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Moroni 7

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 7

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

Previous page: Chapters 1-6                      Next page: Verses 7:1-19


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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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:

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. →

Outline[edit]

• 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]

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. →

Resources[edit]

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  • 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.

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.



Previous page: Chapters 1-6                      Next page: Verses 7:1-19

Moro 7:1-19

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 7 > Verses 7:1-19
Previous page: Chapter 7                      Next page: Verses 7:20-39


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapter 7. The relationship of Verses 7:1-19 to the rest of Chapter 7 is addressed at Chapter 7.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 7:1-19 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. →

Moro 7:1-19[edit]

• 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)

The first half (verses 4-11) addresses how good and evil are manifested in the lives of people. The second half (verses 12-19) addresses how good and evil enticements can be distinguished.

Moro 7:1-4: Address to audience[edit]

  • Moro 7:1: Faith, hope, and charity. Though this chapter concludes by talking about faith, hope and charity, along the way other subjects are discussed. But Moroni's introduction here suggests that we should read the entire chapter as a single sermon on faith, hope and charity, i.e., we should read the first handful of verses as somehow leading up to faith, etc.
  • Moro 7:1: After this manner. Moroni tells us that Mormon spoke "after this manner." We might interpret this phrase as an indication that this chapter is the type of sermon Mormon delivered rather than a particular sermon delivered on a particular occasion. Another interpretation is that this is a particular sermon (or at least a part of one) but that Mormon spoke in a similar way many times. A third interpretation, somewhere between these first two, is that Moroni is writing something from memory and that he is therefore warning that it was only "after this manner" that the discourse was given. If Moroni's avowal that he is writing "a few of the words of my father Mormon" is to be taken quite strictly, then it seems likely that one of the latter two readings would be preferred.
  • Moro 7:1: In the synagogue. The wording suggests Moroni is referring to a single structure. It is curious that there would be one synagogue that could be identified in this way rather than many synagogues.
  • Moro 7:1: For the place of worship. It is interesting that Moroni does not make reference to "a place of worship," but "the place of worship." Moreover, it is certainly significant that the sermon recorded in this chapter was given in connection with worship: in a post-Third-Nephi setting, one might assume that this would suggest a eucharistic setting. This point is absolutely vital for a close reading of verse 2.
  • Moro 7:2: Grace of God. Paul also uses the phrase "the grace of God" to refer to his work for the Lord, see 1 Cor 3:10.
  • Moro 7:2: By the grace of God . . . I am permitted to speak. It is interesting that Mormon's first words of this noteworthy sermon are about Christ's calling to him and the grace of God giving him this "gift" of a calling. This short verse expresses Mormon's humility and gratitude with regard to this calling. It seems likely that the calling Mormon refers to, when he speaks of Christ calling unto him, is the calling he discusses in 3 Ne 5:13, namely, that he is called to declare the gospel.
This beginning is similar to the beginnings of other sermons in the Book of Mormon. Jacob (Jacob 2:1) and Alma (Alma 5:3) both begin with reference to their calling from God. And though King Benjamin does not make explicit reference to his calling from God in the beginning of his sermon which commences in Mosiah 2:9, he makes it clear that he considers himself to be serving God in his service as king, and answerable to God for the sins of the people (see Mosiah 2:28, 30 in particular; Jacob says something similar in Jacob 1:19).
Mormon's tone, however, stands in contrast to the beginning of these other noteworthy Book of Mormon sermons in that he says "it is by the grace of God . . . that I am permitted to speak unto you" emphasizing the privilege that Mormon considers it to give this sermon, rather than the responsibility he feels. Mormon may particularly feel it a privilege to speak because at other times he has been prohibited from preaching (see Morm 1:17). It also may be that he considers giving this sermon a privilege because it addresses positive key aspects of the gospel, viz. faith, hope and charity (cf. verse 1), as opposed to less positive aspects of the gospel. (In this sense, Jacob's sermon seems to be at the opposite end of the spectrum since he has to address the grave sins of pride and infidelity. Although King Benjamin and Alma do not seem to address gross sins as directly as Jacob, there still seems to be more of a call-to-repentance tone in their messages than Mormon's: King Benjamin saying "remember the poor" and Alma saying "remember your forefathers.")
  • Moro 7:3-4: Peaceable followers of Christ. Mormon notes here that he speaks to "the peaceable followers of Christ" and those with a "peaceable walk." Contrast this with Morm 4:11 where Mormon says that the Nephites delighted in shedding blood continually. It seems that Mormon may be addressing here a select group of peaceable followers of Christ in the midst of a nation that delighted in the shedding of blood. If the insight, that the followers of Christ were few in number at this point is correct, it may also explain the language of a single synagogue structure in verse 1.

Moro 7:4-11[edit]

