Lesson 159: Moroni 10:1–7
    Footnotes

    “Lesson 159: Moroni 10:1–7,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)

    “Lesson 159,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 159

    Moroni 10:1–7

    Introduction

    Moroni exhorted the Lamanites and all others who would read his testimony to ask God to confirm the truth of his words. He taught that God would manifest the truth of the Book of Mormon and the reality of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Note: You may want to leave time at the end of the lesson for students to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon. To ensure that there is sufficient time, prayerfully select the portions of this lesson that will be most beneficial to your students.)

    Suggestions for Teaching

    Moroni 10:1–7

    Moroni exhorts us to obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ

    Before class begins, draw on the board or display the following picture, which was used in lesson 1:

    arch with keystone

    Begin the lesson by referring to the picture and reminding students of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement that the Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion” (see the sixth paragraph of the introduction to the Book of Mormon). Invite students to consider how their testimonies of the Book of Mormon have grown over the course of this school year and how this growth may have helped strengthen their testimonies of other gospel truths as well.

    As students study Moroni 10:1–7 today, invite them to look for a principle that Moroni taught about how we can receive or strengthen our testimonies of the Book of Mormon.

    Summarize Moroni 10:1–2 by explaining that about 1,400 years before the Prophet Joseph Smith received the golden plates, Moroni concluded his father’s record by writing his final exhortation to those who would receive the Book of Mormon in the latter days. (It may be helpful to explain that the word exhort means to strongly encourage or urge someone. This word appears eight times in Moroni 10.)

    Explain that Moroni exhorted all who receive the Book of Mormon to seek a testimony of its truth and divinity. Invite a student to read Moroni 10:3–4 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for phrases that describe how we can obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon through the Holy Ghost. Invite students to consider marking these phrases as they discover them.

    • Which phrases in these verses describe how we can obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon through the Holy Ghost?

    As students report the phrases they have identified, write the phrases on the board. Their responses should include the following:

    “Read these things”

    “Remember how merciful the Lord hath been … and ponder it in your hearts”

    “Ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ”

    • According to verse 4, what will happen if we do the things outlined in verses 3–4? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: If we read the Book of Mormon, remember and ponder the Lord’s mercy, and ask God sincerely with faith in Jesus Christ, then we will receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Ghost.)

    • In what ways might the Holy Ghost testify to us of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon? (Be sure students understand that most revelation does not come in a spectacular fashion. While some individuals may have overwhelming spiritual experiences, most will experience something quiet and subtle, such as a warm, peaceful feeling or an assurance. You might also want to explain that as we study the scriptures, the Spirit may testify of the truth of what we are reading. Then, when we specifically ask to know the truth of the Book of Mormon, the Spirit will confirm the witnesses we have already received.)

    To help students better understand what we can do to receive a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, use the following teaching ideas to discuss each of the things Moroni taught.

    1. “Read these things”

      video icon
      Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson. Ask students to listen for how President Monson reiterated Moroni’s promise. (If time permits, consider instead showing part of the video of President Monson’s general conference address “The Power of the Book of Mormon” [time code 1:23–2:06]. This video is available on LDS.org.)

      President Thopmas S. Monson

      “If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

      “Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children” (Thomas S. Monson, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 86–87).

      • Why is studying the Book of Mormon key to obtaining a testimony of its truthfulness?

      • According to President Monson, how is the Book of Mormon related to the other stones in the arch?

      • Why do you think it is important for us to continue to study the Book of Mormon, even after this year in seminary?

    2. “Remember how merciful the Lord hath been … and ponder it in your hearts”

      Explain that Moroni taught that those who read the Book of Mormon and desire to know of its truthfulness should “remember how merciful the Lord hath been … and ponder it in [their] hearts” (Moroni 10:3).

      Invite students to share examples of the Lord’s mercy in the Book of Mormon that have been meaningful to them. For example, they might mention how Nephi, Alma the Younger, or the 2,000 stripling warriors experienced the Lord’s mercy or compassion.

      Explain that remembering and pondering instances of the Lord’s mercy can soften our hearts and prepare us to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost.

      To help students better understand this concept, invite a student to read aloud the following explanation by Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–1994) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

      Elder Marvin J. Ashton

      “Dictionaries say that ponder means to weigh mentally, think deeply about, deliberate, meditate. …

      “By pondering, we give the Spirit an opportunity to impress and direct. Pondering is a powerful link between the heart and the mind. As we read the scriptures, our hearts and minds are touched. If we use the gift to ponder, we can take these eternal truths and realize how we can incorporate them into our daily actions” (Marvin J. Ashton, “There Are Many Gifts,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 20).

