“October 26–November 1. Mormon 1–6: ‘I Would That I Could Persuade All … to Repent,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“October 26–November 1. Mormon 1–6,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Sometimes members are hesitant to share their insights because they haven’t had time to organize their thoughts. To help them with this, give them a few minutes to write down the insights they gained from studying Mormon 1–6 at home; then ask them to share.
Many of your class members can understand Mormon’s experience with striving to live righteously in a wicked world. Maybe they could share what they learn from Mormon’s example. To help facilitate this discussion, you could invite class members to find verses that identify Mormon’s qualities and make a list of those qualities on the board (see, for example, Mormon 1:2–3, 15–16; 2:1, 23–24; 3:1–3, 12, 17–22). How would these qualities have helped Mormon remain spiritually strong? How can they help us be more like Mormon?
Mormon frequently wrote directly to people in our day. What can we learn from his words to us in Mormon 3:17–22 and 5:10–24? Give each class member a piece of paper with the phrase “Mormon’s Counsel to Us” written at the top, and encourage them to find messages in these verses that are relevant for our day. How can we apply Mormon’s counsel to help us stay spiritually strong in today’s world?
If you teach youth, you could use Mormon’s example to help them understand that they can be righteous leaders when they are young. If you teach adults, you could use his example to prompt a discussion about opportunities to help the youth be good leaders. To start the discussion, you could ask some class members to review Mormon 1 and others to review Mormon 2, noting the opportunities Mormon was given to lead during his early years. What qualities did he have that made him a great leader? Class members could share examples they have seen of the powerful influence of righteous children and youth. They could also discuss opportunities they—or young people they know—have to be leaders with qualities like Mormon had.
To learn about the difference between sorrow that leads to repentance and sorrow that does not, consider reading Mormon 2:10–15 together and discussing questions like these: What is the role of “sorrowing” in repentance? What is the difference between “sorrowing … unto repentance” and the “sorrowing of the damned”? What attitudes and behaviors can help us have “broken hearts and contrite spirits”?
Like Mormon, many members of your class associate closely with people who do not share their beliefs. How might you use Mormon’s experience to teach class members about loving others despite their differences? Consider reading Mormon 3:12 together and discussing times when Mormon showed love for those who rejected his message and willfully rebelled against God (see, for instance, Mormon 1:16–17; 2:12). What experiences can class members share from their own lives of loving those who did not share their beliefs or values? The statement by President Dallin H. Oaks in “Additional Resources” gives additional counsel.
For those who might have no hope that they can be forgiven for their sins, Mormon’s description of the Savior standing “with open arms to receive you” could provide reassurance. Consider reading Mormon 6:17 together and showing a picture of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms (such as Gospel Art Book, no. 66). What does this verse teach about the Savior’s eagerness to help us? You could also consider singing a hymn together that teaches a similar message, such as “Come unto Jesus” (Hymns, no. 117). You might also share President Russell M. Nelson’s experience in “Additional Resources” and ask class members to discuss how we can help others recognize that repentance is possible.
You could ask class members to think about what they would write in a letter to people in the future. In Mormon 7–9 we read what Mormon and Moroni wrote, centuries ago, to people in our day.
President Dallin H. Oaks explained:
“We should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence. In doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion. We encourage all of us to practice the Savior’s Golden Rule: ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them’ (Matthew 7:12).
“When our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice civility with our adversaries” (“Loving Others and Living with Differences,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 27).
President Russell M. Nelson shared the following experience:
“Last year while Elder David S. Baxter and I were driving to a stake conference, we stopped at a restaurant. Later when returning to our car, we were approached by a woman who called out to us. … She asked if we were elders in the Church. We said yes. Almost unrestrained, she told the story of her tragic life, swamped in sin. Now, only 28 years old, she was miserable. She felt worthless, with nothing to live for. As she spoke, the sweetness of her soul began to emerge. Pleading tearfully, she asked if there was any hope for her, any way up and out of her hopelessness.
“‘Yes,’ we responded, ‘there is hope. Hope is linked to repentance. You can change. You can “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him”’ [Moroni 10:32]. We urged her not to procrastinate [see Alma 13:27; 34:33]. She sobbed humbly and thanked us sincerely.
“As Elder Baxter and I continued our journey, we pondered that experience. We recalled the counsel given to a hopeless soul by Aaron, who said, ‘If thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, … then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest’ [Alma 22:16]. …
“… To the 28-year-old woman mired in the swamp of sin, and to each one of us, I declare that the sweet blessing of repentance is possible. It comes through complete conversion to the Lord and His holy work.”
In addition, President Nelson observed: “We also remember the sinful people under the care of their concerned leader, Mormon, who wrote, ‘I was without hope, for I knew the judgments of the Lord which should come upon them; for they repented not of their iniquities, but did struggle for their lives without calling upon that Being who created them’ (Mormon 5:2)” (“Repentance and Conversion,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 102, 104).