit. …
“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance” (“The Infinite Power of Hope,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 21–22).
Invite a student to read Moroni 7:41 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Mormon taught we should hope for. As students report what they find, label the second leg of the stool with the phrase Hope for Eternal Life.
Point out that Moroni 7:41 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to suggest that students mark this verse in a distinctive way so they will be able to locate it easily.
According to Moroni 7:41, how can we have hope to be raised to eternal life? (Although students may use different words, they should identify the following principle: If we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can obtain hope through His Atonement to be raised to eternal life.)
Invite students to read Moroni 7:42–43 on their own, looking for characteristics we need in order to have faith and hope. Ask them to report what they have found. (You may want to explain that to be meek and lowly of heart means to be humble, gentle, and submissive to the Lord’s will.)
Why do you think meekness and lowliness of heart are necessary in order to have faith and hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
Invite students to respond to the following question in notebooks or scripture study journals:
How does your faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement give you hope that you will receive eternal life?
Refer back to the three-legged stool. Invite students to read Moroni 7:44 silently and identify a label for the third leg of the stool. As students report what they find, label the third leg with the word Charity. Ask them to define charity in their own words.
Invite a student to read Moroni 7:45–47 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Mormon described and defined charity.
How does Mormon define charity in Moroni 7:47? (“The pure love of Christ.”)
What do you think it means that charity will never fail?
Why do you think we are nothing if we do not have charity?
Invite students to choose descriptions of charity in Moroni 7:45 and explain what they think those descriptions mean. Clarify their explanations as needed. (For example, “suffereth long” means that someone endures trials patiently. “Envieth not” means that a person is not jealous of others. “Not puffed up” means that someone is humble. “Seeketh not her own” describes the quality of putting God and others before self. “Not easily provoked” means not angered easily. “Believeth all things” describes someone who accepts all truth.)
Ask students how they might respond in each of the following situations if they lack charity. Then ask how they might respond if they are filled with charity. (You may want to adapt these situations according to the needs and interests of the students you teach.)
People make fun of you or someone else at school.
You have a brother or sister who frequently annoys you.
Someone you know has committed a serious sin.
You do not like a new quorum or class adviser as much as you liked a previous adviser.
Invite a student to read Moroni 7:48 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify what we need to do to be blessed with the gift of charity. As students offer answers, make sure the following principle is clear: If we pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart and live as true followers of Jesus Christ, we can be filled with charity.
Point out that Moroni 7:45, 47–48 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to suggest that students mark these verses in a distinctive way so they will be able to locate them easily.
Why do you think we need to pray for the gift of charity with all the energy of heart?
When have you witnessed examples of charity? (Invite a few students to share experiences. You may also want to share an experience of your own.)
When have you felt that the Lord has helped you to feel more charitable toward others?
Ask students to review Moroni 7:45 and choose one element of charity in which they need to improve. Encourage them to pray for the gift of charity as they strive to improve in this area. Testify of the influence that faith, hope, and charity have had in your life.