“Lesson 155: Moroni 7:1–19,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)
“Lesson 155,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual
Moroni recorded a sermon that his father, Mormon, had delivered many years earlier. This lesson covers the first part of the sermon, in which Mormon taught about doing righteous works with real intent and about how we can discern between good and evil. Lesson 156 covers the rest of the sermon.
Display a piece of fruit that appears good on the outside.
Have you ever discovered that a piece of fruit was not as good on the inside as it appeared on the outside? (Invite a few students to share examples. You may want to relate an experience of your own.)
In what ways might a person be like a piece of fruit that appears good on the outside but is rotten on the inside?
Explain that in Moroni 7 Moroni recorded the words of his father, Mormon, about the importance of being righteous in our hearts as well as doing righteous works. Summarize Moroni 7:1–3 by explaining that Mormon addressed members of the Church whom he described as “the peaceable followers of Christ” (verse 3).
Explain that in Moroni 7:6 we read that Mormon taught that we must do good works with “real intent” in order to profit from them. Write the phrase real intent on the board.
What do you think this phrase means?
To help students understand the meaning of the phrase “real intent,” ask one of them to read aloud the following explanation by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“We must not only do what is right. We must act for the right reasons. The modern term is good motive. The scriptures often signify this appropriate mental attitude with the words full purpose of heart or real intent.
“The scriptures make clear that God understands our motives and will judge our actions accordingly” (Dallin H. Oaks, Pure in Heart , 15).
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 7:7–11. Ask the class to follow along, looking for Mormon’s warnings to people who do good works without real intent.
What warnings did Mormon give to those who do good works without real intent? (He warned that their works will not profit them and that their works will be counted for evil rather than righteousness.)
How would you summarize a principle from these verses about what we must do to be blessed for our good works? (While students may mention a number of truths, help them identify the following principle: To be blessed for our good works, we must act with real intent. Write this principle on the board.)
Explain that some people can become discouraged because they may not feel like they always have real intent or perfect motives when doing good works or keeping the commandments.
What do you think can help you to have real intent and be purely motivated to do good works?
To encourage students not to give up trying to have real intent as they strive to do good and keep the commandments, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy:
“The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined” (Michael T. Ringwood, “Truly Good and without Guile,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 61).
Consider sharing the following example: Some people might not attend church with real intent. However, if they continue attending church and do all they can to participate and worship, they will have experiences that will help them find joy in attending church. Their reasons for attending will change. They will attend because they want to be there—they want to worship God, renew their covenants, and serve others.
Assure students that God will bless us as we try to keep the commandments for the right reasons, even though our desires and efforts to obey God may not yet be perfect.
Why do you think it is important to do good works with real intent?
What difference have you noticed when you have done good works with the right intent?
To help students further understand and feel the truth and importance of the principle they identified from verses 6–11, prepare several small pieces of paper before class. On each piece of paper, write a commandment. Examples might include fasting, paying tithing, serving others, studying the scriptures, honoring parents, and any other commandments you feel may be helpful for students to discuss. Place the pieces of paper in a container.
In class, invite a student to come to the front of the room. Ask him or her to take a piece of paper from the container and read it to the class. Then ask the class to do one or both of the following:
Suggest ways to obey that commandment with real intent.
Share how they have felt blessed when they have obeyed that commandment with real intent.
Repeat this activity a few times. Following this activity, invite students to write in their class notebooks or study journals one commandment they will seek to better obey with real intent. Ask them to write down any ideas they have for how they could improve and what they will do to implement these ideas in their lives.
Explain that Isaiah prophesied that in the last days, some people would call evil good and good evil (see Isaiah 5:20).
What are some examples of people calling evil good and good evil?
Why do you think it is important not to confuse good and evil?
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 7:12–17. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words or phrases that can help us judge good from evil. Invite students to consider marking phrases that are especially meaningful to them.
According to these verses, how can we know that something comes from God? (Help students identify the following truth: That which is of God invites us to do good, believe in Jesus Christ, and love and serve God.)
How can we know that something comes from the devil? (Help students identify the following truth: Anything that persuades us to do evil, deny Jesus Christ, or fight against God comes from the devil.)
What are some ways God invites and entices us to do good continually?
How does the devil invite and entice us to sin?
According to Moroni 7:16, what is given to every person to help us know good from evil?
Explain that the Spirit of Christ is also called the Light of Christ (see Moroni 7:18). To help students understand the Light of Christ, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“The Holy Ghost and the Light of Christ are different from each other. …
“Regardless of whether this inner light, this knowledge of right and wrong, is called the Light of Christ, moral sense, or conscience, it can direct us to moderate our actions—unless, that is, we subdue it or silence it. …
“Every man, woman, and child of every nation, creed, or color—everyone, no matter where they live or what they believe or what they do—has within them the imperishable Light of Christ” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2005, 8, 9, 10).
Why is it important to know that everyone has been blessed with the Light of Christ?
Invite students to read Moroni 7:18–19 silently and look for Mormon’s counsel about how to respond to the Light of Christ within us. Ask students to report what they learn.
What do you think it means to “search diligently in the light of Christ”? (It suggests seeking the Lord’s help to discern good from evil.)
What principle can we learn from Moroni 7:19? (Students should identify the following principle: As we search diligently in the Light of Christ, we can discern between good and evil.)
When have you sought to know if something was good or appropriate? What did you do to “search diligently in the light of Christ” to learn if it was good or appropriate?
Invite students to write a list of their favorite television shows, movies, songs, music groups, internet sites, apps, video games, or personal possessions. (You may want to modify this list according to students’ needs and interests.) Display or read aloud the following questions, and invite students to “search diligently in the light of Christ” (Moroni 7:19) as they record their answers to these questions. Do not rush this activity. Give students sufficient time to ponder and write. Inform students that you will not ask them to share what they write.
How well do these things invite you to do good, to believe in Jesus Christ, and to love God and serve Him?
Do any of these things try to persuade you to do evil, to doubt Jesus Christ, or to stop serving God?
Do you feel that you should eliminate any of these things from your life? If so, how will you do it?
Point out that sometimes it may be difficult to do what we know is right when it requires giving up something we enjoy. To help students support one another in this effort, ask:
What advice would you offer to help someone give up things that are not good or appropriate?
To conclude, testify that as we follow the Light of Christ, we can recognize that which is good, avoid Satan’s deceptions, and live as followers of Jesus Christ. Encourage students to apply the principles you have discussed today.