Moroni, Chapter 6

Teaching and assisting new members

Baptism

This chapter of Moroni gives a guide of how to teach and assist new members through the transition into the church. First, we see what things will determine if someone is ready for baptism.  “And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it (v. 1).”  A person must be worthy of baptism by their actions.  “Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins (v. 2).”  A person must repent of the things they have done wrong and have a broken and contrite spirit.  “And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end (v. 3).”  A person must have the desire to serve Christ and to do His will.  In order to know these things, a missionary needs to teach that person what it means to be worthy and to repent.  They need to understand what having a broken heart and a contrite spirit means.  Before being baptized, a person needs to understand how they can serve the Lord and how they can understand His will for them.

After being baptized, church members and missionaries have a responsibility to new converts.  “And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith (v. 4).”  Our responsibility is to fellowship them into the church, give them callings and other ways to learn how to serve, teach them the scriptures, guide them, and pray for them.

As an investigator interested in baptism, or a baptized member, it is important to understand what is expected of us.  “And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls (v. 5).”  We need to attend church often.  It is set up now for us to go to church once a week.  While at church, we need to fast and pray with one another.  We can gain great strength if we pray together and become one in purpose.  We also need to meet the needs of others through discussing welfare of other members.  It is our duty to help one another stay on the path to returning home to our Father in Heaven.

“And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus (v. 6).”  We are responsible for taking the sacrament each time we attend sacrament meeting.  It needs to be often, because we have made a commitment to remember the Savior always.  Without this reminder, it is completely natural to forget.  We cannot allow ourselves the chance to forget Jesus Christ and all He has done for us.

“And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ (v. 7).  But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven (v. 8 ).”  In addition to making sure that we personally follow the commandments of God, we need to make sure that there is not sinning among one another.  We are held accountable to those who have stewardship over us.  If we choose to openly deny the gospel or things such as that, we may be excommunicated from the church.  Those who are not worthy to remain members of the church, will not be allowed to do so.  We all sin.  This does not mean that we have to be perfect to be a member.  There are specific things that lead to being removed from the records of the church.  Things such as knowingly teaching false doctrine, which could lead people away from God.  When church members are sinning and then repent, they will be forgiven.  We all have the opportunity to come back from sin and be numbered in the church.

“And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done (v. 9).”  All things in the church should be led by the spirit.  Callings should be given by the direction of the spirit, meeting should be led by the spirit, even songs should be sung with the spirit of God.  The Holy Ghost is our constant companion if we are worthy after we have been baptized.  The Spirit will be there to guide and teach us as long as we are worthy to have it with us.

Becoming a member of the church is a lifestyle change for all.  It means to put away selfish desires and devote ourselves to serving the Lord.  It can be very difficult to be an investigator or a new convert.  Long-time members can be a great help in finding the way to be a good member of the church.  I hope that as someone who has been a member for a long time, that I can find more ways to help those who need guidance.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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