As Moroni is finishing this vital record for perhaps the third or fourth time[1], he seems to be doing a debriefing of all he has read, experienced, and written.  The definition of this vital process is simply, “to carefully review upon completion.”[2]

But this chapter seems to be more important to him than just a review as he sealed the book with his personal witness.  Perhaps this is more what he had in mind:

Debriefing: “To discuss the actions and thought processes involved in a particular critical situation, encourage reflection on those actions and thought processes, and incorporate improvement into future performance.”[3]

It is easy to analyze this chapter as if it were a random compilation of refrigerator magnet quotes that popped into his head as he finished the plates again.  What insights might become evident if we were to ask ourselves a question, “What does this have to do with what he just said?” And “what significance would it make?”

Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites; and I would that they should know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since the sign was given of the coming of Christ.

And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if[4] it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things and ponder it in your hearts.

I love that remembering and then pondering God’s mercy invokes revelation.  This is often the first time a person will seek actual revelation.  They are generally unfamiliar with distinguishing the voice of the Lord from their own internal self-talk.  This instruction is an important prequel to what follows.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Much has been already written on these verses that is good and powerful, but I have not read any scholar that has commented on why the promise made by the Lord through Moroni instructs the reader to pray and ask God, “If these things are not true.”[5]  Based on common application, shouldn’t this say to ask if it is true.  We are promised and expect God to tell us or help us feel that it is true.  There must have been a reason for Moroni to word this important promise in this way for those new to the process, and perhaps skeptical of both getting an answer as well as receiving one that is positive.

This important process of testing through prayer, the truth of somethings, harkens back to Alma’s experiment upon the word in Alma 32.  The first-time reader wouldn’t remember this, but the principles listed therein seem to give us one plausible answer.  In verse 28, Alma insists that the experiment be done by the spiritual scientist in a controlled environment where the truth seeker begins by choosing belief as an initial approach, rather than skepticism, where searching for reasons to disbelieve are the focus.[6]  To see the goodness and desirability of something, as potentially life changing as the Book of Mormon, requires a self-discipline that allows one to see what is only available to those that believe, at least for a testing period.  Alma even specifies, “if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord.”  Thus, one chooses to believe that the Book is true and lives accordingly, waiting for three[7] listed evidences that verify to the sceptic that the Book’s teachings are good enough to continue the process.  Because belief is chosen, one’s prayer language evidences trust in God to show if it is “not true.”

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

The seeker of truth must understand that if truth is the “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” DC 93:24 then the only way to know the future nature of a thing is through someone who can access future knowledge.  The Holy Ghost is such a being.[8]

But to recognize the reliability of this “still small voice,” the seeker needs some measurable indicators: Tested truths will never deny Christ but will acknowledge that he is.  It has been said that the Book of Mormon so powerfully teaches Christ that it couldn’t come from an evil source for the devil would never inspire such a book and an evil man couldn’t.

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.

This next section on the gifts of the Spirit isn’t meant to be a change in topic but rather a continuation of how to know the truth of the Book of Mormon.  If knowing comes by the power of the “Holy Ghost,” this section helps the seeker understand that the manifestations of the Holy Ghost will be individualized and dependent on how each individual is gifted.  We don’t all hear the voice of God the same way.  But if we assume that we all hear the same way, one could miss this powerful and essential experience, like expecting a letter and consequently missing the email. 

In discovering one’s own spiritual channel, Moroni informs us that even each gift may be received or administered differently even though they come from the same God and will always profit the receiver.

The apostle Paul in his chapter on gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12) phrased it this way:

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the…

Then he goes on to list the gifts.

For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teachthe word of wisdom;

The first gift or, for Moroni, revelatory channel could manifest in the varieties or differences of administration as a facility of teaching wise insights, or explaining things in unusually wise ways, or speaking with special insights to life, etc.  If this is the “power of the Holy Ghost” manifestation, then along with the sincere reading and testing the Book of Mormon, may come an augmentation in that insight or wisdom, rather than a flood of feeling or “burning in the bosom” kind received by others and we may create the expectation.

10 And to another, that he may teachthe word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

We all know someone who seems to know all the details in scripture or may have the ability to quote extensively.  As an answer to the sincere effort to accept and live the teachings of the Book of Mormon might come an increased facility to remember passages or stories that are full of truth.

11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healingby the same Spirit;

An increased and natural capacity to trust in Christ would be another individual’s witness that the book is true.   To another might come one of the many manifestations of the gift of healing: being healed, healing others physical ailments, healing mental illness, healing grief, guidance in dietary consumption, or medications, etc.  Each of these might seem independent of one’s search for a testimony of the Book of Mormon unless this section is seen as a continuation and explanation of Moroni’s promise.

