Why Do We Need the Book of Mormon?
By John Hilton III
I love the Book of Mormon! Being able to teach it at BYU has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. Come Follow Me has great suggestions for teaching this lesson; I just wanted to add in a few ideas that I may include when I teach this lesson to some of the young men in my ward. There probably won’t be time for all of the below ideas, when doing all of the other great things to include in this lesson, but hopefully one or two can be helpful.
Emphasize Joseph Smith’s prophetic role in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Send a volunteer student out of the class. Tell the rest of the class that they are going to try to prophesy. Tell the students to write down and make some predictions of what the student will do when the student comes back into class.
Tell the class that you will have the student walk to one side of the room. Ask them to write down which side of the room the student will choose to walk to. Then tell them you will have the student choose one of three balls that you have brought. Then tell them the student will get to shoot a basket; have the make a prediction if will make the shot or miss it. When all the students have written their prophecies for those 3 simple things, invite the student in. The student then gets to make the 3 decisions just mentioned and the classmates can see how many predictions were correct. Have the youth read the fifth paragraph of Joseph Smith’s history, which says, “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.” In addition to the powerful principle that God knows our names, consider what an amazing prophecy this was back in the year 1823. How incredible that a farm boy from an obscure town would say that his name would be known throughout the world. But it is! And Joseph’s Smith role in bringing forth the Book of Mormon is a large part of his prophetic mission.
The Title Page Tell students, President Henry B. Eyring said, “If I were introducing the gospel to someone, I would find a way at least to read these…words [from the Book of Mormon.]” (New Era, May 2004, 6). Invite students to guess what words President Eyring was talking about. In my experience, they rarely guess the correct answer. President Eyring said, “Turn to the very beginning of the book to the title page, written by Moroni. If I were introducing the gospel to someone, I would find a way at least to read these last words written by Moroni.” Invite students to read the title page and try to figure out why President Eyring would want to share it others. What does it teach us?
The Book of Mormon brings us to Christ Ask the class what a thesis statement is. Perhaps have one or two students share a thesis statement they have used in a recent research paper. Ask, “What is the thesis statement of the Book of Mormon?” Send students on the following scripture chain (perhaps have students take turns reading these verses – note the themes of “persuading” and “coming unto Christ” in these verses). • 1 Nephi 6:4 • 1 Nephi 19:23 • 2 Nephi 33:4 • Jacob 1:7 • Helaman 5:12 • Mormon 5:14 • Moroni 10:32 What is the thesis of the Book of Mormon? It is clear from the beginning to the end.
(Here is a PDF of the activity above: Book of Mormon Thesis Activity)
Share this quote:“There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the Book of Mormon. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path…When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance” (President Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7).
(Here is a PDF of the quote above: President Benson quote)
I think it’s a great conversation point to ask the youth, “What do you think it means to seriously study the Book of Mormon?” Does your Book of Mormon reading = a serious study?
The Book of Mormon: Messages from Heaven
is a great video you can use when teaching this class. In the video, youth from Eastern Europe share what they learned from reading the Book of Mormon and writing down their impressions.
John Hilton III has earned a reputation for being an amazing teacher, speaker and author! If you are a regular at Deseret Book, Time Out For Women, EFY or BYU Education Week, you probably already know him. We are SO lucky to have him sharing what he knows with us.
John Hilton III has written several books, including The Little Book of Book of Mormon Evidences.
For more information visit www.johnhiltoniii.com
You can find it HERE.
You can find this HERE.