      Invite students to ponder for a moment when they have experienced the Lord’s mercy or compassion toward them or recognized it in the life of someone they know.

      • What evidence of the Lord’s mercy have you witnessed in your life?

      • When has pondering the Lord’s mercy helped you feel the influence of the Holy Ghost?

    3. “Ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ”

      Point out that Moroni taught that if we want to receive a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, we should ask God in the name of Jesus Christ “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” (Moroni 10:4).

      • What do you think it means to ask God with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Jesus Christ? (Help students understand that to pray sincerely and with real intent means that we “intend to act on the answer [we] receive from God” [Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 111].)

    Invite a student to read aloud the following account, in which a man prayed with real intent to obtain a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon:

    “Occasionally I prayed to know what was right, but it was more of a passing thought than a sincere question. Then one night I decided to pray with ‘real intent.’

    “I told Heavenly Father that I wanted to know Him and to be part of His true Church. I promised: ‘If Thou will let me know whether Joseph Smith is a real prophet and whether the Book of Mormon is true, I’ll do whatever Thou would have me do. If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true Church, I’ll follow it and never give it up.’

    “I had no spectacular manifestation, but I felt at peace and went to bed. Several hours later I awoke with a distinct thought: ‘Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true.’ The thought was accompanied by indescribable peace. I fell asleep again, only to awake later with the exact same thought and feeling.

    “Since that time, I have never doubted that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know that this is the Savior’s work and that Heavenly Father will answer our sincere petitions” (Rodolfo Armando Pérez Bonilla, “How I Know,” Ensign, Oct. 2011, 64).

    • How did this man demonstrate real intent?

    • What were the results of his efforts?

    Invite a student to read Moroni 10:5–7 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what else Moroni promised that we can know through the Holy Ghost.

    • What principle can we learn from Moroni 10:5? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: We can know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost.)

    • According to verses 6–7, what specifically can the Holy Ghost help us know is true? (That Jesus Christ lives.)

    Allow sufficient time at the end of this lesson to invite students to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ. Consider bearing your own testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the Savior.

    After students have had sufficient time to share their testimonies, invite a student to read aloud the following account by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks

    “A few years ago I showed one of my senior brethren a talk I had prepared for future delivery. He returned it with a stimulating two-word comment: ‘Therefore, what?’ The talk was incomplete because it omitted a vital element: what a listener should do” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Following the Pioneers,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 72).

    • What will you do because you know the Book of Mormon is true? (Consider inviting students to write their responses in their class notebooks or study journals before inviting a few of them to share their responses with the class.)

    Assure students that as they continue to study the Book of Mormon throughout their lives, their faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel will grow. Conclude by inviting students to accept President Monson’s invitation to study the Book of Mormon every day, and to live faithful to the testimonies they have received.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Moroni 10:3. “Ponder it in your hearts”

    While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder Gene R. Cook explained the following about Moroni 10:3:

    Elder Gene R. Cook

    “The last five words of the verse offer an important admonition—‘ponder it in your hearts.’ What is the antecedent of ‘it’—the thing that we are to ponder? It is ‘how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things.’ We are to remember how loving, how provident, how good, how forgiving our Heavenly Father has been toward us” (Gene R. Cook, “Moroni’s Promise,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 12).

    This admonition near the end of the Book of Mormon to remember and ponder the Lord’s mercy is a fitting bookend to Nephi’s declaration that “I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen” (1 Nephi 1:20).

    In addition to pondering the merciful nature of the Lord, those who read the Book of Mormon should ponder the eternal truths they discover within its pages (see the introduction to the Book of Mormon).

    Moroni 10:4. The Holy Ghost will manifest the truth of the Book of Mormon to those who ask God with “real intent”

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles commented on Moroni’s exhortation that we ask God with “real intent” regarding the truth of the Book of Mormon:

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks

    “Moroni did not promise a manifestation of the Holy Ghost to those who seek to know the truth of the Book of Mormon for hypothetical or academic reasons, even if they ‘ask with a sincere heart.’ The promise of Moroni is for those who are committed in their hearts to act upon the manifestation if it is received. Prayers based on any other reason have no promise because they are not made ‘with real intent’” (Dallin H. Oaks, Pure in Heart [1988], 19–20).