Lesson 152: Moroni 1–3

“Lesson 152: Moroni 1–3,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)

“Lesson 152,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 152

Moroni 1–3


After completing his abridgment of the plates of Ether, Moroni supposed that he would not write any more. However, he was inspired to “write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto [his] brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord” (Moroni 1:4). His words affirm his faithfulness to Jesus Christ, and they also outline important ordinances of the gospel.

Suggestions for Teaching

Moroni 1

Moroni wanders for the safety of his life and continues his writings

Invite a student to read aloud the following story told by a young woman who stood up for her beliefs at school:

“My teacher was in the front of the class, talking about a snippet of a movie we were about to watch. … My teacher … nonchalantly explained that … the movie had a mature rating. I was stunned. … I never thought this would happen.

“I sat in my chair, thinking about what I should do” (Catherine Hall, “Standing Up, Standing Out,” New Era, Feb. 2012, 11).

  • What are some of the choices this young woman could have made in this situation?

  • Why might some of these choices have been difficult to make?

As students study Moroni 1 today, invite them to think about how Moroni’s example relates to situations like the one this young woman found herself in.

To help students understand the context of Moroni 1, explain that after Moroni finished abridging the record of Ether, he chose to engrave some final writings on the golden plates.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 1:1–3. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the situation that Moroni was in at this time. Ask them to report what they find.

  • What does it mean to you to “not deny the Christ”?

Point out that we may not be threatened with physical death as we stand as a witness of Jesus Christ, but we may face other difficult circumstances as we do so.

  • What truth can we learn from Moroni’s example about standing as a witness of Jesus Christ? (Help students identify the following principle: We can choose to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ, especially in difficult circumstances. Invite students to consider writing this principle in their scriptures.)

  • What are some circumstances in which youth today can choose to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ?

Invite a student to continue reading aloud the account of the young woman you discussed at the beginning of class. Ask students to listen for how this young woman stood as a witness of Jesus Christ.

“A thought kept coming into my head: We have been asked not to watch offensive movies. I tried to rationalize that because I was in school, the part of the movie we were going to watch would be appropriate. But the thought of not watching offensive movies trumped my rationalizations.

“I calmly raised my hand, and in front of my whole class, I asked to sit outside of class while the movie played. I felt everyone’s eyes on me as I pushed in my chair and grabbed my book. I saw the looks on their faces; they simply didn’t understand.

“While sitting in the hallway, I felt very happy. I knew I had done the right thing, no matter what my peers or teacher said. I felt stronger too. I knew I didn’t have to watch an inappropriate movie clip just because my teacher had presented it to us.

“… I believe that when we are faced with moments of adversity and we stand up to them, we are made stronger than if we had sat down and let them happen.

“This is an inner strength that is found through our Savior. If we look to Him in our times of difficulty, we will be made strong. Our faith in Him can help us face adversity” (Catherine Hall, “Standing Up, Standing Out,” 11).

  • What stands out to you about this young woman’s experience of standing as a witness of Jesus Christ in difficult circumstances?

  • When have you or someone you know shown a determination to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ in difficult circumstances?

Invite students to ponder how they can follow Moroni’s example of standing as a witness of Jesus Christ, even in difficult circumstances. Ask them to record their thoughts in their class notebooks or study journals.

Invite a student to read Moroni 1:4 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why Moroni chose to continue to write.

  • Why did Moroni continue to write, even while the Lamanites were seeking to take his life? (Moroni wrote for the benefit of the descendants of those who sought to take his life.)

  • What principle can we learn from Moroni’s desire to help the Lamanites? (Students may identify a principle such as the following: We can demonstrate our commitment to follow Jesus Christ by choosing to show love to our enemies.)

Explain that Moroni’s commitment to Jesus Christ led him to write about a few key aspects of the Church that he felt were “of worth” (Moroni 1:4). As students study Moroni 2–3, invite them to consider how these things might be of worth to them.

Moroni 2

Moroni records Jesus Christ’s instructions on conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost

Invite a young man to come to the front of the class. Ask the class to imagine this young man in the future as a full-time missionary. He and his companion have been teaching someone the gospel, and the person has decided to be baptized. The young man in your class is invited to perform the ordinance of confirmation, which includes bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost. Ask the young man the following question:

  • What might you do to prepare to perform this ordinance? (After the young man responds, invite the rest of the class to also share their thoughts.)

