Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Sunday, March 29, 2020

He works in me to do His Will



Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog

For any reading this blog, its first important to remember that the Book of Mormon is a record of ancient inhabitants that lived upon the American Continent  They were originally led here by the Lord, from Jerusalem, being part of Israel, and some as far back as the time of the building of the Tower of Babel. These stories are actual events that took place, testifying of the Lord's people, whom had great faith and whom he chose to lead here, to America, for their safety and liberty and that we, who would come later might have the opportunity to have the same.  The record recorded in their own hand left behind for their posterity, is the Book of Mormon, its pages are the journals of the Prophets of that time, testifying of their reality and truthfulness and that the only way for peace, safety, and eternal life is through Jesus Christ.  They have left us with great lessons and testimonies that teach us how to come unto Christ and survive even the most harrowing of times, which as we all know, we are currently experiencing.

In our past studies this year we have learned about Nephi and his brother Jacob who boldly testified of Christ teaching us of his birth, his life and his death being the Atonement we all need.  They have taught us to have great faith in times of trouble and need, and have shown us how help and miracles come in and through our faith and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we move forward through the Book of Mormon we come this week to EnosWords of Mormon.  These chapters carry great significance and meaning with the ability to help us seek a remission of our sins, to better prepare us to be ready for the Lord, and also again, as the theme carries, to know that our prayers WILL be answered, we CAN have guidance, we WILL prosper, when we seek to follow Jesus Christ and live righteously obeying the commandments of God.

History and Background The Books of  Enos through the Words of Mormon. 

The Book of Enos:

Enos, the son of Jacob and the grandson of Lehi and Sariah, authored this book. Enos recorded that his father taught him “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” Enos 1:). Near the end of his life, Enos wrote that he had declared “the word according to the truth which is in Christ” (Enos 1:26) throughout all his days. Before his death, Enos passed the small plates of Nephi to his son Jarom. Enos concluded his record by rejoicing in the day when he would stand before his Redeemer. He declared, “Then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father” (Enos 1:27).
Enos closed his record by declaring that 179 years had passed since Lehi left Jerusalem (see Enos 1:25). That places the date of his writing between approximately 544 B.C. (when Jacob closed his record) and 420 B.C. Enos wrote this record while living in the land of Nephi.

The book of Enos illustrates the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to cleanse people from sin and make them whole. Enos wrestled before God in mighty prayer before his sins were forgiven. He then prayed for the spiritual welfare of the Nephites and Lamanites. He spent the remainder of his life laboring for their salvation. As we study the book of Enos, we can discover important lessons about prayer, repentance, and revelation. We also learn that as individuals receive the blessings of the Atonement, they will desire to share those blessings with others.  (Book of Mormon Study Guide) 


The book of Jarom:

Here we see that God keeps His promise to bless those who obey His commandments. We also learn about the efforts of Nephite kings, prophets, teachers, and priests of Jarom’s day to help the people repent and avoid destruction.

Enos’s son Jarom wrote this book. Like his father—and like his grandfather Jacob and his great-grandfather Lehi—Jarom had the spirit of prophecy and revelation (see Jarom 1:2). When he finished his record, he passed the small plates of Nephi to his son Omni.  The book of Jarom covers approximately 59 years, from about 420 B.C. to 361 B.C. (see Enos 1:25; Jarom 1:13). It was written in the land of Nephi.
(Book of Mormon Study Guide) 


The Words of Mormon: 

Through a study of Words of Mormon, we can increase our faith that “the Lord knoweth all things” (Words of Mormon 1:7) and that He guides His servants to bring about His purposes. As a historical account, the book serves as a bridge between the small plates of Nephi (1 Nephi–Omni) and Mormon’s abridgment of the large plates of Nephi (Mosiah–4 Nephi). Words of Mormon can help us better understand which records Mormon abridged as he compiled the Book of Mormon. It also introduces us to the faith and accomplishments of King Benjamin.

Mormon wrote this book. He was a prophet, a record keeper, and the abridger and compiler of most of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is named after him. He was also a Nephite general and a righteous father. The prophet Moroni was his son.  Mormon wrote this book about A.D. 385, after having “witnessed almost all the destruction of [his] people, the Nephites” (Words of Mormon 1:1). Mormon did not record where he was when he wrote this book.


Part 1: Enos 1:1–17 We can receive forgiveness of our sins as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ

Have you ever felt like you've wrestled with God?  The Prophet Enos did  After reflecting on the words of his father, Enos prayed mightily wrestling for and then receiving a remission of his sins. He then prayed for the spiritual welfare of the Nephites and the Lamanites and spent his life laboring for their salvation.

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—
2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.
3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?
8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
9 Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.
10 And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments. I have given unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I curse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their transgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.
11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.
12 And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.
13 And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him—that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation—
14 For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.
15 Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.
16 And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time.
17 And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.


Whom did Enos credit with teaching him the gospel?  Enos 1:1
1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—

Who was Enos’s father?  Jacob 7:27.
27 And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.

What does it mean to teach children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”?  

President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled parents to be righteous examples for their children, as Enos’s father was for him: “Treat your children as sons and daughters of God. Be kind. Love them. Respect them. Counsel with them. Teach them. Pray for them. Guide them and God will bless both them and you” (in Church News, 1 Nov. 1997, 2).

