Seminary
Lesson 154: Moroni 6

“Lesson 154: Moroni 6,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)

“Lesson 154,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 154

Moroni 6

Introduction

As Moroni neared the completion of his writings on the plates, he explained some of the qualifications for individuals to be baptized into the Church. He then outlined the responsibilities of Church members to care for each other. He also explained the purposes of Church meetings and emphasized the need for Church meetings to be conducted by the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Suggestions for Teaching

Moroni 6:1–3

Moroni sets forth the requirements for baptism

Ask students to imagine they have a seven-year-old sibling who will be turning eight in a few months.

Ask them also to imagine that their parents have asked them to teach a family home evening lesson on how to prepare for baptism. Invite a few students to tell what they would teach in order to help their younger sibling prepare to be baptized.

Explain that Moroni 6 contains Moroni’s description of the requirements for baptism, as well as the responsibilities and blessings of Church membership. As students study this chapter today, invite them to look for truths about the ordinance of baptism and membership in the Church.

Invite a student to read Moroni 6:1–2 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for requirements for baptism. Invite students to report what they find.

  • What do you think it means that those wanting to be baptized are to bring “forth fruit meet that they [are] worthy of it”? (They are to live in obedience to God’s commandments, showing that they are ready to make and keep the baptismal covenant.)

  • Why do you think it is important for an individual to have “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” prior to being baptized? (You may want to explain that the phrase “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” refers to a person’s humility and willingness to repent and obey the Lord’s commandments.)

Invite a student to read Moroni 6:3 aloud, and ask the class to identify what we covenant to do at baptism. Students should identify the following truth: Through baptism, we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and serve Him to the end. (You may want to ask students to recall what they learned in the previous lesson about what it means to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ.)

  • From your experience, why does an individual who wants to be baptized need a determination to serve Jesus Christ to the end?

  • What have you done to maintain and strengthen your determination to serve the Lord?

Moroni 6:4

Moroni explains how to care for and spiritually nourish members of the Church

Tell students that after describing the requirements for baptism, Moroni explained what was done in his day to help newly baptized individuals remain faithful to their covenants. Invite students to read Moroni 6:4 silently, looking for what Church members did to help new converts. Ask students to report what they find.

  • Why did Church leaders in Moroni’s day take and record the names of new converts? (Invite students to consider marking these reasons in verse 4.)

Ask students to summarize what Moroni 6:4 teaches about our responsibilities toward other members of the Church, especially new members. (For example, students might respond as follows: We have a responsibility to remember other members of the Church and to nourish them spiritually by the good word of God. They may also say that we have a responsibility to help each other be continually watchful unto prayer and that we have a responsibility to help each other rely on the Savior and His Atonement.)

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Holland, Jeffrey R.

“Most people don’t come to church looking merely for a few new gospel facts or to see old friends, though all of that is important. They come seeking a spiritual experience. They want peace. They want their faith fortified and their hope renewed. They want, in short, to be nourished by the good word of God, to be strengthened by the powers of heaven. Those of us who are called upon to speak or teach or lead have an obligation to help provide that, as best we possibly can” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Teacher Come from God,” Ensign, May 1998, 26).

  • How can we fulfill our responsibility to remember each other?

  • How do you think we can nourish each other with “the good word of God”?

  • What blessings come from being nourished by the word of God?

Ask students to consider the people who make efforts, or who have made efforts, to remember and nourish them spiritually. Ask them if they have ever thought, for instance, about all of the individuals who have prayed for them, prepared lessons for them, encouraged them in their activity in the Church, and helped them through challenges they have faced. Invite a few students to share how they have been blessed because someone has remembered them and nourished them by the word of God. Encourage students to thank people whose efforts have helped them.

Ask students to consider specific individuals whom the Lord may want them to remember or nourish. Invite students to write in their class notebooks or study journals what they can do to better fulfill the responsibilities they have toward other members of the Church. Encourage them to give special attention to the needs of new members and those who may be less active.

Moroni 6:5–9

Moroni describes the purposes of Church meetings and how meetings are to be conducted

Ask students to imagine that each of them is a parent of a young man or young woman who, for the past few weeks, has said that he or she does not want to go to church because it seems meaningless and boring. Invite students to consider what they might say to encourage the teenager to go to church and how they might help him or her understand the right reasons for attending church regularly.

Write the following incomplete statement on the board: As Church members, we are to meet together often to …

Invite a student to read Moroni 6:5–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for ways to complete the statement on the board. As students report what they find, write their responses on the board. Their responses could include the following truths:

  • As Church members, we are to meet together often to fast and to pray.

  • As Church members, we are to meet together often to strengthen each other spiritually.

  • As Church members, we are to meet together often to partake of the sacrament in remembrance of Jesus Christ.

As you think about the needs of the students in your class, consider using some or all of the following material to help them understand and feel the truth and importance of the principles they identified from Moroni 6:5–6. For the first principle on the board, consider asking the following questions:

  • In addition to fasting and praying on our own, why do you think it is important for us to meet together often to fast and to pray?

  • What experiences have taught you the importance of praying and fasting with members of your ward or branch?

For the second principle on the board, consider asking:

  • How might our experience at church be influenced if we attend with the desire to strengthen others spiritually?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Before the statement is read, explain that Elder Oaks shared a portion of a letter from a friend who learned how to strengthen others while attending church.

Oaks, Dallin H.

“Years ago, I changed my attitude about going to church. No longer do I go to church for my sake, but to think of others. I make a point of saying hello to people who sit alone, to welcome visitors, … to volunteer for an assignment. …

“In short, I go to church each week with the intent of being active, not passive, and making a positive difference in people’s lives. Consequently, my attendance at Church meetings is so much more enjoyable and fulfilling” (Mark Skousen, as quoted in Dallin H. Oaks, “Unselfish Service,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 96).

