1 Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good [These are what Moroni considers to be his last words, what he wants to share before the record is sealed up.]; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites; and I would that they should know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since the sign was given of the coming of Christ. [Why does Moroni specifically want to write to the Lamanites? He knows that the Nephites are no more, that they are the only remnant of his brethren that will some day read this book.]
2 And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
This is a popular verse, often used in missionary work to invite someone to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Pondering is a form of prayer, and if someone were to consider the dealings of God in history since the time of Adam it is not farfetched to think that a book like this is possible.
4 And when ye shall receive these things [the book and the knowledge contained herein], I would exhort [strongly recommend to] you that ye would ask God [pray specifically], the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true [exactly as they are written without exaggeration]; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent [expecting to receive an answer], having faith in Christ [Christ is the foundation of your faith], he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. [Through the gifts of the Spirit, whether that be revelation, the ministering of angels, or some other way.]
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
“The power of the Holy Ghost” is another way of saying the gifts of the Spirit. This is how the Lord communicates with us. This is how “all things” are made known to us regarding the past, present, future, truth, error, the physical, the spiritual, and the mysteries of all creation.
Many people are confused by this part of scripture, wondering how the Holy Ghost can truly manifest that truth to them. Most, simply wait for a warm feeling, or some emotion to come upon them when they ask. Is this the “manifestation” that Moroni is suggesting? Such feelings may follow a true manifestation as we feel emotions of gratitude or love, but they are not the manifestation of the Spirit which teaches truth.
When the Spirit of revelation is given it comes as clear thoughts upon the mind and heart of an individual. Like looking upon your infant child for the first time and knowing they are truly yours. Like trying to decide something after prayerfully seeking an answer and knowing exactly how to proceed without question. This is the first step in exercising the power of the Holy Ghost or the gift of discernment. But how well can a person know?
The Lord blesses all who come to Him (in the name of Christ) asking that they may know enough to move forward. Their faith will not yet become perfect, but they will know if it is a good and will persevere until they shall truly “know the truth of all things.” That statement is not a sudden gift given to all who simply ask. It requires much faith, diligence, and patience, until they are able to ask all their questions freely in the presence of the Lord. And that is the truth of the matter.
6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is. [Moroni is referring back to his father’s epistle in Moroni 7. For anything that preaches Christ and acknowledges Him is from the Spirit of God.]
7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God [gifts of the Spirit]; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. [Without faith (seeking God’s will and acting upon it), you will not exercise such power.]
8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny [reject] not the gifts of God, for they are many [too many to count]; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. [The gifts of the Spirit come in such diversity, because the Lord’s works cover many people, their levels of faith, and situations. Often they are referred to as miracles, because they cannot be understood by the carnal mind. Some are very specific, and other gifts cross over in their application. Some gifts are required to begin the journey to come unto Christ, and others are not given until one has matured in their faith and become a servant of the Lord.]
9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; [The “word of wisdom” is how the Lord expects us to apply His laws and ordinances. It requires revelation and at time prophecy, which are also gifts.]
10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same [gift] Spirit; [The “word of knowledge” is the same as above, but suggests the kind of prophecy that is given from one who knows the Lord and shares such information, such as a prophet, seer, and revelator.]
11 And to another, exceedingly great faith [Those who have “exceedingly great faith” go to great lengths to know the Lord and do His work, this is a gift of the Spirit.]; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; [The same kind of desire leads to the ability to heal in Christ’s name.]
12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; [Every gift of the Spirit is a miracle, but the “mighty” ones are the kind that change the course of history. Sometimes, they come in the form of small acts of faith.]
13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; [This gift is available to any man, women, and child. Do you believe it? The Lord can speak through His Spirit to anyone with the purpose of sharing to another.]
14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels [resurrected beings of great light sent to perform a mission] and ministering spirits; [usually spirits of the righteous dead who come to assist the living]
It is not uncommon for those who have removed their false traditions (unbelief) to begin to see in the Spirit and converse with angels and ministering spirits. Such things seem deceptive to those with hard hearts, but we remember the words of Moroni, “Nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowlegeth that he is.”
15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues; [There are many kinds of tongues that can be spoken. There are the languages used in the world to communicate between people, and the prayer of tongues where an individual can pray to God with great power.]
16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers [various] kinds of tongues. [This is more for doing the labors of the kingdom in gathering Israel and preaching repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost. All servants of the Lord called to this capacity in the end of times will exercise this gift, and we are not talking about learning a foreign language.]
17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. [They come for the purpose of establishing the kingdom of Heaven, the gathering of Israel, and to bring us to Christ. Every person who comes unto Christ receives them in multiples, even as many gifts as they need without restraint.]
18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ. [It all comes through Christ. This is why every prayer to the Father is in the name of Christ, because without Him we cannot exercise any of the gifts of the Spirit, including discernment, revelation, etc. He is the light that connects us to heaven. It is all Him, and no other!]