Explain that when the resurrected Savior visited the Nephites, “he touched with his hand the disciples whom he had chosen” and “gave them power to give the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 18:36, 37). Moroni included in his record some of the Savior’s instructions to the twelve Nephite disciples about how to give the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Invite a student to read Moroni 2:1–3 aloud, and ask the class to look for the following information. (You may want to write the following statements on the board.)

  1. What the person performing the ordinance should do to prepare

  2. How the ordinance is to be performed

  • According to footnote b for Moroni 2:2, what priesthood is required to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost? (The Melchizedek Priesthood.)

  • What should a Melchizedek Priesthood holder do to prepare to give the gift of the Holy Ghost? (He should “call on the Father in [Jesus Christ’s] name, in mighty prayer” [Moroni 2:2].)

  • How do you think prayer can help a person prepare to perform a priesthood ordinance?

  • How is the ordinance of confirmation to be performed? (By the laying on of hands and in the name of Jesus Christ. Explain that for part of this ordinance, Melchizedek Priesthood holders are to use certain words.)

Write the following truth on the board: Melchizedek Priesthood holders bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost on baptized Church members by the laying on of hands.

Moroni 3

Moroni records Jesus Christ’s instructions on ordaining priests and teachers

Explain that Moroni 3 records Moroni’s instructions on how to ordain priests and teachers.

Invite a student to read Moroni 3:1–4 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how individuals are ordained to priesthood offices.

  • How are individuals ordained to priesthood offices? (Students should identify the following doctrine: Individuals are ordained to priesthood offices by the laying on of hands by those having authority.)

  • Why is it necessary for an individual to be ordained to a priesthood office by someone who currently holds that office, or a greater office, in the priesthood?

To help students understand that the authority to perform all priesthood duties comes from Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Acting with divine authority requires more than mere social contract. It cannot be generated by theological training or a commission from the congregation. No, in the authorized work of God there has to be power greater than that already possessed by the people in the pews or in the streets or in the seminaries—a fact that many honest religious seekers had known and openly acknowledged for generations leading up to the Restoration. …

“… [The priesthood line of authority of each priesthood holder in the Church] goes back in an unbroken chain to angelic ministers who came from the Son of God Himself, bearing this incomparable gift from heaven” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Our Most Distinguishing Feature,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 44).

  • Why is it important for you to know that every priesthood holder in this Church can trace his authority back to Jesus Christ?

Before class, prepare to bring a record of the priesthood line of authority of someone in your family or your ward or branch and share it with the class.

Explain that a priesthood line of authority traces a priesthood holder’s authority to Jesus Christ. Melchizedek Priesthood holders may request a record of their line of authority on The Church does not provide records of lines of authority for Aaronic Priesthood holders. However, if an Aaronic Priesthood holder was ordained by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, he may be able to learn about the line of authority of the man who ordained him.

Read the line of authority you have brought to class. Share your feelings about priesthood holders being able to trace their authority to the Savior.

Invite a few students to share their feelings about how the priesthood has blessed their lives. You may also want to share how your life has been blessed because of the priesthood.

Review the truths you have discussed today. Encourage students to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ at all times.

Commentary and Background Information

Moroni 2. Priesthood holders among the descendants of Lehi

President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) taught:

President Joseph Fielding Smith

“The Nephites were descendants of Joseph. Lehi discovered this when reading the brass plates. … There were no Levites who accompanied Lehi to the Western Hemisphere. Under these conditions the Nephites officiated by virtue of the Melchizedek Priesthood from the days of Lehi to the days of the appearance of our Savior among them. …

“When the Savior came to the Nephites, he established the Church in its fulness among them. … Therefore we are justified in the belief that not only was the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred, but also the Aaronic, just as we have it in the Church today; and this Aaronic Priesthood remained with them from this time until, through wickedness, all priesthood ceased. We may be assured that in the days of Moroni the Nephites did ordain teachers and priests in the Aaronic Priesthood; but before the visit of the Savior they officiated in the Melchizedek Priesthood” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. [1957], 1:124, 126).

Moroni 2:1. Did the twelve Nephite disciples serve as Apostles?

President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) explained:

President Joseph Fielding Smith

“While in every instance the Nephite Twelve are spoken of as disciples, the fact remains that they had been endowed with divine authority to be special witnesses for Christ among their own people. Therefore, they were virtually apostles to the Nephite race” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie [1956], 3:158).