Moroni 10:1 I write unto my berethren, the Lamanites
"It is surprising that someone would write a letter to those who have destroyed his people—to his enemies who want to kill him too—and amazing that the letter is one of counsel rather than complaint or demand for vengeance. Moroni's relation to his enemies is unusual, even for a prophet. We ought to wonder at his charity, but that charity is a model for what we should imitate in our own lives. It isn't easy to do that. Anyone who has been humiliated or seriously hurt by another knows how difficult is forgiveness, the love that imitates Christ's redeeming love. It may be that, except for Jesus Christ, we have no better model than Moroni. As we will see, Moroni takes that love to be the heart of the gospel." (James E. Faulconer, "Sealings and Mercies: Moroni's Final Exhortations in Moroni 10," Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture 22/1 (2013): 4–19.)
Moroni 10:2 I seal up these records
When Moroni seals up the records, he is not referring to the sealed portion of the plates, but that he is about to seal up the record in a stone box. The box...was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates. The final seal placed upon this glorious work was a large stone lid. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth (JS-Hist 1:51-52).
But Moroni was also sealing the record in the priesthood sense. What had been sealed on earth by priesthood power could not be unsealed except by the same power. This is the same priesthood seal that Nephi placed on his last words, declaring, what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey (2 Ne 33:15).
Moroni 10:3 remember how merciful the Lord hath been
Not everyone who has prayed about the Book of Mormon has received an answer. There are investigators who have prayed to know whether the Book of Mormon is true who adamantly declare that they did not feel a thing! They conclude that the book must not be true and that Moroni's promise is hollow.
Yet, we know that the Lord keeps his promises. Therefore, any investigator who has not received an answer has not kept his part of the deal. Typically, the first response is to remind them that they must ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, but these are not the only requirements. Anyone challenging an investigator to pray about the Book of Mormon should never read verse 4 without also reading verse 3. Often, when an investigator does not get the desired response, it is because some of the steps in verse 3 were omitted.
The overall pattern is to read-remember-ponder-pray in sincerity and faith. None of these steps may be left out. If the individual has not read the Book of Mormon, and more importantly, remembered the Lord's mercy throughout the ages, they have no promise. For many Christians, this will require that they ponder the Lord's great mercy as revealed in the Bible-they must remember and ponder what the Lord has already done. Without these elements, even a sincere prayer and an intense prayer may yield nothing. Again, the indispensable elements are:
- To read.
- To remember the Lord's mercy.
- To ponder.
- To ask with a sincere heart.
- To ask with real intent.
- To ask with faith in Christ.
No investigator in the history of the Restoration has ever completed all six of these steps without subsequently receiving a manifestation of the truth of the Book of Mormon.
Elder John H. Taylor
"It seems to me that this verse (Moro 10:3) is a preparation to the people who may read this holy book, that they shall have in their hearts a desire to know the truth, and to have brought to their remembrance the fact that God has been good to his children upon the earth; and that, irrespective of the many things that they have done which have been evil in his sight, God has been willing to forgive them, make himself manifest to them, and bear record of the truthfulness of his word. When we realize how good God has been to us, then desire and hope come into our hearts, and make us humble before God, and we rather feel that God will also be merciful unto us, his children, and bring testimony into our hearts. I dare say that whoever reads this holy book, and reads this first verse, will have a desire that God shall be merciful to, him, as he has been merciful unto his people before." (Conference Report, Apr. 1924, p. 109)
Bruce R. McConkie
"[Moroni] is not, be it noted, asking us to draw a curtain around the Book of Mormon as though it were the only book of scripture ever to flow from prophetic pens. All things must be kept in perspective. He is asking us to ponder what is in the biblical record and to put the writings of Mormon in their proper relationship to all else that has come from the Lord. All these things are to be pondered." (A New Witness For the Articles of Faith, p. 465)
Moroni 10:3 ponder it in your hearts
Marvin J. Ashton
"By pondering, we give the Spirit an opportunity to impress and direct. Pondering is a powerful link between the heart and the mind. As we read the scriptures, our hearts and minds are touched. If we use the gift to ponder, we can take these eternal truths and realize how we can incorporate them into our daily actions.
"Today, millions, at President Benson's encouragement, are reading the Book of Mormon, some for the first time, others as a regular habit. We must remind all that the fruits of this great book are the most beneficial when we ponder as we read."
