Moroni 6

Moroni 6:1 elders, priests, and teachers were baptized

By current standards, an individual must be baptized before receiving the priesthood. Therefore, the statement that the elders, priests, and teachers were baptized is difficult to explain. Were these priesthood holders rebaptized? Was the priesthood given prior to baptism? Or does Moroni mean to say that the elders, priests, and teachers had been previously baptized? Unfortunately, none of these explanations is satisfactory.

Moroni 6:1 The Qualifications for Baptism

Moroni 6:1-3

DC 20:37

 

1. humble themselves

 

2. desire to be baptized

Came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit

3. come forth with a broken heart and contrite spirit

Witnessed unto the church that they truly repented

4. Witness before the church that they have truly repented

Took upon them the name of Christ

5. willing to take upon them the name of Christ

Determination to serve God to the end

6.  determination to serve God to the end

Brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it

7.  manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins

Moroni 6:1 they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it

The qualifications for baptism require that the individual brings forth fruit meet for repentance. This amounts to something more than answering "yes" to the missionary's question, "Will you be baptized?" The Doctrine and Covenants version states that the candidate must truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of sins (DC 20:37). This fruit can come in many shapes and sizes. For one it may be to throw away the case of cigarettes, for another it may be to faithfully attend church before baptism, for another it may be a manifestation of charitable service, for another it may be a complete lifestyle transformation, but the individual has to have done something to show that they are serious and penitent. Otherwise, they are not worthy of baptism.

Bruce R. McConkie

"...no price is too great to pay for the privilege of receiving this holy ordinance. We must prepare ourselves for baptism; we must be worthy to make a covenant with the Holy One; we must have a fixed and unalterable determination to conform to his will. Otherwise baptism profiteth nothing. No ordinance is binding on earth and in heaven unless it is ratified and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and this Spirit is given only to those who are just and true. Just as those who partake unworthily of the sacrament eat and drink damnation to their souls, so those who are baptized unworthily receive cursings instead of blessings." (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 248)

Moroni 6:3 they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end

Harold B. Lee

"Others of the prophets asked this soul-searching question of those who were candidates for baptism: 'Are you willing to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that you might be in, even until death?' (See Mosiah 18:9.) To the first one of those who was baptized, the prophet who officiated said, as he was directed under inspiration,

   'Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.' (Mosiah 18:13.)" (Stand Ye in Holy Places, p. 200)

Moroni 6:4 wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost

"That which is wrought upon is changed in some basic or essential way, usually by means of hand tools through twisting, beating, or embellishing. In this sense used here it is symbolic and has reference to what occurs when the Spirit quickens and changes the convert to a new creature. But an important insight is that it is through the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost that one's sins are actually purged, or removed. It is the atoning sacrifice of Christ that makes the remission of our sins possible, but the actual cleansing influence is the baptism of fire, or of the Holy Ghost." (Book of Mormon Student Manual, 1981, p. 509)

Moroni 6:4 they were numbered...and nourished by the good word of God

Gordon B. Hinckley

"We are becoming a great global society. But our interest and concern must always be with the individual. Every member of this church is an individual...Our great responsibility is to see that each is 'remembered and nourished by the good word of God' (Moro. 6:4), that each has opportunity for growth and expression and training in the work and ways of the Lord, that none lacks the necessities of life, that the needs of the poor are met, that each member shall have encouragement, training, and opportunity to move forward on the road of immortality and eternal life. This, I submit, is the inspired genius of this the Lord's work." (Ensign, May 1995, p. 52 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 513-4)

Gordon B. Hinckley

"It is not an easy thing to become a member of this Church. In most cases it involves setting aside old habits, leaving old friends and associations, and stepping into a new society which is different and somewhat demanding. With the ever-increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with 'the good word of God' (Moro. 6:4). It is our duty and opportunity to provide these things...The Savior of all mankind left the ninety and nine to fine the one lost. That one who was lost need not have become lost. But if he is out there somewhere in the shadows, and if it means leaving the ninety and nine, we must do so to find him....In my view nothing is of greater importance." (Ensign, May 1997, pp. 47-48 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 514)

Ezra Taft Benson

"Keeping faithful track of each member you are called to home teach is essential. The Book of Mormon beautifully teaches this principle: (quotes Moroni 6:4).

