1. Having survived the destruction of the Nephites, Moroni continues his writings.
Moroni 1:1-3 Moroni
‘The Lord “committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim” to Moroni (D&C 27:5). He thus became the principal figure in the transmission of the record to this dispensation as well as the protector of the record itself. Moroni was “the last Nephite prophet in the Book of Mormon (circaA.D. 421). Just before Mormon’s death, he delivered a historical record called the plates of Mormon to his son Moroni (W of M 1:1). Moroni finished compiling the plates of Mormon. He added chapters 8 and 9 to the book of Mormon (Morm. 8:1). He abridged and included the book of Ether (Ether 1:1–2) and added his own book called the book of Moroni (Moro. 1:1–4). Moroni sealed up the plates and hid them in the hill Cumorah (Morm. 8:14;Moro. 10:2). In 1823 Moroni was sent as a resurrected being to reveal the Book of Mormon toJoseph Smith (JS—H 1:30–42, 45; D&C 27:5). He instructed the young prophet each year from 1823 to 1827 (JS—H 1:54) and finally delivered the plates to him in 1827 (JS—H 1:59). After completing the translation Joseph Smith returned the plates to Moroni” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Moroni, Son of Mormon”).’ (Institute Book of Mormon Manual)
Moroni 1:1 After having made an end of abridging the record of the people of Jared
‘There is no more convincing evidence of the variety of material and structure in the Book of Mormon than the difference between the records of Ether and Moroni. Just turn the page, and the change hits the eye forcefully. And yet both came to us from the same writer, Moroni, son of Mormon. The book of Ether is narrative almost throughout. That is, it is narrative with rich commentary in pertinent places. The book of Moroni contains no narrative at all. The nearest thing to it is in chapter 9.’ [J.N. Washburn,The Contents, Structure and Authorship of the Book of Mormon, pp. 70-71]
Moroni 1:4 They may be of worth to my brethren the Lamanites
“These words not only reveal to us Moroni’s purpose in writing the book, but lay open to our minds the magnanimous character of the man. A person who can love his enemies so much that he contributes to the eternal welfare of their descendants has a great soul.” (FARMS: Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, Spring-1995, p. 38)
2. Moroni teaches about essential gospel ordinances.
Moroni 2:2 The gift of the Holy Ghost
The Saviour taught his disciples to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ.
Describes how the Nephites ordained priests and teachers.
Moroni 4:3 That they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son
“Why are the three words ‘are willing to’ necessary here? Are they important? Would it make a difference if the prayer left these out and just read: ‘ . . . and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them’? Yes, it would make a difference. It would make a difference because I cannot do this latter thing. I can’t witness, affirm, or swear that I do always remember him and keep his commandments. I would be lying, and I know it-I want to do the right thing, but sometimes I don’t. This is precisely the problem that makes the atonement of Christ and the gospel covenant necessary for me in the first place-I can’t keep all the commandments all the time no matter how hard I try. It follows that I can’t honestly witness to God that I will keep all the commandments when I know that, in some degree at least, I probably won’t.
“However, I can with absolute honesty witness that I am willing to. I can swear that this is the desire of my heart. I can affirm that I hunger and thirst after these things, that I will do all I can to be obedient. Thus even by the technical terms of the covenant renewal prayer, God lets me know that the honest commitment of my heart and my best efforts are sufficient for the covenant to be renewed, and that the covenant of faith is sufficient, through the grace of Christ, to justify me before God.” (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ, p. 53-4)
Moroni 4:3, 5:2 Always remember him
“Those of you who have served missions may have … come upon your missionary journals put away in a closet in your home. You may have read and felt a shock as you remembered how hard you worked, how constantly you thought of the Savior and His sacrifice for you and for those you tried to meet and teach, and how fervently and often you prayed. The shock may have come from realizing how much the cares of life had taken you from where you once were, so close to always remembering and always praying.
“My message is a plea, a warning, and a promise: I plead with you to do with determination the simple things that will move you forward spiritually.
“Start with remembering Him. You will remember what you know and what you love. The Savior gave us the scriptures, paid for by prophets at a price we cannot measure, so that we could know Him. Lose yourself in them. Decide now to read more, and more effectively than you have ever done before” (Henry B Eyring, “Always,” Ensign, Oct. 1999, 9–10).
3. Moroni explains the requirements for Church membership and the need for record keeping and fellowshipping.
Moroni 6:1-3 They were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.
“…no price is too great to pay for the privilege of receiving this holy ordinance. We must prepare ourselves for baptism; we must be worthy to make a covenant with the Holy One; we must have a fixed and unalterable determination to conform to his will. Otherwise baptism profiteth nothing. No ordinance is binding on earth and in heaven unless it is ratified and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and this Spirit is given only to those who are just and true. Just as those who partake unworthily of the sacrament eat and drink damnation to their souls, so those who are baptized unworthily receive cursings instead of blessings.” (Bruce R McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 248)
Moroni 6:4 They were numbered among the people of the church of Christ
Jesus Christ is “the author and the finisher of [our] faith.” (Moroni 6:4) Uniting ourselves to the body of Christ—the Church—is an important part of taking His name upon us.[See 3 Nephi 27:5–7] We are told that the ancient Church “did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls” (Moroni 6:5) “and to hear the word of the Lord.” (4 Nephi 1:12) So it is in the Church today. Joined in faith, we teach and edify one another and strive to approach the full measure of discipleship, “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” We strive to help one another come to “the knowledge of the Son of God,” (Ephesians 4:13) until that day when “they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, … saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.”(Jeremiah 31:34 see also Hebrews 8:11) (D Todd Christofferson, General Conference, October 2015)
Moroni 6:5-6 Church meetings
‘Unless the Saints attend their meetings it will be hard for them to keep alive in the Gospel.’ (Anthon H. Lund, Conference Report, Oct. 1907, p. 9)
Moroni 6:9 After the manner of the workings of the Spirit
“The singular tragedy of the Nephite decline as recorded by Mormon in the Book of Mormon was the loss of the Holy Ghost and the spiritual gifts. Wisdom and inspiration dictated that Moroni include in his closing record the instructions by his father, Mormon, on the ordinations, the sacrament, and practices of the Church. Noteworthy is this testimony about their meetings:
“‘Their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.’ (Moro. 6:9.)
“That is the spirit that can and should characterize our worship and our sacrament meetings.
“A sister remarked to me after one such spiritual meeting, ‘I don’t recall all that was said—but I remember how we felt as we sang the closing hymn and bowed our heads in prayer’” (David B Haight, “Remembering the Savior’s Atonement,” Ensign, Apr. 1988, 13).