"Pondering is a progressive mental pursuit. It is a great gift to those who have learned to use it." (Conference Report, Nov. 1987 Ensign)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Pondering, for most of us, is not something we do easily. It is much more than drifting or daydreaming, for it focuses and stirs us, not lulls us. We must set aside time, circumstances, and attitude in order to achieve it. In Alma's words, we must 'give place' (Alma 32:27). The length of time involved in pondering is not as important as the intensity given to it. Reflection cannot be achieved in the midst of distraction." (That Ye May Believe, p. 184)
Moroni 10:4 if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith
Dallin H. Oaks
"Moroni makes an explicit promise of a spiritual manifestation to one who seeks to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. But, it must be noted, this promise is only extended to the person who will 'ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ.' The manifestation that is given in response to this promise, therefore, is not a sign given to convert an unbeliever. It is a sign that follows individual faith and commitment." (The Lord's Way, p. 98)
Moroni 10:4 he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost
"The strength of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the power by which it is making such rapid growth, is the individual testimony of its members. They have put this promise to the test, and the Lord has done his part. Why should one be satisfied with anything less than an individual testimony, in light of the promises made by James and Moroni...
"The promised 'marvellous work and a wonder' is here among men. The message and the work may be accepted or rejected. The choice is yours. You may never again, in this life, judge such an important matter. Your decision will follow you with its consequences through time and throughout the eternities to come." (A Marvelous Work And A Wonder, p. 416)
Gary E. Stevenson
This is a story of a young girl, living in New York, who before age three lost her father when his boat sank on a large lake. She, her mother, older brother, and younger sister moved to a new city in another state to live with her aunt and uncle. Sometime after the family arrived, missionaries and members of a newly organized religion came to their town with the glorious news of the Restoration of the gospel. They told a remarkable story of an angel delivering an ancient record to a young man named Joseph Smith, a record he had translated by the power of God. Two of the visitors, Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, had actually seen the engraved metal pages of the ancient record with their own eyes, and Whitmer witnessed he had held the golden plates in his own hands. This record had been recently published, and Brother Whitmer brought the book with him. The name of the book, of course, was the Book of Mormon.
When 12-year-old Mary heard the missionaries speak about the book, she had a special feeling in her heart. Even though the Book of Mormon was thick with many pages, Mary yearned to read it. When Brother Whitmer departed, he gave one precious copy of the book to Brother Isaac Morley, who was a friend of Mary’s uncle and a local leader in the new church.
Mary later recorded: “I went to [Brother Morley’s] house … and asked to see the Book; [he] put it in my hand, [and] as I looked at it, I felt such a desire to read it, that I could not refrain from asking him to let me take it home and read it. … He said … he had hardly had time to read a chapter in it himself, and but few of the brethren had even seen it, but I plead so earnestly for it, he finally said, ‘child, if you will bring this book home before breakfast tomorrow morning, you may take it.’”
Mary ran home and was so captured by the book that she stayed up nearly all night reading it. The next morning, when she returned the book, Brother Morley said, “I guess you did not read much in it” and “I don’t believe you can tell me one word of it.” Mary stood up straight and repeated from memory the first verse of the Book of Mormon. She then told him the story of the prophet Nephi. Mary later wrote, “He gazed at me in surprise, and said, ‘child, take this book home and finish it, I can wait.’”
A short time later, Mary finished reading the book and was the first person in her town to read the entire book. She knew it was true and that it came from Heavenly Father. As she looked to the book, she looked to the Lord.
One month later a special visitor came to her house. Here is what Mary wrote about her memorable encounter that day: “When [Joseph Smith] saw me he looked at me so earnestly. … After a moment or two he … gave me a great blessing … and made me a present of the book, and said he would give Brother Morley another [copy]. … We all felt that he was a man of God, for he spoke with power, and as one having authority.”
This young girl, Mary Elizabeth Rollins, saw many other miracles in her life and always kept her testimony of the Book of Mormon.
There is a personal lesson for you in Mary’s story. Each of you young men, young women, and children can have the same feelings she had. When you read the Book of Mormon and pray with a desire to know it is true, you too can receive the same impression in your heart that Mary received. You may also find that as you stand and bear witness of the Book of Mormon, you will feel the same spirit of confirmation. The Holy Ghost will speak to your heart. You can also feel this same spirit of confirmation when you hear others share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon. Each of these spiritual witnesses can lead to the Book of Mormon becoming the keystone of your testimony. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/look-to-the-book-look-to-the-lord?lang=eng)
Milton R. Hunter
"This dynamic witness has come to me, as it has to thousands of other people who have followed Moroni's injunction. As a result of a gift from God through the power of the Holy Ghost, I know as positively as I know any other fact with which I am thoroughly acquainted that the Book of Mormon is true. It is a divine and sacred record of the history and religion of the ancient Americans. This knowledge is so thoroughly entrenched in my entire being that with all my heart, strength, and might I bear testimony to the divine authenticity of this holy book." (Conference Report, Oct. 1965, p. 83)
Bruce R. McConkie
"Now I am one who knows by the power of the Spirit that this book is true, and as a consequence I also know, both by reason and by revelation from the Spirit, of the truth and divinity of all the great spiritual verities of this dispensation. For instance:
"I know that the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith -- because the Book of Mormon is true.
