Monthly Archives: October 2012

A quick Halloween joke

I’m not a big Halloween fan, but my kids love it. I’d much rather just skip over it and get right to Christmas.

In honour of my kids, here is a quick church-related Halloween joke:

Why don’t skeletons play church music?

They’re missing their organs!

🙂

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 4

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

Here is the next entry in my series from the Old Testament Institute class that I’m teaching. These notes cover Genesis 12 – 23. I have decided not to include any pictures since I’m not sure of copyright issues with them.

To recap… I’m a Stake Institute Teacher. I teach a group of about a dozen YSA in my home on Wednesday evenings. It is a great calling! I decided I would post my notes for the classes. They are just that… notes. They are meant to help me direct the discussion and have references to pictures and quotes. I’ve included the quotes, but not the pictures.


Introduction

  • SHOW SLIDE 2 about covenant people

As you begin to study the expansion of the covenant line, remember one thing. Sometimes we tend to oversimplify the concept of a covenant people and the heritage of certain groups of people. For example, we tend to think of the Arabs as descendants of Ishmael or Esau, the Jews as descendants of Judah, the American Indians and South Pacific Islanders as descendants of Laman, and so forth. In broad terms all of these statements are true, of course, but through centuries of intermarriage and conversion, the “pure blood lines” (an impossible term in reality) of the various ancestors have been vastly intermingled. Surely down through nearly four thousand years the descendants of Isaac have intermarried with the descendants of Ishmael and the other sons of Abraham. We know that after the ten tribes were taken into captivity the term Jew was used in a nationalistic sense (to mean a member of the kingdom of Judah) and not just in a tribal sense (to mean a descendant of Judah, son of Jacob). Thus, Lehi, who was of Manasseh (see Alma 10:3), and Ishmael, who was of Ephraim (see Erastus Snow, in Journal of Discourses, 23:184–85), were Jews, that is, were living in Judah…

The important thing is that being Israel, or a covenant person, involves faithfulness as well as blood lineage. Thus, as Nephi said, repentance and faith in the Holy One of Israel is what determines whether one is of the covenant (see 2 Nephi 30:2), a concept also taught by Paul (see Romans 2:28–29). In other words, while the blood lineage is significant, it can be overridden by one’s own faithfulness or lack of faithfulness.

Chapter 24

v1
Lord blessed Abraham in all things

v3
Isaac can’t marry a Canaanite

v3-10
Go to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife

v12-14
Servant pays for a wife for Isaac
The servant had faith. He presented a plan and prayed about it.

v15
Rebekah was Isaac’s cousin

v17
See JST Genesis 24: 16

v17-28
Servant speaks to Rebekah

v19

  • SHOW SLIDE 3 artwork of Rebekah at the well

How much can a camel drink? Rebekah was a willing worker!

v31-33
Servant welcomed by family

v51
Rebekah is given to Isaac

v58
Rebekah chose to go

v67
Isaac Loved Rebekah

Chapter 25

v1
Abraham remarries

v7-8
Abraham lived to be 175

v13-15
Ismael had 12 sons

v17
Isaac lived 137 years

v20-26
Rebekah is barren for 20 years (Isaac was 40 in v20, 60 in v26)
Isaac prays, she conceives and gives birth to Esau and Jacob

v28-34
Esau sells birthright to Jacob for pottage (lentil stew)

  • SHOW SLIDE 4 artwork of Jacob and Esau

v32
This story is about Esau’s disregard for his birthright, not Jacob’s deceit

Chapter 26

v4
The Abrahamic covenant continues through Isaac

v7-11
Isaac lies about Rebekah being his sister, the king finds out, promises to leave them alone

Chapter 27

v1
Isaac is going blind

v2-46
Story of Jacob being blessed instead of Esau

  • SHOW SLIDE 5 artwork of LEGO Jacob and Isaac

Can someone really get a blessing if it was intended for someone else?
Was Jacob deceitful?
Priesthood keys can both bind and loose (see Matthew 16: 19). Isaac never revoked the blessing.

Chapter 28

v1
Jacob not to marry a Canaanite

v4
Abrahamic covenant continues with Jacob

v12
Jacob has dream of ladder

  • READ SLIDE 6 quote from President Romney about working way up ladder
“When Jacob traveled from Beersheba toward Haran, he had a dream in which he saw himself on the earth at the foot of a ladder that reached to heaven where the Lord stood above it. He beheld angels ascending and descending thereon, and Jacob realized that the covenants he made with the Lord there were the rungs on the ladder that he himself would have to climb in order to obtain the promised blessings—blessings that would entitle him to enter heaven and associate with the Lord.
“Because he had met the Lord and entered into covenants with him there, Jacob considered the site so sacred that he named the place Bethel, a contraction of Beth-Elohim, which means literally ‘the House of the Lord.’ He said of it: ‘. . . this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’ (Gen. 28:17.)
“Jacob not only passed through the gate of heaven, but by living up to every covenant he also went all the way in. Of him and his forebears Abraham and Isaac, the Lord has said: ‘. . . because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.’ (D&C 132:37.)
“Temples are to us all what Bethel was to Jacob. Even more, they are also the gates to heaven for all of our unendowed kindred dead. We should all do our duty in bringing our loved ones through them.”
Marion G. Romney, “Temples—The Gates to Heaven,” Ensign, Mar. 1971, p. 16

v14-15
Jesus himself appears and continues the covenant

Chapter 29

  • SHOW SLIDE 7 showing Jacob’s genealogy

v9-12
Jacob meets Rachel

v18
Says he’ll work 7 years to marry Rachel

v20
Time flies… Jacob loved Rachel

v23-25
Jacob didn’t know he had been with Leah?

