"I Speak unto You As If Ye Were Present"
Lesson 44 - Mormon 7-9
Teachers often use stories, object lessons, or interesting questions at the beginning of lessons to catch peopleís attention.
"I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not."
"Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing."
Why should these statements catch our attention? Well, when Moroni made these statements around A.D. 400, he was talking directly to us. See Mormon 8:35. All the teachings in Mormon 7-9 are directed to people living in the latter days. Mormon 7 contains counsel specifically for latter-day descendants of Lehi, and Mormon 8-9 contains counsel for all people in the latter days.
Mormon exhorted the latter-day descendants of Lehi to repent, believe in Christ, and be baptized.
Mormon 7 contains Mormonís words to the latter-day descendants of Lehi. Latter-day descendants of Lehi are found among the people of North, Central, and South America and the Pacific Islands.
Mormon 7:2 In this final message, these were Mormonís first words to the latter-day descendants of Lehi. It is important for the descendants of Lehi to know that they are "of the house of Israel" so that they may learn and understand both their responsibilities to the Lord and the associated blessings.
Abraham 2:8-11 Blessings the Lord has promised to righteous members of the house of Israel include "... I will make of thee a great nation, ...bless thee above measure, ...make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and priesthood unto all nations; ... I will bless them through thy name; and [they] shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;...And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee...shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal"
Mormon 7:3-10 Instructions Mormon gave the latter-day descendants of Lehi include:
a. Repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Mormon 7:3, 5, 8, 10).
b. Lay down weapons of war unless God commands differently (Mormon 7:4).
c. Come to the knowledge of their ancestors (Mormon 7:5).
It is important for the latter-day descendants of Lehi to gain a knowledge of their ancestors. We all benefit
from a knowledge of Godís works among our ancestors.
d. Believe in Jesus Christ and His Atonement (Mormon 7:5-7, 10).
e. Study the gospel in the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Mormon 7:8-9).
Mormon 7:9; see also 1 Nephi 13:38-40; 2 Nephi 3:11-12 The Book of Mormon helps people believe the Bible by serving as another witness of Christ and adding clarity to biblical doctrines.
D&C 49:24 In this dispensation the Lord has said that "the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose". This prophecy is being fulfilled today as more and more of the Lamanites embrace the Church and learn of their heritage in the house of Israel.
Moroni prophesied that the Book of Mormon will come forth in a day of great wickedness.
Mormon 8 contains Moroniís first writings after the death of his father, Mormon.
Mormon 8:1-5. You sense a deep sense of sadness and loneliness from Moroni as you read these words. We can learn from Moroniís diligence despite his sadness and his situation of being so alone.
Mormon 8:16; see also verses Mormon 8:14-15 Moroni prophesied of Joseph Smith, saying, "Blessed be he that shall bring this thing [the Book of Mormon] to light".
Mormon 8:14; Joseph Smith-History 1:30-35,46,59 Moroni played the role of guardian and custodian of the plates as well as being the delivering heavenly messenger and mentor to Joseph Smith in bringing the Book of Mormon "out of darkness unto light".
Ponder what you can do so the Book of Mormon will continue to be "brought out of darkness unto light". President Ezra Taft Benson said: "I commend you faithful Saints who are striving to flood the earth and your lives with the Book of Mormon. Not only must we move forward in a monumental manner more copies of the Book of Mormon, but we must move boldly forward into our own lives and throughout the earth more of its marvelous messages" (Ensign, May 1989, 4).
Mormon 8:21-22. Moroniís words in Mormon 8:22 can strengthen us as we labor in the Lordís cause, knowing that nothing can stop the work.
Mormon 8:26-33 Moroni prophesied about conditions in the world when the Book of Mormon would come forth. As you read these verses, consider ways in which the conditions described in these verses are evident today. Moroni prophesied that as it came forth, people would be saying that there are no more miracles, that darkness and sin would cause the death of saints, that the power of God would be denied, churches would be corrupted and proud, that natural disasters would be frequent and terrible, peace would be overcome by wars and conflicts, earthquakes would shake the earth in many places, sin would be rampant and many would condone it and promise that the Lord would excuse sin, indulgences would be sold by churches, and churches would be built up to get worldly gain.