What did Jacob’s teachings influence Enos to do? Enos 1:3–4
3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.


How did Enos describe his prayer to the Lord?  Enos 1:2
2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.


Why do you think Enos called his experience a “wrestle”? Enos did not wrestle with God. The record states that Enos wrestled before God in prayer. Such wrestling is the struggle to find and express one’s real desires under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Praying in this manner requires that a person eliminate vain, trite, or insincere repetitions and to pour the deepest desires of his or her heart into words. Each phrase becomes an expression of yearning and desire to do God’s will. Such prayers are assisted and guided by the Holy Spirit, “for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).  (Book of Mormon Student Manual) 
What do you think Enos might have meant by the phrase “my soul hungered”?  Enos 1:4. Feelings of spiritual emptiness, pain, or weakness, or a desire to be filled spiritually and obtain a greater understanding and testimony of the gospel.

How might reflecting on teachings concerning eternal life and the joy of the Saints cause a person’s soul to hunger?  It may help a person desire to be worthy to be with the Lord and desire the happiness that comes from living the gospel.
What can his account of seeking forgiveness teach us about repenting? Sin causes the Holy Ghost to withdraw from us, and we feel distanced from the Lord. Repenting brings it back together, we feel connected, and safe. We can feel that our hunger has been satisfied.  

How did Enos know his sins had been forgiven? Enos 1:5–6.
5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

What principles can we learn from Enos about the process of receiving forgiveness for our sins?
As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven and we can be made whole.


How can we know our sins have been forgiven?  President Harold B. Lee said: “If the time comes when you have done all that you can to repent of your sins … and have made amends and restitution to the best of your ability … , then you will want that confirming answer as to whether or not the Lord has accepted of you. In your soul-searching, if you seek for and you find that peace of conscience, by that token you may know that the Lord has accepted of your repentance” (Stand Ye in Holy Places [1974], 185).

“Once we have truly repented, Christ will take away the burden of guilt for our sins. We can know for ourselves that we have been forgiven and made clean. The Holy Ghost will verify this to us; He is the Sanctifier. No other testimony of forgiveness can be greater” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Point of Safe Return,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 101).

What enabled Enos to receive forgiveness of his sins? Enos 1:7–8.
7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?
8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.


Why is faith in Christ necessary for us to repent and receive forgiveness? Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. It is only through His Atonement that we can be made whole.

What are some things we can do to exercise faith in Jesus Christ as we seek forgiveness for our sins? We can trust that the Savior has the power to forgive us and desires to do so; repent of our sins; and obey God’s commandments.
After Enos learned that his sins were forgiven, what did he pray for? Enos 1:9, 11–13.
11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.
12 And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.

13 And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him—that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation—

Based on Enos’s experience, what happens as we experience the blessings of Jesus Christ’s Atonement?  As we experience the blessings of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we will seek to help others receive salvation.

“Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of [others]. …“A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter [2015], 127, 128).

Why did Enos want to be sure that the records would be preserved? Enos 1:13–14.
13 And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him—that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation—
14 For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.


What can we learn about prayer from Enos?  The Lord answers our prayers according to our faith and diligence.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the process Enos went through that increased his faith and prepared him to receive the answer to his prayer:

“First, Enos heard the gospel truths from his father, just as you are hearing them in your families and in this conference.

“Second, he let his father’s teachings about ‘eternal life, and the joy of the saints’ [Enos 1:3] sink deep into his heart.

“Third, he was filled with a desire to know for himself whether these teachings were true and where he himself stood before his Maker. To use Enos’s words, ‘My soul hungered’ [Enos 1:4]. By this intense spiritual appetite, Enos qualified himself to receive the Savior’s promise: ‘Blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost’ [3 Nephi 12:6].

“Fourth, Enos obeyed the commandments of God, which enabled him to be receptive to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.

“Fifth, Enos records, ‘I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens’ [Enos 1:4]. It wasn’t easy. Faith did not come quickly. In fact, Enos characterized his experience in prayer as a ‘wrestle which [he] had before God’ [Enos 1:2]. But faith did come. By the power of the Holy Ghost, he did receive a witness for himself.

“We cannot find Enos-like faith without our own wrestle before God in prayer. I testify that the reward is worth the effort. … I promise that if you do these things sincerely and unceasingly, the words Christ spoke to His disciples will be fulfilled in your life: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ [Matthew 7:7]”
( Conference Report, Oct. 2004, 73–74; or Ensign, Nov. 2004, 72).


Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles compared receiving answers to prayers to the opening of a combination lock. It is a step-by-step process: “Petitioning in prayer has taught me, again and again, that the vault of heaven with all its blessings is to be opened only by a combination lock. One tumbler falls when there is faith, a second when there is personal righteousness; the third and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is, in God’s judgment—not ours—right for us. Sometimes we pound on the vault door for something we want very much and wonder why the door does not open. We would be very spoiled children if that vault door opened any more easily than it does. I can tell, looking back, that God truly loves me by inventorying the petitions He has refused to grant me. Our rejected petitions tell us much about ourselves but also much about our flawless Father” (“Insights,” New Era, Apr. 1978, 6).
What impresses you about Enos’s faith and testimony? 