v26
Is given Leah

v28
Is given Rachel

v32-35
Leah has Rueben, Simeon, Levi and Judah

  • SHOW SLIDE 8 showing listing of children

Chapter 30

v4
Jacob marries Bilhah

v5-8
Jacob has 2 more children… Dan and Naphtali

v9-13
Jacob marries Zilpah, has Gad and Asher

v14
Mandrakes were plants that superstitiously supposed to excite and win love. It obviously did nothing here (see v 22)

v18-21
Leah has another son Isaacher, then Zebulun, then Dinah

v22
God opened her womb

v24
Rachel has Joseph. He is son 11, child 12

Chapter 31

v11
Angel called Jacob; Jacob didn’t say who is there. He said here am I
Story of Jacob leaving, Rachel taking the idols/tablets, Laban looking for them
Jacob and Laban covenant to be at peace
The heap of stones was called witness heap
The pillar was called watchtower

Chapter 32

v24-30
Jacob literally wrestles with God?

  • SHOW SLIDE 9 with artwork of Jacob wrestling an angel
  • SHOW SLIDE 10 with quote about wrestling with being
“Who wrestled with Jacob on Mount Peniel? The scriptures say it was a man. The Bible interpreters say it was an angel. More than likely it was a messenger sent to Jacob to give him the blessing. To think he wrestled and held an angel who couldn’t get away, is out of the question. The term angel as used in the scriptures, at times, refers to messengers who are sent with some important instruction. Later in this chapter when Jacob said he had beheld the Lord, that did not have reference to his wrestling.”
Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:17

v28
Jacob’s name changed to Israel

Chapter 33

Jacob and Esau talk about Jacob’s gifts

Chapter 34

v2
Dinah is defiled
The brothers say they will live there if everyone is circumcised, but end up killing all of the males

v30
Jacob is upset

Chapter 35

v10
Name change reiterated

v11-12
Covenant given again

v16-19
Rachel has son, Jacob’s 12th, Benjamin

v22
Reuben had sex with Bilhah
Reuben had the birthright, but lost it. Therefore it went to the firstborn of the next real wife (Rachel)

Chapter 36

Esau’s genealogy

Chapter 37

Starting the story of Joseph of Egypt

v2

  • SHOW SLIDE 11 showing picture of Donny Osmond as Joseph

Coat of many colours
Ornate, distinctive, long tunic with sleeves

v5-8
First dream… sheaves worship sheaf

v9-11
Stars, sun, moon worship Joseph

v11
Israel pondered over this dream

v18-36
Conspiring to kill Joseph, decide to sell him

v28-20
Shekels or pieces of silver
This was about 8 oz. or 230g total. In today’s money silver is about $35 per oz., so that would be $280

Chapter 38

Story of Judah
Married Shua, had Er, then Onan, then Shelah
Er married Tamar. He was evil, so he died
Onan was told by Judah to marry Tamar. Wouldn’t have children with her, so he died.
Shelah was too young
Judah has sex with Tamar but doesn’t know it

v27-30
Perez and Zerah are born

Chapter 39

v1
The captain of the guard was also the chief executioner

v2
Though a servant, Joseph prospered

v3-6
Joseph was blessed, and when put in charge of Potiphar’s house, it too was blessed.

v6
Joseph was goodly person and well favoured
NIV – well-built and handsome
NAS – handsome in form and appearance
AMP – attractive person and fine looking

v7-23
Story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife

  • SHOW SLIDE 12 artwork of Joseph resisting

v20
If Potiphar was executioner, why wasn’t Joseph killed?

Chapter 40

v9-15
Butler’s dream
Vine with 3 branches, lots of grapes, put juice in cup, in 3 days would be freed

v16-19
Baker’s dream
Baked goods eaten by birds
Would be beheaded

v20-23
Butler released, baker beheaded, butler forgot about Joseph

Chapter 41

v1-7

  • SHOW SLIDE 13 showing artwork of Pharaoh’s dreams

Pharaoh has dreams of cows and corn

v8
The magicians and wise men couldn’t interpret them

v9-13
Baker remembers Joseph

v14
Joseph called from jail. He was there for at least 2 years!

v17-32
Joseph hears dreams and interprets them

v33-37
Joseph suggests plan

v38-40
Joseph put in charge of the plan

v45
Joseph marries Asenath

v50-52
Manasseh and Ephraim are born

v55
What trust! “What he say to you, do”