  • Moro 7:4-13: Real intent and judging by works. This passage starts with Mormon telling his audience that he judges them as peaceable followers of Christ—people with a sufficient hope to enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 3)—because he sees their "peaceable walk with the children of men."
Mormon then goes on to say that good works can only be done by those with real intent. We might expect that an emphasis on intent would be used to caution people against judgments based on works. As Christ's teachings against hypocrisy illustrate (e.g. Matt 23:13-33), people may do something that looks good without the right intent. This also seems to be Paul's message in 1 Cor 13:3. But here Mormon uses the discussion of intent to justify his claim in verses 4-5 that he judges his audience by their works. We might wonder how judgments based on works are compatible with the idea that what makes an action good or evil is the intent.
One way to explain the difference between what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 13:3 and what Mormon talks about here may be in the different audiences that each addresses. Paul was addressing a culture where many people valued outward acts that seemed good. In such a society some people were doing good works to be seen of men. In contrast, Mormon was talking to people in a society that, as already noted above, delighted in the shedding of blood (see Morm 4:11). It may be that in Mormon's society being a peaceable follower of Christ was so unpopular that it simply wasn't something people did "to be seen of men."
In any case, Mormon seems to use his discussion of intent to justify his claim that he knows his audience is good because he sees their good works. This suggests that Mormon has the ability to judge intent when he sees works. Mormon justifies his claim by citing "the word of God" on this subject (v. 5), possibly referring to Christ's teachings in 3 Ne 14:16-20, "by their fruits ye shall know them." It seems that Mormon's understanding of Christ's teaching assumes that good fruit/works implies real intent—that is, we can tell the difference between someone who gives a good gift grudgingly and someone who gives it with real intent.
  • Moro 7:4-17: By their works ye shall know them. As we start into this section, in verses 4-5, Mormon seems to be giving an explanation of how it is that he knows that those whom he is addressing are peaceable followers of Christ and have obtained a sufficient hope to enter into the rest of the Lord. But the fact that Mormon continues the discussion through verse 17, and warns us along the way to be careful in how we judge (verse 14) suggests that Mormon has some additional reason for addressing this topic that goes beyond simply backing up his claim about the audience being peaceable and having sufficient hope to enter the rest of the Lord. Why does Mormon spend so much time on the topic of judging by works?
How we answer this question depends on how we read the rest of the chapter. Here's one outline: verses 4-17 tell us how to judge what is really good; verses 18-19 raise the next natural question—how do we get what is truly good; verses 20-48 then answers this by explaining how we can get what is good by having faith, hope and charity. In summary, Mormon is saying that when we recognize what is good, then desire it, we attain it through faith, hope and charity. (Compare this with Alma's teaching in Alma 32:26-30.)
Another interpretation of verses 4 through 17 in this chapter is to see it as a mini-sermon within the larger sermon which has the same point as the larger sermon. In this view, the point of this mini-sermon is to teach us that good works can only be done if they are done with real intent. This is very much the same point that the entire chapter is making, namely, that without charity nothing else is of value.
  • Moro 7:6: Real intent. Webster's 1828 dictionary defines real as "1. Actually being or existing; not fictitious or imaginary; 2. True; genuine; not artificial, counterfeit or factitious; 3. True; genuine; not affected; not assumed." These 3 definitions are all similar to each other. Interestingly, there is another definition listed with a different connotation: "5. In law, pertaining to things fixed, permanent or immovable, as to lands and tenements; as real estate, opposed to personal or movable property." This suggests that transient intentions, no matter how fervent, may not qualify as real intent. For a similar idea regarding the sincerity of one's gift or offering, see Lev 19:5.
  • Moro 7:6: Profit. Interestingly, the first occurrence of the term "profit" in scripture is in Gen 25:32 where Esau describes the birthright in terms of profit. This perhaps illustrates the wrong way to think about the birthright, in terms of how it can profitable. With this in mind, there might be a subtle kind of play on words or concepts here where Alma is using the term profit solely from the perspective of the evil man. That is, rather than Mormon talking in terms of profit to describe a gift, Mormon might said to be deliberately mentioning "a man being evil" first, before talking about a gift in terms of profit.
  • Moro 7:6ff. The teaching of these verses is similar to that of 1 Corinthians 13:3. Just as Mormon tells us here that doing good without real intent provides no benefit, so Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that he could give everything he has to the poor, but if he doesn't have charity/love, doing so provides no benefit. Clearly charity and doing good with real intent are used similarly. It is consistent with these verse to view charity as a requirement for doing good with real intent. In that interpretation, we cannot do a good dead for someone with real intent if we don't love them.
These teachings are also similar to the the first verses of Matthew 6. There Jesus teaches that those who give help to others for the right reasons have a reward from their Father in heaven, but those who do so for earthly glory are not similarly rewarded. The same is said of praying: if we pray to be seen of men we have no heavenly reward. Mormon's message here is a more general version of the same message. Mormon tells us that praying without real intent profits nothing the person who prays and is, in fact, counted as evil.
Compare also King Benjamin's comments in Mosiah 4:24-25 that those who would give to the needy if they had the means, are not condemned like those who have the means but do not give. All these teachings emphasize intent over action. (See also 1 Sam 16:7.) Of course, intent cannot be completely separated from actions--it is impossible to have the right intent and the ability but not to do the good work (see James 2:15-16).
  • Moro 7:6-10. Verses 6-10 collectively form a double clarification of the claim made in verse 5: "for if their works be good, then they are good also." (It is followed, in verse 11, by a much more succinct—and familiar—second clarification of the same claim.) The connection with this claim must not be forgotten at any point in working out the logic of the complex argument of these verses, lest it be missed that the argument is not itself self-sufficient.
The basic structure of the argument is easily abstracted from the text:
Preliminary argument concerning the basic claim of verse 5, marked by "For behold" (verse 6a)
Explanation of the preliminary argument, marked by "for if" (verse 6b)
Claim (without argumentation) supporting the explanation of the preliminary argument, marked by "For behold" (verse 7)
Step one of an argument bearing out the claim of verse 7, marked by "For behold, if..., [then]" (verse 8a)
Step two of the argument, marked by "wherefore it" (verse 8b)
Step three of the argument, marked by "wherefore he" (verse 8c)
The inverse of the claim (of verse 7) is also offered, marked by "And likewise" (verse 9a)
The inverse claim is emphasized by a second iteration, marked by "yea, and" (verse 9b)
The preliminary argument, having been proved, is restated word for word as a conclusion, marked by "Wherefore" (verse 10a)
The passage oddly ends with the excrescent doubling of the conclusion "neither will he give a good gift" (verse 10b)
This outline of the argument in verses 6-10 should make it quite clear that no one statement in these verses should be taken without reference to the passage as a whole: every aspect of the argument is tightly woven into the intentions of the whole.
  • Moro 7:6. The preliminary argument, which ends up needing so much clarification, runs as follows: "God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good." How should the grammar of this sentence be understood? It could be punctuated in several ways. First, should it be understood to be a direct or an indirect quotation?
God hath said: "A man ..."
God hath said [that] a man ...
If the sentence is punctuated as a direct quotation, then it would seem that Mormon should be understood as making reference to an actual text or to an actual revelatory event. If, however, the sentence is punctuated as an indirect quotation, Mormon can be understood to be summarizing, paraphrasing, or otherwise dealing only loosely with an actual communication from the Lord. A decision on this point of punctuation determines the direction of one's exegetical endeavors with the text.
It should be remembered that Mormon's words here were reportedly delivered in a public setting (he was speaking in the synagogue). If he had reference to some kind of personal revelatory experience, rather than to a text, it seems most likely that he would—following the usual Nephite style—at least make passing reference to the occasion (see 2 Ne 10:3; Mosiah 3:2; Alma 10:7). But if he had reference to some kind of (scriptural) text, then either he had reference to a text that is no longer extant (or at least not currently available in scripture), or he was only paraphrasing or citing the basic intention of the text he had in mind. The latter might, in the end, be the case. If Mormon was only loosely summarizing or paraphrasing a scriptural text with his "God hath said," then it is possible that he had reference to what is now Jeremiah 13:22-24 (and it should be remembered that the brass plates contained "many prophecies" attributed to Jeremiah, according to 1 Ne 5:13): "And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness." At any rate, presuming that Mormon was only drawing loosely on the text he had in mind, one can confidently state that there is scriptural precedent for the basic idea of Mormon's preliminary argument.
A second point of grammar and punctuation: how should the verbal phrase "being evil" be understood?
... a man being evil cannot do ...
... a man, being evil, cannot do ...
If the phrase "being evil" appears without being set off by commas, it functions as a qualifier of "a man," such that Mormon is talking only about an evil man, a man who (presumably intentionally) does evil things. If, however, the phrase is set off by commas, it functions as a clarification (rather than a qualification) of "a man," such that Mormon is talking about all men, understanding them all—because of the fall, presumably—as being in some sense "evil." A decision on this point of punctuation determines the direction of one's theologically interpretive endeavors with the text.
It should be noted that there is an important scriptural precedent for the use of the verbal phrase "being evil": Matt 7:11/3 Ne 14:11. In this text, which deals precisely with the question of the theme of giving gifts, Jesus appears to use the phrase in a way that assumes that all (fallen) human beings are in some sense "evil": "Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" How does this precedent shed light on the present passage? At the very least, it strengthens the case that "being evil" here should be set off by commas, such that Mormon has reference to all human beings as "being evil" in some sense. The following comments proceed on the assumption that that is the best reading, though it should be noted that the other reading—according to which Mormon means only to speak of specifically evil people—remains a (strong) possibility.
Following out the possibility that Mormon means to speak of all human beings as being, in some sense, evil, it must next be asked what he can mean by "evil." On this point, it should be noted that the word translated as "evil" (in "being evil") in Matt 7:11, while it can take the moral sense of "wickedness" or "evil," can also be used in non-moral senses, where it should be translated as "oppressed by toils" or "in a sorry plight." On this point, it should be noted that the word "evil" in English need not imply anything moral. Indeed, the 1828 Webster's Dictionary lists as the first definition of "evil": "1. Having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities which tend to injury, or to produce mischief." Similarly, a quick glance through the Oxford English Dictionary makes it clear that, historically speaking, the word has had reference much more commonly to physical and non-moral "evils" than to moral ones. (The etymological meaning of the word simply implies the superseding of some kind of boundary.) Taking all of these clues together, it is at the very least possible to suggest that Mormon, like Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, is trying to talk about specifically fallen human beings, about human beings as evil in the sense that they are in a world of sorrow and sin—not in the sense that they are inherently depraved or necessarily wicked.
Following out this reading, one would have to take Mormon's meaning in the first part of verse 6 to be that, because of the Fall, human beings cannot of themselves "do that which is good." This reading, as it turns out, will be confirmed and clarified in important ways by the complex discussion of "counting" in verses 7-8. At this point, it is perhaps necessary only to spell out that basic claim.
The second part of verse 6 offers an explanation—a kind of defense—of this first, basic claim: "for if he [the fallen human being] offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing." Again, Matt 7/3 Ne 14 seems to be in Mormon's mind: the single theme of the "evil" human being unable to do good is here split into the "evil" human being who has the double task of (1) giving good gifts and (2) praying to God. In Matt 7/3 Ne 14, it is precisely this double theme that is at work: Jesus talks there not only about giving good gifts ("If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children,..."), but also about praying to God ("...how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"). Each of these two themes deserves careful attention. Moreover, the question of giving/praying is further complicated by the inclusion in this second half of the verse of two unclarified concepts: "real intent" and "profit." What might be said of each of these themes?
The phrase "real intent" appears only five times in scripture (and always is preceded by "with"): once in the small plates (2 Ne 31:13) and four times in the Book of Moroni (Moro 6:8; 7:6, 9; 10:4). (The phrase "with real intent" is not only unique to the Book of Mormon in scripture; it seems also to be unique to Mormonism in religious dialogue!) The word "intent," according to the 1828 Webster's Dictionary, means: "Literally, the stretching of the mind towards an object; hence, a design; a purpose; intention; meaning; drift; aim; applied to persons or things." The word "real," in the Book of Mormon, seems usually to mean "genuine" or "true" (see Alma 32:35; Hel 11:24; these are the only appearances of the word where it is not paired with the word "intent"). To do something "with real intent," then, seems simply to be to do it, as 2 Ne 31:13 says, without "hypocrisy" or "deception." It must be, it seems, a genuine act of one's own will (and not something dictated by the perceived desires of others).
But there remains an ambiguity here, because there is an ambiguity in the notion of giving: to give a gift can be taken as primarily a question of the giving or primarily as a question of the gift. In other words, it is difficult to know whether one's "real intent" is meant to qualify one's giving or one's gift. Is it that one must genuinely and willingly give, or is it that one must genuinely will that the givee be granted use of the gift? One understanding reduces the giving of the gift to the act of giving; the other reduces the giving of the gift to the object given. To compare the giving of the gift to the act of creation: the one model reduces creation to the traditional Christian notion of creation out of nothing; the other model reduces creation to the popular scientific notion of a purely mechanistic universe. Is one of these two models of gift-giving to be preferred, or are they both wrong together? What, in other words, is "real intent" in the act of giving a gift?
Perhaps the two models should be combined. To give a gift with real intent is genuinely to give something, but it is to do so without allowing the gift itself to drop out of the equation: the material gift must be more than a mere token of the relationship of giver-and-givee. On the other hand, to give a gift is ultimately to do something with an object, but it is to do it without allowing the act of giving itself to drop out of the equation: the act of giving must not be a mere halo around the given object. Here, perhaps, the comparison to creation can again be taken up, but now it can be compared with the notion of creation in Mormonism: God creates a world out of something; human beings have a purely material world that nonetheless was created.
There is a strong sense in which it is this kind of (combined) model alone that allows for a genuine experience of the gift on the part of the givee (who in turn must receive the gift as a gift, and that, it seems, in a similar two-fold way): the gift is not lost because it is caught up entirely in social (or even divinely social) relations on the one hand, and it is not lost because it is reduced to the status of a "mere" object on the other hand. The gift is, on this model, finally given up for use. One might say that the gift is, here, at last subtracted from the play of possession and ownership. The gift functions here neither (1) as a way of translating objective ownership and possession into interpersonal ownership and possession, nor (2) as a way of simply transferring ownership of an object from one individual to another. Here, it seems, the gift is given precisely in that it is freed from ownership and possession as such, set free at last to be used.
All of this said, what of the clause "it profiteth him nothing"? Here, the stakes of interpretation have been raised somewhat, because the very notion of (pecuniary) profit seems to cancel the idea of the gift that is in question: if one receives profit for giving a gift, can it really be said that the gift was given as a gift? It should first be noted that the word "profit" need not carry any specifically monetary weight: the word derives from the Latin proficio, literally, "to drive forward." Nonetheless, there seems to be no escaping of the fact that the word carries the idea of receiving advantage, and thus it seems that, even without monetary implications, the use of the word still threatens the integrity of the gift. However, some of the peculiarities of grammar here might open up a way to make sense of this difficulty. The phrase "it profiteth him nothing" uses the verb "to profit" in the curious transitive form, rather than in the intransitive form or (what would usually be even more likely) in the form of a noun. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the verb was originally only intransitive (meaning that it could not take a direct object), though it could take an indirect object (something would "profit to someone," not "profit someone"). (On this point, it is interesting to compare the Wycliffe and Tyndale translations of Matt 16:26. Wycliffe's earlier translation: "what profitith it to a man...?" Tyndale's later translation: "whatt shall hit proffet a man...?")
The basic intransitivity of the verb seems to mark the fact that "profit" as such resides within the thing that proliferates, that abundance or productivity is less a question of reward rendered to this or that person than of excess or abundance inherent in the "profitable" things itself. This would seem to imply that the "profit" accruing from the "real intent" with which the gift is given or the prayer is offered is not to be understood in any kind of economic fashion: it is not that the truly given gift somehow makes for an economic return, but that the gift, truly given, proliferates in an excess that outstrips economy. Indeed, to say that a "falsely" given gift "profiteth ... nothing" is ultimately to say that the falsely given gift is precisely what remains trapped within economy, because it returns to one only what one has given (there is no profit). (The presupposition that leads, it seems, to the difficulty of seeing "profit" here as a threat to the integrity of the gift is the belief that economy marks progress, when the exact opposite is the truth: economy fixes assets so that they cannot increase, so that the exchange of goods can only make a local "profit" by registering a "loss" somewhere else in the bounded economy.)
These comments play well into the comments above about the gift being what is released from the economic play of ownership and possession. There is a sense in which the giving of a gift—with real intent—translates "profit" as something that accrues to an individual to something proliferating within the thing itself, within the thing given. This, however, is not because the object that is the gift is somehow reduced from the equation so that its sacred halo can be thought in and of itself; rather, it seems that the giving of a gift is the way that an object or a thing is finally allowed to release its own excess, to proliferate after its own fashion. To give a gift is to give something to itself, to allow it to be used in a productive way, to subtract it from the "merely spiritual" economy of society and the "merely physical" economy of efficient causality so that it can be put to genuine use.
But all of these details of exegesis and interpretation might finally be brought together. It seems that Mormon's "defense" of his initial proposition—that fallen human beings cannot do good—amounts to the claim that only "real intent" allows the (double because split) economy introduced by the Fall to cease to hold sway through the supplementary act of giving a gift. The shape this supplement would take will only be laid out in the subsequent two verses.
  • Moro 7:7-8. These two verses seem primarily to be an attempt to offer support for the defense offered in the second half of verse 6. In light of the comments there, it is also clear that they serve to clarify the nature of the "supplement" that marks the profitability of the prayer or gift offered with "real intent." Here the operative term is the verb "to count." In verse 7, it is clear that "it profiteth him nothing" is essentially equated with "it is not counted unto him for righteousness." In verse 8, this is rendered "it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift," and the further statement that the person in question "is counted evil before God" is set forth. All this "counting" deserves extended comment. Moreover, in these verses' attempt to clarify the nature of the "supplement," the return to the individual's being "evil" at the end of verse 8 serves to make much clearer that the two "halves" of verse 6 are more closely related than they might at first appear: the profit one is after, in offering gifts and praying, is precisely the possibility of outstripping one's fallenness, the possibility of being no longer evil. That, at the end of verse 8, one is (because one does not offer one's gifts or prayers with "real intent") still "counted evil before God" makes it clear that one's gifts and prayers "profiteth him nothing" precisely in that they do not allow one to get out of "being evil." These two initial points, taken together, organize the basic necessary program for interpretation of verses 7-8: the "supplement" labeled "profit" in verse 6 must be understood as something that allows one to escape the basic finitude imposed through the Fall, and the thing precisely that allows for that escape (and so is the "supplement") is, of all things, a "counting." What, then, is at work in the term "counting"?
There is unquestionably a reference, in verse 7, to Gen 15:6 (though see also Ps 106:31). In that text, Abram has just been given the promise of Isaac's (impossible!) birth: "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be" (Gen 15:5). The narrator then records Abram's response to the promise, as well as the "consequence" of that response: "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Gen 15:6). Saint Paul, in Romans 4, spells out what he took to be the vital importance of this passage: for Paul, it served as the proof text that clinched his case concerning salvation by faith rather than by works. His argument, which proves important for the interpretation of Mormon's words here, runs as follows: (1) Genesis 15 says that Abraham believed, and that that faith was counted unto him for righteousness; (2) but Abraham was still, in Genesis 15, uncircumcised, since circumcision was given to him as a "law" (a work) only in Genesis 17; (3) circumcision (the law) was thus only given as a sign or as a seal of his already-saving faith; (4) therefore, Christ's atoning work, to which the Abrahamic covenant ("the promise") inexorably, similarly renders humans righteous through their faith (apart from the law). In a word, for Paul, no one can claim that it was circumcision (as a figure of the Law or works) that saved because Abraham was already rendered righteous because of his faith before circumcision was given to him as a law. How do these Old and New Testament texts shed light on what Mormon is saying in verses 7-8?
Paul's discussion makes it clear that the "righteousness" of Abraham was not his own. That is, his righteousness was an imputed righteousness—it was counted unto him by God. Paul's careful reading here highlights something that might otherwise be missed in the language of "counting": to say that something is "counted for righteousness" is to say that it is not itself, in the first place, righteous; it only becomes righteous when it is counted as such. But what does the text mean by the verb "to count"? In the Hebrew text (of Gen 15:6), the verb is hashab, which means quite literally "to think" or "to meditate," by extension (as in Gen 15) "to esteem" or "to account." (The Septuagint or Greek Old Testament—and so Paul as well in the New Testament—uses the Greek verb logizomai, literally "to reckon" or "to account.") From all of this, it seems quite clear that whatever Mormon is saying here in verses 7-8, it must be recognized that the righteousness in question is something God bestows (literally reckons) rather than some kind of righteousness that would be inherent in the think so reckoned. And it seems also that the act by which that bestowal takes place must be understood to be some kind of (roughly) "cognitive" act, some kind of thinking, esteeming, reckoning, accounting, even story-telling: the counting is without question a kind of mental work on the part of God.
From all of this, it already begins to become clear how all of this is important in light of verse 6. There, it seems, human beings are regarded as fallen (as "being evil") and so as essentially unable to "do that which is good" in and of themselves. The language of "counting" in verses 7-8 would then seem to imply that the only way the act or deed of a fallen human being can be of any positive value is if it is counted for righteousness by God. Such, at any rate, seems to be the necessary preliminary conclusion. However, there is much more going on in verses 7-8 that has not yet even been considered. For example, and just to get started: verse 7 does not speak directly of something being counted for righteousness, but of something not being counted for righteousness—as verse 8 goes on to speak of a person even being "counted evil before God." This negativity, moreover, appears in verse 6, though it was missed in the comments worked out above for that verse: verse 6 does not, strictly speaking, say that the gift given with real intent does profit the giver; rather, it only says that the gift that is not given with real intent does not profit the giver. What should be read into these points of negativity?
The simplest way, perhaps, to make sense of the "nothing" of verse 6 and the "not" of verse 7 (the "counted ... as if" and "counted evil" of verse 8 will call for a separate treatment) is to recognize that these statements are intended not to explain how one does give a gift, but are intended rather to burst the bubble of those who believe that they can accrue some kind of profit just from having given, though they have not done so with real intent. Here it is worth making reference to verses 5 and 11. Both immediately before and immediately after he makes this extensive argument of verses 6-10, Mormon states that good cannot come from an evil source, nor evil from a good source. If verses 6-10 are meant to strengthen this point, they are, in an important sense, trying to deal with the implicit objection that evil people do things like pray, give gifts, etc. Here, though, Mormon is making quite clear that precisely because the evil person gives a gift only with the expectation of receiving some reward, the gift is not actually a gift, and no profit accrues. Put in terms of verse 7, it is precisely because one gives with the hope that the act of giving will be counted for righteousness that the giving of the gift is not counted for righteousness. Wherever one counts—counts the cost of the gift, counts on receiving something, counts on God's approbation, etc.—God does not count, unless (as in verse 8) he counts the gift as "evil" or even as having been "retained."
But all of this is clarified in an interesting way in the beginning of verse 8: "if a man, being evil, giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly." Here it is necessary to clarify the word "grudgingly." The 1828 Webster's defines "grudging" in an interesting way: "Uneasiness at the possession of something by another." To give a gift grudgingly, then, would seem to be to give it while being uneasy about the givee's actually possessing the gift given. That is, to give grudgingly is to give something to someone for any other reason than to give them access to the thing given. Or, in other words, it is to give someone access to something only in order to accomplish something else. This is an important clarification. The usual understanding of "giving grudgingly" takes the phrase to refer to giving reluctantly—as if the problem were one's unwillingness to part with the thing given. Rather, though, it seems the phrase refers to giving with an ulterior motive. It might be to give a gift in order to put someone in one's debt ("If I give this person something expensive, they'll feel like they owe me something"), or it might be to give a gift in order to get attention ("If I give the perfect gift, then everyone will see how generous and thoughtful I am"), or it might be to give a gift in order to receive pity ("If I give something quite meager, the gift will make everyone realize how much help I need"). The list could go on and on, but the point, one hopes, is clear: to give a gift grudgingly is to use the act of giving as a way of sustaining a rivalrous and self-centered relationship. Moreover, it is usually to do so by transferring an object that, because of the social implications of the giving, the givee will never really feel free to use. And so, to give a gift grudgingly is ultimately not to give a gift at all, since what it is to give a gift is to give it up for use.
For these very reasons, it seems that Mormon's further statement—that "it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift"—is completely justified. To gift a gift grudgingly is, in an important way, precisely to retain the gift, though one obviously transfers the object to the givee. But, with all that said, it is necessary to turn at last to the final clause of verse 8: "wherefore he is counted evil before God." What is most peculiar about this phrase is that, at the beginning of verse 8 (as well as at the beginning of verse 6), the "man" in question is already described as "being evil"; in light of that, why is it necessary that he again be "counted evil before God"? What is at work in this effective doubling of the grudging giver's status as evil?
At the very least, this doubling seems to suggest that there is a difference between merely being evil and the double position of both being evil and being counted evil. If, as suggested in the commentary for verse 6, the phrase "being evil" should not be taken to mean that human beings are necessarily wicked, then perhaps the difference between these two statuses—being evil and being-and-being-counted evil—measures the distance between "being evil" as being fallen and "being evil" as being (intentionally?) wicked. That is, though human beings—according to the reading worked through here—are necessarily "evil" (that is, fallen), they need not, for that reason, be counted evil. One might be "innocently" evil (by embracing, rather than rejecting, grace), or one might be "guiltily" evil (by rejecting, rather than embracing, grace). But can all of this be more specified?
Actually, it might be possible to use this distinction, coupled with the theme of the possibility of giving good gifts, to spell out three positions one might assume:
(1) A human being, being (necessarily) evil/fallen, might give the gift hypocritically—that is, by not only pretending but openly denying that s/he is not evil/fallen; such a person would ultimately not only be evil, but also be counted evil, assuming the most evil position possible.
(2) A human being, being (necessarily) evil/fallen, might not give the gift at all, recognizing his/her natural fallenness and so his/her desire to give the gift only in a hypocritical way; such a person would, while remaining evil/fallen, not be counted evil and so obtain a slightly better position.
(3) A human being, being (necessarily) evil/fallen, might give the gift with real intent—that is, recognizing but regarding as immaterial his/her natural desire to give the gift only in a hypocritical way; such a person would (presumably) be counted as righteous, even while remaining technically evil/fallen.
On this model, it is only the third of these three persons who genuinely releases the gift from the bondage of ownership/possession and so finds her/himself released in turn from the bondage of fallen desire (rivalry). If this brief typology is not amiss, then it seems that what is key to giving good gifts is the refusal to regard as material the (desires of the) "natural man," instead regarding only the gift itself as genuinely material. To take anything but the material gift—as something to be given up (out of the dialectics of possession and ownership) for use—as being material (whether as "good" or as "bad" material) is ultimately to mistake the immaterial for the material. It is, in a word, to believe that one's works, rather than the material grace of the gift itself, as what delivers or saves one from the fall.
So much, then, for the moment, for the question of the gift. The next verse takes up the parallel case of prayer.
  • Moro 7:8: Grudgingly. A similar expression is used in 2 Cor 9:7 where the Greek root lype is used, meaning "sorrow." The idea, then, seems to be that one should not give with any regrets, but be a "cheerful giver," as it says later in 2 Cor 9:7.
  • Moro 7:9. As pointed out above, verse 9 effectively offers a reflection parallel to verses 7-8, now in terms of prayer instead of the gift. Importantly, except in the important fact that it takes up the obviously distinct topic of prayer, it adds very little to the discussion: except in its last clause ("for God receiveth none such"), it repeats phrases that have already appeared in the passage: "counted evil" (see verse 8); "with real intent" (see verse 6, though this verse adds "of heart"); "it profiteth him nothing" (see verse 6 again). Comment on this verse, then, should be relatively straightforward: (1) it is necessary to discuss first what is at work in prayer if it is taken as parallel to gift-giving; (2) it will be necessary to discuss second what should made of the additional assertion that "God receiveth none such."