19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men. [How many read the scriptures and think that such miracles do not occur to them in their lives. How many hold tight to the false traditions that prevent them from exercising these gifts. Are people controlled by the culture of propriety that surrounds their civic, church, and personal lives? Have you heard that only the clergy or authority have the right to exercise these gifts of the Spirit? Many are rebuked for attempting to use them, or even share what they experience. What do you think about this? What will you do?]
It is important to remember that God’s House is one of order. But, how is that handled amongst the believers? Using the gifts of the Spirit is a sacred trust and requires careful application. When we seek any gifts to gratify our pride, gain attention, gather a following, or simply to seek for a sign, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved and we are back to square one.
20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity. [Again, Moroni refers back to his father’s epistle in chapter 7. Faith, hope, and charity – the Doctrine of Christ. These three principles of the Gospel create a platform to exercise all the gifts of the Spirit.]
21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. [All three, repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost make it possible to come unto Christ and be saved in His Kingdom.]
22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity. [If we do not exercise the virtues of godliness we are not filled with light and will suffer because of despair, the result of iniquity and separation from God.]
23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me. [Faith is the root of repentance, seeking the will of the Lord in our life (the Path of Salvation). As the disciple of Christ exercises faith they are given the gifts of the Spirit to guide them to the rod of iron. Then they are given the Holy Ghost and further gifts to help them to reach the Tree of Life and partake of the fruit.]
24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth [To every soul, both the remnant of Jacob, the Jews, and the Gentiles]—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. [false traditions, and rejecting the gifts of God.]
25 And wo [so sad and cursed be their situation] be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.
This is a bold declaration. There are many “good” people in the world according to the definition most would use to describe people who are kind, generous, loving, and responsible. But, this is not the kind of good that Moroni is referring to. He writes to those who are coming to Christ and in harmony with His light, as the gifts of God are manifest. For only by the faith we exercise in coming to Him can we receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost and have Eternal Life. All else remains in the telestial sphere in which they reside, unless they choose perdition.
26 And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.
27 And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? [All who shall read this book and reject it shall have to admit that the truth was in their hands.]
28 I declare these things unto the fulfilling of the prophecies. And behold, they shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the everlasting God; and his word shall hiss forth [attract attention] from generation to generation.
29 And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true. [speaking to us]
30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing. [In the attempt to come unto Christ and exercise the gifts of the Spirit there can be the possibility of touching that which is unclean or evil. What would that be? For every gift of God there is a counterfeit of the Adversary. We should avoid spiritualism, magic, conjuring spirits, fortune telling, and other forms of miraculous experiences, which are popular in today’s culture and promise instant results. Such does not bring one closer to Christ, but teaches the person to trust in the arm of flesh and another as their source for accessing the supernatural.]
If you ever feel that your only way to access God is by leaning on another, especially if they require money for their assistance, run away as fast as you can. If their words teach you to come unto Christ and that He will help you to know what to do next, embrace it!
31 And awake, and arise from the dust [your carnal and sinful state of being], O Jerusalem [My people]; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments [the gift of the Holy Ghost, the garment of glory], O daughter of Zion [The remnant that has strayed and now is found]; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever [the establishment of Zion in the last days], that thou mayest no more be confounded [fall into apostasy], that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled. [the final realization of the Everlasting Covenant given to her upon this temporal earth]
32 Yea, come unto Christ [seek Him both mentally, spiritually, and physically], and be perfected in him [by being born again in His image, the bapstim of fire and the gift of the Holy Ghost], and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. [This is the perfect formula for coming to Christ and finally receiving the promise. Fill yourself with virtue, love Him with all your heart and soul, then you will not be able to “deny” the power of God as you are changed to become His literal Son or Daughter, to be raised to a higher resurrection and inherit Eternal Life.]
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God [His Atonement that prepares the way for you to advance in glory] are perfect in Christ [Made clean and have glory added upon you], and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified [made holy] in Christ by the grace [glory] of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ [Atonement], which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. [You will be perfect in Christ, never to be forsaken worlds without end, unless you choose otherwise.]
34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen. [Moroni expects to die soon. He looks forward to death rather than endure without his family. But, the Lord has other plans.]
This is one of my favorite chapters of the entire Book of Mormon. Moroni sums up the purpose of the Book of Mormon – to bring us into the presence of the Lord. He emphasizes the gifts of the Spirit here more than any other part of the record. He knows the lack of faith that will exist amongst those who will receive this book in the last days and warns us. Do you understand the message? Is it not clear what he is saying? We must awake and arise and prepare ourselves to meet the Bridegroom. The Book of Mormon is the most clear roadmap to coming to Christ than any book ever written. Study it often and seek your personal revelation.
The purpose of sharing my thoughts by annotating the Book of Mormon was to inspire you to seek personal revelation, to ask additional questions, and prepare you to receive more holiness. Who are you? What is your path in this life? Prepare yourself to receive Him.