12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;

This person, during a sincere believing search within the pages of the Book of Mormon, may find a capacity to bring good to people’s lives in ways that defy logic or expectation, as their spiritual confirmation.

13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;

Jacob wrote about the process of discipleship that included: searching the scriptures, receiving revelation, and being capable of prophesying which resulted in increased hope and unshakeable faith leading to the performing of miracles.[9]  What could be more confirming, while leading one along a path that began simply with a willingness to not cast it out by unbelief?

14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;

I have personally met more than one person who had this gift and hence “knew” the Christ and His book to be true.

15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;

In his video lesson on this chapter, Ben Wilcox lists some alternative manifestations of the gift of “all kinds of tongues: speaking in the Adamic Language, speaking a language you have never learned (Acts 2), increased facility to learn a language or languages, etc. 

16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of diverse kinds of tongues.

Add this one to the list, increased ability to understand or translate another language or even many languages.  Again, these gifted capacities would be augmented in different ways with the study and sincere acceptance of the Book of Mormon but missed as a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost if something else is expected.

17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.

18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

The intention here, connected with this individual effort to know the truth during the experiment, seems to focus the individual back to Christ so that the enabling power by faith in Christ, is centralized.  Faith, like truth, addresses all three elements of time: past, present, and future[10] and refers to our trusting relationship with the unseen Christ.  The past tells us that today’s Christ is the same as the ancient Christ; powerful, loving, kind, merciful, etc. Therefore, the manifestation of these listed channels of spiritual power will always be available in the environment of faith in Christ.

20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.

21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.

22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity.

Since knowing that the Book of Mormon is true follows a path that starts with a choice to test belief including sacrificing disbelief, the question arises, “is that safe from deception, where will it lead?”  In this section Moroni continues the path with the logical link that faith in Christ leads to hope.  He then makes a key link that we often miss; no hope leads to despair which results from sin.  This link of hope to sin, helps us see that our faith in Christ can only become productive by our charity generated service to humanity through our efforts to keep the commandments and repent when we sin. Faith focuses on Christ-a correct understanding of His attributes and power; hope’s focus is one our personal relationship with Christ through obedience or repentance. Charity turns our focus to others as we become divine instruments.

23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.

This measurable test of being able to do all divinely expedient things seems like the end of the path that started with the choice to believe.

24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.

25 And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.

The opposite knowing through the power of the Holy Ghost via the gifts, allows the contrasting results to serve as evidence of that which we have been testing; The Book of Mormon.  A lack of divine attributes both personally and societally, following a loss of the gifts of the Spirit (which manifest the Power of the Holy Ghost), resulting from a decision to not believe, evidences that the Book is a much needed solution to both the personal and societal apostasy.

26 And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.

27 And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?

28 I declare these things unto the fulfilling of the prophecies. And behold, they shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the everlasting God; and his word shall hiss forth from generation to generation.

Moroni then adds his personal warning that transcends time, the truth of which, therefore, can only be known through the Holy Ghost or sadly by waiting for what he knows by that same spirit.  If rejected, a future day before God will see Moroni called as a witness that this truth, The Book of Mormon, was indeed a fact pertinent in establishing the character truth of each individual.  He points to the intergenerational prophetic consistency of the Book. 

29 And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.

30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

The most desirable and evidentiary fact is that God, Himself will show you that the Book of Mormon is true, if allowed.  Why wouldn’t a person allow God to personally show something as true?  Because the evil gift, the unclean thing is hungered by the appetite driven natural man.  Like the Pharisees of old who looked at the evidence but refuse to see because it would “destroy their place,”[11] their position and political power, the seeker may be deceived into thinking they are seeking truth when in reality they are seeking comfort in personal paradigms.  They just don’t want to risk being wrong or loosing what they have come to value over a real relationship with God, where they could have trusted him to tell them that the Book “is not true” in answer to their prayers and willingness to live and study as if it were true whereby God could have shown them through their gifts.

31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.

One could ask here, “Why does Moroni suddenly quote from a combination of Isaiah 52 and 54?”  Together they address two important realities.  To the resistant soul, which in many ways includes all of us:

  1. “Awake and arise” – The same injunction given to the spiritually sleeping Laman and Lemuel by Father Lehi![12]
  2. Put on the robes of righteousness, the beautiful garments.[13]
  3. Strengthen your stakes – now speaking of Zion – not just individuals but our collective, unified by the four unities of Zion: mind, heart, legal and living standard, and economy.[14]
  4. Enlarge your borders – this call to spread the Gospel invitation to the world is primary to true discipleship.