Moro 7:12-19[edit]

  • Moro 7:14: Take heed. Mormon gives a word of caution here about not judging incorrectly. Throughout Mormon stresses judging based on what people do and whether that "inviteth to do good and to persuade to believe in Christ" (v 16). Mormon's warning may also apply to how we judge ourselves (cf. 1 Cor 11:31). We should not try to rationalize things that are evil, or beat ourselves up (i.e. get overly discouraged or depressed) when our actions are good.
  • Moro 7:16-19: . In verse 16 Mormon tells us that he will show unto us the way to judge. Then in the remaining part of this verse and in verse 17, he lays out a very simply principle: whatever inviteth and persuadeth to do good is from God; whatever persuadeth men to do evil and believe not in Christ comes from the devil. Despite the simplicity of this principle, Mormon doesn't believe that its application is simple. First, he warns us in verse 18 against not judging wrongfully. Then in verse 19, he tells us that we should search diligently in the light of Christ to know good from evil. Though the principle is simple, its correct application requires diligent searching to know good from evil. In verse 14 Mormon warns us not to judge good for evil or evil for good. Interestingly, verse 19 concentrates only on not judging that which is actually good as evil. It may be that this is the side more pertinent to his forthcoming discussion of charity.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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  • Moro 7:3: Peaceable followers of Christ. Mormon tells us that he is speaking unto those who have enough hope that they can enter into the rest of the Lord from "this time henceforth until [they] shall rest with [the Lord] in heaven." How does knowing that this sermon is addressed to people who already had such faith inform how we understand this chapter?
  • Moro 7:3: Sufficient hope. Are we also, like the people Mormon is talking to, people people who have enough hope that we can enter into the Lord's rest now?
  • Moro 7:3: Rest of the Lord. What does it mean to enter into the Lord's rest in this life?