Enos did not mention the nature or extent of his sins, but rather described the process of repentance that we must each undertake to receive divine forgiveness. President Spencer W. Kimball
taught:  “I have always loved the story of Enos, who had great need. Like all of us—for none of us is perfect—he had strayed. How dark were his sins I do not know, but he wrote, ‘I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins’ [Enos 1:2]. …

“What a blessing and a joy for each of us to know that our Father lives and that he loves us, that he forgives us when repentance is forthcoming, that he is ever willing to help and give love to his beloved children” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Pray Always,” Ensign, Oct. 1981, 6).

Part 2: JaromOmni If we keep the commandments, we will prosper

The books of Jarom and Omni contain the final writings in the small plates of Nephi. Jarom received the plates from his father, Enos, and recorded the Nephites’ struggles and blessings over a period of approximately 40 years. He then passed the plates to his son Omni. The book of Omni contains the writings of five different Nephite record keepers and covers approximately 193 years.  Jarom and the writers of Omni wrote about the Nephite nation, but their messages apply also to individuals today.  

1 Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.
2 And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.
3 Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land.
4 And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.
5 And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.
6 And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also. And they were exceedingly more numerous than were they of the Nephites; and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.
7 And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance.
8 And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.
9 And thus being prepared to meet the Lamanites, they did not prosper against us. But the word of the Lord was verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land.
10 And it came to pass that the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God, that if they did not keep the commandments, but should fall into transgression, they should be destroyed from off the face of the land.
11 Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.
12 And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.
13 And it came to pass that two hundred and thirty and eight years had passed away—after the manner of wars, and contentions, and dissensions, for the space of much of the time.
14 And I, Jarom, do not write more, for the plates are small. But behold, my brethren, ye can go to the other plates of Nephi; for behold, upon them the records of our wars are engraven, according to the writings of the kings, or those which they caused to be written.
15 And I deliver these plates into the hands of my son Omni, that they may be kept according to the commandments of my fathers.


What did Jarom say was his purpose in adding to the records?  Jarom 1:1–2.
1 Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.
2 And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.


 How did Jarom describe his people, the Nephites?  Jarom 1:3–4 
3 Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land.
4 And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.


How were they able to prosper in the land and overcome the Lamanites? Jarom 1:5, 7–12.
7 And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance.
8 And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.
9 And thus being prepared to meet the Lamanites, they did not prosper against us. But the word of the Lord was verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land.
10 And it came to pass that the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God, that if they did not keep the commandments, but should fall into transgression, they should be destroyed from off the face of the land.
11 Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.

12 And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.

The definition of the word prosperity is "the state of being prosperous; wealth · success · profitability · affluence · riches · opulence · the good life · (good) fortune · ease · plenty · welfare · comfort · security · well-being · luxury · life of luxury · milk and honey · a bed of roses · prosperousness · successfulness · speed · Godspeed  

What do we learn from the books of Jarom and Omni about how righteousness leads to prosperity? Jarom 1:7–12 and Omni 1:5–7, 12–18)

How does the world’s definition compare to the Lord’s definition? 

How does the Lord help His people prosper?

What role did prophets, priests, and teachers play in the success of the Nephites?  Jarom 1:11–12.) 
11 Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.
12 And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.


What does it mean to “prick their hearts with the word”? Jarom 1:12


Just as the Nephite prophets labored diligently to teach the commandments to the people, our latter-day prophets also teach us about the commandments. 

After reading Jarom 1:9–12, how do teachings of Church leaders inspire you to keep the commandments?  

How does obedience to the commandments help us “prosper” in our lives? As we keep the commandments of God, we will prosper. 

“I remember when I was preparing to be trained as a fighter pilot. We spent a great deal of our preliminary military training in physical exercise. I’m still not exactly sure why endless running was considered such an essential preparatory part of becoming a pilot. Nevertheless, we ran and we ran and we ran some more.

“As I was running I began to notice something that, frankly, troubled me. Time and again I was being passed by men who smoked, drank, and did all manner of things that were contrary to the gospel and, in particular, to the Word of Wisdom.

“I remember thinking, ‘Wait a minute! Aren’t I supposed to be able to run and not be weary?’ But I was weary, and I was overtaken by people who were definitely not following the Word of Wisdom. I confess, it troubled me at the time. I asked myself, was the promise true or was it not?  The answer didn’t come immediately. But eventually I learned that God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways. Years later I could see clear evidence of the temporal blessings that come to those who obey the Word of Wisdom—in addition to the spiritual blessings that come immediately from obedience to any of God’s laws. Looking back, I know for sure that the promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain”
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience,” 58).

The Nephite leaders persuaded the people to “look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was” Jarom 1:11Mosiah 3:13

How can we follow this counsel as we prepare for the Savior’s Second Coming?


Part 3: Omni The Lord brought many people to the promised land
The book of Omni covers approximately 200 years and was written by five record keepers, yet it is only 30 verses long.  It describes several important events in the history of the people in the Book of Mormon.

