Religion 122
Book of Mormon

 







A study of the Book of Mormon from 

Alma 30 through Moroni


Moroni Hides Up the Gold Plates




Three Ways to Study the Scriptures



Grading Syllabus

Fall   2014   (This syllabus is subject to change so be sure to refresh the page each time you click on this link.)


Course Paper Outline  

Fall 2014   Revised Course Paper (refresh as this is being revised as the semester progresses)


Daily Reading/Assignment Schedule


Sep  18 : Russll M. Nelson, The Gathering of Scattered Israel, Ensign, Nov. 2006.  Write a one-page summary (typed and printed) both summarizing and detailing the points in this talk.  Bring it to class ready to hand in.

Sep 23:  Jacob 5  Use the "The Tame and Wild Olive Trees--An Allegory of Our Savior's Love" (Ensign, Aug. 1988) to help you understand the allegory found Jacob 5.  I also suggest you use  "Jacob 5-6: The Allegory of the Olive Tree" in the Book of Mormon Student Study Guide;   "The Olive Tree Allegory".  

Sep 25  

Sep 30-Oct 9  No Class  
Time to complete the history of the scattering and gathering project .
Oct 14  Class will resume  Bring your Scattering and Gathering of Israel write-up to class ready to hand in.

Oct 16   Jacob 5  an intitimate look at the allegory of the scattering and gathering of Israel.  Bring scriptures and be prepared to take notes.

Oct 21  Assignment given in email sent last Friday.

Oct 23  TOPIC :  Zion (New Jerusalem)
The Book of Mormon assumes the reader understands the concept of "zion". So before we do any Book of Mormon readings on this topic I will have you read and do an article summary of a general conference talk on this subject. Go to the syllabus to find out how to do an article summary write-up.
Article Summary
: Elder D. Todd Christofferson , "Come to Zion," Ensign, Nov. 2008.  (20 pts)


Oct 28    TOPIC: Zion (New Jerusalem) and the concept of Gathering  
*Mosiah 18; 25; and  3 Nephi 11:18 - 12:2  Study these accounts and complete a write-up that details (include scripture references for each item) both what was done or to be done to bring about Zion amongst the Nephites in these chapters.    The more detail the greater the grade. (15 pts)  -- This can be hand written or typed.  This will be handed in at the end of the class period.

Oct 30    TOPIC: The Gathering and Sacrament
*Moroni 4-6; 3 Nephi 17-18   Study these accounts and complete a write-up that details (include scripture references for each item) the teachings about the purposes of gathering, what are appropriate gatherings, and the purpose and practice of sacrament.    The more detail the greater the grade. (15 pts)  -- This can be hand written or typed.  This will be handed in at the end of the class period.

Nov 4   TOPIC: The Gathering and Temple
*Read chapters summaries of Alma 17-26 and then read Alma 26:1-9
David A. Bednar, "Honarably Hold a Name and Standing," Ensign, May 2009.  Complete a write-up done in two parts:  (1) Alma 26:1-9: discuss what these verses say and how Elder Bednar's talk gives understanding to these verses  (worth up to 5 pts); (2)  Do an articles summary of Elder Bednar's talk according to the standard given in the syllabus for an article summary (up to 20 pts).  Your write-up can be more than one page--if so, STAPLE IT before coming to class.


Nov 6     TOPIC:   The Gathering and Temple cont.
No assignment -- come ready to take good notes

Nov 11

Nov 13 

Nov 18   TOPIC:  The Gentitles and the Gathering of Israel
*Read through 1 Nephi 15:1-20; 22:1-31.  Write-up: (1) Put together a chronology of events mentioned in these chapters;  (2)  Make a list of the various of the role of the Gentiles in the gathering of the House of Israel.  (20 pts)   


Nov 20  TOPIC:  Gathering--Becoming the Sons of God
If you did this assignment according to the email, bring it for EXTRA CREDIT.  If you didn't get the email and didn't do it, don't worry, come to class and we will walk you through what I want you to understand from this.  (Sorry for the confusion.)  


Nov 25   TOPIC:  The Gentiles and the Gathering of Israel
*1 Nephi 19  Read only, no write-up.  10 pts ONLY if present during class discussion.


Nov  27  NO CLASS

Dec 2     TOPIC:  The Gentiles and the Gathering of Israel
*1 Nephi 20  Read only, no write-up.  10 pts ONLY if present during class discussion.
 
Dec 4     TOPIC:  The Gentiles and the Gathering of Israel
*1 Nephi 21  Read only, no write-up.  10 pts ONLY if present during class discussion.

Dec 9     TOPIC:  The Gentiles and the Gathering of Israel
*1 Nephi 21  continued discussion 10 pts ONLY if present during class discussion.


Dec 11  TOPIC:  The Gentiles and the Gathering of Israel
*1 Nephi 22  Read only, no write-up.  10 pts ONLY if present during class discussion.


Dec 16  Continue discussing 1 Nephi 21-22

Dec 18  Paper due at my office (Taylor 216)  10 AM 
 


The Theme of "the Scattering and Gathering of Israel"
  • Russell M. Nelson  
  We share an enormous responsibility to be who the Lord wants us to be and to do what He wants us to do. We are part of a great movement—the gathering of scattered Israel. I speak of this doctrine today because of its unique importance in God’s eternal plan.  
  Anciently, the Lord blessed Father Abraham with a promise to make his posterity a chosen people. References to this covenant occur throughout the scriptures. Included were promises that the Son of God would come through Abraham’s lineage, that certain lands would be inherited, that nations and kindreds of the earth would be blessed through his seed, and more.   While some aspects of that covenant have already been fulfilled, the Book of Mormon teaches that this Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled only in these latter-days!  It also emphasizes that we are among the covenant people of the Lord.  Ours is the privilege to particpate personally in the fulfillment of these promises.  What an exciting time to live!  ("The Gathering of Scattered Israel,"  Ensign, Nov. 2006)








Topics









The Allegory of the Olive Tree (Jacob 5)





















Course Paper Outline




1828 Dictionary

  • 1828 Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language


President Ezra Taft Benson's Teachings

  About the Book of Mormon

 
  • The second great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization. Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us. ...

