This week in the Book of Mormon we’ll review Moroni’s final message. The primary theme that we see included in nearly every chapter of Moroni’s book is the Spirit/Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost/Spirit. We’ll review the concepts and functions of these two spirits to see why they are so important - especially to those who are to have their callings and elections made sure.
The Spirit of Christ (Messiah)
Moroni is very direct when he instructions us on the Spirit/Light of the Messiah in chapter 7 –
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil;
We also see this same concept taught by the Apostle John –
6 ¶ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. – John 1:6-9
Some have referred to this influence that helps us to know right from wrong – good and evil - as our conscience that gives us that guilt feeling when we have done something wrong. Another way to express the Spirit or Light of Messiah/Christ is to say that it is a power or influence that flows from the presence of the Son.
The Holy Spirit/Ghost
Likewise, the Holy Spirit/Ghost is the power or influence that flows from the presence of the Father.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: - John 15:26
The Spirit of Christ, the Law, and the Holy Ghost
People seem to forget that Yeshua as the God of Israel gave to Israel the Law which defined good and evil, so the Law is integral for us to know good and evil, which is closely connected with the Spirit of Christ.
15 ¶ See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. – Deu 30:15-16.
Moreover, to receive the power or influence that flows from the Father – His holy spirit - we need to live the Law. This concept is set out in the Doctrine of Christ – Faith > Repentance > Baptism > the Holy Spirit.
The Messiah (Christ) and the Holy Ghost – Chapter 2
The first concept that we see presented in Moroni is set out in chapter two where Yeshua gives the twelve disciples the power to bestow the Holy Ghost. He also mentions this power was given to the apostles in Jerusalem. So it seems apparent that this power can only be received by the Messiah(Christ) Himself. We also see this in the book of Numbers where Yehovah gave the Spirit to the seventy elders – Numbers 11:25. Moreover, since no one on the earth today has been given this power by the Lord Himself, we receive the Spirit through obedience – Acts 5:32.
Receiving Priesthood Authority and the Holy Ghost – Chapter 3
The next concept presented in chapter three is to receive priesthood authority through the Holy Ghost. What we see here in chapter three is the priesthood being bestow within an organized church, under a hierarchy of authority, through ordination. However, in the scriptures, we have seen priesthood authority obtained outside of a church through the oath and covenant of the priesthood – and power given by the Spirit – Mosiah 18:13. Yeshua received the priesthood with an oath – Hebrews 7. That oath is comprised of four primary elements –
The promised blessings for those who enter into this covenant to be priests is life and peace – Malachi 2:4-7. For those who preside over groups, who are high priests, they swear and covenant to be perfect, teach and are accountable for the transgressions of the group/community.
Redemption and the Holy Ghost – Chapters 4 and 5
When a person has accepted Yeshua as the Savior of the World, taken upon them His name and lives His basic laws – that person is prepared to receive the Spirit. This concept is set out in the prayers to administer the bread and wine that we see in chapters 4 and 5. These prayers would be appropriate during a Passover Seder.
Sanctification and the Holy Ghost – Chapter 6
Once a person has been redeemed by accepting Yeshua as the Savior of the World, they are ready to be sanctify or to become clean and pure through the Spirit – 6:4, which we see Moroni present in chapter 6. In review, that process looks like this –
Those who are baptized of the Spirit overcome personal sin, become a new creation of the Holy Spirit and make their covenants everlasting and unconditional, which covenants the Spirit seals.
We also see here in chapter 6 that meetings are to be conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is accomplished by teaching the concepts of redemption and sanctification.
Circumcision/Baptism of Little Children and the Holy Ghost – Chapter 8
Moroni in chapter 8 takes special exception to address the salvation of little children, which knowledge he says he received from the Holy Ghost. Let’s review these two false practices.
The Bible firmly establishes that circumcision is the sign of the Abrahamic covenant. But some had the false idea that for little children to be redeemed they needed to be circumcised. This linking circumcision with redemption is a false idea. Moroni makes clear that little children are automatically redeemed through His atonement and resurrection. Moreover, circumcision is still required for sanctification and to be God’s chosen and covenanted people.
We also see the false practice of little children being baptized. Moroni makes it clear that little children are not accountable and are not to be baptized.
All Truth, Gifts of the Spirit and the Holy Ghost – Chapter 10
Moroni closes his book by teaching us that all truth can be verified through the Spirit. By and large, the sense that we receive when the Spirit confirms truth to us is peace and a clarity of mind. Additionally, Moroni enumerates the gifts of the Spirit -
8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; 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.
9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;
10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;
13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;
14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;
15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;
16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.
The Spirit of the Son and the Spirit of the Father