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 7:2-3. In opening his address, why might Mormon have used the phrase "holy will" in a context where we might have expected him to have said "the Holy Ghost"? What does Mormon mean by "holy will"?
  • Moro 7:4-17: Real intent. Mormon's discussion in these verses could stand on its own as a sermon on works and real intent. Why is this discussion of works and real intent part of this chapter which Moroni identifies in verse 1 as a sermon on faith, hope and charity?
  • Moro 7:6-10: If we know we should give a certain gift (e.g. help a neighbor) but don't feel a real desire to do so, what should we do? Is going ahead and giving the gift what Mormon calls here doing it grudgingly?
  • Moro 7:6: Intent vs. desire. What is meant by the word intent here? It is interchangeable with desire? If not, what is different between desire and intent? Would it be justified to think of intent as being more conscious, more of a choice, than desire? If desire is less consciously produced, and more of a condition that is evoked from beyond our consciousness (e.g., by our body rather than our mind, say), what is the significance here regarding the way Mormon talks about a gift? At first blush, it seems that intent, if it is more conscious, runs more risk of spoiling or economizing a gift than desire, at least in a certain sense. On the other hand, perhaps Mormon is suggesting that is altogether different than this way of thinking. It seems Mormon is suggesting that intent is precisely what makes a gift possible. It is "real intent" of the giver that seems to be required for the production of a gift. In this sense, perhaps "desire" would be a less apt term here precisely because it does not connote the conscious intent required by a giver. If the desire to give is a gift given by God, beyond ourselves, then this would not be a gift given by a man, only from God. Thus, for man to participate in the process of gift giving, might we think that man must have a conscious intent to give?
  • Moro 7:8: What does it mean that we will be judged with the same judgment by which we judge?

Resources[edit]

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  • Moro 7:16: Light of Christ. The Church's Guide to the Scriptures and Bible Dictionary have interesting entries under the heading "light of Christ" which compare and contrast the light of Christ with the gift of Holy Ghost and with the power of the Holy Ghost. Many scriptural cross-references are also provided.

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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Moro 7:20-39

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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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]

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  • 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]

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. →

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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Moro 7:40-48

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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

The relationship of verses 40-48 to the rest of the chapter is discussed at chapter 7. Verses 40-48 can be outlined as follows:

Relationship to Chapter 7. The relationship of Verses 7:40-48 to the rest of Chapter 7 is addressed at Chapter 7.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 7:40-48 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. →

• 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)
  • Moro 7:26-48. Mormon’s discourse on charity is not only one of the most beautiful, but also most systematic of the scriptures. In fact, while charity is often noted as the theme of Moroni 7, it is but one of a number of principles all culminating into the workings of miracles. Mormon, for whatever reason, chooses to work backwards beginning with miracles and through a step-by-step process, identifies each rung in the ladder that leads to such miracles as effectuated by our fathers.
Unfolding Mormon’s discourse, we see that faith is what leads to miracles, and hope is needed for faith. Such faith and hope necessitate meekness and a lowliness of heart. If such is obtained with a confession by the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, charity is requisite. Often, the command to love may burden many shoulders that see it as impossible despite our greatest intentions. Without such Christ-like love, it assuredly seems that miracles of great faith are out of our grasp. But, Mormon finishes this chapter on how to receive charity: through prayer. Step-by-step, miracles are permitted us based on our communication with the Father and our petitions for His love.
  • Moro 7:40, 42: Faith before hope?. At first blush, verse 40 might be read as suggesting that the attainment of hope preceeds the attainment of faith. However, verse 42 would seem to contradict such an interpretation. One way to avoid this apparent contradiction is to consider the attainment of faith and the attainment of hope as a simultaneous, mutually-reinforcing process, as exemplified by the intertwined cable metaphor that Elder Nelson suggests (see related links for verse 42).
Another possibility is to view the attainment of hope as an immediate consequence to the attainment of faith. On this view, if you think you have attained faith but you do not have hope, then you would be able to infer that you have not attained true faith. Note that the following verses seem to corroborate this view: Moro 8:26, 2 Ne 31:19-20, and Ether 12:4?
  • Moro 7:41. When we unravel the logic, this verse most interestingly appears like this:
If Faith->Hope
If ~Hope->~Faith
If ~Faith->~Hope
If Hope->Faith
What becomes apparent is the mutual and relatively parallel relationship of Faith and Hope, predicated on the basis of being meek and lowly of heart.
  • Moro 7:44. Following this, if we read "must needs have" as suggesting a sort of necessary precondition, then it makes it seem that in order to be meek and lowly of heart, we must have charity. This makes it seem as if in order to have faith and hope, we must also have charity.
  • Moro 7:47: Love of Christ. According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, the primary meaning of the word of is to denote the genitive case which means "produced by" or "out of." In other words "the love produced by Christ" or "the love coming out of Christ." Of indicating possession, i.e. "love of Christ" meaning "Christ's love," seems to have derived from this primary meaning. In the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, there are 12 different meanings listed. All of them seem to have been derived from the primary meaning listed above.
  • Moro 7:47: Possessed of it. Surprisingly, the only other time the phrase "possessed of" is used in the LDS version of scriptures is Matt 8:33 and Luke 8:36 in reference to being possessed of devils. See exegesis below for discussion.
  • Moro 7:47: Possessed of the pure love of Christ. See lexical notes above. The connotation here seems to be that Christ is the original producer of love (see 1 Jn 4:19) which we are to become possessed with. This is consistent with verse 48 where we are instructed to pray to be filled with his love. It is not our love that we are to develop, but rather Christ's love which we are to be given.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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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 7:40: Hope before faith? Is this saying that the attainment of hope precedes the attainment of faith? If so, how can this be reconciled with other verses that seem to suggest the attainment of faith precedes the attainment of hope (e.g. verse 42, Moro 8:26, 2 Ne 31:19-20, and Ether 12:4)?
  • Moro 7:42. Here it says that without faith there cannot be any hope. How can we distinguish between faith and hope?
  • Moro 7:42. Mormon seems to be saying that for someone to have faith they must have hope because if you don't have faith you cannot have hope. This sounds like saying since without faith you cannot have hope, you have to have hope to have faith. Is that what is being said? If so how does that reasoning work?
  • Moro 7:42. Doesn't it seem like the last phrase of this verse perhaps had the nouns inverted? Wouldn't it read more clearly and not make you scratch your head if it said: "if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without [hope] there cannot be any [faith]? By starting the last phrase with "for" doesn't that seem to imply that what comes next will be supportive of what came right before and not contradictory as it can appear now?
  • Moro 7:44. Here Mormon says that if someone is meek and lowly of heart and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, that person must have charity. Does this mean that if you do those things you already have charity or does this mean that the next step after these things is to work on developing charity?
  • Moro 7:44. Wouldn't this verse be more clear if it started "If not," and not "If so?"
  • Moro 7:44. A similar question could be raised about the meaning of "must needs have" in v. 42. Does "must needs have" suggest a sort of requirement necessary to reach that sort of thing? Or does it mean something more like, "When one has this, they must then progress onto the next thing"? Referring to v. 42, does it mean that hope is sort of a precondition for faith? Or does it mean that once you have faith, you need to then proceed to hope?
  • Moro 7:45. We are told here that charity "beareth all things" and "endureth all things." What is the difference between these two attributes?
  • Moro 7:45. What does it mean to "think no evil" in the context of this verse? Since charity can only be manifested in our relations with others, is this phrase instructing us to only think good thoughts about others? If that is the case, how can we discern between the good and bad actions of others?
  • Moro 7:45. How many speakers define what "rejoiceth not in inquity" means? Is this an instruction to not feel satisfaction when others (especially our competitors) make mistakes? Is this basically a prohibition against pride? Would we stop wanting others to make mistakes if we stopped trying to compare ourselves to them?
  • Moro 7:48. What does it mean to be a true follower of Jesus Christ? How does one attain this status?

Resources[edit]

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  • Moro 7:41. See this comment at the BCC blog, and the post in general, for a discussion of hope as it relates to (being prior to and subsequent to) faith.
  • Moro 7:45. Robert C. Oaks, "The Power of Patience," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 15–17. Elder Oaks points out that many of the characteristics of charity relate to patience: long-suffering, not easily provoked, bearing and enduring all things. "From these defining elements it is evident that without patience gracing our soul, we would be seriously lacking with respect to a Christlike character."

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 are preferable to footnotes.



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Moro 8:1-30

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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 8 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 8 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. →

Outline and Structure[edit]

I Editorial introduction by Moroni (v. 1)
II Mormon's epistle proper (vv. 2-30)
A Epistolary introduction and address (vv. 2-3)
B Doctrinal exposition (vv. 4-26)
1 Preliminary identification of the epistle's theme: baptism of "little children" (vv. 4-5)
2 Presentation of a revelation that implies the wrongness of such baptism (vv. 6-9)
3 Parallel outlines of the central doctrine (vv. 10-23)
a Outline of a doctrine of the salvation of children and its implications (vv. 10-13)
b Bold assertion of the existential consequences for misunderstanding this doctrine (vv. 14-16a)
Transition focused on Mormon's subjective investment in the question (vv. 16b-17)
c Another outline of the doctrine of the salvation of children (vv. 18-19)
d Another bold assertion of the existential consquences for misunderstanding the doctrine (vv. 20-23)
4 Explanation of the possibility of receiving revelation as Mormon has (vv. 24-26)
C Closing remarks concerning Nephite wickedness (vv. 27-30)

Rhetorical markers indicating divisions within the text are often formulaic and readily discernible (see, for instance, the use of "and now" in vv. 4 and 6 or the use of "behold" in vv. 10, 14, 24, and 27). Other divisions are more subtle and have primarily to do with structural features of the chapter's basic thematic presentation (as in vv. 16b, 18, and 20). Several distinct phrases and terms appear twice each in this chapter, and the pattern of their usage is difficult to discern. Nonetheless, some general points can be made about the larger structure of the chapter.