Book of Mormon Chronology Chart
Department of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Copyright 1974 ©


Events Major Minor

1. Tower of Babel—Jaredites language not confounded. (Ether 1:33–37)
2. Jaredites traveled to great sea, and barges were built. (Ether 2:1–18)
3. Brother of Jared saw the premortal Christ. (Ether 3:6–16)
4. Jaredites journeyed to the promised land. (Ether 6:1–12)
5. Secret combination between Jared and Akish. (Ether 8:7–19)
6. The prophet Ether warned King Coriantumr and the Jaredites. (Ether 12:1–5; Ether 13:1–22)
7. Destruction of the Jaredites. (Ether 15:13–32)
8. Coriantumr—last Jaredite survivor discovered by Mulekites. (Ether 15:32. See also Omni 1:20–22.)
9. Lehi’s vision of the destruction of Jerusalem. (1 Ne. 1:6–15)
10. Lehi commanded to leave Jerusalem. (1 Ne. 2:1–4)
11. Lehi’s family departed from Jerusalem. (1 Ne. 2:1–4)
12. Nephi and his brothers obtained the brass plates of Laban. (1 Ne. 3; 1 Ne. 4)
13. Zoram, Laban’s servant, joined Lehi’s family. (1 Ne. 4:35, 38)
14. Ishmael’s family joined Lehi. (1 Ne. 7)
15. Lehi’s dream of the tree of Life. (1 Ne. 8)
16. Nephi’s visions and prophecies. (1 Ne. 11–15)
17. Liahona discovered. (1 Ne. 16:9–16)
18. Nephi’s bow broken. (1 Ne. 16:18–32)
19. Death of Ishmael. (1 Ne. 16:34–39)
20. The building of a ship at Bountiful. (1 Ne. 17:8–17; 1 Ne. 18:1–5)
21. Voyage to the promised land. (1 Ne. 18:5–23)
22. Nephi made two sets of plates. (1 Ne. 19)
23. Mulekites left Jerusalem. (Omni 1:15–16)
24. Nephite–Lamanite split. (2 Ne. 5)
25. Jacob succeed Nephi as prophet. Death of Nephi. (Jacob 1)
26. Jacob’s discourse. (Jacob 2–6)
27. Sherem confronted Jacob. (Jacob 7)
28. Enos forgiven of his sins. (Enos 1)
29. Efforts to teach Lamanites the gospel were unsuccessful. (Enos 1:14)
30. Mosiah I led the righteous Nephites from Nephi to Zarahemla. (Omni 1:12–19)
31. King Benjamin reigned in Zarahemla. (Omni 1:23–25; W of M 1:12–18)
32. Zeniff left Zarahemla and established a Nephite colony in the land of Nephi. (Omni 1:27–30; Mosiah 9:1–9)
33. King Benjamin’s address. (Mosiah 2–5)
34. Mosiah II became king of Zarahemla. (Mosiah 6)
35. With the Lord’s help, Zeniff’s people prevailed against the Lamanites. (Mosiah 9:14–19; Mosiah 10)
36. Noah succeed Zeniff as king of the Nephite colony. (Mosiah 11:1–15)
37. Abinadi’s ministry and death. (Mosiah 12–17)
38. Alma the Elder was converted—baptized at the Waters of Mormon. (Mosiah 17; Mosiah 18)
39. Gideon’s insurrection against Noah. (Mosiah 19)
40. Death of King Noah by fire. (Mosiah 19:19, 20)
41. Noah’s son Limhi became king over the Nephites in bondage. (Mosiah 19)
42. The twenty-four gold plates were discovered. (Mosiah 21:25–27)
43. Ammon led Limhi’s people to Zarahemla. (Mosiah 7; Mosiah 22)
44. Alma the Elder and his followers were put in bondage at Helam. (Mosiah 23; Mosiah 24)
45. Alma’s people were delivered and arrived in Zarahemla. (Mosiah 24:13–25)
46. Alma the Elder was made high priest over the Nephites in Zarahemla. (Mosiah 25:15–21; Alma 4:18)
47. Conversion of Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah. (Mosiah 27)
48. The four sons of Mosiah left on a mission to the Lamanites. (Mosiah 28:1–9)
49. Alma the Younger became record keeper, first chief judge, and high priest over the Nephites. (Mosiah 28:20; Mosiah 29:42–44)
50. Beginning of the reign of the judges. (Mosiah 29:44)
51. Death of Mosiah II and Alma the Elder. (Mosiah 29:45, 46)
52. Nehor introduced priestcraft among the Nephites. (Alma 1:1–15)
53. Amlici sought to become king over the Nephites. (Alma 2:1–31)
54. Alma the Younger gave up the judgement seat to Nephihah. (Alma 4:11–20)
55. Alma the Younger and Amulek preached to Ammonihahites. (Alma 8–10; Alma 12; Alma 13)
56. Zeezrom was converted. (Alma 11; Alma 14; Alma 15)
57. City of Ammonihah was destroyed by a Lamanite army. (Alma 16:1–12)
58. Reunion of Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah. (Alma 17:1–4)
59. King Lamoni and his household were converted. (Alma 17; Alma 18; Alma 19)
60. Ammon and Lamoni encountered Lamoni’s father. (Alma 20)
61. Aaron preached the gospel to Lamoni’s father and his household. (Alma 22)
62. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies were converted. (Alma 23–25; Alma 27)
63. Anti-Nephi-Lehies were given the land of Jershon. (Alma 27)
64. Korihor the Anti-Christ was struck dumb. (Alma 30)
65. Alma the Younger led a mission among the Zoramites. (Alma 31–35)
66. Captain Moroni defeated Zerahemnah. (Alma 43; Alma 44)
67. Disappearance of Alma the Younger. (Alma 45:15–19)
68. Amalickiah tried to become king over the Nephites. (Alma 46:1–10)
69. The title of liberty rallied freedom-loving Nephites. (Alma 46:11–37)
70. Captain Moroni prepared the Nephites to defend their freedom (Alma 48–50)
71. Captain Moroni defeated the rebellious king-men. (Alma 51)
72. Teancum killed Amalickiah, who was succeeded by Ammoron. (Alma 51:33, 34; Alma 52:3)
73. Captain Moroni, Lehi, and Teancum regained several captured cities. (Alma 52–55)
74. Helaman I and the stripling warriors helped the Nephites. (Alma 53; Alma 56–58)
75. Captain Moroni and Pahoran corresponded. (Alma 59–61)
76. Lamanites were driven from Nephite lands; peace was established. (Alma 62:12–52)
77. Death of Captain Moroni and Pahoran. (Alma 63:3; Hel. 1:2)
78. Hagoth built ships and sailed forth. (Alma 63:5–8)
79. Kishkumen formed a secret combination and murdered Pahoran’s son. (Hel. 1:1–12)
80. Gadianton became the leader of Kishkumen’s band. (Hel. 2)
81. Thousands of Lamanites were converted through the efforts of Nephi and Lehi. (Hel. 5)
82. Lamanites were more righteous than Nephites and sent missionaries among Nephites. (Hel. 6:1–6)
83. Free interchange of commerce between the Nephites and Lamanites. (Hel. 6:7–9)
84. Gadianton robbers seized control of the Nephite government. (Hel. 6:15–41)
85. Nephi, son of Helaman II, prophesied the murder of the chief judge. (Hel. 7–9)
86. Nephi, son of Helaman II, was given great power. (Hel. 10; Hel. 11)
87. Samuel the Lamanite warned the Nephites. (Hel. 13–15)
88. Signs given of the Savior’s birth. (3 Ne. 1)
89. Lachoneus and Gidgiddoni defeated the Gadianton robbers. (3 Ne. 3; 3 Ne. 4)
90. Nephites divided into tribes. (3 Ne. 7)
91. Signs given of Christ’s death. (3 Ne. 8)
92. Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephite. (3 Ne. 11:1–17)
93. Jesus chose twelve disciples among the Nephites. (3 Ne. 12:1)
94. Jesus taught his gospel and organized his church. (3 Ne. 12–27)
95. Era of peace following Christ’s ministry. (4 Ne. 1)
96. The Three Nephites were changed. (3 Ne. 28)
97. A few people revolted and became Lamanites. (4 Ne. 1:20)
98. The people were divided into Nephites and Lamanites. (4 Ne. 1:35–42)
99. Ammaron gave Mormon charge of the plates. (Morm. 1:1–4)
100. Mormon deposited all the plates except the plates of Mormon, which he gave to his son Moroni. (Morm. 6:6)
101. Final battle between the Nephites and Lamanites at Cumorah. (Morm. 6:7–15)
102. Moroni wandered alone and abridged the Jaredite history.(Morm. 8; Ether 1:1, 2; Moro. 1:1)
103. Moroni recorded his farewell and deposited the plates of Mormon in the Hill Cumorah. (Moro. 10)