Moroni, here identifies our mortal end goal of unity as the force that protects from deception and enables the work of the Atonement to be finished![15]

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

It is to this culminating collective of Zion that the invitation to come unto Christ and be perfect in Him is addressed.  It is one thing to strive for personal righteousness and even eliminate all ungodliness, but another to help others be one on this elevated and exalting path.  He exalts us more perfectly by working through us than by working on us.  His grace is sufficient only for the meek; those humble enough to become meek through the gift of charity.[16]

Then he reveals the most substantial of all evidence mortal man can receive; a divinely changed character and capacity.  All other evidence is perceived through our senses which can be deceived.  But the internal evidence of a measurable changed capacity, a changed and perfected nature is proof positive – the only real source of reliable certainty.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

Now with results in hand; a sure knowledge that the Book of Mormon is true and the principles taught therein divine, one is then cleansed, sanctified of all the sins accumulated like mud on a four-by-four climbing to the top, through the divine intervention of Christ.  Just gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon was only the beginning, this was the goal all along that the book enables by bringing us to Christ.

34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.

Moroni is filled with this hope fueled by the evidence from his prevailing through a life of ultimate opposition, because of this very process that he now recommends to the truth seeker.  We can’t help but notice that the bar of God, contained in a warning in verse 27, has become to Moroni, “the PLEASING bar to which he invites us.”

The Book of Mormon only uses what was to an ancient Israelite, as the sacred and unspeakable name of the Son of God, but two times.[17]  It is invoked here in the last verse of the whole book, as a promise to the true and sincere seeker.  Moroni’s promise is much grander than one’s initial testimony of the Book.  If understood as a whole chapter instead of just two verses, it is the gate to a path that leads to eternal life.

Again, this debriefing had this purpose:

“The debriefing is an important ethical consideration to make sure that participants are fully informed about, and not psychologically or physically harmed in any way by, their experience in an experiment. … It is especially important in social psychology experiments where deception may be present.”[18]

We have been fully informed in our participation in what Alma called, the experiment where the danger of opposition is real, that the seed experimentally planted and then nourished by the process called faith, is Jesus Christ.[19]

The Book of Mormon started with the title page written by Moroni which clearly states the goal:

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel

  1. what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and
  2. that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—
  3. And also, to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations

These are clearly restated as Moroni 10 begins as a debriefing: remember God’s goodness, know covenants, be convinced all that Jesus is the Christ.  This whole chapter taken as one, clarifies that convincing the reader comes by transforming the reader so that Moroni may meet them at what will then be “the pleasing bar” of Jehovah.[20]

[1] Mormon 9:31-37; Title Page; Moroni 1:1; Moroni 10


[3] Debriefing for Clinical Learning | PSNet – AHRQ PSNet, › primer › debriefing-clinical-learning

[4] The Apostle Paul worked hard to make it clear that when a person receives the gospel message it is by grace alone not the deserving works of the person.  Though this declaration appears in various forms near the beginning of each of his epistles which then end with the call to good works, free grace alone has been applied to salvation in general rather than the initial invitation to hear.  He even makes it clear that bragging about which missionary issued the call is inappropriate.  (see 1 Cor 1:12-13)  Moroni, here also recognizes that the timing of when to receive and then read the Book of Mormon is a factor of divine grace.

[5] Perhaps I have missed it, having not read everything written.

[6] Meridian has published several articles where this is discussed if the reader would like more detailed information on this beginning approach.  See: Especially footnote 10


[7] Ibid – see the second article for the three indicators and their significance.

[8] Moses 6:61 it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.

[9] Jacob 4:6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.

[10] See “Seek Learning by Faith,” Elder David A. Bednar;

[11] John 11:46-48 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. ¶ Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

[12] 2 Nephi 1:13-14 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.  Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent,

[13] Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

[14] Moses 7:18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

[15] John 17:21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

[16] Another step to attain meekness is to become humble. Elder Elder Ulisses Soares; “Be Meek and Lowly of Heart “; Conference Oct 2013

[17] 2 Nephi 2:22 quoting Isaiah 12:Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.

 And here in Moroni – the last verse!

[18] Debriefing – Wikipedia; › wiki › Debriefing

[19] Alma 34:5 And we have beheld that the great question which is in your minds is whether the word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be no Christ.

[20] Just a theory: In the Book of Ether, Moroni, in total personal transparency, stated that his struggle with completing the record was, “the placing of the words.”  Could this have referred to the chasmatic organization of the concepts then illustrated with story?  So, he would have used the first of the record as a guide for ending the record.  Hence, the title page and Moroni 10 correlate as the first element does to the last element in a chiasm.