The core of the chapter clearly consists of verses 4-26 ("doctrinal exposition"), where the focus is the baptism of little children. After an introduction of the theme (vv. 4-5), Mormon's discussion opens (in vv. 6-9) with a presentation of a revelation—"the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord, and your God (v. 8)—which deploys a number of phrases and terms that appear again in the final verses of the discussion (vv. 24-26, "explanation of the possibility of receiving revelation"). Compare, for instance, "the curse of Adam" (v. 8) with "the curse of a broken law" (v. 24); "did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me" (v. 9) with "cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost" (v. 26); "wherefore, my beloved son" (v. 9) with "behold, my son" (v. 24); and "it is solemn mockery before God" (v. 9) with "it is mockery before God" (v. 23). The literary connections strongly suggest an intentional inclusion structure, with the core of Mormon's discussion opening and closing in deliberately parallel fashion. Especially significant is the repetition of references to "the Holy Ghost," since they together suggest that the discussion works its way from Mormon's unique leaderly reception of a revelation through the Holy Ghost to the promise that all earnest seekers can receive revelation through the same Holy Ghost. This casts the material between the opening and closing sequence of the text (vv. 6-9 and 24-26 respectively) as persuasive in nature, presenting a divinely received message as authoritative but presenting arguments for its truth along with exhortations to be serious about its import—and serving all together as an invitation to have the revelation's truth confirmed by the same divine source by which the revelation came in the first part.

The material found in verses 10-23 ("parallel outlines") also exhibit certain structural features that deserve notice. It can be divided rather naturally into two halves, with unique phrases and terms from the first half reappearing in the second. Note the following parallels: "their little children need no repentance" (v. 11) and "little children cannot repent" (v. 19); "God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons" (v. 12) and "God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being" (v. 18); "he that supposeth that little children needeth baptism" (v. 14) and "he that saith that little children needeth baptism" (v. 20); "should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell" (v. 14) and "they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment" (v. 21); "awful is the wickedness" (v. 15) and "it is awful wickedness" (v. 19); "I speak with boldness" (v. 16) and "I speak it boldly" (v. 21); "perfect love" (v. 16) and "perfect love" (v. 17); "all children are alike unto me" (v. 17) and "they are all alike" (v. 17). This is a rather striking list of repetitions, and they seem to indicate that the whole sequence of verses 10-23 divides in two after the first line of verse 17. In essence, verses 16-17 serve as a kind of pivot (with material in vv. 16-17a repeated in v. 17b) around which the whole central sequence of Mormon's discussion turns. The first half of the discussion works its way toward the themes of perfect love and children's general alikeness, while the second half of the discussion takes these same two themes as a point of departure for re-presenting all the material from the first half in a new way.

Beyond these points, there doesn't seem to be any particularly obvious structure organizing the text of Moroni 8. Its principal form of organization, then, lies in a presentation of its key points in two larger sequences. The first half, verses 6-17a, begins from a few words of revelation received through the Holy Ghost and presented by Mormon, and it works its way toward a kind of culminating statement regarding perfect love and the universal alikeness of children. The second half, verses 17b-26, begins in turn from these last themes of perfect love and universal alikeness, and it works its way toward an injunction that all receive revelation through the Holy Ghost. Numerous repetitions of phrases and terms from the first half in the second half tie them together in an essential way. And because this ties the whole chapter together so tightly, it's here treated on a single page.

Matters of Context[edit]

When did Mormon write this first letter that Moroni copies into his book?

The only explicit attempt at contextualization is found in verse 1, where Moroni explains that the letter was written "soon after [his own] calling to the ministry." It seems relatively clear from the superscription to Moroni 9 ("The second epistle of Mormon to his son Moroni") and Mormon's use of the word "again" in the opening to the other letter (Moroni 9:1) that Moroni copies the two letters in the order they were actually written. The second letter was written soon after "a sore" and unsuccessful "battle with the Lamanites," in which "a great number" of Nephites, three actually named, die (Moroni 9:2). This particular loss seems to have been one that led Mormon to "fear" that the Nephites would be destroyed, "for they do not repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another" (Moroni 9:3).

In it, Mormon describes major developments in Nephite wickedness and in Nephite destruction in war. This makes clear that Nephite wickedness wasn't yet fully ripe at the time Mormon wrote the letter included in Moroni 8.

Comments on Particular Verses[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Unless Moroni edits or redacts his father's letter as he copies it into the plates, this is the only verse in this chapter where we hear his voice. He tells us very little by way of introduction—and nothing of his reasons for including the epistle. All he says by way of historical contextualization is that the letter was written "soon after [his] calling to the ministry." This itself is peculiar, since nowhere else does Moroni (or Mormon) have anything to say about Moroni's calling to the ministry. Indeed, the historical report in Mormon 1-7 concerning the final years of the Nephites would naturally lead us to guess that there was no organized ministry during Moroni's life (though Moroni's report concerning ecclesiastical matters in Moroni 2-6 might suggest otherwise). This raises the question of what exactly Moroni means when he says that he was called to the ministry. By whom was he called (note that it certainly wasn't his father who called him), and in what fashion (directly by God or through some kind of established earthly institution—and if the latter, by what protocols)? What exactly does he mean by "the ministry"—an established public institution (a missionary or pastoral program) or a private responsibility (executed simply in conversation with God)? The only word Mormon offers regarding this point comes in verse 2, when he expresses his joy that "Jesus Christ ... hath called [Moroni] to his ministry, and to his holy work." This, unfortunately, doesn't clarify much.

Other details concerning historical context can be derived from verses 27-30, as well as from the further epistle in chapter 9. From verses 27-30, one learns that Mormon writes this letter (chapter 8) at a time when he can already say that "the pride of ... the people of the Nephites hath proven their destruction except they should repent." This indicates that much of the history recounted in Mormon has already taken place, since much destruction has already taken place; but it's clear that the end isn't yet arriving, since Mormon still speaks of the possibility of repentance—and mentions a verse later that he's only begun to "fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving" with the people (compare Mormon 4:23; 5:2, where Mormon gives up on any hope). Also significant in verses 27-30 is the fact that Mormon speaks to Moroni of what's happening in his "part of the land," obviously by way of contrast to what's happening in Moroni's part of the land. This indicates at the very least that there's an uneven development among the Nephites toward total wickedness. The fact that Moroni is being called to the ministry suggests that the end, even if it must be "soon" (as Mormon says), is still some way off. All these details are confirmed by chapter 9, which is clearly presented (in Moroni 9:1) as a later letter. In it, Mormon describes major developments in Nephite wickedness and in Nephite destruction in war. This makes clear that Nephite wickedness wasn't yet fully ripe at the time Mormon wrote the letter included in Moroni 8. It's probably best to say that Mormon's letter regarding the baptism of children was written at a kind of turning point—at that point when it became clear that full destruction was coming, but before the Nephites had collectively decided to reject every possibility of repentance.

An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:

  • "an epistle"
  • "of ... written to me"
  • "my calling to the ministry"
  • "on this wise"

Verse 2[edit]

  • Moro 8:7 The fact that Mormon chooses to take this question to the Lord indicates that in at least some sense the question of whether to baptize children was at the time an open question for Mormon--a question for which it made sense to seek revelation. But how could it be an open question, if as we see in verse 14, anyone who believes such a doctrine must go to Hell? This question will be addressed in the commentary between here and verse 14.
  • Moro 8:8. Mormon precedes verse 8 by telling us that these are the words the Lord delivered through the power of the Holy Ghost. This revelation tells us much about the curse of Adam. The curse Adam receives in Gen 3:17 is really a cursing of the ground "for [Adam's] sake." However the Lord isn't taking away this curse of the land; he isn't making it so that thorns and thistles don't grow or that we don't have to work by the sweat of our brow. Instead Mormon is referring to some type of spiritual curse. Though the phrase "curse of Adam" is no where else used in the scriptures, the type of curse referred to seems similar to the discussion of Adam in 2 Ne 2:19-25. Specifically verse 21 is helpful:
And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents. (Emphasis added.)
The curse of Adam is this: everyone is lost because of Adam's transgression. 2 Ne 2:21 tells us that Adam's transgression placed the whole world in a lost state from which (without Christ) there is no escape. Here in verse 8, we learn that the same is true for little children. The Lord say "The curse of Adam is taken from them in me." So, though we usually think of the purpose of the atonement as to take away the sins of the guilty who repent (and it is)--the Lord makes it clear that another purpose is to take away this curse from the innocent. Without Christ Adam's curse would apply to the innocent. They would be punished for Adam's sin. But because of Christ, we are only punished for our own sins (second Article of Faith).
  • Moro 8:9. Mormon bases his knowledge, that infant baptism is mockery before God, on the revelation from God he has just received--that those who are not capable of sinning already have the curse of Adam taken from them.
  • Moro 8:10-11. Verse 8 stopped short of explicitly saying that repentance is not required of the innocent (though it seemed to imply it). Now in verses 10 and 11, Mormon makes this explicit.
In verse 8 Mormon quotes Christ saying "the whole need no physician, but they that are sick." (See also Matt 9:12, Mark 2:17 and Luke 5:31 for similar quotes in the NT.) In this context we might interpret this as meaning that only those who sin need to be baptized. But here in verse 10, Mormon says something a little different. Instead he says "those who are accountable and capable of committing sin" need to be baptized. For all of us who are (1) accountable and capable of committing sin and (2) do commit sin, there isn't much of a difference. But it in the case of Christ himself the difference suggests that Christ did need to be baptized even though little children do not.
  • Moro 8:12-13: Alive in Christ. "Alive in Christ" in this context may mean something like made alive through Christ. See commentary on verse 8.
The argument that God would have to be a partial God if he requires baptism doesn't seem to take into account the possibility that things could be setup so that little children, like their unbaptized parents, can be baptized by proxy. It could be that Mormon doesn't address this objection to his reasoning because he didn't consider it and that he didn't consider it because his people didn't practice baptism for the dead. Though the New Testament mentions baptism for the dead, there isn't any evidence that those in the Book of Mormon knew about or practiced it.
But even so, this is curious. One would think that anyone who believes that requiring children to be baptized would make God a respecter of persons (given how many little children have died without baptism), would quickly draw the same conclusion about adults.
  • Moro 8:14. This verse has been interpreted to mean that all who believe in infant baptism automatically go to hell. That isn't a good reading. Remember that Mormon himself thought the question worth taking to the Lord (see [[Moro 8:7|verse 7). And looking back to verse 9 we see that Mormon believe the idea of infant baptism is mockery before God in light of the revelation he received. Another reason, it doesn't make sense to read Mormon as saying that all who believe in baptizing little children will go to hell, is that this turns Mormon into a hypocrite. Imagine someone who believes in infant baptism but doesn't know better. They are innocent. Will they go to hell? Mormon explicitly arguing against holding the innocent guilty.
On a related note we need to understand the difference between the belief that Mormon is condemning and that held by many Christians who do practice infant baptism today. Mormon is condemning the belief that God sends unbaptized children to Hell. But most Christians do not believe unbaptized children go to Hell. (Some believe they go to Limbo, but the concept of Limbo is all together different than the concept of Hell spoken of in the Book of Mormon. See related links for more info.) For more on this see the related links section.
But, back to the topic. Why is Mormon's langague so harsh? Mormon is not saying that anyone who believes in infant baptism will go to Hell. Rather he is speaking to a set of members of the church who grew up with the truth of the gospel and now have begun to baptize children. To these people Mormon says 1) he has received a revelation from God that this isn't right and 2) for them to believe that children need baptism shows their lack of faith, hope and charity. And that those who lack faith, hope and charity will go to hell.
It is interesting then that at its core this sermon centers not really on the question of belief in infant baptism, but rather on the presence or lack of faith, hope and charity. Note that this is the same theme of the previous sermon by Mormon which Moroni records (see Moro 7:1).
  • Moro 8:26: Remission of sins bringeth meekness. It is interesting that Mormon tells us that being forgiven for our sins leads to meekness and lowliness of heart and this then leads to the visitation of the Holy Ghost. This is a little different than the chain we might think of: humility -> repentance -> remission of sins -> cleanliness -> visitation of the Holy Ghost. As Mormon explains it here, humility is key to the visitation of the Holy Ghost. Further, this humility comes because of receiving a gift: the remission of sins. Mormon doesn't explain why receiving remission of sins leads to lowliness of heart. It may that the recognition of receiving a gift we do not deserve prompts this meekness. It may be that this lowliness in heart is part of what it means for the Lord to change us from a carnal state to a state of righteousness (Mosiah 27:25).

