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Why Mormon 7–9 helps me remember to begin again with Christ

by | Nov. 03, 2020

Editor’s note: “Resources to follow Him” curates study resources, teachings, and thoughts to deepen your study of this week’s Come, Follow Me.

One of my favorite rooms in the temple is the waiting room. Before I was baptized, it felt like the holiest place I could stand in—the closest I could get to experiencing the special blessings found only in the House of the Lord. This sacred place now reminds me not only to be patient as I prepare to serve, but also to wait on the Lord for every good thing.

On one occasion, I was in that space waiting for answers. I felt spiritually exhausted, and I found my heart and hands reaching for the scriptures. But there was something special about that set of scriptures on that table . . . not just the white binding and silver edges that made me feel like I was holding a piece of heaven, but that through the words of Christ, I felt heaven holding me.

I opened the pages to Mormon 9:27: “O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.”

My heart was filled because I knew I could begin again with Christ no matter how tired I felt. I then thought about my “times of old” with Him—times where my childlike faith was consistently met with godly care. At that spiritual crossroads, I decided to be believing. I decided to come unto Him again.

This week’s chapters in Come, Follow Me, Mormon 7–9, are filled with the tragic endings of a once-righteous civilization. But these chapters are also filled with the hope of Christ—a hope that shines in bright contrast to darkness and offers everlasting beginnings. It is our hope that these resources help you begin again with Him.

You may also like: Watch: Elder Holland’s powerful message of hope might be just what you need in 2020

Something Remarkable

During this week’s episode of “Don’t Miss This,” David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman discuss the hardships Moroni must have faced after the death of his father, Mormon. Butler references Mormon 8:3, “I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not.”

Freeman also points out Mormon 8:5, which states, “I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.” Freeman acknowledges the sadness inherent in this verse, then poses a question: “Have you ever been in a place like that where you are just like, ‘I am alone, and I have no friends’?”

Considering these challenging circumstances Moroni faced, Butler offers an insight:

It’s interesting to study about a person who lives in a time of fear and uncertainty. He says, ‘I don’t know when this is going to end. I’m alone, and I don’t know when it’s going to end. . . . And you can see a man who would be so tempted to retreat into his fears at that time. But instead, he decides to live out a different kind of story. And it’s interesting to me to think, you can either retreat or you can do something remarkable. And what story will you write during the times of your fear and uncertainty? What story is going to come out of those?

Butler and Freeman also discuss the truth that God is a God of miracles, and how we can support those who feel like they can’t move forward. Watch the full episode below.

You may also like: ‘Don’t Miss This’ resources for Doctrine and Covenants now available for preorder

Loneliness

The Come, Follow Me—For Primary manual offers a teaching suggestion about loneliness:

Moroni was the last righteous Nephite, but he stayed true to his testimony. . . . Read Mormon 8:3, emphasizing that Moroni was all alone, but he still kept the commandments, including the commandment to finish the Book of Mormon. Share a time when you were faithful even when you felt alone.

While we often think of loneliness as a time when we feel disconnected from others, Sheri Dew points out another kind of loneliness in an article for Church News

Dew states, “There is an additional kind of loneliness central to the human condition that we all experience. Mortality is a spiritual wilderness where we are separated from our Heavenly Parents and the heavenly home where our spirits are most at peace. . . . The pain of separation from others is exceeded only by the haunting vacuum created when we separate ourselves from God.”

Striving to stay close to our Heavenly Parents is one way to prevent these feelings of intense separation. During his remarks from October 1954 general conference, Elder Richard L. Evans offered counsel to those who are struggling with any type of loneliness: “Knowing Him, and what He is to us, (and what we are to one another), what His purpose is in sending us here from His presence, is one of the surest safeguards against loneliness and feelings of frustration.”

Despite the loneliness Moroni faced, he continued to act in faith and remembered his purpose. He decided to cry repentance by writing about the gospel of Jesus Christ, providing guidance to us in these latter days. “Be wise in the days of your probation,” he cautioned (Mormon 9:28).

You may also like: What we learn about loneliness and despair from Moroni

Final Words

Mormon 7 contains Mormon’s final testimony, which highlights a few crucial truths that he wanted to convey to future generations. Among these truths are, “Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel,” and “Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved” (Mormon 7:2–3). 

On this week’s episode of the Sunday on Monday Study Group, host Tammy Uzelac Hall asked two guests, Shilo Kino and Jalyn Peterson, to come prepared with the final words they would hope to share with family and friends.

Kino shares, “There are so many things I want to say and I want to express, but really, my greatest wish for all of you is that you get to know Jesus Christ. My days on Earth have not been perfect, and just like you all, I've experienced tragedy, [a] broken heart, broken dream[s], sickness, loneliness, rejection and sadness, but Jesus Christ makes the difference. He has given me the greatest life and has made every hardship worth it. Happiness in this life and the life to come is as simple as making a choice, the choice to follow Jesus Christ.”

Peterson shares her witness next, “People say they want to be remembered for something . . . and I'm like, ‘No, forget about me. I want you to go out and live your life. You go do your thing.’ But I would want people to know that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. And so my advice would definitely be to follow the example of Jesus Christ. And to know, like my friend Tamara always says, that you're God's favorite—that God is always with you. And the most important thing that you can ever do in this life is to figure out how God communicates with you, and then listen to that voice, listen to that communication, and daily communicate with your Heavenly Father.”

Tammy then offers her testimony, “I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and is the Church of God on the Earth today. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I learned Spanish during the last months of my mission, and I know that God is a God of miracles, because I'm not that smart. I love Jesus, please choose Christ, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

As you study these chapters, perhaps you would also enjoy writing down what you hope would be the final words of wisdom you would share with your loved ones.

The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original presented by LDS Living. You can access the full study group discussion through the Bookshelf app. Listen to a segment of this week's episode below or listen to the full Sunday on Monday episode here.

► You may also like: 12 powerful final testimonies that will strengthen yours


Author profile

Valerie Russell

Valerie Russell is an editorial intern for LDS Living. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, which is also where she discovered the restored gospel and joined the Church. With a bachelor’s degree in human biology, she delights in translating her research and analytical skills into journalism. She believes that nothing is too hard for the Savior and that life is made infinitely better by good stories and sweet dogs.

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