"I know that the gospel has been restored and that God has established his Church again on earth -- because the Book of Mormon is true.
"I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that he communed with God entertained angels, received revelations, saw visions, and has gone on to eternal glory -- because the Book of Mormon is true.
"I know that the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly -- because the Book of Mormon is true.
"I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth, the one kingdom with legal administrators who can seal men up unto eternal life -- because the Book of Mormon is true.
"To my testimony of the Book of Mormon I add that of the Lord God himself, who said Joseph Smith 'has translated the book, . . . and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.' (D&C 17:6.)
"In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." (Conference Report, Apr. 1968, p. 21)
"Search the scriptures...and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation." (Teachings, p. 11-12 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 531)
Moroni 10:5 by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things
We can't help but think of the words of James on the subject of personal revelation, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5). This passage, which sent young Joseph into the grove to pray, changed his life forever, marked the beginning of his discipleship, and spawned the Restoration. Similarly, each of us can have a life-changing experience which will forever define our discipleship if we apply Moroni's promise to the Book of Mormon. Whatever "grove" we enter when we lack wisdom, we will also learn, in a less dramatic way, that the Lord giveth to all men liberally and that by the power of the Holy Ghost, [we] may know the truth of all things.
Anthony W. Ivins
"[Elder Ivins tells the story of returning home to find a wayward childhood friend] I found this man there, presiding as bishop of one of the wards! I found one of his sons the bishop of another ward. I found another son president of the Mutual Improvement Association; and one or two of the boys had been on missions. He had a splendid home there, presided over in dignity by his good wife.
"I looked at it all with wonder, and he smiled and said, 'I know what you are thinking about.'
"I said, 'Tell me how it all happened.'
"'Well,' he said, 'you know that I was going just the way my brothers went.'
"'Yes,' I said, 'that is what surprises me.'
"'My parents had always taught me a better way,' he said; 'they had urged me to read the scriptures, and finally I decided that I would read the Book of Mormon, and I did while I was freighting. I read it through, and when I came to certain words in the last chapter of Moroni, I was very deeply impressed with them.' These are the words to which he referred: (Moroni 10:2-4)
"He said, 'When I read those words, I thought I would put the Lord to the test, and I stopped my team, wrapped the lines around the brake, and got down from that high seat, on one of those old-fashioned California wagons that were common in early days, and I turned off from the road; and...went around behind some rocks where no one could see me, kneeled down there, and thought I would pray, and I couldn't say a word."
"Have any of you boys and girls ever tried to pray for the first time and found it difficult to say a word? There is always someone right there near you telling you you cannot pray, and it would not do any good if you did. That is one of the devices of the enemy of truth to prevent you from placing yourself in harmony with the Lord.
"'But,' he said, 'by making a great effort I managed to appeal to the Lord, told him that I wanted to know the truth, and I want to tell you that those fellows on the day of Pentecost never received a stronger testimony than I did; I felt that I was surrounded by consuming fire, and I got up on my feet knowing just as well that the Lord lived, that Christ was the Redeemer of the world, that the gospel had been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that the Book of Mormon is a divine record, as I knew that I was there; and I got on to my wagon, drove home, left the road and came up here, located on this quarter section of land, and you can see the rest." (Conference Report, Oct. 1919, p. 175-77)
Parley P. Pratt
"...I called at [Mr. Hamlin's] house, where, for the first time, my eyes beheld the `BOOK OF MORMON'--that book of books . . . which was the principal means, in the hands of God, of directing the entire course of my future life.
"I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.
"As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists." (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 36-37).
Eldred G. Smith
"When we receive promptings from the Holy Ghost, it is like opening an imaginary door between the spirit mind and the mortal mind. When this happens, we receive knowledge which we cannot deny." (Conference Report, Apr. 1963, p. 18)
Moroni 10:7 deny not the power of God
Neal A. Maxwell
"Granted, the great answers in the Restoration scriptures will not now be accepted by disbelievers. Such would not believe the Lord's words-whether coming through Paul or Joseph Smith-even if they had an original Pauline parchment or direct access to the gold plates. Referring principally to those plates, the Lord once comforted Joseph Smith by saying that such individuals would 'not believe my words. . . if. . . [shown] all these things' (D&C 5:7).