Mormon 8:34-35 Moroni was able to prophesy so clearly concerning the last days because he literally saw our times and knew exactly what would come.
Mormon 8:35 Moroni said that he would speak to those of us in the last days "as if [we] were present". Then he said, "I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts" (Mormon 8:36).
Mormon 8:36-41 Moroni said that pride would abound and cause the complete downfall of many in the last days.
Mormon 8:37, 39 Pride affects peopleís attitudes toward the needy as the proud choose luxury and fine worldly goods for themselves rather than choosing to help those in need. The proud also seek to ignore the needy.
Mormon 8:38 Some people might be "ashamed to take upon [themselves] the name of Christ" because it is not fashionable in the world of the rich and proud. They might lose their exalted social standing and their "friends".
Think about why it might help us to remember that "endless happiness" has more value than "the praise of the world".
What should be our response to Moroniís prophecies about pride? President Ezra Taft Benson said: "The antidote for pride is humility,...meekness, submissiveness (see Alma 7:23). It is the broken heart and contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:20; 3 Nephi 12:19; D&C 20:37 ; D&C 59:8; Psalm 34:18; Isaiah 57:15 ; Isaiah 66:2 ). " "God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. " "Let us choose to be humble" (Ensign, May 1989, 6).
Moroni exhorted people in the last days to believe in Christ.
Mormon 9:1 This chapter begins with Moroniís words to people in the latter days who do not believe in Christ.
Mormon 9:3-5 Moroni warns that such people would be "more miserable to dwell with...God [than] to dwell with the damned souls in hell". Their own feelings about their guilt would make them completely miserable in God's presence.
Mormon 9:6; D&C 121:45 We are taught that we must sincerely repent and turn completely to God so that we can dwell in Godís presence.
2 Nephi 28:2-6; Mormon 9:7 ; Joseph Smith-History 1:17-19 , 21-22 ; and Articles of Faith 1:7 Consider how these four passages relate to one another.
Mormon 9:8-10 Moroni said to people who do not believe in the gifts of the Spirit that they either have not read or do not understand the scriptures and their teachings about the nature of God.
Mormon 9:11 To those who believe that God no longer performs miracles, Moroni said, "I will show unto you a God of miracles" .
Mormon 9:11-17 Moroni taught the lessons of the scriptures to show that the Lord is a God of miracles. These doctrines summarize the plan of redemption:
a. The creation of the heavens, the earth, and mankind (Mormon 9:11-12, 17).
b. The Fall (Mormon 9:12).
c. Redemption through Jesus Christ (Mormon 9:12-13).
d. The resurrection of all people (Mormon 9:13).
e. The return of all people to the Lordís presence to be judged (Mormon 9:13-14).
Mormon 9:18 Moroni referred to the "many mighty miracles" performed by Jesus and His Apostles. Think about some of the miracles performed by Jesus and His Apostles that have inspired you.
Mormon 9:20 Unbelief and disobedience cause miracles to cease for some people.
Mormon 9:21-25 Signs will continue to follow those who believe in Christ, including answers to their prayers, the ability to overcome Satan and cast out devils, the gift of tongues, miraculous protection from earthly perils, the ability to perform miracles of healing, and the receipt of a testimony of the Lord and His work.
If someone were to tell you that the Lord is not a God of miracles, how would you respond? What experiences could you appropriately share to bear witness that the Lord is a God of miracles?
Mormon 9:27 Moroni exhorted us to "doubt not, but be believing".
In this dispensation, the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, "Where doubt is, there faith has no power" (Lectures on Faith , 46).
What can we do to overcome our doubts? Joseph Smith taught: "Those who know their weakness and liability to sin would be in constant doubt of salvation if it were not for the idea which they have of the excellency of God, that he is slow to anger and long-suffering, and of a forgiving disposition, and does forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin. An idea of these facts does away doubt, and makes faith exceedingly strong" (Lectures on Faith, 42).
Read Mormon 9:27. Although Moroni warned of the judgments of God, he also testified of the Lord as a "God of miracles,...whose Atonement brings to pass...the redemption of man" (Mormon 9:11-12).