Seminary
    Lesson 156: Moroni 7:20–48
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “Lesson 156: Moroni 7:20–48,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)

    “Lesson 156,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 156

    Moroni 7:20–48

    Introduction

    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 unto the Father with all the energy of heart” for the gift of charity, “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47, 48).

    Suggestions for Teaching

    Moroni 7:20–39

    Mormon teaches that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can lay hold on every good thing

    Begin class by asking the following questions:

    • What are some good things that you think God wants us to receive in this life, as well as in the next? (List students’ responses on the board.)

    Explain that Heavenly Father has many blessings in store for us, and He wants to give us all that He has (see D&C 84:38). Remind students that in Moroni 7:19 we learn that Mormon exhorted Church members to “lay hold upon every good thing” and that by doing so each of us will become “a child of Christ,” or a covenant follower of the Savior who is born again and redeemed from his or her sins (see Mosiah 5:7; 15:10–12; 27:25).

    Invite a student to read Moroni 7:20 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the question Mormon asked. Ask students to report what they find. (You may want to invite them to consider marking this question in their scriptures.) As students study Moroni 7:20–48 today, invite them to look for what Mormon taught about how we can “lay hold upon every good thing” and become children of Christ.

    Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 7:21–24. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what these verses teach about where all good things come from. Invite students to report what they find.

    To help students understand how to “lay hold upon every good thing,” ask a few of them to take turns reading aloud from Moroni 7:25–26, 32–38. Invite the rest of the class to follow along, looking for how we can lay hold upon every good thing. (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.) Invite students to report what they find.

    • Based on what you have read, 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 that is expedient for us. Write this principle on the board.)

    Invite students to ponder what good things would be expedient or good for them to receive in this life and the next.

    Share your testimony that great blessings come through the Savior, His gospel, and His Atonement. Invite students 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. Encourage students to exercise greater faith in Jesus Christ.

    Moroni 7:40–43

    Mormon teaches that faith in Jesus Christ leads us to have hope for eternal life

    Stool

    Draw a picture of a three-legged stool on the board (or display a three-legged stool).

    Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    Ballard, M. Russell

    “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” (M. Russell Ballard, “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.

    1. I hope it rains today.

    2. 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:

    Uchtdorf, Dieter F.

    “Hope is a gift of the Spirit [see Moroni 8:26]. …

    “Hope is not knowledge [see Romans 8:24], 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 [see D&C 59:23]. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “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 to be raised to eternal life.

    • 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. Write this principle on the board.)

    Note: You might point out that in scripture, many of the same expressions used to define hope are also true of faith, as President Uchtdorf’s statement demonstrates.

    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 study journals:

    • How does your faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement give you hope that you will receive eternal life?

    Moroni 7:44–48

    Mormon teaches the importance of charity

    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 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Mormon described 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 a student to read Moroni 7:46–47 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for how Mormon continued to describe and define 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?

    To help students better understand charity as the unfailing, pure love of Christ, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    Holland, Jeffrey R.

    “[Charity] is shown perfectly and purely in Christ’s unfailing, ultimate, and atoning love for us. … It is Christ’s love for us that ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ It is as demonstrated in Christ that ‘charity never faileth.’ It is that charity—his pure love for us—without which we would be nothing, hopeless, of all men and women most miserable. Truly, those found possessed of the blessings of his love at the last day—the Atonement, the Resurrection, eternal life, eternal promise—surely it shall be well with them” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 336).

    Invite a student to read Moroni 7:48 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what we can do to be filled with this perfect love of Jesus Christ. As students offer answers, make sure they identify the following principle: 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. Write this principle on the board.

    • Why do you think we can be filled with charity if we pray with all the energy of our hearts and live as true followers of Jesus Christ?

    • As we become filled with Jesus Christ’s love for us, how do you think the way in which we treat other people will change?

    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.)

    1. People make fun of you or someone else at school.

    2. You have a brother or sister who frequently annoys you.

    3. Someone you know has committed a serious sin.

    4. You do not like a new quorum or class adviser as much as you liked a previous adviser.

    • When have you witnessed examples of charity in others? (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?