  • How can seeking to strengthen others while we attend church help us to have a “more enjoyable and fulfilling” experience there?

  • What are some experiences you have had as you have sought to strengthen others at church?

For the third principle on the board, consider asking these questions:

  • Why do you think it is important to partake of the sacrament on a regular basis?

  • How have you been blessed by regularly partaking of the sacrament in remembrance of Jesus Christ?

Invite a student to read Moroni 6:7 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why it may be necessary for a person to no longer be numbered among the members of the Church. Invite students to report what they learn. You may want to explain that in this verse, the phrase “blotted out” refers to excommunication, or loss of Church membership, which is a form of Church discipline. Explain that if Church members commit serious sin and do not repent, they can be excommunicated, or lose their membership in the Church and the blessings of their covenants.

Note: If students have questions about what “serious sins” include, consider sharing the following statement from True to the Faith:

“Bishops and branch presidents and stake, mission, and district presidents have a responsibility to help members overcome transgression through repentance. The most serious transgressions, such as serious violations of civil law, spouse abuse, child abuse, adultery, fornication, rape, and incest, often require formal Church discipline. Formal Church discipline may include restriction of Church membership privileges or loss of Church membership” (True to the Faith [2004], 37).

Ask a student to read Moroni 6:8 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for the promise given to those who choose to repent. Ask students to report what they find.

  • What principle can we identify from verse 8? (Help students identify the following principle: As often as we repent and seek forgiveness with real intent, we will be forgiven. Invite students to consider marking the words in this verse that teach this principle.)

  • Why do you think this principle is so important for us to understand and remember?

Summarize Moroni 6:9 by explaining that Moroni recorded that Church meetings were conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Remind students that earlier in the lesson, you asked them to think about what parents might say to encourage a young man or young woman to attend church. To conclude the lesson, ask students what they have considered that they might share. Then share your testimony about the blessings of attending church and any other principles you have discussed today. Invite students to apply these principles in their lives.

Commentary and Background Information

Moroni 6:2. “A broken heart and a contrite spirit”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained what it means to offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit unto the Lord:

Christofferson, D. Todd

“As you seek the blessing of conversion, you can offer the Lord the gift of your broken, or repentant, heart and your contrite, or obedient, spirit. In reality, it is the gift of yourself—what you are and what you are becoming” (D. Todd Christofferson, “When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 12).

Moroni 6:4. “Cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost”

We receive the sanctifying power of the Savior’s Atonement through the companionship of the Holy Ghost (see 3 Nephi 27:19–20; Moroni 6:4). Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:

McConkie, Bruce R.

“Sins are remitted not in the waters of baptism, as we say in speaking figuratively, but when we receive the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Spirit of God that erases carnality and brings us into a state of righteousness. We become clean when we actually receive the fellowship and companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is then that sin and dross and evil are burned out of our souls as though by fire. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the baptism of fire” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 290; see also page 239).

Moroni 6:4. Our duty to nourish one another

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency shared the following experience:

Eyring, Henry B.

“I have seen many shepherds who feed their flocks. One was the president of a deacons quorum. One of his quorum members lived near my home. That neighbor boy had never attended a quorum meeting nor done anything with the members of his quorum. His stepfather was not a member, and his mother did not attend church.

“The presidency of his deacons quorum met in council one Sunday morning. … In their presidency meeting, those 13-year-old shepherds remembered the boy who never came. They talked about how much he needed what they received. The president assigned his counselor to go after that wandering sheep.

“I knew the counselor, and I knew he was shy, and I knew the difficulty of the assignment, so I watched with wonder through my front window as the counselor trudged by my house, going up the road to the home of the boy who never came to church. The shepherd had his hands in his pockets. His eyes were on the ground. He walked slowly, the way you would if you weren’t sure you wanted to get where you were headed. In 20 minutes or so, he came back down the road with the lost deacon walking by his side. That scene was repeated for a few more Sundays. Then the boy who had been lost and was found moved away.

“… Years later, I was in a stake conference, a continent away from the room in which that presidency had met in council. A gray-haired man came up to me and said quietly, ‘My grandson lived in your ward years ago.’ With tenderness, he told me of that boy’s life. And then he asked if I could find that deacon who walked slowly up that road. And he wondered if I could thank him and tell him that his grandson, now grown to be a man, still remembered” (Henry B. Eyring, “Watch with Me,” Ensign, May 2001, 38–39).

Moroni 6:4. Strengthening new converts

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) encouraged all Church members, including the youth, to nourish and strengthen those who join the Church:

Hinckley, Gordon B.

“It is not an easy thing to become a member of this Church. In most cases it involves setting aside old habits, leaving old friends and associations, and stepping into a new society which is different and somewhat demanding.

“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’ (Moro. 6:4). It is our duty and opportunity to provide these things. …

“This is a work for everyone. It is a work for home teachers and visiting teachers. It is a work for the bishopric, for the priesthood quorums, for the Relief Society, the young men and young women, even the Primary.

“I was in a fast and testimony meeting only last Sunday. A 15- or 16-year-old boy stood before the congregation and said that he had decided to be baptized.

“Then one by one, boys of the teachers quorum stepped to the microphone to express their love for him, to tell him that he was doing the right thing, and to assure him that they would stand with him and help him. It was a wonderful experience to hear those young men speak words of appreciation and encouragement to their friend” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Converts and Young Men,” Ensign, May 1997, 47, 48).