We should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?"

And there is example after example of how that question will be answered. For example, in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. A major portion of the book centers on the few decades just prior to Christ's coming to America. By careful study of that time period, we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet. ("Book of Mormon: Keystone of Our Religion," Ensign, Nov. 1986, pp. 6-7; emphasis added)

 

  • President Ezra Taft Benson taught: "The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and His gospel. It testifies of His divinity and of the necessity for a Redeemer and the need of our putting trust in Him. It bears witness of the Fall and the Atonement and the first principles of the gospel, including our need of a broken heart and a contrite spirit and a spiritual rebirth. It proclaims we must endure to the end in righteousness and live the moral life of a Saint.

    "Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time." ("The Book of Mormon is the Word of God" Ensign , Jan, 1988, p. 3)

Book of Mormon Written to Help Us Prepare for the Second

Coming

Recently Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve wrote:

The Book of Mormon authors wrote with future generations in mind, specifically the latter days. In abridging the Nephite records, Mormon said he could not include “even a hundredth part” (see 3 Nephi 5:8; see also Words of Mormon 1:5). Moroni commented, “I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing” (Mormon 8:35). These two authors and others, acting under inspiration, wrote what would be of greatest benefit to us in these latter days.

We should therefore study with these questions in mind: “Why was this included? How does this apply today and to me?” President Benson observed, for example, that in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Savior’s Second Coming. We learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war, deal with persecution and apostasy, do missionary work, and respond to the dangers of materialism. As Nephi did, when we study, we should “liken” the scriptures to ourselves—that is, try to discover how to apply what we find in the Book of Mormon (see 1 Nephi 19:23).  (" How to Study the Book of Mormon," Ensign, Oct. 2011, pp. 28-30)

Reading and write-up:

(1)  Ezra Taft Benson, Book of Mormon: Keystone of our Religion

(2)  Do a write-up in three parts--include heading for each part:

a.  Comprehensive summary (ONE PAGE, SINGLE-SPACED) of the teachings found in the talk (the more comprehensive the better the grade)
b.  List at least 5 insights you gained, or five important teachings
c.  Questions or things about this talk you would like to discuss in class
d.  Include the three sub-headings bolded above

Click here for a good example of an  article summary.  Notice that the student used good writing skills. From reading the article he summarize, he dtermined the main point and subpoints of the talk.  Then he wrote his comprehensive summary.  However, hHis comprehensive summary was not one long paragraph but rather he used short paragraphs that reflected the main point and subpoints.  Long paragraphs are both boring and evidence of poor writing skills.
How To Improve Learning




Abrahamic Covenant





Quotes Used in Class


Church of the Lamb

First Principles of the Gospel

Temple



Motherhood


President James E. Faust:

"There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood.  The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation."  ("Fathers, Mothers, Marriage," Ensign, Aug. 2004, p. 3)


Secret Combinations

Jeffery R. Holland

"In this state of lonely witnessing, Moroni was shown the last days of another civilization-our own. And Moroni saw they would be very much like his own. In these days it would be said that miracles were done away, and secret combinations would delight in works of darkness. Fires and tempests and vapors of smoke would singe the earth, while wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes would rage in divers places. Pollutions would come upon the face of the earth, including the moral pollution of murders, robbery, lying, whoredoms, and "all manner of abominations."  Even churches would be defiled, lifted up in the pride of their hearts. They would be built up to get gain and to offer forgiveness of sins through the payment of money, becoming as polluted as the physical and moral environment around them." (Christ and the New Covenant [1997], p. 324)      

President Ezra Taft Benson:
 

"Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God's work, but it has singled out as the greatest threat the Godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon-it is a conspiracy fact." 
(God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [1974], p.322)




Resources For Further Study of the Book of Mormon

Translating the Book of Mormon
Importance of the Book of Mormon

Lehi's Dream

Various Book of Mormon Topics
  • Russell M. Nelson, “Divine Love,” Ensign, Feb 2003, pp. 20ff  [While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. -- This article helps in understanding Nehorism as found in Alma 1]
  • Orson Scott Card, “Dissent and Treason,” Ensign, Sep 1977, pp. 53ff [Discussion about various people or groups who dissented against Nephite Goverment: Discent of Amlici, Zoramite, Amalakiah, Morianton, the King-men, Pachus]
  • Robert A. Rees, "Ammon," Ensign., Jun. 1977, pp. 73ff







Quotes and Pictures Used in Class




Wednesday, April 24, Assignment


Reading and write-up:

(1)  Ezra Taft Benson, Book of Mormon: Keystone of our Religion
(2)  Do a one page single-spaced write-up in three parts--include heading for each part:
a.  Comprehensive summary  of the teachings found in the talk (the more comprehensive the better the grade)
b.  List at least 5 insights you gained, or five important teachings
c.  Questions or things about this talk you would like to discuss in class
d.  Include the three sub-headings bolded above
Click here for a good example of an  article summary.  Notice that the student used good writing skills. From reading the article he  he dtermined the main point and subpoints of the talk.  Then he wrote his comprehensive summary.  However, his comprehensive summary was not one long paragraph but rather he used short paragraphs that reflected the main point and subpoints.  Long paragraphs are both boring and evidence of poor writing skills.
Monday, April 23, assignment: