Mormon 8 & 9 – By the Mouths of Two or Three Witnesses
Following a suggestion in the teacher’s manual, I’d purchased two different newspapers yesterday (the Times and the Tribune) and clipped out articles as reported therein on two different topics. One topic happened to be on the Jewish passover holiday and the other topic was on Iran’s plutonium situation. I was able to find within the two newspapers three different stories (from different perspectives) on each of these topics.
I cut the stories out, stapling the loose pages together. Today in class I divided the students into two teams, each team receiving a theme topic with three different perspectives. I also distributed a piece of paper for the students to take notes on.
The students had five minutes to compare and contrast the stories, noticing which items were mentioned in all stories and which stories contained unique facts. The students were to divide their blank piece of paper into three columns and notate what they found.
After the five minutes were up (each team had split the three articles up amongst themselves, so they could move more quickly through the assignment), the teams reported what they had found and how they’d noticed each article seemed to tell the story from a different angle [click on picture to see a close up of student work].
Then we read these two scriptures:
- 2 Cor. 13:1
- Mormon 7:8-9
We talked about the importance of having more than one witness and how important The Book of Mormon is to substantiate the claim of the Christian world that Jesus really is the Christ.
In today’s world, there are so many publications now purporting to prove Jesus was NOT the Christ, that there IS not a God of miracles, and that only the things we see can be believed. Yet the scriptures say otherwise. Moroni wrote what we have in chapter 9 for the people who do not believe God. Because of The Book of Mormon, we have a second witness to the Bible that God is real and that His promises are sure. And the beautiful thing is that one can pray to verify truth in all sources, whether in the scriptures or in the news reports of the day.
It’s a little like the hinges on a door. If the door only had one hinge, it would not be as stable. But put two or three hinges on a door, it becomes quite stable in its movement. The Book of Mormon simply stands as a second testament to the power of the Lord.
And there are blessings which come to those who study God’s word and live by it. We read as a class President Benson’s quote (in the teacher’s manual for this section) and the promised blessings that come especially by reading The Book of Mormon.
Then we read these scriptures together:
- Mormon 9:1-5
- Isaiah 6:1, 5-7
- Mormon 9:6
We talked about this is one reason the Lord has given us so many witnesses through the scriptures and through the prophets. He wants us to improve our lives so that we can become comfortable to return to His presence. He will help us become worthy as fast as we turn to Him for help (D&C 111:11). And we read Elder Lorenzo Snow’s quote on page 250 which substantiates this (again, another witness). The Lord blesses us with miracles every day of our life, if we so live faithfully.
I asked about miracles from God and specifically what miracles Jesus performed. We read Mark 5:35-42 and I asked why Jesus removed most of the people from the room before performing the miracle of raising the damsel from the dead.
We talked about how miracles Follow Faith (emphasizing the alliteration of that phrase so the students would remember it). Why did Moroni spend time discussing miracles in Mormon 9? I shared because he wants us to understand God is a loving God. He delights to bless his children and will do so as soon as they understand and live his gospel. It is the sole purpose of so many witnesses – to let us know God is there for us and gives us these scriptures – so that we can understand His truths and be saved by coming to Christ.
I passed out a sheet I’d created using the chart entitled “Mormon 9:7-24” on page 251 and divided the class into teams of two. They researched the answers and we shared them at the end of class.
The Book of Mormon has come during a time of apostasy, a time of wickedness, a time when people deny God and his mighty miracles. We learn in Moroni 9 that Moroni wrote these words for those who do not believe in God, therefore do not believe God. No wonder Moroni, who saw our day, wrote such a powerful chapter as chapter 9 in Mormon. Truly we need God and can rely on Him as we turn to Him.
We started off by analyzing the newspaper and its different witnesses on a same event and how we received better details through the eyes of more than one witness. It is the same for the Bible and The Book of Mormon. For that I am most grateful.
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