Sunday School Lesson 48

December 18, 2004 | 9 comments
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Lesson 48: Mormon 7-8, 10

Chapter 7

As you read Mormon’s sermon, ask yourself what might have been its occasion. Given the
content of the first 21 verses, why does Moroni say that this is a sermon on faith, hope, and
charity? What question would have prompted Mormon to write this? (Compare Mormon 9:7-21.) Does the audience that he mentions (verse 3) make a difference to our understanding of
his teaching? What do you make of the order of his sermon? Here is one outline of that order.
Use that outline to ask questions about what Mormon says. As you read, construct your own
outline; are there better ways to describe the contents of the verses than I have given—or a
better way of showing how the verses relate to each other?

      1.   Mormon speaks to the peaceable followers of Christ who have hope for his rest
(verses 3-4)

      2.   The good cannot do evil works and the evil cannot do good works (verses 5-13)

      3.   Therefore, we must be careful in our judgments of good and evil (verses 14-18)

      4.   We should lay hold on every good thing (verse 19)

      5.   How to lay hold on every good thing (verses 21-48)

            a.   Faith in Christ (verses 21-39)

                  i.   Christ’s saving mission (21-26)

                  ii.  Miracles have not ceased (verses 27-39)

                            The ministry required of human beings is parallel to the ministry provided
them through angels (verses 30-32)

                            By faith we can do anything, including repent (verses 33-37)

                   iii. Salvation comes by faith (verses 37-39)

            b.   Hope in Christ (verses 40-44)

                  i.   Faith requires hope for life eternal through Jesus Christ (verses 40-41)

                  ii.  Hope requires faith (verse 42)

                  iii. Faith and hope require meekness and lowliness in heart (verse 43)

                  iv. If a person is meek and lowly in heart, then she will have charity (verse 44)

            c.   The charity of Christ (verses 45-48)

                  i.   The qualities of charity (verse 45)

                  ii.  Without charity, which never fails, we are nothing (verse 46)

                  iii. Those who have charity, the pure love of Christ, will be well at the last day
(verse 47)

                  iv. We should pray with all the energy of our hearts to be filled with charity so
that we may be like Christ (verse 48)

Is there a natural flow to Mormon’s discussion? Can you use it to explain how we lay hold of
every good thing? To explain the relation of faith and hope? To explain how one might learn
to be charitable?

A few questions about particular verses:

Verse 5: Compare Moroni 10:25. Why might this theme have been so important to father and
son?

Verses 31-32: What do covenants have to do with this sermon? Why are the references to
covenants in the middle of a discussion of our ministry, itself in the middle of an argument
that miracles still occur? Can you explain what covenants have to do with miracles?

Verse 39: Does Mormon equate being meek with having faith?

Verses 45 and 47: At the end of verse 45, Mormon says that charity endures all things. Then,
at the beginning of verse 47, he says that it endures forever. Is there a connection between
these. If so, what is it?

Chapter 10

Verse 1: What does it mean to us that the words that follow (up to verse 23) are specifically
directed to the Lamanites? What is Moroni’s interest in them

Verse 3: Why is God’s mercy to human beings, from Adam to the present, the topic on which
Mormon wishes his readers to meditate? Why is that an essential preface to the exhortation
that follows?

Verses 4-5: Why does knowing the truth of the Book of Mormon require (1) a sincere heart,
(2) real intent, and (3) faith in Christ? If these verses are written specifically for the
Lamanites, what justifies our use of them for everyone?

Verse 6: Moroni says that anything that is good is also just, as well as true. It isn’t difficult to
think of things that most of us would say are good, but that don’t seem to have anything to do
with justice. For example, I think it is good to have children, but I wouldn’t say it is just to
have them. I don’t know what it would mean to say that it is. What does it mean to say that all
good things are just? Similarly, what does it mean to say that all good things are true? Moroni
then adds “therefore, no good thing denies Christ.” How does that follow from the claims that
all good things are also both just and true?

Verse 7: When Moroni says “I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God,” what
denial of God’s power does he seem to have in mind? How would what he has in mind be a
denial of God’s power?

Verses 7-18: Why is this exhortation to remember the gifts of God important to Moroni’s
audience?

Verse 19: Why does Moroni make this exhortation to remember that Christ is the same and
that the gifts mentioned are spiritual and will last as long as the world? Why are those of
particular importance to those he is addressing in these verses, namely the Lamanites?

Verses 20-23: Moroni gives a summary of the things that his father, Mormon, taught in the
last part his sermon (Moroni 7). He has already given us the sermon, why does he think it
needs to be repeated here?

Verse 24-30: In verse 24 Moroni explicitly turns his attention to everyone rather than only to
the Lamanites; he makes a general exhortation. What are its main elements? How do those
elements compare to what he has said specifically to the Lamanites?

Verse 31: To whom does Moroni now turn? Why does he turn to them last? Moroni’s
metaphor moves from clothing (“beautiful garments”) to tents “strengthen thy stakes and
enlarge thy borders.” Is that shift in the metaphor significant?

Verse 32: Grammatically the opening of this verse, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected
in him,” suggests that this verse is parallel to verse 31. Is that right? If so, explain what the
parallels are. Why does Moroni say “be perfected in him” (passive voice) rather than “perfect
yourselves in him”? Does the rest of the verse answer that question? How does Moroni
understand what it means to be perfect? How might that be different than our everyday
understanding of perfection?

Verse 33: What does this verse promise? Does Moroni use “sanctified” here to mean what we
mean when we speak of exaltation or does it have another meaning? What does this verse add
to our understanding of what it means to be perfect?

Verse 34: What kind of mood do you see in this verse? So what?

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9 Responses to Sunday School Lesson 48

  1. John H on December 19, 2004 at 1:57 am

    Jim, I just want to thank you for providing such wonderful, thought-provoking questions. I never prepare a lesson without visiting Times and Seasons. I hope under no circumstances will your regular posts cease when we begin the Doctrine and Covenants.

  2. Julie J on December 19, 2004 at 2:50 am

    I am in complete agreement. Thanks so much.

  3. Bryce I on December 20, 2004 at 12:32 am

    What’s especially great is that we’re two weeks behind Jim’s ward, so I get plenty of time to think about his posts. Thanks, Jim!

  4. Adam Greenwood on December 20, 2004 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve just got called as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, so I’ll get even more us [sic] out of these than I have heretofore. Thanks for sharing, Brother Faulconer.

  5. John H on December 20, 2004 at 2:25 pm

    Congrats Adam, on having the best calling in the Church :)

  6. Jim F. on December 21, 2004 at 7:07 pm

    I’m deeply grateful that people find these notes useful. I have to confess that I produce them for myself and then share them with others. I suspect I will be released as Gospel Doctrine teacher in the next several months. After all, I’ve had the job for almost five years now; it is someone else’s turn to enjoy it. But I will almost certainly continue to post my notes. What else would a professor do?

  7. Bryce I on December 21, 2004 at 11:47 pm

    Perhaps you could be your ward’s next Gospel Principles teacher? :)

  8. Jim F. on December 22, 2004 at 1:39 am

    Bryce, that is a great idea. I have done that before (and also Temple Preparedness). I enjoyed both of those callings very much. But I think I’ll have to wait for the bishop to make an offer rather than make my own.

  9. Adam Greenwood on December 22, 2004 at 10:56 am

    Come on, Jim F. That ark needs steadying.