"Usually the 'learned shall not read [these things], for they have rejected them' (2 Nephi 27:20). The reference suggests a mind-set of many of the learned of the world, who, by and large, if they know of it do not take the Book of Mormon seriously. Even when they read it, it is with a mind-set which excludes miracles, including the miracle of the book's coming forth by 'gift and power of God.' Their flawed approach diverts them from scrutinizing the substance. Sometimes, as has been said, certain mortals are 'so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out' of their mind-sets.
"Obviously those with the anti-miracle mind-set discount the Book of Mormon because they cannot see the plates from which it was translated. Furthermore, some say, we do not know enough about the actual process of translation. But Moroni's inspired promise (Moroni 10:3-4) concerns reading and praying over the book's substance-not over the process of its production...The reverse approach, scanning while doubting, is the flip side of Moroni's methodology, and it produces flippant conclusions." (Not My Will, But Thine, p. 24-25)
Moroni 10:8 deny not the gifts of God
"A long list of these spiritual gifts is given to us by the Lord (Moroni 10:8-18). We can't conjure them up for ourselves. The Lord gives them, and he says he gives them. We must ask for them with real intent and with an honest heart. We can have them-any gift...But we must ask for them, and of course if we ask not we receive not...how often do we ask for them? How earnestly do we seek for them? We could have them if we did ask, but we don't. 'Well, who denies them?' Anyone who doesn't ask for them. They are available to all for the asking, but one must ask with an honest heart, sincerely." (Approaching Zion, p. 89-90)
Moroni 10:8-18 The Gifts of the Spirit
The gifts of the Spirit are listed in three locations in the scriptures: Moroni 10, 1 Cor 12, and DC 46. Each of these versions offers different informative counsel regarding the importance and applications of these gifts. From DC 46, we learn That unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby (DC 46:29). From Paul, we learn that the gifts of the spirit are as indispensable to the body of Christ as any of its individual members, And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you (1 Cor 12:21). Yet, when we deny or ignore the gifts of the Spirit, we are in effect saying "I have no need of you."
Dallin H. Oaks
"Faith is a spiritual gift. So is personal revelation. So is a testimony of Jesus Christ. And there are other spiritual gifts. We know too little about spiritual gifts. This is evident in our communications, and it is also evident in our failure to seek after and use spiritual gifts." (Ensign, Sep. 1986, "Spiritual Gifts")
Elder John W. Taylor
"...this people can no more live spiritually without these gifts and blessings and inspirations from our Father than you can live a month without eating. You will die a spiritual death, and there will be nothing left of you in the kingdom of God but a dead form. As the Prophet has said, the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
"...I tell you that among the Latter-day Saints there is a famine for the spiritual gifts of God. That is my testimony unto you. These gifts and blessings are enjoyed among this people, but we do not enjoy them to that fullness that we will when we come up to the standard of keeping the commandments." (Conference Report, Apr. 1900, p. 27)
Moroni 10:9 to one is given...that he may teach the word of wisdom
Stephen L. Richards
"Wisdom cannot be disassociated from [the gift of] discernment, but it involves some other factors...Wisdom is sometimes defined as sound judgment and a high degree of knowledge. I define wisdom as being the beneficent application of knowledge in decision. I think of wisdom not in the abstract but as functional. Life is largely made up of choices and determinations...The really vital things in life are relatively few, my brethren and sisters-the body, family, property, and relationship to man and God. You may have wisdom about health, housing, marriage, children, economics, education, and even government if you truly seek it and live for it. The fundamental knowledge which the Church brings to you will bring you understanding. Your testimony, your spirit, and your service will direct the application of your knowledge; that is wisdom. Every man needs it a hundred times a day. Every woman needs it. Every youth needs it. The foolish and the wise are the antipodes of mankind as are the two poles of the earth. The foolish build on the sand; the wise on the rock. The one perishes; the other endures. Thank God for the gift of wisdom." (Conference Report, Apr. 1950, p. 163-64)
Moroni 10:10 to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge
Boyd K. Packer
"I determined that among all the gifts that might make one useful to the Lord the gift to teach by the Spirit would be supreme. I came to feel that if one desired it, asked for it, prayed for it, studied, pondered, and earned it, and believed with sufficient faith that he could possess it, the gift would not be withheld from him.