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. →

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 8:7. How are we to understand Mormon's inquiry to the Lord given that he was already aware of King Benjamin's revelation on the relationship between Jesus's atonement and the innocence of children? (See Mosiah 3:11, Mosiah 3:16, Mosiah 3:20-21.)
  • Moro 8:8. The phrase "I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" occurs in the Synoptic gospels at Matt 9:13, Mark 2:17, and Luke 5:32, but does not seem to occur in 3 Nephi. Should we assume that Christ said something similar to the Nephites, but it wasn't recorded? or that Christ and Mormon are referencing an older teaching that Nephites and those in Jerusalem were familiar with? or that Mormon was taught this same teaching by revelation and/or that Joseph Smith record Mormon's teaching by appropriating Synoptic phraseology? or something else entirely?

Resources[edit]

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. →

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 are preferable to footnotes.



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Moroni 10

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Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni


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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 1o to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 10 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 10 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. →

Moro 10[edit]

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)

Moro 10:1-7a[edit]

  • Moro 10:1: I write unto my brethren. Interestingly, Mormon's last words (cf. Morm 7:1) also seem to be directed toward the future Lamanites ("the remnant of this people" in Mormon's words).
  • Moro 10:3-5: Promise extended to everyone. Moroni's promise, originally given to the Lamanites, is frequently extended by today's prophets and apostles to all. See for example Elder Eyring's talk in General Conference May 2004 "In the Strength of the Lord."
  • Moro 10:3-5: It. Moroni could be referring to either "these things" (the Book of Mormon), why it is "wisdom in God" that we are reading "these things" (the Book of Mormon), or the merciful dealings of God with men from Adam to the time of our reading. Any or all of the three provide an opportunity to "see with [our] eyes, and hear with [our] ears, and understand with [our] heart[s]." (Isa 6:10, Matt 13:15, Acts 28:27, 2 Ne 16:10)
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking. In response to the question on sign-seeking in relation to Moroni's promise, see commentary by BenRasmussen, including quotes from Elder Oaks and George Q. Cannon.

Moro 10:7b-19[edit]

Moro 10:20-23[edit]

Moro 10:24-26[edit]

Moro 10:27-34[edit]

  • Moro 10:30-33. Moroni's final words and the closing instruction of the Book of Mormon expound a message that constitutes the very essence of the gospel; perfection and sanctification by the grace of God through Christ.
The introduction uses phrases from Isaiah 52:1-2, 11-12 and 54:2, 4, where, in the poetic language of Isaiah, the themes of deliverance from bondage and redemption were directed toward Israel as a nation. There the message, on the surface, was about the Babylonian captivity and national liberation. Here Moroni uses the passages to call the reader into the spiritual liberation and redemption offered to those who "come unto Christ." Here, to rise from the dust and put on the beautiful garments, is a call to come unto Christ and be delivered from bondage to sin and "be no more confounded." To "strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders" uses nomadic imagery of the forsaken wife and points to the reception of the eternal covenant blessings of Abraham.
The repeated phrase "in Christ" comes from Pauline theology and essentially means "through Christ" or "by means of Christ," but also describes the spiritual relationship and mystical union of the believer with the Savior.
An examination of the wealth of passages in scripture that encourage one to "come unto Christ" reveals a unified message that the believer, in return, partakes of some gift; the goodness of God, salvation, redemption, rest, living bread/water, resurrection, etc. It's not that the Savior has merely shown us the way or given us an example as the Master Teacher. There is more. He has something transforming to give to all who will come unto him. It follows then, that the perfection and sanctification that is "in Christ" is given by the grace of God to believers, that they may "become holy, without spot."
The phrase "be perfected in him" (Moro 10:32) recalls the charge in the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Christ to the Nephites, "that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne 12:48).
The phrase "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" seems to imply the "after all we can do" (2 Ne 25:23) aspect of salvation by grace, but to focus on a sinless existence as the formula for perfection misses the more transcending truth wherein we are made new creatures through the reception of the Spirit by coming unto Christ in the covenant of the Father.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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. →

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 10:3-5: Why directed to Lamanites? "Moroni's Promise" in verses 3-5 was originally given by Moroni to the Lamanites (see verse 1). Latter-day prophets and apostles have since extended this promise to all who read the Book of Mormon (see external links). Why did Moroni specifically direct this promise to the Lamanites?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Ponder What? What is the "it" that Moroni is exhorting his brethren (and everyone) to ponder?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking? Moroni's promise involves us reading and praying and then waiting for a manifestation of an answer. Looking at it this way, gaining a testimony could be considered sign seeking. How is seeking a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon different from seeking a sign?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Receive these things? What does it mean to receive these things? What are these things? The plates? The Book of Mormon as we have it today? Does receiving it necessarily involve following the exhortation given in verse 3? In other words, what must be done, if anything, prior to asking God if "these things are not true" for the promise to take effect (apart from the three conditions listed in the promise itself, although they deserve special attention as well)?
  • * Moro 10:3-5: Not true? Why not true? Following the letter of the promise, few would qualify as actually having tried it out, I imagine, most people ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Is the "not" not significant?
  • * Moro 10:26. What does it mean to "do these things away"?
  • Moro 10:31. It says for Jerusalem to "put on thy beautiful garments". What is meant by beautiful garments? Is it to be taken in the literal sense or is there a figurative meaning?
  • Moro 10:33. What does it mean to be perfect in Christ? What do we need to do to be perfect in Christ?

Resources[edit]

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 10: A close reading. Faulconer, James E. "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni’s Final Exhortations in Moroni 10." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 4-19. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article is a close reading of Moroni's eight exhortations in chapter 10. The article also demonstrates one way to study scriptures and perhaps to think about them afresh.
  • Moro 10:6: Good, just, and true. See here for a discussion of the relationship between the good, the just and the true.

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 are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni

Moro 10:1-7

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 10
Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 1o to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 10 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 10 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. →

Moro 10[edit]

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)

Moro 10:1-7a[edit]

  • Moro 10:1: I write unto my brethren. Interestingly, Mormon's last words (cf. Morm 7:1) also seem to be directed toward the future Lamanites ("the remnant of this people" in Mormon's words).
  • Moro 10:3-5: Promise extended to everyone. Moroni's promise, originally given to the Lamanites, is frequently extended by today's prophets and apostles to all. See for example Elder Eyring's talk in General Conference May 2004 "In the Strength of the Lord."
  • Moro 10:3-5: It. Moroni could be referring to either "these things" (the Book of Mormon), why it is "wisdom in God" that we are reading "these things" (the Book of Mormon), or the merciful dealings of God with men from Adam to the time of our reading. Any or all of the three provide an opportunity to "see with [our] eyes, and hear with [our] ears, and understand with [our] heart[s]." (Isa 6:10, Matt 13:15, Acts 28:27, 2 Ne 16:10)
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking. In response to the question on sign-seeking in relation to Moroni's promise, see commentary by BenRasmussen, including quotes from Elder Oaks and George Q. Cannon.

Moro 10:7b-19[edit]

Moro 10:20-23[edit]

Moro 10:24-26[edit]

Moro 10:27-34[edit]

  • Moro 10:30-33. Moroni's final words and the closing instruction of the Book of Mormon expound a message that constitutes the very essence of the gospel; perfection and sanctification by the grace of God through Christ.
The introduction uses phrases from Isaiah 52:1-2, 11-12 and 54:2, 4, where, in the poetic language of Isaiah, the themes of deliverance from bondage and redemption were directed toward Israel as a nation. There the message, on the surface, was about the Babylonian captivity and national liberation. Here Moroni uses the passages to call the reader into the spiritual liberation and redemption offered to those who "come unto Christ." Here, to rise from the dust and put on the beautiful garments, is a call to come unto Christ and be delivered from bondage to sin and "be no more confounded." To "strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders" uses nomadic imagery of the forsaken wife and points to the reception of the eternal covenant blessings of Abraham.
The repeated phrase "in Christ" comes from Pauline theology and essentially means "through Christ" or "by means of Christ," but also describes the spiritual relationship and mystical union of the believer with the Savior.
An examination of the wealth of passages in scripture that encourage one to "come unto Christ" reveals a unified message that the believer, in return, partakes of some gift; the goodness of God, salvation, redemption, rest, living bread/water, resurrection, etc. It's not that the Savior has merely shown us the way or given us an example as the Master Teacher. There is more. He has something transforming to give to all who will come unto him. It follows then, that the perfection and sanctification that is "in Christ" is given by the grace of God to believers, that they may "become holy, without spot."
The phrase "be perfected in him" (Moro 10:32) recalls the charge in the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Christ to the Nephites, "that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne 12:48).
The phrase "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" seems to imply the "after all we can do" (2 Ne 25:23) aspect of salvation by grace, but to focus on a sinless existence as the formula for perfection misses the more transcending truth wherein we are made new creatures through the reception of the Spirit by coming unto Christ in the covenant of the Father.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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. →

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 10:3-5: Why directed to Lamanites? "Moroni's Promise" in verses 3-5 was originally given by Moroni to the Lamanites (see verse 1). Latter-day prophets and apostles have since extended this promise to all who read the Book of Mormon (see external links). Why did Moroni specifically direct this promise to the Lamanites?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Ponder What? What is the "it" that Moroni is exhorting his brethren (and everyone) to ponder?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking? Moroni's promise involves us reading and praying and then waiting for a manifestation of an answer. Looking at it this way, gaining a testimony could be considered sign seeking. How is seeking a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon different from seeking a sign?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Receive these things? What does it mean to receive these things? What are these things? The plates? The Book of Mormon as we have it today? Does receiving it necessarily involve following the exhortation given in verse 3? In other words, what must be done, if anything, prior to asking God if "these things are not true" for the promise to take effect (apart from the three conditions listed in the promise itself, although they deserve special attention as well)?
  • * Moro 10:3-5: Not true? Why not true? Following the letter of the promise, few would qualify as actually having tried it out, I imagine, most people ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Is the "not" not significant?
  • * Moro 10:26. What does it mean to "do these things away"?
  • Moro 10:31. It says for Jerusalem to "put on thy beautiful garments". What is meant by beautiful garments? Is it to be taken in the literal sense or is there a figurative meaning?
  • Moro 10:33. What does it mean to be perfect in Christ? What do we need to do to be perfect in Christ?

