CLICK HERE to read Moroni 7.
Moroni then shares teachings his father, Mormon, had given him about faith, hope, and charity (verse 1). He teaches us that those who speak to us are called by God to do so (and gifted with the ability to do so) and that it is a grace to us so that we are able to learn what we need to do (verse 2). Moroni writes that his father specifically meant for this teachings to be given to those who are members of the church (verse 3), and that we can tell who are true members of the church by who are at-peace with other people (verse 4).
For I remember the word of God which saith: “by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also” (verse 5).
Evil cannot produce good, so that which is good is of God (verse 6, 12).
But in the same way, if we do not off our good (whether in prayer or in service or in deed) with real intent, it is nothing (verse 6). It cannot be counted to us as righteousness (verse 7) if it is not given sincerely. If someone does the right thing “grudgingly”, it is the same as if it was not really done – since it was not really done in the heart, no matter the outward motions (verse 8). Even if we pray, but “not with real intent of heart”, it does no God for God does not hear those false prayers (verse 9). It is our own hearts that judge us, whether we are sincere in our following of Christ or not (verse 11). This is how the results of our efforts, our prayers, our service do also judge us, for they are the evidence (the “fruit”, see Galatians 5:22,23) of whether we are really following Christ or not – regardless of what we say or do. Even if someone does “good” things, if it is not sincere there will not be goodness and kindness and gentleness and other fruits of the spirit with it, and so it is not counted as a “good gift” (verse 10).
All good comes from God, and all evil comes from the devil (verse 12). They are opposing forces, and it is the devil who fights against God, invites sin, entices us away from God, and tempts us into doing what is evil (verse 12). This is how the adversary brings about destruction, by first separating us – whether it is by evil deeds that separate us from God, or by contention that separates us from each other.
It is only after separation that destruction can come.
It is only by being at-one that the atonement is applied and peace is made.
That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continual; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God (verse 13).
This is the spirit of God, which does cause us to do good, invites us to do good, entices us to do good, teaches us to love God and all His children, to serve God by serving all people, and inspires us through these things to know God better.
Anything else, anything that separates or divides or contends or works against or silences or squashes or oppresses is not of God. We must learn to see clearly the difference between what draws us to God and unites us with others, and that which separates us from God and divides peoples (verse 14).
This is part of work of mortality, “that ye may know good from evil… that ye may know with a perfect knowledge” (verse 15).
All of us can learn to tell the difference. The Spirit of Christ is given to all of us, that we may know good from evil, and discern accurately the difference by seeing what invites us to do good, to progress, to believe in Christ. This spirit of Christ, the light of Christ, is given to all of us from God (verse 16).
It is the adversary that persuades us to do evil, not to believe in Christ, even to deny him so that we do not serve God (verse 17).
This is the light by which we may judge, or discern clearly what is of God or not of God, by whether or not it causes us to progress in goodness, drawing closer to God, believing more in Christ, becoming more like Him whose example we follow (verse 18). We should search diligently for this within ourselves, and develop it, so that we get better at discerning between good and evil, so that we are more willing to accept every good thing that is given us (verse 19).
We accept these good gifts through faith (verses 20-21). God knows all things, and God is eternal (verse 22). He has sent prophets (verse 23) and angels and even given us to each other, to teach us of Christ and all the good things our Father wants to give us (verse 22). Our Father has taught us in so many ways what is good, and pointing to Christ, and showing how the goodness of peace comes through Christ – and that we then are able to offer that peace to each other (verse 24).
It is through the atonement, through forgiveness, through peace, that the Father grows the good things that come from such deep love. It is through offering forgiveness and peace and love to each other that we, as His children, “grow up” according to His plan for us. As we learn from Him, we practice what we have learned, even begin “to exercise faith in Christ”, and through faith embrace the gifts our Father has to offer (verse 25). It is by faith we become His children, through faith that we begin to make and keep sacred covenants, so that we become “sons of God” (covenant-keepers) instead of only sons of men. When we are covenant-keepers, we are in tune with His will and obedient unto it, so that in that context whatever we ask of Him, that is good and right in that in-tune way, we will receive (verse 26).
Miracles have not ceased just because the Savior has returned to heaven (verse 27)! He did not sit down on His throne and declare His work to be finished. He continues to advocate for our cause, and works hard in our behalf (verse 28). He sends angels to minister us, whether heavenly messengers or we ourselves being angels to each other (verse 29). We also minister to others, for we show our strong faith and firm mind and our godliness in following His example by doing what He says and serving as He served (verse 30).
And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him (verse 31).
This is how the Lord prepares the way for people to receive Christ: by our testimony. This is what brings to them the Holy Ghost and its power to help them remember their Father and their (premortal) covenants (verse 32). The power to be reconciled to these covenants, to renew them here in mortality, comes by the atonement (verse 33). It is by the atonement we have the power not only to conquer our sins and weaknesses here in mortality, but also the power to testify of the atonement itself (verse 33).
The Savior says, “repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved” (verse 34).
God will show us the truth of these things (verse 35), sending us messengers and the Holy Spirit to teach us (verse 36). Miracles will come through our faith, even the miracle of being able to truly communicate with our Father and receive further teaching from Him directly – whether it be by revelation, or messengers, or the Holy Spirit (verse 37).
For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, (except) they shall have faith in his name (verse 38).
This is why revelation and the Holy Spirit who brings it is so important, for without faith, and without the Holy Spirit, and without revelation, then “awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made” (verse 38). The greatest miracle, the atonement of Christ, gets applied in our lives through promptings of the Spirit and through revelation as we communicate with our Father.
But to have faith, we must humble ourselves. We must be “meek”, which is great strength under His control, doing things His ways instead of our way. Without humbling ourselves before God, we will not be able to see clearly, and so will not be able to have faith, and so “not fit to be numbered among” His people (verse 39).
It is by our faith that we have hope (verse 40). It is the atonement of Christ that gives us hope! We have hope “through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise” (verse 41). Therefore, we cannot have hope without also having faith (verse 42).
It is our faith that gives us hope, and so our faith must be real and sincere; we must be “meek, and lowly of heart”, humble before God as we believe His ways are best (verse 43). If we have real hope because we have sincere faith in the atonement, then we be full of love for others, full of charity – and without that “pure love of Christ” (verse 47), we are nothing (verse 44).
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeking not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things (verse 45; see also 1 Corinthians 13).
Charity never fails, for everything else will pass away (verse 46). But the pure love of Christ endures beyond all (verse 47).
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen (verse 48).