"Accordingly I turned to the New Testament to 'associate' with and learn from the Lord, who as a teacher is the ideal. When it came time to submit a subject for a master's thesis, I presented to my committee the proposal that I study the teaching techniques used by Jesus. With some considerable reluctance, they approved the subject. It was a most enlightening experience to 'walk' with Jesus and 'observe' Him teach. Thereafter, I began with all diligence to pattern my teaching efforts after Him. Through this association I came to know Him-Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father-and that He lives. I stand in reverence before Him, with deep regard for what He taught and deep regard for how He taught. It is this knowledge and reverence that can give to us penetrating power. I have tried to develop the gift so deeply desired-the gift to teach by the Spirit." (That All May Be Edified, pp. 5-6)
Moroni 10:13 to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things
Ironically, one of the most misunderstood gifts of the Spirit is the gift of prophecy. Often, Church members are so focused on "The Prophet" that they don't allow anyone else the exercise of this gift. But prophecy is not limited to any priesthood office. In fact, this gift is not at all restricted to holders of the priesthood, for the gifts of the Spirit are not products of the priesthood but products of the Spirit. Therefore, a sister can be just as filled with the spirit of prophecy as a brother. Accordingly, the Bible speaks of prophetesses who regularly operated by this gift (Ex 15:20-22, Judg 4:4, 2 Kgs 22:14-20, Lu 2:36-38).
The scriptures speak of many who had the gift of prophecy even though they were not "The Prophet." In the Book of Mormon, Amulek was a missionary, as were the sons of Mosiah and the sons of Alma, yet all of these had the spirit of prophecy (Alma 10:12; 17:3; 43:2). Alma spoke of the entire Nephite nation, saying that they had been highly favored of the Lord, having been visited by the Spirit of God...having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation (Alma 9:21). In this dispensation, Oliver Cowdery spoke with the tongue of angels after his baptism, for he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass (2 Ne 31:13, JS-Hist 1:73).
Finally, we need to remember that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10), and that if we are entitled to a testimony of Jesus then we have equal claim on the spirit of prophecy. Moses had hopes that all of his people would receive this gift. He declared, would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! (Num 11:29)
J. Golden Kimball
"Patriarchs tell me that prophecy is one of my gifts. It is only my gift through faith and through living up to the precepts of the Gospel of Christ.
"I have been told that I should prophesy. I want to say to you Latter-day Saints that to be a prophet of God all fear and all doubt have to leave your mind, and you then open your mouth and God gives you the words." (Conference Report, Oct. 1932, p. 20)
Elder John W. Taylor
"The gift of prophecy...is not a saving principle; it is a gift. It is to comfort our hearts. It is to give us the testimony of the mind and will of God concerning things which are to come. As Elder [Heber J.] Grant has said, I may prophesy from now till the coming of the Son of Man, and if I fail to keep the commandments, I will not be saved in the kingdom of God." (Conference Report, Apr. 1900, p. 26)
Moroni 10:14 to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits
Dallin H. Oaks
"Since spiritual gifts come by the power of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost comes by the laying on of hands by those holding the priesthood, the priesthood is always a factor in spiritual gifts. But spiritual gifts obviously bless the lives of those who do not themselves hold the priesthood.
"Moroni speaks of the spiritual gift of 'beholding of angels and ministering spirits.' (Moro. 10:14.) Alma and Amaleki both list this among the various gifts of the Spirit. (See Alma 9:21; Omni 1:25.) Mary had such an experience when she was visited by the angel who told her that she was to become the mother of the Son of God. (See Luke 1:26-38.)
"A more familiar gift of the Spirit is personal revelation. Alma described the universal character of this spiritual gift: 'And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.' (Alma 32:23.)" (Ensign, Sep. 1986, "Spiritual Gifts")
Moroni 10:17 they come unto every man severally, according as he will
Boyd K. Packer
"I have thought that the last phrase, 'every man severally, according as he will,' refers to the man himself. If a man wills that the gift should come to him, and he desires it, the gift shall be his." (Teach Ye Diligently, p. 20)
Elder John H. Taylor
"I admonish the Latter-day Saints to seek for the best gifts...Have you a gift from God? If you have not seek earnestly after these things, for Jesus, speaking of His second coming, said that the kingdom of God would be likened unto ten virgins, five of whom were wise and five were foolish, and he said but half of them would have oil in their lamps. What is that oil? It is the Holy Ghost, the power of God unto salvation; it is that spirit that will lead you into the ways of truth; it is that spirit which partaketh of the things of God and reveals them unto the children of men." (Conference Report, Apr. 1899, p. 62)
Moroni 10:19 all these gifts...never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand
George Q. Cannon
"[Moroni] informs us that it is the design of God that [these gifts] should continue among the children of men as long as the earth shall stand. And why should not this be the case? We have had reasoning upon this effect this afternoon, and this reasoning is consistent--that if one generation needs the spiritual gifts of God which are bestowed by the presence of the Spirit of God, another generation which needs salvation, and which stands in need of the assistance which these gifts bring, should likewise have them bestowed upon them.
