Moroni 7

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Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 7

Subpages: Verses 7:1-19  •  7:20-39  •  7:40-48

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Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 7 to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 7 consists of three major sections:

Chapter 7 records a sermon by Moroni's father Mormon that he preached in the synagogue. Moroni characterizes the topic of the sermon as "a few words ... concerning faith, hope, and charity" (verse 2). The sermon is addressed to faithful members of the church, "peaceable followers of Christ," who "have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord" (verses 3-4). Chapter 7 can thus be understood more as an exhortation to the faithful to do even better rather than a call for the wicked to turn from their evil ways.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 7 include:


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• judging between good and evil (1-19)
address to followers of Christ who have obtained hope as shown by their peaceableness, hope defined (1-4)
• good people yield good fruit, evil people yield evil fruit (4-11)
• good comes from God, evil comes from the devil, judge between them carefully in the light of Christ (12-19)
- God entices to do good, the devil entices to do evil (12-13)
- judge carefully through the Spirit of Christ that is given to every man (14-16a)
- God entices to do good, the devil entices to do evil (16b-17)
- judge carefully in the light of Christ and lay hold on every good thing to be a child of Christ (18-19)
• faith, angelic visitations, and miracles (20-39)
• 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)
• hope and charity (40-48)
• hope defined (40-42)
• importance of meekness and lowliness of heart (43-44)
• charity defined, importance as the greatest (46-47)
• pray for charity to obtain hope, hope again defined (48)

Cooperative instruction[edit]

Exhortations are speeches in which someone tries to get someone else to do something. Exhortations can be thought of as coming in two basic varieties, those that presuppose the audience's cooperative intent, and those that do not.

An example of an exhortation to an "uncooperative" audience is "Your room is messy. Clean it now, or you will not be going anywhere this weekend." This exhortation to an uncooperative audience follows three classic steps: (1) identifying an unsatisfactory condition that the audience is probably already aware of, (2) exhorting the audience to act to remedy the situation, and (3) identifying carrots and sticks to motivate compliance. Lehi's exhortations to Laman and Lemuel tend to be of this uncooperative variety.

Exhortations to "cooperative" audiences are different. They presuppose that the audience is already motivated to comply with whatever is wanted and simply needs to be informed what to do. Cooperative exhortations are common in the Doctrine & Covenants, such as "Let my servants David Whitmer and Harvey Whitlock also take their journey, and preach by the way unto this same land [Missouri]" (D&C 52:25). Here there is no displeasure, no carrots, and no sticks. Just a polite instruction regarding what the speaker wants the audience to do.

Viewed from this perspective, chapter 7 looks like a cooperative instruction. Far from being upset, Mormon sounds downright pleased with his audience (verses 3-4). Yet the goal of the sermon is nevertheless to get a change in behavior by explaining how his audience could still do even better (for example, verse 48).

It should be remembered that this sermon is an exhortation, and that the points of doctrine explained in the course of the sermon may have been intended primarily to result in a change of behavior, either by explaining exactly what behavior is being requested, or by explaining why the requested behavior would be desirable.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Moro 7: Quotation of Sermon on the Mount in Moroni 7. Welch, John W. "Worthy of Another Look: Reusages of the Words of Christ." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 68 Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article points out Mormon's reuse of portions of the Sermon on the Mount in Moro 7:5, 6, 10, 18, 26, 39, 43-44 and other scriptural passages.


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