"Brethren, may we remember all of our individuals and families and 'number' them each month and nourish them by the good word of God to keep them in the right way. We call upon quorum leaders to conduct spiritual monthly home teaching interviews, receive a report on the home teachers' activities, evaluate current needs, make assignments for the coming month, and teach, strengthen, and inspire the home teachers in their sacred callings. Such interviews with home teachers provide a setting for leaders to measure progress and better serve the individuals and members they have been called to serve. (Conference Report, May 1987 Ensign, p. 51)"

Moroni 6:4 Christ...the author and the finisher of their faith

Bruce R. McConkie

"Christ is the Author of Salvation. This means that he made salvation available to all men in that he worked out the infinite and eternal atonement. Paul's statement that Christ is 'the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him' (Heb. 5:9), as the marginal reading shows, means that he is the 'cause' thereof; that is, salvation is possible because of his atoning sacrifice; without this sacrifice there would be no salvation." (Mormon Doctrine, p. 66)

Spencer J. Condie

"[Christ] is 'the author and finisher of our faith' (Heb. 12:2). He got the job done! In humility He could honestly and sincerely declare to His Father: 'I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do' (John 17:4)." (In Perfect Balance, p. 264)

Charles A. Callis

"How wonderful it is to have a finisher of our faith. There are many beginners in this world, but there are few finishers." (Conference Report, Apr. 1945, p. 46)

Moroni 6:5 the church did meet together oft

Bruce R. McConkie

"As the body needs bread, so also must the soul be fed. Man does not live by bread alone; unless the soul is fed, man dies spiritually. There must be frequent gospel banquets; the soul of man must be offered every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. And we must pray for those who come to our meetings desiring to feast upon the good word of God, but whose souls as yet can only digest the milk and not the meat of the word." (The Mortal Messiah, 4:325)

Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Ours is the commandment and the blessing to 'meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of [our] souls.' In general conferences and in other Church meetings around the world, we come together seeking companionship-the good company of brothers and sisters in the gospel and the comfort of sweet communion with the Spirit of God. In our worship services, the presence of that Spirit fills our hearts with love for God and for our fellow Saints." (Conference Report, Nov. 1997 Ensign, "Valued Companions")

Moroni 6:9 the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate...

Typically, great care is taken to make sure that the Sacrament meeting program is well prepared in advance. This includes thoughtful selection of speakers, music, and subject matter. However, sometimes things don't go as planned. The following scenario is not uncommon:  at the last minute, the main speaker calls to explain that he has had an emergency and won't be able to make it. The typical response to such a planning emergency is to panic, but no anxiety is necessary. Rather, faith in the Lord and reliance on the Spirit can more than compensate. In fact, it is at times like these when our sacrament meetings most closely approximate what was done among the Nephites.

At this point, the individual conducting the meeting must follow the Spirit in deciding what to do. Often, he will often choose members of the congregation to come forth and bear their testimonies. Musical numbers, speakers, and testimonies have to be arranged at the last minute according to the whisperings of the Spirit. General Authorities, not uncommonly, will intentionally follow this pattern when they preside over various conferences. Whether a ward meeting, a stake meeting, or a missionary zone conference, meetings thus conducted are special. They can be the most spiritual meetings because they invite the Spirit and are conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost.

David B. Haight

"We have begun a great effort to 'invite all to come unto Christ.' (D&C 20:59.) As the members meet-the active and the less active, the poor in spirit, the singles and the married, the handicapped, and those who have been disciplined-they ought to feel the Spirit, love, and forgiveness. For all of us, this ought to be a time of prayerful meditation and thanksgiving.

"The singular tragedy of the Nephite decline as recorded by Mormon in the Book of Mormon was the loss of the Holy Ghost and the spiritual gifts. Wisdom and inspiration dictated that Moroni include in his closing record the instructions by his father, Mormon, on the ordinations, the sacrament, and practices of the Church. Noteworthy is this testimony about their meetings:

'Their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.' (Moro. 6:9.)

"That is the spirit that can and should characterize our worship and our sacrament meetings. A sister remarked to me after one such spiritual meeting, 'I don't recall all that was said-but I remember how we felt as we sang the closing hymn and bowed our heads in prayer.' May God bless us all to remember the Savior and His atoning sacrifice and to unite in making our sacrament meetings a time of reverence, remembrance, and worship." (Ensign, Apr. 1988, "Remembering the Savior's Atonement")