Moroni thought he was done. He had appended his testimony to the end of his father’s book, as instructed (Mormon 8:1). He had subsequently added his own history of the Jaredite nation (Ether 1:1-2). Now, the book was complete, and his work was finished. “I had supposed not to have written more,” he tells us twice (Moroni 1:1, 4).
What changed? He survived. Under difficult circumstances, with his life constantly in danger, he lived longer than he expected. How long? Long enough to think of some additional content that needed to be added. Eventually, he returned to the record, adding the book that bears his name.
He must have agonized over what to include in this final set of chapters. He had seen our day. I can imagine him thinking, “What do my future readers need that isn’t already covered in the book?” Here are some of the topics that he chose to include:
- How the gift of the Holy Ghost is given (Moroni 2)
- How people receive priesthood authority (Moroni 3)
- How to administer the sacrament (Moroni 4 and Moroni 5)
- Qualifications for baptism (Moroni 6:1-3)
- How to organize the church, including meetings (Moroni 6:4-9)
Here are some lessons I have learned from the first six chapters of Moroni:
- There ought to be some things we value more than life itself: I, Moroni, Will Not Deny the Christ – Moroni 1:1-3.
- When we unexpectedly have more time than planned, we ought to use it wisely: I Had Supposed Not to Have Written Any More – Moroni 1:4.
- Callings and priesthood responsibilities bring order into the church, into our families, and into our individual lives: What Does It Mean to Be Ordained?
- Before fulfilling a priesthood responsibility, we need to prepare ourselves spiritually to receive God’s power: Ye Shall Call on the Father in My Name – Moroni 2:2.
- Church leaders teach the gospel, perform ordinances, bless us, and remind us of our duties: What Is a Priest?
- Mature members of the church with good judgment preside and watch over the church: What Is an Elder?
- It’s one thing to acquire faith; it’s another to sustain it over time: What Does It Mean to Endure to the End?
- When we receive a calling in the church, we are given multiple invitations to serve and multiple blessings to help us serve well: What Are “Gifts and Callings of God?”
- The sacrament prayers teach us about our relationship with each member of the Godhead: Moroni 4:3, 5:2 The Sacrament Prayers
- The sacrament prayers have three components: the Petition, the Purpose, and the Promises: What Can We Learn from the Sacrament Prayers?
- The words of the sacrament prayers are largely drawn from the teachings of the Savior as He introduced the sacrament: Where Did the Sacrament Prayers Come From?
- Partaking of the sacrament is symbolic of internalizing the character and attributes of the Savior: What Does It Mean to Eat and Drink the Bread and Water to Our Souls?
- We can learn from the sacrament prayers how to pray: Why Are Some Prayers Fixed (the Sacrament Prayers, for Example) in Contrast to Our Normal Prayers?
- Partaking of the sacrament in public helps us be transparent about our loyalty to the Savior: They Did Meet Together Oft to Partake – Moroni 6:5-6.
- Just as the priests, teachers, and deacons prepare to administer the sacrament each Sunday, we must prepare ourselves to receive the sacrament appropriately: All Those Who Partake of It – Moroni 4:3.
- The church helps us learn to love and serve others, enables us to give and receive guidance, and allows us to work together to accomplish collective goals: Why Is It Important for Us to Gather with Other Believers?
- Music can open our hearts to the Holy Ghost and can help us become more unified: What Is the Role of Music in the Gospel?
- Humility, repentance, and commitment enable us to be baptized and to receive an ongoing cleansing by the power of the Holy Ghost: Qualifications for Baptism – Moroni 6:1-3.
- Our struggle to understand and follow the will of God strengthens us and brings us closer to Him: The Workings of the Spirit – Moroni 6:9.
- As a community of saints, we strengthen and sustain one another: That They Might Be Remembered – Moroni 6:4-6.