The very first messages of the Book of Mormon come from an introduction likely written by a prophet named Moroni who lived in the Americas around 400 A.D. To introduce the record his father Mormon had put together and abridged, Moroni declares the following truths about its purpose and meaning:
- “It is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi”
- “Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile”
- “Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophesy and of revelation”
- “Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they [the metal plates on which the record was kept] might not be destroyed”
- “To come forth by the gift and power of God”
- “To come forth in due time by way of the Gentile…the interpretation thereof by the gift of God”
- “To show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers…that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever”
- “To…convinc[e] Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations”
- “If there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgement-seat of Christ” (For full text see Title Page of the Book of Mormon)
-How important would it be to make meaningful use of a gift, readily available to you in the form of a book, that was brought into being by the power of God?
-If God made covenants with those who lived before our time — who sought His help and guidance in their lives – is there any doubt that He would follow through with the promises He made to them? Could our relationship to God in the present have important ties to those promises He made in the past and is now fulfilling?
Prophets, Seers, and Revelators…
“The title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the … book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, … and … said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (Joseph Smith quoted in History of the Church, 1:71)
“The major mission of the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is ‘to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.’ The honest seeker after truth can gain the testimony that Jesus is the Christ as he prayerfully ponders the inspired words of the Book of Mormon. Over one-half of all the verses in the Book of Mormon refer to our Lord. Some form of Christ’s name is mentioned more frequently per verse in the Book of Mormon than even in the New Testament. He is given over one hundred different names in the Book of Mormon. Those names have a particular significance in describing His divine nature” (Ezra Taft Benson from “Come unto Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 83).
Video from Book of Mormon Central:
Moroni defines the good as that which is just and true. All philosophies, creeds, and actions that deny Christ — who is the embodiment of all that is good – are essentially opposed to goodness. The power of God’s goodness is manifest in the mortal world through the workings of the Holy Spirit in the lives of mortals who exercise faith in the Good Lord.
“…Whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledges that he is. And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow and forever.” (Moroni 10:6-7)
-Are there many things that appear good but, at core, are not based on the above teachings of Moroni?
Moroni testifies of the interconnected gospel principles of faith, hope, meekness, and charity.
“…If ye have not faith in [Christ] then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church. And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and the lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.” (Moroni 7:39-44)
-How many understand that the baseline for spiritual growth and spiritual health is deep humility toward — and willingness to obey – God?
Moroni teaches that faith in Jesus Christ is (and always has been) the means by which good flows into the lives of individuals and into the world in general.
“And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? And now I come to that faith of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold of every good thing. For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing. And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come. And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.” (Moroni 7:20-24)
“Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ. And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.” (Moroni 7:25-26)
-As Christ, under the direction of the Father, was the Creator, is His spirit woven into all of creation? Does this include the heart and mind of every human soul who has inhabited the earth since the creation?
The Lord, Jesus Christ, testifies of the truth of the Book of Mormon as His word and His voice:
“…He that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh. And at my command the heavens are opened and are shut; and at my word the earth shall shake; and at my command the inhabitants thereof shall pass away, even so as by fire. And he that believeth not my words believeth not my disciples; and if it so be that I do not speak, judge ye; for ye shall know that it is I that speaketh, at the last day. But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true, for it persuadeth men to do good. And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.” (Ether 4:8-12)
-Why is the person described above, to whom God will give no additional revelations, in a cursed state?
-What are your feelings about the Lord’s voice and testimony above?
For a free copy of the Book of Mormon go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon
The prophet Moroni pleads with those who reject Jesus Christ to repent:
“And now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ. Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God? Then will ye longer deny the Christ, or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do you suppose that ye shall dwell with him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws? Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell. For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.” (Mormon 9:1-5)
“O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.” (Mormon 9:6)
-Is the above only applicable to those who have received a direct testimony of Jesus Christ, confirmed by the Holy Spirit, and then rejected it? Or, are all accountable adult humans given the light of Christ to one degree or another such that they know Christ’s law to some extent even without ever hearing His name?
The prophet Mormon, writing about 320 A.D. somewhere in the Americas, testifies the following to all the inhabitants of the Earth:
“…I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil; And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God. And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.” (Mormon 3Mormon 3:20-22)
-Having perfect love for all, how willing will Christ be to emphasize the positive and reduce the impact of the negative at the time of judgment?
-Will the love and pure light that emanates from the Savior say everything that needs to be said so that each person will see themselves for what they have become in the perfect context of God’s presence?
-What does it mean to repent in preparation for standing before the judgment-seat of Christ?
Before finishing His ministry to the descendants of Lehi (A.D. 34-35), Jesus Christ blessed three of the twelve disciples He called in the New World so they would not die but, instead, remain on the Earth until His second coming (similar to the blessing John received from Christ in the Old World). In the following verses, the prophet Mormon discusses these three American-based apostles’ role leading up to Christ’s return:
“Behold, I was about to write the names of those who were never to taste death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world. But behold, I have seen them, and they have ministered unto me. And behold they will be among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not. They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them. And they are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good. Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the great and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; Yea even among the Gentiles shall there be a great and marvelous work wrought by them, before that judgment day.” (3 Nephi 28:27-32)
-Are there signs that the three apostles discussed above are working with the Gentiles, Jews, and the scattered tribes of Israel in our time?
-Who would they reveal themselves to in order to bring many souls to Christ?
Christ teaches that the power of the Holy Ghost is an intercessory gift. The Holy Ghost does not operate separate from Christ’s role as the Mediator with the Father on behalf of all mankind.
“…The Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.” (3 Nephi 28:11)
-Why would the Holy Ghost be without effect for humankind separate from Christ’s atoning power?
-Are there specific commandments from God that a person needs to follow in order to draw on the full power of the Holy Ghost?
Christ teaches that the name of His church should bear His name:
“Have ye not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day; And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day. Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel. Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you.” (3 Nephi 27:5-9)
-What existing Christian churches include the name of Jesus Christ in their name?