In this short account, we learn of three groups of people whom the Lord brought to the land of promise in the Western Hemisphere. The first group mentioned was Lehi’s colony. The majority of the Book of Mormon relates their story and that of their descendants.  The Book of Mormon also identifies a second group, referred to as the people of Zarahemla, who were descendants of Mulek and who joined the Nephites (see Mosiah 25:2). Mulek, a son of King Zedekiah, left Jerusalem and traveled to the Americas after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem around 587 B.C. (see Omni 1:15). Without a scriptural record, the people of Zarahemla were a living witness of what the Spirit said to Nephi that a whole nation would dwindle in unbelief (see 1 Nephi 4:13). The Mulekites then joined with the Nephites under the rule of King Mosiah (see Omni 1:19).
The third group was the Jaredites, who came to the land of promise following the time of the “great tower” mentioned in Genesis 11. The original Jaredite colony grew into a great race. Eventually, however, they annihilated themselves in a great civil war sometime between 600 and 300 B.C., leaving only Coriantumr, their last king, and Ether, a prophet of the Lord (see Ether 15:29–34). Ether finished the record, and Coriantumr apparently wandered until he found the people of Zarahemla, where he lived “for the space of nine moons” (Omni 1:21) before dying. Little is known of the Jaredites other than what is recorded by Moroni in the book of Ether.  (Book of Mormon Student Manual)

