Lesson 1: The Future is Foretold in the Book of Mormon (For Our Day)

Set the Course

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We live in one of the most pivotal times in the history of the earth. The world is crying out desperately for answers and hope—more than ever before! The Book of Mormon contains the answers and solutions we have been looking for.

Special Promises in the Book of Mormon

Inspired Presidents of the Church have given specific and detailed blessings for those who take the Book of Mormon more seriously. These promises are for you—and are guaranteed—based on your faithfulness!
“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. 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. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”
President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” October 1986.
“Brothers and sisters, without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” June 1988.

“If you do not have a firm testimony of [the Book of Mormon, Restored Church, and Priesthood], do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. . . . I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives. I so testify with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” April 2017.

“My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions. Whenever I hear anyone, including myself, say, ‘I know the Book of Mormon is true,’ I want to exclaim, ‘That’s nice, but it is not enough!’ We need to feel, deep in ‘the inmost part’ of our hearts, that the Book of Mormon is unequivocally the word of God. We must feel it so deeply that we would never want to live even one day without it. I might paraphrase President Brigham Young in saying, ‘I wish I had the voice of seven thunders to wake up the people’ to the truth and power of the Book of Mormon.”

President Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” October 2017.

Through this course, we will be receiving these promised blessings by studying the Book of Mormon specifically! To do this, we will be using the words of latter-day prophets and the latter-day signs of the times to identify the parallels for our day.

What are the Signs of the Times?

It is quite simple to read the Book of Mormon and become acquainted with the storyline, but how can one attempt to apply the sacred text to the most important events in our own day? How can one be sure what those crucial events even are?

Currently raging in our modern world is a fierce debate over what elements of history should be taught and who should decide this issue. Clearly, we need to be careful that we don’t bring our own ideas and bias into interpreting scripture.

What if we used the signs of the times to guide our interpretation of history?

Taken from the documentary, For Our Day: Covenant on the Land
The signs of the times are the most important events of our day from an eternal perspective. Or said another way, the signs of the times are the most important events to the Lord. The Prophet Mormon was tasked with abridging a history of his people, pulling out the items with direct and specific application to our day. Joining the two together, the signs of the times with the Book of Mormon events, would it not make sense that the two would be very similar? It is astonishing how very similar they actually are! Nephi foretold that the righteous:

“hearken unto the words of the prophets, and destroy them not, but look forward unto Christ with steadfastness for the signs which are given, notwithstanding all persecution—behold, they are they which shall not perish.”

Likewise, the Lord indicated that “he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.” (D&C 45:39)

Where better to look than in the “most correct” book—the Book of Mormon? In this course, we will be doing just that.

Highlighting Some Book of Mormon Parallels

Want a sneak peek of the Book of Mormon history, paralleled with our day? See the following video clip!

Taken from the documentary, For Our Day: Covenant on the Land

President Benson’s Plea & Challenge for Us

According to President Ezra Taft Benson, there are two primary reasons for focusing our studies on the Book of Mormon. The first is that this volume is the keystone of our witness of Christ, our doctrine, and our testimony (President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” October 1986). Remember, Mormon selected the fundamental doctrines and principles that are imperative to understand in our day, so this should be our most important focus in studying this book.

President Benson additionally testified of the second great reason for studying the Book of Mormon, reminding us to read the Book of Mormon specifically—to carefully evaluate every verse, every story, every speech, and every page with the question: “Why did the Lord inspire Mormon to include that in his record?” The Book of Mormon was meant to be read specifically—every word carefully studied and applied to our own society, culture, families, nation, and world.

Two years after his talk “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” President Benson repeated his impassioned plea to the Saints, begging them to refocus on the Book of Mormon:

The For Our Day Model

Ever obedient to prophetic counsel, President Benson’s words prompted a faithful young father, James F. Stoddard III to prayerfully petition the Lord for direction and wisdom over two decades ago. While preparing for a presentation in his ward in California, a timeline laying out the prophetic parallels in the Book of Mormon was born.

Over time, James realized that the Book of Mormon contained not only guidance at an individual level, but also the most detailed prophecy of our future—a blueprint for building Zion, discerning modernist deceptions, and navigating the turmoil of the last days!

In honor of President Benson’s prophetic call, this research is called the For Our Day Model.

Everyone wants to know the future.

Everyone wants the answer.

Hint: It is all in the Book of Mormon!

For too long, Latter-day Israel has neglected the new covenant—the Book of Mormon—and treated this sacred book lightly. (D&C 84:54-57) Perhaps, it may seem irrelevant and challenging to our traditions that such a simple tool is the means to end war, bring about Millennial peace, heal familial conflict, gather Israel, establish liberty, and so forth. Perhaps we are expecting something more dramatic and sensational. September 21, 2023, passed as the 200th anniversary of Moroni’s appearance to Joseph Smith. What have we done—or failed to do—in those 200 years?

The purpose of the For Our Day Model is to call Latter-day Israel’s attention to the Lord’s Book of Mormon blueprint for building Zion.

  • How do we raise father and son teams who work together to preach repentance?
  • Where is our political handbook to save the Constitution?
  • What is the cause and solution for teen rebellion?
  • How do we become physically prepared for natural and manmade disasters?

All of these questions and far more can be answered in the Book of Mormon.

The message of For Our Day is a plea to turn our hearts back to these Nephite forefathers. A call to individually come out from under “condemnation.” (D&C 84:54-57) A call to defend the integrity of this most correct book. A call to use the Book of Mormon seriously and practically—more than we have ever done before in the history of the Restoration.