Resources[edit]

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 10: A close reading. Faulconer, James E. "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni’s Final Exhortations in Moroni 10." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 4-19. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article is a close reading of Moroni's eight exhortations in chapter 10. The article also demonstrates one way to study scriptures and perhaps to think about them afresh.
  • Moro 10:6: Good, just, and true. See here for a discussion of the relationship between the good, the just and the true.

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 are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni

Moro 10:8-19

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 10
Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 1o to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 10 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 10 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. →

Moro 10[edit]

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)

Moro 10:1-7a[edit]

  • Moro 10:1: I write unto my brethren. Interestingly, Mormon's last words (cf. Morm 7:1) also seem to be directed toward the future Lamanites ("the remnant of this people" in Mormon's words).
  • Moro 10:3-5: Promise extended to everyone. Moroni's promise, originally given to the Lamanites, is frequently extended by today's prophets and apostles to all. See for example Elder Eyring's talk in General Conference May 2004 "In the Strength of the Lord."
  • Moro 10:3-5: It. Moroni could be referring to either "these things" (the Book of Mormon), why it is "wisdom in God" that we are reading "these things" (the Book of Mormon), or the merciful dealings of God with men from Adam to the time of our reading. Any or all of the three provide an opportunity to "see with [our] eyes, and hear with [our] ears, and understand with [our] heart[s]." (Isa 6:10, Matt 13:15, Acts 28:27, 2 Ne 16:10)
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking. In response to the question on sign-seeking in relation to Moroni's promise, see commentary by BenRasmussen, including quotes from Elder Oaks and George Q. Cannon.

Moro 10:7b-19[edit]

Moro 10:20-23[edit]

Moro 10:24-26[edit]

Moro 10:27-34[edit]

  • Moro 10:30-33. Moroni's final words and the closing instruction of the Book of Mormon expound a message that constitutes the very essence of the gospel; perfection and sanctification by the grace of God through Christ.
The introduction uses phrases from Isaiah 52:1-2, 11-12 and 54:2, 4, where, in the poetic language of Isaiah, the themes of deliverance from bondage and redemption were directed toward Israel as a nation. There the message, on the surface, was about the Babylonian captivity and national liberation. Here Moroni uses the passages to call the reader into the spiritual liberation and redemption offered to those who "come unto Christ." Here, to rise from the dust and put on the beautiful garments, is a call to come unto Christ and be delivered from bondage to sin and "be no more confounded." To "strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders" uses nomadic imagery of the forsaken wife and points to the reception of the eternal covenant blessings of Abraham.
The repeated phrase "in Christ" comes from Pauline theology and essentially means "through Christ" or "by means of Christ," but also describes the spiritual relationship and mystical union of the believer with the Savior.
An examination of the wealth of passages in scripture that encourage one to "come unto Christ" reveals a unified message that the believer, in return, partakes of some gift; the goodness of God, salvation, redemption, rest, living bread/water, resurrection, etc. It's not that the Savior has merely shown us the way or given us an example as the Master Teacher. There is more. He has something transforming to give to all who will come unto him. It follows then, that the perfection and sanctification that is "in Christ" is given by the grace of God to believers, that they may "become holy, without spot."
The phrase "be perfected in him" (Moro 10:32) recalls the charge in the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Christ to the Nephites, "that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne 12:48).
The phrase "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" seems to imply the "after all we can do" (2 Ne 25:23) aspect of salvation by grace, but to focus on a sinless existence as the formula for perfection misses the more transcending truth wherein we are made new creatures through the reception of the Spirit by coming unto Christ in the covenant of the Father.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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. →

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 10:3-5: Why directed to Lamanites? "Moroni's Promise" in verses 3-5 was originally given by Moroni to the Lamanites (see verse 1). Latter-day prophets and apostles have since extended this promise to all who read the Book of Mormon (see external links). Why did Moroni specifically direct this promise to the Lamanites?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Ponder What? What is the "it" that Moroni is exhorting his brethren (and everyone) to ponder?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking? Moroni's promise involves us reading and praying and then waiting for a manifestation of an answer. Looking at it this way, gaining a testimony could be considered sign seeking. How is seeking a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon different from seeking a sign?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Receive these things? What does it mean to receive these things? What are these things? The plates? The Book of Mormon as we have it today? Does receiving it necessarily involve following the exhortation given in verse 3? In other words, what must be done, if anything, prior to asking God if "these things are not true" for the promise to take effect (apart from the three conditions listed in the promise itself, although they deserve special attention as well)?
  • * Moro 10:3-5: Not true? Why not true? Following the letter of the promise, few would qualify as actually having tried it out, I imagine, most people ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Is the "not" not significant?
  • * Moro 10:26. What does it mean to "do these things away"?
  • Moro 10:31. It says for Jerusalem to "put on thy beautiful garments". What is meant by beautiful garments? Is it to be taken in the literal sense or is there a figurative meaning?
  • Moro 10:33. What does it mean to be perfect in Christ? What do we need to do to be perfect in Christ?

Resources[edit]

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 10: A close reading. Faulconer, James E. "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni’s Final Exhortations in Moroni 10." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 4-19. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article is a close reading of Moroni's eight exhortations in chapter 10. The article also demonstrates one way to study scriptures and perhaps to think about them afresh.
  • Moro 10:6: Good, just, and true. See here for a discussion of the relationship between the good, the just and the true.

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 are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni

Moro 10:20-23

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 10
Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 1o to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 10 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 10 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. →

Moro 10[edit]

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)

Moro 10:1-7a[edit]

  • Moro 10:1: I write unto my brethren. Interestingly, Mormon's last words (cf. Morm 7:1) also seem to be directed toward the future Lamanites ("the remnant of this people" in Mormon's words).
  • Moro 10:3-5: Promise extended to everyone. Moroni's promise, originally given to the Lamanites, is frequently extended by today's prophets and apostles to all. See for example Elder Eyring's talk in General Conference May 2004 "In the Strength of the Lord."
  • Moro 10:3-5: It. Moroni could be referring to either "these things" (the Book of Mormon), why it is "wisdom in God" that we are reading "these things" (the Book of Mormon), or the merciful dealings of God with men from Adam to the time of our reading. Any or all of the three provide an opportunity to "see with [our] eyes, and hear with [our] ears, and understand with [our] heart[s]." (Isa 6:10, Matt 13:15, Acts 28:27, 2 Ne 16:10)
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking. In response to the question on sign-seeking in relation to Moroni's promise, see commentary by BenRasmussen, including quotes from Elder Oaks and George Q. Cannon.

Moro 10:7b-19[edit]

Moro 10:20-23[edit]

Moro 10:24-26[edit]

Moro 10:27-34[edit]

  • Moro 10:30-33. Moroni's final words and the closing instruction of the Book of Mormon expound a message that constitutes the very essence of the gospel; perfection and sanctification by the grace of God through Christ.
The introduction uses phrases from Isaiah 52:1-2, 11-12 and 54:2, 4, where, in the poetic language of Isaiah, the themes of deliverance from bondage and redemption were directed toward Israel as a nation. There the message, on the surface, was about the Babylonian captivity and national liberation. Here Moroni uses the passages to call the reader into the spiritual liberation and redemption offered to those who "come unto Christ." Here, to rise from the dust and put on the beautiful garments, is a call to come unto Christ and be delivered from bondage to sin and "be no more confounded." To "strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders" uses nomadic imagery of the forsaken wife and points to the reception of the eternal covenant blessings of Abraham.
The repeated phrase "in Christ" comes from Pauline theology and essentially means "through Christ" or "by means of Christ," but also describes the spiritual relationship and mystical union of the believer with the Savior.
An examination of the wealth of passages in scripture that encourage one to "come unto Christ" reveals a unified message that the believer, in return, partakes of some gift; the goodness of God, salvation, redemption, rest, living bread/water, resurrection, etc. It's not that the Savior has merely shown us the way or given us an example as the Master Teacher. There is more. He has something transforming to give to all who will come unto him. It follows then, that the perfection and sanctification that is "in Christ" is given by the grace of God to believers, that they may "become holy, without spot."
The phrase "be perfected in him" (Moro 10:32) recalls the charge in the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Christ to the Nephites, "that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne 12:48).
The phrase "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" seems to imply the "after all we can do" (2 Ne 25:23) aspect of salvation by grace, but to focus on a sinless existence as the formula for perfection misses the more transcending truth wherein we are made new creatures through the reception of the Spirit by coming unto Christ in the covenant of the Father.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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. →

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 10:3-5: Why directed to Lamanites? "Moroni's Promise" in verses 3-5 was originally given by Moroni to the Lamanites (see verse 1). Latter-day prophets and apostles have since extended this promise to all who read the Book of Mormon (see external links). Why did Moroni specifically direct this promise to the Lamanites?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Ponder What? What is the "it" that Moroni is exhorting his brethren (and everyone) to ponder?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking? Moroni's promise involves us reading and praying and then waiting for a manifestation of an answer. Looking at it this way, gaining a testimony could be considered sign seeking. How is seeking a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon different from seeking a sign?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Receive these things? What does it mean to receive these things? What are these things? The plates? The Book of Mormon as we have it today? Does receiving it necessarily involve following the exhortation given in verse 3? In other words, what must be done, if anything, prior to asking God if "these things are not true" for the promise to take effect (apart from the three conditions listed in the promise itself, although they deserve special attention as well)?
  • * Moro 10:3-5: Not true? Why not true? Following the letter of the promise, few would qualify as actually having tried it out, I imagine, most people ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Is the "not" not significant?
  • * Moro 10:26. What does it mean to "do these things away"?
  • Moro 10:31. It says for Jerusalem to "put on thy beautiful garments". What is meant by beautiful garments? Is it to be taken in the literal sense or is there a figurative meaning?
  • Moro 10:33. What does it mean to be perfect in Christ? What do we need to do to be perfect in Christ?

Resources[edit]

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 10: A close reading. Faulconer, James E. "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni’s Final Exhortations in Moroni 10." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 4-19. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article is a close reading of Moroni's eight exhortations in chapter 10. The article also demonstrates one way to study scriptures and perhaps to think about them afresh.
  • Moro 10:6: Good, just, and true. See here for a discussion of the relationship between the good, the just and the true.