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Omni, being commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates, to preserve our genealogy—
2 Wherefore, in my days, I would that ye should know that I fought much with the sword to preserve my people, the Nephites, from falling into the hands of their enemies, the Lamanites. But behold, I of myself am a wicked man, and I have not kept the statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done.
3 And it came to pass that two hundred and seventy and six years had passed away, and we had many seasons of peace; and we had many seasons of serious war and bloodshed. Yea, and in fine, two hundred and eighty and two years had passed away, and I had kept these plates according to the commandments of my fathers; and I conferred them upon my son Amaron. And I make an end.
4 And now I, Amaron, write the things whatsoever I write, which are few, in the book of my father.
5 Behold, it came to pass that three hundred and twenty years had passed away, and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed.
6 For the Lord would not suffer, after he had led them out of the land of Jerusalem and kept and preserved them from falling into the hands of their enemies, yea, he would not suffer that the words should not be verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall not prosper in the land.
7 Wherefore, the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous that they should not perish, but did deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
8 And it came to pass that I did deliver the plates unto my brother Chemish.
9 Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write, in the same book with my brother; for behold, I saw the last which he wrote, that he wrote it with his own hand; and he wrote it in the day that he delivered them unto me. And after this manner we keep the records, for it is according to the commandments of our fathers. And I make an end.
10 Behold, I, Abinadom, am the son of Chemish. Behold, it came to pass that I saw much war and contention between my people, the Nephites, and the Lamanites; and I, with my own sword, have taken the lives of many of the Lamanites in the defence of my brethren.
11 And behold, the record of this people is engraven upon plates which is had by the kings, according to the generations; and I know of no revelation save that which has been written, neither prophecy; wherefore, that which is sufficient is written. And I make an end.
12 Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—
13 And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.
14 And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
15 Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
16 And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.
17 And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them.
18 But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language. And it came to pass that after they were taught in the language of Mosiah, Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory; and they are written, but not in these plates.
19 And it came to pass that the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together; and Mosiah was appointed to be their king.
20 And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.
21 And they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people. And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons.
22 It also spake a few words concerning his fathers. And his first parents came out from the tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people; and the severity of the Lord fell upon them according to his judgments, which are just; and their bones lay scattered in the land northward.
23 Behold, I, Amaleki, was born in the days of Mosiah; and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son, reigneth in his stead.
24 And behold, I have seen, in the days of king Benjamin, a serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites. But behold, the Nephites did obtain much advantage over them; yea, insomuch that king Benjamin did drive them out of the land of Zarahemla.
25 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.
26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.
27 And now I would speak somewhat concerning a certain number who went up into the wilderness to return to the land of Nephi; for there was a large number who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance.
28 Wherefore, they went up into the wilderness. And their leader being a strong and mighty man, and a stiffnecked man, wherefore he caused a contention among them; and they were all slain, save fifty, in the wilderness, and they returned again to the land of Zarahemla.
29 And it came to pass that they also took others to a considerable number, and took their journey again into the wilderness.
30 And I, Amaleki, had a brother, who also went with them; and I have not since known concerning them. And I am about to lie down in my grave; and these plates are full. And I make an end of my speaking.

Although the writers of the book of Omni wrote little, each writer obeyed the commandment to keep and preserve the plates. Why was preserving the records so vital?

The second half of the book of Omni, written by Amaleki, illustrates the importance of preserving the records by showing what happened to a people that had not preserved its records. Amaleki recorded the story of Mosiah and his followers, who were commanded by the Lord to leave the land of Nephi. 

Where were Mosiah and his followers led?  Omni 1:13.
13 And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.

What principle can we learn from Omni 1:13?  If we hearken to the Lord’s words, He will guide and protect us.

When the Nephites came to the land of Zarahemla, they discovered that it was already inhabited. The people they found there were the descendants of a group that had been led out of Jerusalem by a man named Mulek around the same time that Lehi’s family had departed from Jerusalem  The people of Zarahemla were led by a man named Zarahemla at the time they were discovered by Mosiah and his people.

Whom did they find in the land of Zarahemla?  Omni 1:14
14 And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.

Where had these people come from?  Omni 1:15–16; see also 1 Nephi 1 which explains that Zedekiah was king of Jerusalem at the time that Lehi and his family went into the wilderness.
15 Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
16 And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.
17 And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. 

Why were the people of Zarahemla (the Mulekites) so happy to see Mosiah and his followers? Omni 1:14
What consequences did Amaleki imply had come to the Mulekites because they did not bring any records with them when they left Jerusalem?  Omni 1:17. Their language had degenerated and they had lost the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His teachings.
17 And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them.

How might we be affected if we did not have the scriptures?  Mosiah 1:3–5.

How are we affected when we have the scriptures but do not study them? 

By interpreting an engraved stone kept by the Mulekites, Mosiah learned of another civilization, the Jaredites, that had existed in the land Omni 1:20–22. The Jaredites came to the western hemisphere at the time of the Tower of Babel. Coriantumr, the last survivor of the Jaredite nation, had lived with the Mulekites for a time.  The records of the Jaredites are abridged in the book of Ether. 