"It is the greatest folly, it is a fallacy of the worst, and, I might say, of the most damning character to assert that one generation needs these gifts and that another generation can be saved without them. Such a statement is the refuge of those who have no faith, or who do not believe that God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever;' that He does not deal with His children justly under all circumstances and in every generation alike.
"Now this is a cardinal principle in the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ. I would not give a fig for a religion that did not possess these powers and gifts." (Collected Discourses, Vol.1, George Q. Cannon, June 16, 1889)
Moroni 10:20 if there must be faith there must also be hope
Joseph B. Wirthlin
"As I read and ponder the scriptures, I see that developing faith, hope, and charity within ourselves is a step-by-step process. Faith begets hope, and together they foster charity. We read in Moroni, 'Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.' These three virtues may be sequential initially, but once obtained, they become interdependent. Each one is incomplete without the others. They support and reinforce each other." (Conference Report, Nov. 1998 Ensign, "Cultivating Divine Attributes")
Russell M. Nelson
"Have you noticed in the scriptures that hope seldom stands alone? Hope is often linked with faith. Hope and faith are commonly connected to charity. Why? Because hope is essential to faith; faith is essential to hope; faith and hope are essential to charity. They support one another like legs on a three-legged stool. All three relate to our Redeemer.
"Faith is rooted in Jesus Christ. Hope centers in his Atonement. Charity is manifest in the 'pure love of Christ.' (Moroni 7:47) These three attributes are intertwined like strands in a cable and may not always be precisely distinguished. Together they become our tether to the celestial kingdom." (Ensign, Feb. 1997, "A More Excellent Hope")
Moroni 10:21 except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God
Apparently keeping the outward commandments is not enough to be saved. Those who keep the law of tithing, follow the word of wisdom, stay morally clean, keep the Sabbath day holy, and attend church faithfully cannot be saved without the three virtues of faith, hope, and charity. These former commandments are the "Law of Moses" commandments of the latter-days. We keep them because we have been commanded to, not because obedience qualifies us for salvation, for salvation doth not come by the law alone (Mosiah 13:28). This is just as true today as it was for the Law of Moses. Abinadi continues, and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses.
It is faith, hope, and charity which bring the power of atonement into full force in our lives. Without these three, all of the rest is inadequate.
M. Russell Ballard
"No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we obey, no matter how many good things we do in this life, it would not be enough were it not for Jesus Christ and His loving grace. On our own we cannot earn the kingdom of God-no matter what we do." (Ensign, Jun 1998, "Build Bridges of Understanding")
Moroni 10:22 if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair
Neal A. Maxwell
"Another of the consequences of gross immorality with its desensitization is that it begins to rob man of hope. As an individual is emptied of hope, despair quickly enters in, for as one prophet said, 'Despair cometh because of iniquity.' (Moroni 10:22.) Thus wickedness and despair are terrifyingly self-reinforcing.
"More than we know, the alienation abroad in the land is due in significant measure to the gross immorality-before which faith, hope, and charity all fall, for that special triad of virtues is savaged by unchastity. Immorality enthrones selfishness, that implacable foe of charity." (Notwithstanding My Weakness, p. 97)
Neal A. Maxwell
"The prophet Moroni said, 'Despair cometh because of iniquity.' (Moroni 10:22.) When iniquity increases, so do despair and alienation. Paul also said the ignorance of the everlasting truths would cause unbelievers to be 'alienated from the life of God.' (Ephesians 4:18.) No wonder we despair when we sin, because we act against our own interests and against who we really are. When we are imprisoned by iniquity, we turn the cell lock ourselves." (Things As They Really Are, p. 8)
Moroni 10:27 ye shall see me at the bar of God...And God shall show unto you that that which I have written is true
The four great abridgers of the Book of Mormon are Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni. Each of these four prophets has spoken of the judgment bar of Christ, where they will meet us to hold us accountable for our use (or misuse) of the Book of Mormon. Nephi said:
'Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things' (2 Ne 33:11).
'I bid you farewell, until I shall meet you before the pleasing bar of God, which bar striketh the wicked with awful dread and fear. Amen' (Jacob 6:13).