    Testify of the influence that faith, hope, and charity have had in your life. 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.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Moroni 7:29–31. The ministry of angels

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the ministry of angels:

    Oaks, Dallin H.

    “‘The word “angel” is used in the scriptures for any heavenly being bearing God’s message’ (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, sel. Jerreld L. Newquist [1987], 54). The scriptures recite numerous instances where an angel appeared personally. Angelic appearances to Zacharias and Mary (see Luke 1) and to King Benjamin [see Mosiah 3:2] are only a few examples. …

    “… The ministering of angels can also be unseen. Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. President John Taylor described ‘the action of the angels, or messengers of God, upon our minds, so that the heart can conceive … revelations from the eternal world’ (Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1987], 31). …

    “… Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen” (Dallin H. Oaks, “The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 38–39).

    Moroni 7:45–48. Charity, “the pure love of Christ”

    President Thomas S. Monson taught about the need for the gift of charity:

    Monson, Thomas S.

    “There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere. …

    “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others. …

    “… Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. …

    “… May [charity] guide you in everything you do. May it permeate your very souls and find expression in all your thoughts and actions” (Thomas S. Monson, “Charity Never Faileth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 124, 125).

    Moroni 7:45–48. “The greater definition of ‘the pure love of Christ’”

    Referring to Mormon’s words in Moroni 7:45–48, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

    Holland, Jeffrey R.

    “It is instructive to note that the charity, or ‘the pure love of Christ,’ we are to cherish can be interpreted two ways. One of its meanings is the kind of merciful, forgiving love Christ’s disciples should have one for another. That is, all Christians should try to love as the Savior loved, showing pure, redeeming compassion for all. Unfortunately, few, if any, mortals have been entirely successful in this endeavor, but it is an invitation that all should try to meet.

    “The greater definition of ‘the pure love of Christ,’ however, is not what we as Christians try but largely fail to demonstrate toward others but rather what Christ totally succeeded in demonstrating toward us. True charity has been known only once. It is shown perfectly and purely in Christ’s unfailing, ultimate, and atoning love for us. It is Christ’s love for us that ‘suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not.’ It is his love for us that is not ‘puffed up … , not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.’ It is Christ’s love for us that ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ It is as demonstrated in Christ that ‘charity never faileth.’ It is that charity—his pure love for us—without which we would be nothing, hopeless, of all men and women most miserable. Truly, those found possessed of the blessings of his love at the last day—the Atonement, the Resurrection, eternal life, eternal promise—surely it shall be well with them.

    “This does not in any way minimize the commandment that we are to try to acquire this kind of love for one another. We should ‘pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love’ [1 Corinthians 13:4–5, 7–8; Moroni 7:48]. We should try to be more constant and unfailing, more longsuffering and kind, less envious and puffed up in our relationships with others. As Christ lived so should we live, and as Christ loved so should we love. But the ‘pure love of Christ’ Mormon spoke of is precisely that—Christ’s love. With that divine gift, that redeeming bestowal, we have everything; without it we have nothing and ultimately are nothing, except in the end ‘devils [and] angels to a devil’ [2 Nephi 9:9].

    “Life has its share of fears and failures. Sometimes things fall short. Sometimes people fail us, or economies or businesses or governments fail us. But one thing in time or eternity does not fail us—the pure love of Christ. …

    “… The miracle of Christ’s charity both saves and changes us. His atoning love saves us from death and hell as well as from carnal, sensual, and devilish behavior. That redeeming love also transforms the soul, lifting it above fallen standards to something far more noble, far more holy. Wherefore, we must ‘cleave unto charity’—Christ’s pure love of us and our determined effort toward pure love of him and all others—for without it we are nothing, and our plan for eternal happiness is utterly wasted. Without the redeeming love of Christ in our lives, all other qualities—even virtuous qualities and exemplary good works—fall short of salvation and joy” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 336–37).