The people of Zarahemla learned the language of the Nephites, united with them, and made Mosiah their king. These verses tell of how the people of Zarahemla had previously encountered Coriantumr.  As well, the land of Desolation is the place in the land northward where the Jaredite people’s “bones lay scattered” after they were destroyed. 

What can we learn about Amaleki from Omni 1:25–26?  If we come unto Christ and offer our whole souls unto Him, we will be saved. 
25 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.
26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

How can we “offer [our] whole souls as an offering” to the Savior, as Amaleki counseled?   

Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught the meaning of offering ourselves to the Lord: “Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed!” (Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 91; or Ensign, May 1995, 68).

On the same topic, Elder Maxwell later taught: “As you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give” (Conference Report, Apr. 2004, 48; or Ensign, May 2004, 46).

Part 4: Words of Mormon 1:1–8 God will work through us if we follow His guidance
From 1 Nephi through Omni, the Book of Mormon contains a straight chronological account. The Words of Mormon, however, were written more than 500 years after Amaleki completed the book of Omni. Among the records the Nephites kept were the small and large plates of Nephi 1 Nephi 9:2. The large plates primarily contained the secular history of the people, while the small plates included the sacred history 1 Nephi 9:2–4.   The books of 1 Nephi through Omni were recorded on the small plates of Nephi. The books of Mosiah through 4 Nephi are Mormon’s abridgement taken from the large plates.  In this chapter we learn why Mormon was inspired to include the small plates and how God will work through us for all needs present and future.

1 And now I, Mormon, being about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni, behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites.
2 And it is many hundred years after the coming of Christ that I deliver these records into the hands of my son; and it supposeth me that he will witness the entire destruction of my people. But may God grant that he may survive them, that he may write somewhat concerning them, and somewhat concerning Christ, that perhaps some day it may profit them.
3 And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.
4 And the things which are upon these plates pleasing me, because of the prophecies of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have been fulfilled; yea, and I also know that as many things as have been prophesied concerning us down to this day have been fulfilled, and as many as go beyond this day must surely come to pass—
5 Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.
6 But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.
7 And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.
8 And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people.

When did Mormon write the Words of Mormon, and why?  Words of Mormon 1:1–5.After Mormon abridged the large plates of Nephi, he found the small plates of Nephi and included them in his record.  The first six books of the Book of Mormon, from 1 Nephi through Omni, are a translation of these small plates. The book titled Words of Mormon is Mormon’s explanation of why he included the small plates. It serves as a transition between the records from the small plates and the records from the large plates.
What were Mormon’s impressions of the small plates?  Words of Mormon 1:4, 6.

Why did he decide to include the small plates in his record? Words of Mormon 1:7.
The small plates of Nephi covered approximately the same time period (600 to 200 B.C.) as the first records in the large plates. There was no apparent need for Mormon to include both in his abridgment. But the Lord knew that the translation of the first records from the large plates would be lost centuries later, when Martin Harris took 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript to show to his family members and friends. After these 116 pages of the translation were lost, the Lord instructed Joseph Smith not to retranslate the same records D&C 10:8–14. These records are not found in the Book of Mormon today. Instead, the same time period is described through the account from the small plates.

Nephi did not make the small plates until 30 years after Lehi’s colony left Jerusalem (see 2 Nephi 5:28–31). He did not understand why he was commanded to make a second set of records, but he had faith that it was “for a wise purpose” in the Lord (1 Nephi 9:5). Nearly 1,000 years later the prophet Mormon echoed similar words to Nephi’s when he testified that in addition to his abridgment of the large plates of Nephi he was including the small plates of Nephi “for a wise purpose” (Words of Mormon 1:7).

Joseph Smith started the translation of the Book of Mormon with Mormon’s abridgment of the large plates of Nephi. He had completed 116 manuscript pages when Martin Harris pleaded with Joseph to let him take the manuscript and show it to family members. Joseph asked God three different times if Martin could take the manuscript, and permission was finally given. The manuscript fell into the hands of wicked men (see D&C 10:8) and became known as the lost manuscript, or the lost 116 pages.