Will you take this challenge?

Embark on the Journey

Embark on the Journey provides suggested activity ideas to implement individually, in your home, or in your classes to interact with the content provided in the lesson. Hands-on activities help cement information into your mind, allowing the Spirit the opportunity to confirm truth and prompt inspiration to become what the Lord would have you be.

Monthly “I Am a Latter-day Nephite” Theme!

I will stand forth in the strength of the Lord.

Remember: While you absolutely may do every activity suggested if you would like, it is certainly not needed, nor are you limited by the ideas given here. Choose one or more that will work with your learning style, available time, or the group that you are working with. Even if you are an adult, don’t hesitate to choose an activity originally aimed at children—those can be the most fun! Feel free to run with any other ideas that come to your mind! Allow the Lord to guide you in choosing the best activities for you. The ultimate goal is to engage with the material and become a “doer of the word.”
  • If this is your first week here, welcome! Please review our “Welcome & How to Join the Quest” for some helpful information on how to use this resource.
  • Please don’t skip this one! Create, assemble, or purchase a journal or notebook to record thoughts and impressions as you go through this course. You can be as creative as you like, or simply make a Google Drive file, but please don’t skip this one! Many of the activities throughout the year will invite you to write, which will help you organize and record what you’ve learned and what the Lord is prompting you to do. Remember, we’re not just learning—we’re becoming!
  • The birthright covenant of the House of Israel was given to Jacob’s son, Joseph—also known as Joseph of Egypt. This sacred trust was passed down through lineage and inherited by Lehi. According to 1 Nephi 14:2, we are all a part of the Lehite covenant and lineage—literally or adopted—if we humbly accept! What does it mean to be a “latter-day Nephite” and carry on the Lord’s covenants? As you study the Book of Mormon this year, write down action items you discover! Draft your own “resolution” or commitment to remind you of your calling and inheritance! If you would like one that has already been created, download or purchase a designed cardstock version of the “I Am a Latter-day Nephite” resolution produced by the Joseph Smith Foundation. Post your resolution where you will see it every day—on the fridge or your mirror, for example.
    • This month, we will be focusing on the statement, “I will stand forth in the strength of the Lord.” Ponder what it means to “stand forth in the strength of the Lord.”
    • In your journal, reflect on times that you have relied on the Lord’s strength to be bold in your testimony.
  • As a family or class, share times where you have stood strong in your faith. What were the situations? How did you feel as you stood up for what you believe? How did these situations strengthen your testimony?
  • Print out a Book of Mormon Reading Log and color it in as you read the Book of Mormon this year.
  • Start a Book of Mormon quotes collection. It can be a posterboard, a page in your journal, a pinterest board, or any other creative way you can think of. Throughout the year, add quotes about the importance and blessings of the Book of Mormon. There are a few in the “Set the Course” section to get you started.
  • Watch this video clip from President Uchtdorf (12:13-15:29). Record in your journal impressions you receive as you ponder on this. Commit to being open-minded to the journey that the Lord wants to take you on this year.
  • The Book of Mormon helps us see our future. Nephites on a quest might have used something like a spyglass to help them see things that were ahead. Make a Spyglass Telescope and use it as you read your Nephite Quest statement or during your family Book of Mormon reading time.
  • Listen to “From Cumorah’s Hill: The Book of Mormon Speaks to Our Day” by Steven Kapp Perry. Which song is your favorite? Why? Find the lyrics and record in your journal a few of the phrases that touch your heart and what it means to you.
  • Create a For Our Day playlist on your favorite music platform and add songs throughout the year. Start by adding your favorite track from “From Cumorah’s Hill”! (see previous activity)
  • Recreate the Book of Mormon Prophetic Parallels Timeline in any artistic style you would like—paint, animation, mixed media, cross-stitch—your imagination is the limit!
  • Draw a picture of you dressed as a Nephite. Write “I will stand forth in the strength of the Lord” or “I am a Latter-day Nephite” along the bottom.
  • Record a video explaining why the Book of Mormon is so important for our day, and share it with friends. If using social media, use #ForOurDay so that others doing For Our Day can find it too! Send us a link—we’d love to hear from you!
  • Write in your journal questions, concerns or even doubts you may have right now. The Lord has promised that if we ask, we will receive. (James 1:5, D&C 4:7) Leave some space to record the answers as you find them in the Book of Mormon this year.

Unless otherwise stated, reference to any products, services, hypertext link to third parties or other information by trade name, trademark, supplier or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement or sponsorship by us. They are for convenience only.

All Hands on Deck

  • Pray each morning this week for the Lord to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts on the Book of Mormon and/or what you’ve learned this week with someone.
  • Join the For Our Day community on social media for uplifting shareable content, ideas on how to implement For Our Day in your home and classes, and to connect with others on the journey. You can find us here: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, unofficial TikTok.
  • Share one or more of your Embark on the Journey activities on social media with #ForOurDay. If you are comfortable, please email us and share your journey! Our team would love to connect with you and hear how you and your family are applying the Book of Mormon for our day.
  • Create a Book of Mormon study group with your friends and family. You can meet in person or virtually! Use technology to help with time limitations or distance. You could start a text group, Marco Polo chat, meet over Zoom/Google Meet. Share your favorite epiphanies and grow from hearing others’ experiences!
    Prayerfully think of someone you think would benefit from For Our Day and invite them to study with you for the year.

Find the Treasure

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