'I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ' (Mormon 3:22).
We are left to ask, what else could these great prophets have done to persuade us to prepare for the Day of Judgment? Have they not taught us, exhorted us, and pleaded with us to repent? Why have they labored so hard to spare us the punishment of God? Possibly, it is because they do not want to have to condemn us in judgment at the last day when God shall show unto [us], that that which [they] have written is true (v. 29).
Moroni 10:30 touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing
James E. Talmage
"'Touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.' What is meant by that? Satan from the first has been a great imitator; he is an experienced strategist. Never has the Lord set his hand to do a specific thing for the good of his people upon the earth, of outstanding feature, but that Satan has attempted to imitate it in some degree.
"The Lord manifested himself to Moses, and talked to the man face to face...Then came Satan, the audacious, the father of lies, and represented himself as being the son of God in the distinctive sense. Moses was able to discern and perceive.
'And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?
For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were strengthened before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so surely?' (Moses 1:13-14)
"Oh, that we all had such power of discernment. That is a gift of the Spirit, to which we are entitled and we will have it as we live for it. With that gift we shall be free, to a great extent, from the deception that otherwise might lead us astray.
"As the Lord gives revelations, so does Satan, each in his way. As the Lord has revelators upon the earth, so has Satan, and he is operating upon those men by his power, and they are receiving revelations, manifestations, that are just as truly of the devil as was his manifestation to Moses, to which I have referred." (Conference Report, Apr. 1931, p. 27)
Moroni 10:31 O daughter of Zion...strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever
Robert E. Wells
"Verse 31 says: 'Awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments.' Then, 'strengthen thy stakes' follows, and lastly, 'enlarge thy borders forever.' I could clearly see that 'enlarge thy borders' meant to enlarge the Church through missionary work and to proclaim the gospel to all the world. It seemed that I could also see clearly that 'strengthen thy stakes' meant to perfect the Saints through the priesthood organizations and the auxiliaries. And, it seemed to me that 'put on thy beautiful garments' referred to the temple robes and going to the temples of the Lord to redeem our beloved ancestors." (Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 534)
Moroni 10:30-33 come unto Christ, and be perfected in him
Chapter 10 of Moroni opens and closes with an invitation. It begins with an invitation to the latter-day investigator of the Book of Mormon and closes with an invitation to the latter-day saints themselves-the sons and daughters of Zion. Like bookmarks which enclose the richness of his last sermon, Moroni has advice for the spiritual child and the spiritual giant. True discipleship begins with obtaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and fills the measure of its creation by the perfecting power of the grace of God. Prophetically concerned with the perfection of the saints, he invites us all to come unto Christ and be perfected in him, telling us those things we need to do to become recipients of the saving grace of God.
Hopefully someday, the invitation in the end of Moroni 10 will be as famous and oft quoted among the members of the church as is the invitation of verses 3-5, for Moroni exhorts us to reach our full spiritual potential.
Henry B. Eyring
"President David O. McKay once said: 'Man is a spiritual being, a soul, and at some period of his life everyone is possessed with an irresistible desire to know his relationship to the Infinite. . . . There is something within him which urges him to rise above himself, to control his environment, to master the body and all things physical and live in a higher and more beautiful world. (True to the Faith, p. 244.)
"That pull upward is far beyond what you would call a desire for self-improvement. When I felt it, I knew I was being urged to live so far above myself that I could never do it on my own. President McKay had it right. You feel an urging to rise above your natural self. What you have felt is an urging from your Heavenly Father to accept this invitation: (quotes Moroni 10:32-33.)
"That urge to rise above yourself is a recognition of your need for the Atonement to work in your life, and your need to be sure that it is working. After all you can do, after all your effort, you need confidence that the Atonement is working for you and on you." (To Draw Closer to God, p. 45 - 46)
Moroni 10:32 by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ
"When we become one with Jesus Christ, spiritually we form a partnership with a joint account, and his assets and our liabilities flow into each other. Since he has more assets than we have liabilities (he has an infinite ocean of assets), the new account has a positive balance as soon as it is formed, and the partnership is justified, even though its junior partners (you and me) could not make it on their own. This is what the Apostle Paul refers to as being 'in Christ' (1 Cor. 1:1) and what Moroni calls being 'perfect in Christ' (Moro. 10:32).