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 are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni

Moro 10:24-26

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 10
Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 1o to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 10 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 10 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. →

Moro 10[edit]

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)

Moro 10:1-7a[edit]

  • Moro 10:1: I write unto my brethren. Interestingly, Mormon's last words (cf. Morm 7:1) also seem to be directed toward the future Lamanites ("the remnant of this people" in Mormon's words).
  • Moro 10:3-5: Promise extended to everyone. Moroni's promise, originally given to the Lamanites, is frequently extended by today's prophets and apostles to all. See for example Elder Eyring's talk in General Conference May 2004 "In the Strength of the Lord."
  • Moro 10:3-5: It. Moroni could be referring to either "these things" (the Book of Mormon), why it is "wisdom in God" that we are reading "these things" (the Book of Mormon), or the merciful dealings of God with men from Adam to the time of our reading. Any or all of the three provide an opportunity to "see with [our] eyes, and hear with [our] ears, and understand with [our] heart[s]." (Isa 6:10, Matt 13:15, Acts 28:27, 2 Ne 16:10)
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking. In response to the question on sign-seeking in relation to Moroni's promise, see commentary by BenRasmussen, including quotes from Elder Oaks and George Q. Cannon.

Moro 10:7b-19[edit]

Moro 10:20-23[edit]

Moro 10:24-26[edit]

Moro 10:27-34[edit]

  • Moro 10:30-33. Moroni's final words and the closing instruction of the Book of Mormon expound a message that constitutes the very essence of the gospel; perfection and sanctification by the grace of God through Christ.
The introduction uses phrases from Isaiah 52:1-2, 11-12 and 54:2, 4, where, in the poetic language of Isaiah, the themes of deliverance from bondage and redemption were directed toward Israel as a nation. There the message, on the surface, was about the Babylonian captivity and national liberation. Here Moroni uses the passages to call the reader into the spiritual liberation and redemption offered to those who "come unto Christ." Here, to rise from the dust and put on the beautiful garments, is a call to come unto Christ and be delivered from bondage to sin and "be no more confounded." To "strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders" uses nomadic imagery of the forsaken wife and points to the reception of the eternal covenant blessings of Abraham.
The repeated phrase "in Christ" comes from Pauline theology and essentially means "through Christ" or "by means of Christ," but also describes the spiritual relationship and mystical union of the believer with the Savior.
An examination of the wealth of passages in scripture that encourage one to "come unto Christ" reveals a unified message that the believer, in return, partakes of some gift; the goodness of God, salvation, redemption, rest, living bread/water, resurrection, etc. It's not that the Savior has merely shown us the way or given us an example as the Master Teacher. There is more. He has something transforming to give to all who will come unto him. It follows then, that the perfection and sanctification that is "in Christ" is given by the grace of God to believers, that they may "become holy, without spot."
The phrase "be perfected in him" (Moro 10:32) recalls the charge in the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Christ to the Nephites, "that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne 12:48).
The phrase "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" seems to imply the "after all we can do" (2 Ne 25:23) aspect of salvation by grace, but to focus on a sinless existence as the formula for perfection misses the more transcending truth wherein we are made new creatures through the reception of the Spirit by coming unto Christ in the covenant of the Father.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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. →

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 10:3-5: Why directed to Lamanites? "Moroni's Promise" in verses 3-5 was originally given by Moroni to the Lamanites (see verse 1). Latter-day prophets and apostles have since extended this promise to all who read the Book of Mormon (see external links). Why did Moroni specifically direct this promise to the Lamanites?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Ponder What? What is the "it" that Moroni is exhorting his brethren (and everyone) to ponder?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking? Moroni's promise involves us reading and praying and then waiting for a manifestation of an answer. Looking at it this way, gaining a testimony could be considered sign seeking. How is seeking a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon different from seeking a sign?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Receive these things? What does it mean to receive these things? What are these things? The plates? The Book of Mormon as we have it today? Does receiving it necessarily involve following the exhortation given in verse 3? In other words, what must be done, if anything, prior to asking God if "these things are not true" for the promise to take effect (apart from the three conditions listed in the promise itself, although they deserve special attention as well)?
  • * Moro 10:3-5: Not true? Why not true? Following the letter of the promise, few would qualify as actually having tried it out, I imagine, most people ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Is the "not" not significant?
  • * Moro 10:26. What does it mean to "do these things away"?
  • Moro 10:31. It says for Jerusalem to "put on thy beautiful garments". What is meant by beautiful garments? Is it to be taken in the literal sense or is there a figurative meaning?
  • Moro 10:33. What does it mean to be perfect in Christ? What do we need to do to be perfect in Christ?

Resources[edit]

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 10: A close reading. Faulconer, James E. "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni’s Final Exhortations in Moroni 10." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 4-19. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article is a close reading of Moroni's eight exhortations in chapter 10. The article also demonstrates one way to study scriptures and perhaps to think about them afresh.
  • Moro 10:6: Good, just, and true. See here for a discussion of the relationship between the good, the just and the true.

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 are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni

Moro 10:27-34

Home > The Book of Mormon > Moroni > Chapter 10
Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moroni. The relationship of Chapter 1o to the rest of Moroni is addressed at Moroni.

Story. Chapter 10 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 10 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. →

Moro 10[edit]

a. exhortation to obtain testimony of the record (1-7a)
• exhortation to remember God's mercifulness (3)
• exhortation to ask God for a witness through the Holy Ghost (4)
• teaching that the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth (5-7a)
b. exhortation to not deny gifts of the Spirit and remember that they are always available (7b-19)
• exhortation to not deny power or gifts of God that are always present in all ages (7b-8a)
• gifts are various and come from God to profit men (8b)
• list of gifts of the Spirit of God (9-16)
• gifts are several and come from Christ (17-18)
• exhortation to remember that these gifts are only done away in any age by unbelief (19)
c. faith, hope and charity are all necessary to be saved (20-23)
• faith, hope and charity are all required (20-21)
• hope is lost through unrighteousness (22)
• faith can work miracles (23)
b. teaching that gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
• gifts are only done away by iniquity (24-26)
a. Moroni's testimony of the record and exhortation to righteousness (27-34)
• exhortation to remember that you will face these words at the judgment bar of God (27-29)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and not touch uncleanness to fulfill the covenant with Israel (30-31)
• exhortation to come unto Christ and deny selves ungodliness to obtain grace and fulfill the covenant of remission of individual sins (32-33)
• farewell until we meet at the judgment bar of God (34)

Moro 10:1-7a[edit]

  • Moro 10:1: I write unto my brethren. Interestingly, Mormon's last words (cf. Morm 7:1) also seem to be directed toward the future Lamanites ("the remnant of this people" in Mormon's words).
  • Moro 10:3-5: Promise extended to everyone. Moroni's promise, originally given to the Lamanites, is frequently extended by today's prophets and apostles to all. See for example Elder Eyring's talk in General Conference May 2004 "In the Strength of the Lord."
  • Moro 10:3-5: It. Moroni could be referring to either "these things" (the Book of Mormon), why it is "wisdom in God" that we are reading "these things" (the Book of Mormon), or the merciful dealings of God with men from Adam to the time of our reading. Any or all of the three provide an opportunity to "see with [our] eyes, and hear with [our] ears, and understand with [our] heart[s]." (Isa 6:10, Matt 13:15, Acts 28:27, 2 Ne 16:10)
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking. In response to the question on sign-seeking in relation to Moroni's promise, see commentary by BenRasmussen, including quotes from Elder Oaks and George Q. Cannon.

Moro 10:7b-19[edit]

Moro 10:20-23[edit]

Moro 10:24-26[edit]

Moro 10:27-34[edit]

  • Moro 10:30-33. Moroni's final words and the closing instruction of the Book of Mormon expound a message that constitutes the very essence of the gospel; perfection and sanctification by the grace of God through Christ.
The introduction uses phrases from Isaiah 52:1-2, 11-12 and 54:2, 4, where, in the poetic language of Isaiah, the themes of deliverance from bondage and redemption were directed toward Israel as a nation. There the message, on the surface, was about the Babylonian captivity and national liberation. Here Moroni uses the passages to call the reader into the spiritual liberation and redemption offered to those who "come unto Christ." Here, to rise from the dust and put on the beautiful garments, is a call to come unto Christ and be delivered from bondage to sin and "be no more confounded." To "strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders" uses nomadic imagery of the forsaken wife and points to the reception of the eternal covenant blessings of Abraham.
The repeated phrase "in Christ" comes from Pauline theology and essentially means "through Christ" or "by means of Christ," but also describes the spiritual relationship and mystical union of the believer with the Savior.
An examination of the wealth of passages in scripture that encourage one to "come unto Christ" reveals a unified message that the believer, in return, partakes of some gift; the goodness of God, salvation, redemption, rest, living bread/water, resurrection, etc. It's not that the Savior has merely shown us the way or given us an example as the Master Teacher. There is more. He has something transforming to give to all who will come unto him. It follows then, that the perfection and sanctification that is "in Christ" is given by the grace of God to believers, that they may "become holy, without spot."
The phrase "be perfected in him" (Moro 10:32) recalls the charge in the Sermon on the Mount, delivered by Christ to the Nephites, "that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne 12:48).
The phrase "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" seems to imply the "after all we can do" (2 Ne 25:23) aspect of salvation by grace, but to focus on a sinless existence as the formula for perfection misses the more transcending truth wherein we are made new creatures through the reception of the Spirit by coming unto Christ in the covenant of the Father.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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. →

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 10:3-5: Why directed to Lamanites? "Moroni's Promise" in verses 3-5 was originally given by Moroni to the Lamanites (see verse 1). Latter-day prophets and apostles have since extended this promise to all who read the Book of Mormon (see external links). Why did Moroni specifically direct this promise to the Lamanites?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Ponder What? What is the "it" that Moroni is exhorting his brethren (and everyone) to ponder?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Sign-seeking? Moroni's promise involves us reading and praying and then waiting for a manifestation of an answer. Looking at it this way, gaining a testimony could be considered sign seeking. How is seeking a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon different from seeking a sign?
  • Moro 10:3-5: Receive these things? What does it mean to receive these things? What are these things? The plates? The Book of Mormon as we have it today? Does receiving it necessarily involve following the exhortation given in verse 3? In other words, what must be done, if anything, prior to asking God if "these things are not true" for the promise to take effect (apart from the three conditions listed in the promise itself, although they deserve special attention as well)?
  • * Moro 10:3-5: Not true? Why not true? Following the letter of the promise, few would qualify as actually having tried it out, I imagine, most people ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Is the "not" not significant?
  • * Moro 10:26. What does it mean to "do these things away"?
  • Moro 10:31. It says for Jerusalem to "put on thy beautiful garments". What is meant by beautiful garments? Is it to be taken in the literal sense or is there a figurative meaning?
  • Moro 10:33. What does it mean to be perfect in Christ? What do we need to do to be perfect in Christ?

Resources[edit]

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 10: A close reading. Faulconer, James E. "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni’s Final Exhortations in Moroni 10." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 22/1 (2013): p. 4-19. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article is a close reading of Moroni's eight exhortations in chapter 10. The article also demonstrates one way to study scriptures and perhaps to think about them afresh.
  • Moro 10:6: Good, just, and true. See here for a discussion of the relationship between the good, the just and the true.

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 are preferable to footnotes.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      This is the last page for Moroni

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