The loss of the manuscript clearly demonstrates why the Lord commanded Nephi to write the small plates and why Mormon was inspired to include them. Joseph Smith was told not to retranslate the portion he had already completed, but to replace it by translating the small plates of Nephi (see D&C 10:30, 38–45). The translation of the 116 pages covered 600–130 B.C.—from the time of Lehi to the time of King Benjamin. The small plates also covered 600–130 B.C.— from Lehi to King Benjamin. The Lord in His omniscience had the second record, the small plates, cover the exact time period that was covered in the stolen 116 pages. This also allowed the Lord to keep His covenant with Enos that “he would preserve the records” (Enos 1:16).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles affirmed that the portion of the Book of Mormon that comes from the small plates provides more information than was lost on the 116 pages:  “At least six times in the Book of Mormon the phrase ‘for a wise purpose’ is used in reference to the making, writing, and preserving of the small plates of Nephi (see 1 Nephi 9:5; Words of Mormon 1:7; Alma 37:2, 12, 14, 18). You and I know the wise purpose—the most obvious one—was to compensate for the loss of the earlier mentioned 116 pages of manuscript.  But it strikes me that there is a wiser purpose than that. … The key to such a suggestion of a wiser purpose is in verse 45 of Doctrine and Covenants section 10. As the Lord instructs Joseph … he says, ‘Behold, there are many things engraven upon the [small] plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel’ (emphasis added).  So, clearly, this was not … tit for tat, this for that—you give me 116 pages of manuscript and I’ll give you 142 pages of printed text. Not so. We got back more than we lost. And it was known from the beginning that it would be so. It was for a wiser purpose. We do not know exactly what we missed in the 116 pages, but we do know that what we received on the small plates was the personal declarations of three great witnesses [Nephi, Jacob, and Isaiah], three of the great doctrinal voices of the Book of Mormon, testifying that Jesus is the Christ. …In fact, I think you could make a pretty obvious case that the sole purpose of the small plates was to give a platform for these three witnesses” (“A Standard unto My People” [Church Educational System symposium on the Book of Mormon, Aug. 9, 1994], 9–10; see LDS.org under gospel library/additional addresses/CES addresses).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell testified of the foreknowledge of God and how it builds our faith in Him:  Few doctrines, save those pertaining to the reality of the existence of God, are more basic than the truth that God is omniscient. …God is perfect in the attributes of divinity, and one of these is knowledge: ‘… seeing that without the knowledge of all things, God would not be able to save any portion of his creatures; for it is by reason of the knowledge which he has of all things, from the beginning to the end, that enables him to give that understanding to his creatures by which they are made partakers of eternal life; and if it were not for the idea existing in the minds of men that God had all knowledge it would be impossible for them to exercise faith in him.’ (Lecture 4, paragraph 11.) …“God, who knows the beginning from the end, knows, therefore, all that is in between” (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [1979], 6–7).  (Book of Mormon Student Manual) 

What did Mormon say was the purpose of the entire sacred record he was abridging? Words of Mormon 1:2, 8

What is a truth in Words of Mormon 1:7 that helps us understand why we should follow promptings from the Spirit, even if we do not understand the reasons for doing so?  The Lord knows all things. 

Why is it important that we read the Book of Mormon with this purpose in mind?  The writers of the Book of Mormon kept and preserved the records of their people so that future generations would know the dealings of the Lord with these people.  

How might these truths help you when you receive promptings from the Spirit?


What did Mormon hope would be the result of following the prompting to include the small plates of Nephi in his compilation of the records? 
Words of Mormon 1:8  



Its important, when reading the Words of Mormon, to remember that all the writings we have studied so far this year in the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi–Omni) are available to us because Mormon followed the spiritual impression to include the small plates.

Records Abridged and Compiled by Mormon and Moroni


Original Source
Contents
Current Form
Large Plates of Nephi
Book of Lehi
Lost 116 pages
Mosiah
Alma
Helaman
3 Nephi
4 Nephi
Abridged by Mormon and included in the Book of Mormon
Small Plates of Nephi
1 Nephi
2 Nephi
Jacob
Enos
Jarom
Omni
Included by Mormon in the Book of Mormon
Plates of Ether
Book of Ether
Abridged by Moroni and included in the Book of Mormon


How has Mormon’s obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit blessed your life?

How can our willingness to follow spiritual promptings influence our lives or the lives of others?
“On one occasion many years ago, I was swimming laps at the old Deseret Gym in Salt Lake City when I felt the inspiration to go to the University Hospital to visit a good friend of mine who had lost the use of his lower limbs because of a malignancy and the surgery which followed. I immediately left the pool, dressed, and was soon on my way to see this good man.  When I arrived at his room, I found that it was empty. Upon inquiry I learned that I would probably find him in the swimming pool area of the hospital, an area which was used for physical therapy. Such turned out to be the case. He had guided himself there in his wheelchair and was the only occupant of the room. He was on the far side of the pool, near the deep end. I called to him, and he maneuvered his wheelchair over to greet me. We had an enjoyable visit, and I accompanied him back to his hospital room, where I gave him a blessing.  I learned later from my friend that he had been utterly despondent that day and had been contemplating taking his own life. He had prayed for relief but began to feel that his prayers had gone unanswered. He went to the pool with the thought that this would be a way to end his misery—by guiding his wheelchair into the deep end of the pool. I had arrived at a critical moment, in response to what I know was inspiration from on high.  “… How pleased I am to have been an instrument in the Lord’s hands on that critical day at the swimming pool” (Thomas S. Monson, “Consider the Blessings,” 87).

Conclusion
As we study the books of Enos, Jarom, Omni, and Words of Mormon, we can receive guidance from the Lord as Enos did. The story of Enos demonstrates God’s willingness to bless and direct us in response to personal prayer. The account of the Nephites who fled the land of Lehi-Nephi illustrates that God also directs His people through prophetic warnings and counsel. Through personal prayer and by following the prophet, we gain a testimony of the Lord’s infinite love and care for us.

Resources 
Book of Mormon Student Manual
Book of Mormon Study Guide
Guide to the Scriptures
Ensign
Conference Reports
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church
ChurchofJesusChrist.org 






The Fall of Adam and Eve

  Scriptures are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end...