"Taken together, Christ and I make up a new creature. The old creature, the imperfect me, ceases to exist, and a glorious new creature, a perfect partnership, takes its place. Taken together as a single entity, the two of us, Christ and I, are perfect. I do not mean (this is absolutely crucial!) that we can become perfect later on. I mean that from the moment the partnership is formed in good faith, from the moment we have sincere faith in Christ, sincerely repent of our sins, and receive baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost-from this moment the partnership is celestial. The merits of the Senior Partner make it so. True, this is not individual perfection, which will indeed come later (much later), rather it is perfection-in-Christ (see Moro. 10:32-33), through which we receive the benefits of our partner's merits. Nevertheless, from this moment the kingdom is ours, provided that we maintain the partnership by abiding in the gospel covenant. (See 3 Ne. 27:16, 19-21)" (Stephen R. Robinson, Believing Christ, p. 25)
Moroni 10:33 if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ...then are ye sanctified
Neal A. Maxwell
"Jesus called upon us to be 'perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.' (Matthew 5:48.) Would a Lord who cannot lie taunt us with any possibility that is irrevocably out of our reach? With God's helping grace, Moroni promised, we can become 'holy, without spot.' (Moroni 10:33.)
"It can be done, but not all at once." (Notwithstanding My Weakness, p. 28)
Bruce C. Hafen
"We know very little about this process of sanctification, but it is clear that we do not achieve perfection solely through our own efforts. Knowing just that much is enough to give us a new perspective. Because so many of us feel overwhelmed with the scriptural injunction to be perfect, the idea that divine grace is the final source of our perfection may seem too good to be true. That is how Christ's grace appears to those carrying the burden of truly serious sins. Honest people who carry the burden of being called 'saints' may feel the same way, as they stumble daily through the discouraging debris of their obvious imperfections. But the gospel has good news not only for the serious transgressor, but for all who long to be better than they are. We truly become saints 'through the atonement of Christ, the Lord,' which, after all we can do, has power to help us become 'as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love.' (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added.)" (The Broken Heart, p. 18)
Moroni 10:34 I bid unto all, farewell...until...I am brought forth triumphant through the air
Moroni is not only brought forth triumphant through the air, he is also the other angel flying in the mist of heaven. Moroni is the angel spoken of by John, And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth and the sea, and the fountains of waters (Rev 14:6-7). The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is in partial fulfillment of this prophecy. We still await the privilege of hearing his voice again-only next time, instead of a whisper out of the dust (2 Ne 26:16), it will be a loud voice out of the heavens.
Jeffrey R. Holland
"Thus the Book of Mormon ends, flying as it were with Moroni, on the promise of the Holy Resurrection. (Rev 14:6) That is most fitting, for this sacred testament-written by prophets, delivered by angels, protected by God-speaks as one 'crying from the dead,' (v. 27) exhorting all to come unto Christ and be perfected in him, a process culminating in the perfection of celestial glory. In anticipation of that triumphant hour, God has set his hand for the last time to gather Jew, Gentile, Lamanite, and all the house of Israel.
"The Book of Mormon is his New Covenant memorializing that grand latter-day endeavor. All who receive it and embrace the principles and ordinances it declares will one day see the Savior as he is, and they will be like him. They will be sanctified and redeemed through the grace of his innocent blood. They will be purified even as he is pure. They will be holy and without spot. They will be called the children of Christ." (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 339)
At the bottom of page 531, we read "THE END." Yet, as with a hundred other doctrinal ironies, we know that there is really no end to the Book of Mormon. There is no end to our study of the Book of Mormon. There is no end to the influence of the Book of Mormon. There is no end to the power of its message. There is no end to our potential if we hearken to its precepts. And there is no end to our study of this manual for immortality. Indeed, there is no end of our gratitude for those who have labored to produce this work as a voice from the dust.
Many testimonies have been given of the Book of Mormon. We can't even count how many voices have declared its message. After these many voices have collectively borne indisputable witness, can we imagine that we can tell the Lord that we didn't know any better? To these many voices, my personal testimony would add little, but if I could just for a moment, join the great chorus of testimonies to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, I would feel privileged. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Of this, I would be no more sure if I were given the privilege of seeing the gold plates. It is my witness that the real question isn't whether or not the Book of Mormon is true, but whether or not we are true to the Book of Mormon. That we may follow the exhortation of Moroni and come unto Christ, and be perfected in him is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Bryan Richards, author & editor of gospeldoctrine.com)
Gordon B. Hinckley
"I would like to urge every man and woman . . . and every boy and girl who is old enough to read to again read the Book of Mormon during this coming year. This was written for the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that Jesus is the Christ. There is nothing we could do of greater importance than to have fortified in our individual lives an unshakable conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of the living God. That is the purpose of the coming forth of this remarkable and wonderful book." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, "Book of Mormon")