missionary
Week 51 is scheduled for study Dec. 14-20, 2020. This isn’t just a good missionary chapter. This chapter is also good for reflection on the blessings/gifts and mercy Christ and our Father have so abundantly given us.

Day 1

Moroni 10:3–7 – I can know the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost.

As you finish reading the Book of Mormon, consider seeking a renewed witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true. As you do, record the impressions you receive.

How to know when you have had a witness given to you of the Book of Mormon, or of anything else for that matter – that is the million dollar question. There is something special about the Book of Mormon that people most often have an unmistakable experience when they receive their first witness of its truthfulness. These are generally people who have not been brought up in the gospel, nor been raised with the Holy Ghost being a regular part of their life. Many of us who were raised in the church have had so many witnesses given to us of the truths in the Book of Mormon, and every other part of the gospel of Christ, that it can be difficult to point to one defining experience where we absolutely knew. Instead, we have been given innumerable small witnesses in many ways that would lead to the same conclusion, that is is all true.

There are many ways to receive a testimony from the Spirit. Here are just a few.

  • After study, prayer, or a powerful witness from someone else, you are overcome with a knowledge of the truth of what you have read, studied, or heard. This kind of testimony may be accompanied by a physical sensation that fills your whole body or just your bosom.
  • For some, who tend to be more intellectually inclined, the knowledge of something’s truth may come from study and pondering. The truth often distills, like dew, bringing with it a sense of logic and rationale that is undeniable to that person.
  • Some who study the gospel can’t explain the logic or the doctrine, but they are filled with comfort that tells them what they have learned or heard is good and right.
  • Many who are raised in the church have always had witnesses being given all around them from the time they were young children. Often it only takes a recognition by the person that they have already received their witness, probably many times over, but they were not aware that they had been receiving the revelation that told them the church was true or that such and such a principle is true. They just “instinctively” know it is. This happens a lot to those raised in the church. Sometimes it is mainly a matter that we have not taken the time to recognize the voice of the Spirit, so we didn’t realize we were receiving testimonies of truth all along.
  • Finally, for some people, coming to accept the gospel of Christ just takes time to get used to it. It always feels good, but there is something in their soul that holds them back until they have spent enough time around the truth that they begin to desire more and more of it. When they pass their tipping point, there is no holding them back, and they jump into the gospel life and never look back.

The point of the above list is that there are many ways for people to learn and develop a knowledge of truth. We can’t expect that just because we learned it one way that everyone else will also learn the truth in the same way. The Lord will speak to each of His children in the way that means the most to them. The one universal constant is that we all need to do two things.

  1. Recognize that we are being shown truth and goodness, and that it comes from God.
  2. Take what we have recognized and live by it so it doesn’t get taken away. Only living a principle can cement it into our soul and personality. Righteous living heightens our ability to see more truth and accept it.

Day 2

Moroni 10:8–25 – Deny not the gifts of God.

As you finish reading the Book of Mormon, consider seeking a renewed witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true. As you do, record the impressions you receive.

Rare is the gift that forces itself into the limelight and demands attention. Such gifts are seen in those who, like Mozart, are playing concertos at the age of 4, and need no instruction. Rare, rare, rare. Most of us are, by definition, average people. The average among us are basically good people with average intelligence and average capabilities. So how do we find something at which we can excel?

I am guessing that most who read this have struggled with this question. How do I find what I am good at? And what happens if I never find my gift or gifts in this life? Will I be damned for squandering my life if I don’t find everything I am supposed to find, even though I have no idea what I am looking for?

Perhaps you have never had any of those questions in your mind, but I have. I guess I am revealing my own weakness here. That’s okay, it’s certainly not the first time, and probably won’t be the last. Finding a gift can be challenging, especially if you don’t feel you have anything particularly special about yourself. Unfortunately, we tend to restrict ourselves to the list of spiritual gifts listed in the scriptures. There are several places where this list appears, and most of the time they are the same gifts just listed over and over again in each place. But the Brethren have expanded that list for us to help us see that there are more possibilities. Yea!

Your homework assignment for today is to search churchofjesuschrist.org using the term “gifts” or “spiritual gift” and read some of the talks on the subject. You will find that the Apostles see that spiritual gifts cover a vast array of abilities that most of us haven’t historically considered as “gifts.” The ability to approach the Lord in prayer, and get answers through our faith and persistence – that’s a gift. The ability to feel and demonstrate empathy for others who are suffering in some way, is also a gift. Some are able to discern truth from error, even if they have a difficult time explaining why there is a difference that may be a fine line to walk between the two. This gift of discernment is a spiritual gift. Some have the uncanny ability to speak the truth in kindly ways so that others feel safe and are left unoffended. This is opposed to the person who just blurts out the truth and they don’t care or realize how offensive their statement might be to others. That first form of truth telling is a spiritual gift.

