Moro 7:20-39

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Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 7 > Verses 7:20-39
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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Chapter 7. The relationship of Verses 7:20-39 to the rest of Chapter 7 is addressed at Chapter 7.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 7:20-39 include:

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

• people lay hold on good things by faith on the words of angels and prophets (20-26a)
• Christ has said: good things requested in faith will be received (26b)
• Q&A: miracles and angelic visitations have not ceased with Christ's ascension (27-29)
• angels proclaim the word of Christ to prophets who declare it to the people, so people can have faith on those words (30-32)
• Christ has said: faith in him provides power to do any expedient thing (33)
• Christ has said: repentance, baptism and faith in him lead to being saved (34)
• Q&A: miracles and angelic visitations never cease unless because of unbelief (35-38)
• Mormon judges that his audience has faith because of their meekness (39)
  • Moro 7:25: Lay hold. The phrase "lay hold" is used in 1 Tim 6:12, 19 in relation to eternal life. The phrase "lay hold upon the hope set before us" is used in Heb 6:18. In Hel 3:29 "lay hold upon the word of God" is used. In Moro 10:30 the phrase "lay hold upon every good gift" occurs. These are the all the occurrences outside of Moro 7 that this phrase is used in LDS scripture in relation to something positive.
This verse seems to be answering the question in verse 20, "how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?" We are told here that it is by faith.
This and previous verses discuss "laying hold" of good things. A related metaphor from the Book of Mormon is that of partaking or plucking fruit that comes from from the tree of life or is a result of faith and good works. For example, in Alma 32:37-43, the end result of diligence, faith and patience is the promise "ye shall pluck the fruit thereof" (v. 43). See also 1 Ne 8:10-18, 24-35; Alma 5:34, 62).
  • Moro 7:30-31. The pronouns in these verses can be a bit confusing. This reading seems to make the most sense:
30 For behold, they [the angels] are subject unto him [Christ], to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them [the children of men] of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.
31 And the office of their [the angels'] ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he [the Father] hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they [the chosen vessels] may bear testimony of him [the Lord].
  • Moro 7:30-32: Some see angels, residue have faith. 3 Ne 12:2 also discusses how some people have the privilege of divine manifestations (seeing Christ in 3 Ne 12:2, seeing ministering angels here in v. 30) and others will believe the testimonies of those who have divine manifestations. This verse can easily be read to suggest that it is better to have the divine manifestation than to be part of the "residue" of men. This interpretations which prioritizes the direct experience of seeing ministering angels, is reinforced by the language "chosen vessels" (which sounds good) and also residue (which sounds bad). Note however residue is often used in the scriptures with no pejorative overtone (see lexical note above), and, more important, that in the analogous situation in 3 Ne 12:2, Christ tells us that the opposite is true: i.e., that it is better to have faith than it is to receive the divine manifestation.
  • Moro 7:36-37: Faith and seeing angels. Verses 36 and 37 tells us that angels will not cease to appear unto the children of men unless it is "because of unbelief." Then verse 38 tells us that "if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also." On this point Moroni is clear: if no angels appear to the children of men then it is because of a lack of belief and faith. He does not tell us that for each individual, if that individual has not seen an angel than it is because that individual lacks faith. In D&C 46:10-11 the Lord distinguishes between those gifts given to the church collectively versus those given to individuals. About gifts given to individuals the Lord says "all have not every gift given unto them." Though we should seek good gifts, the scriptures make it clear that the Lord chooses not to bless every righteous and faithful person with every good gift they ask for. The ultimate example of this is when Christ asks "let this cup pass from me" Matt 26:39.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Moro 7:30: Firm mind. Other scriptures talk about being submissive and yielding. How can one have a "firm mind" and yet be submissive and yielding? What is the difference between a firm mind and a stubborn mind?

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Moro 7:31: How is one "chosen" as a "vessel of the Lord"?

Resources[edit]

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Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



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