If you look at all the talks on spiritual gifts and compare them to the scriptural list, you should begin to see the pattern. All spiritual gifts are given to bless the life of someone else, which in turn, enriches the giver’s life also. All spiritual gifts are a form of being and doing good. Since all good comes from God then we should seek to improve every form of doing good at our disposal.

Many spiritual gifts won’t be revealed until we try doing something we haven’t done before. I didn’t realize I could explain the gospel to others until I started to try to explain it to myself in writing. Over time I developed what people refer to as a “voice,” a personal style that is all my own. I was in my late 50’s when I began this process. Now I am in my mid 60’s, and after almost a thousand articles, I am always amazed that I still find things to say and to talk about. I don’t take credit for being able to do this. I’m not special, like Mozart. I’m just an average person who pursued something new and found a way to be of use to others. I think that makes God happy. It certainly makes me happy.

What about you? Have you tried something new lately? Have you looked through your patriarchal blessing for clues to your possible inherent gift(s)? Have you spoken with others candidly about what you are good at, or about where you can improve? Some of our gifts are waiting for us in the areas in which we are currently decidedly short on talent. My point is that we have been commanded to seek for gifts – all good gifts. We might be good at listening, and the world desperately needs good listeners. We might be good at being naturally kind, thoughtful, temperate, thrifty, generous, and a host of other attributes. All of these manifestations of good we can learn to excel in with effort. Some more than others. The ones we can excel in most are our gifts, though they all bless the lives around us, and so us personally.

Now is your time to think, and think honestly and critically. Don’t flatter yourself, but don’t put yourself down and deny what you are actually good at. If you need someone else to help you with this exercise then don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Remember that a Zion people do all things for the good of others. We must all learn to open ourselves more to the influence and help of others, and be willing to put ourselves out there in our efforts to be of use to them as well. That is how we “average” people will find more of our talents. They are there for the claiming, so go get them.

Day 3

Moroni 10:30–33 – I can be perfected through the grace of Jesus Christ.

As you finish reading the Book of Mormon, consider seeking a renewed witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true. As you do, record the impressions you receive.

Today’s lesson is designed to be one of personal reflection on what it means to “come unto Christ.” The manual gives some good starting points you should definitely read again, and ponder them in your heart.

The four verses that make up today’s lesson can be viewed in several ways. Some may like to think of these verses like a mission statement of their life or a statement of values. If you are not business inclined, think of Moses 1:39 where we read the Lord’s mission statement, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Now look at these verses as His core values. What makes God godly in the first place? He lives by what Moroni lists in these verses. God lays hold upon every good gift and never touches that which is evil. When we do this, we do it by turning to Christ as our example in all things.

In coming to Christ we become like Christ. We lay hold of every good thing by embracing all that Christ represents and offers to us. We refuse to touch the ways of the world, and deny ourselves of all ungodliness. Think your way through these verses and try to pinpoint specific things you do or don’t do in your life that with a little change would bring you closer to Christ and being like Him. Our Father wants all of us to become like Christ, because Christ is like God. We cannot return to God any other way. Christ, in every way conceivable, is the way back to our Father. Christ’s grace is sufficient to save us, but even his grace cannot save someone who is doing nothing to become better today than they were yesterday. Salvation is a daily duty we engage in, because it makes us happy.

FHE/Personal Scripture Study

Moroni 10:3 – The Lord’s mercy

This would be a great way to count your blessings through counting the blessings God has given to us from the beginning of the earth and beyond. If you participated in the #givethanks effort the prophet encouraged us to do, you probably noticed that the more expressions of gratitude you have read the more grateful you became. Counting God’s blessings to those in mortality is a great exercise for awakening our soul to the many possible ways in which we might personally be receiving blessings we haven’t really noticed before. And if there is one thing of which I am sure, it is that we all receive far more blessings than we give God credit for receiving.

This would be a good place to quickly jot down some of your blessings, and if you feel like it, send us a comment below so others can be inspired by the blessings you have noticed. You will be helping others possibly recognize sources of goodness in their life they hadn’t noticed before.

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a PDF version of this article.

BoM Week 51

(Moroni 10)