Chapter 42

v1-3
Jacob has 10 sons go to Egypt

v7
Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him

v15
Demands that the younger one comes

v25-28
Joseph loads them up with grain

v38
Jacob doesn’t want Benjamin to go

Chapter 43

v1-13
They run out of food, have to return to Egypt

v11
Nuts = pistachios

v24
Provender – dry food, as hay or oats, for livestock or other domestic animals

Chapter 44

Benjamin is “caught” stealing, has to stay
Judah explains how Jacob might die after hearing this news

Chapter 45

v3
Joseph reveals who he is

v4-8
Joseph is a type of Christ

  • SHOW SLIDE 14 with listing of ways Joseph is a type of Christ
  1. Joseph was the favoured son of his father; so was Jesus (see Genesis 37:3; Matthew 3:17).
  2. Joseph was rejected by his brothers, the Israelites, as was Jesus (see Genesis 37:4; John 1:11; Isaiah 53:3; 1 Nephi 19:13–14).
  3. Joseph was sold by his brothers into the hands of the Gentiles, just as Jesus was (see Genesis 37:25–27; Matthew 20:19).
  4. Judah, the head of the tribe of Judah, proposed the sale of Joseph. Certain leaders of the Jews in Jesus’ day turned Jesus over to the Romans. Judas (the Greek spelling of Judah) was the one who actually sold Jesus. (See Genesis 37:26; Matthew 27:3.)
  5. Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver, the price of a slave his age. Christ was sold for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave His age. (See Genesis 37:28; Matthew 27:3; Exodus 21:32; Leviticus 27:5.)
  6. In their very attempt to destroy Joseph, his brothers actually set up the conditions that would bring about their eventual temporal salvation—that is, Joseph, by virtue of being sold, would become their deliverer. Jesus, by His being given into the hands of the Gentiles, was crucified and completed the atoning sacrifice, becoming the Deliverer for all mankind.
  7. Joseph began his mission of preparing salvation for Israel at age thirty, just as Jesus began His ministry of preparing salvation for the world at age thirty (see Genesis 41:46; Luke 3:23).
  8. When Joseph was finally raised to his exalted position in Egypt, all bowed the knee to him. All will eventually bow the knee to Jesus. (See Genesis 41:43; D&C 88:104.)
  9. Joseph provided bread for Israel and saved them from death, all without cost. Jesus, the Bread of Life, did the same for all men. (See Genesis 42:35; John 6:48–57; 2 Nephi 9:50.)

They plan to bring Jacob back

Chapter 46

v1-26
Jacob travels to Egypt

v26-27
There are 67 people in the family who travelled; 70 people in family total

v29-30
Israel/Jacob sees Joseph again

Chapter 47

Famine continues

Chapter 48

v13-19
Ephraim gets first-born blessing, even though he is not first-born

Chapter 49

Israel leaves blessing on family

v3-7
Reuben, Simeon, Levi are worried

v8
Judah will be the leader

v10
Judah would rule until Shiloh (Christ) comes

v23-24
People persecuted Joseph, but he remained strong

v26
The blessings of Joseph are greater than the blessings on his ancestors

v33
Jacob dies

Chapter 50

They mourn for Jacob
Joseph asks permission of Pharaoh to bury Jacob. Pharaoh tells him to go

v15-21
The brothers are afraid that after Jacob’s death that Joseph will exact revenge. Joseph doesn’t

v19
“Am I in God’s place?”

v24-25
Short Prophecy
2 Nephi 3 has a longer version of the prophecy that was on the brass plates
JST Genesis 50: 24-36 has 13 extra verses that aren’t in Old Testament

v26
Joseph lives to be 110 years old

Conclusion

  • SHOW SLIDE 15 about what we learn from Joseph
“Joseph vividly demonstrated why he was favored of the Lord, or, as the scriptures said, why ‘the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. . . .’ (Gen. 39.) His reliance was upon the Lord. His trust was in the Lord, and his allegiance ran to the Lord.
“I believe this is the greatest lesson that can be learned by the youth of Zion—to do the right thing because you love the Lord. It is so vitally important that, I feel, if you do anything in righteousness for any other reason than you love the Lord, you are wrong—at least you are on very shaky ground. And, somewhere your reasons for acting in righteousness will not be strong enough to see you through. You will give way to expediency, or peer group pressure, or honor, or fame, or applause, or the thrill of the moment, or some other worldly reason. Unless your motives are built upon the firm foundation of love of the Lord, you will not be able to stand.”
Hartman Rector, Jr., “Live above the Law to Be Free,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 130

The Calgary Alberta Temple has been dedicated

One of my sisters lives in Calgary and so they’ve been very excited about the new Calgary Alberta Temple. The temple was dedicated yesterday along with a cultural celebration the day before.

My sister posted this picture to Facebook with the comment “Finale brought tears to my eyes!”

She then emailed the following to the family:

We just got home from the temple dedication. It has been an awesome and excited few weeks. Open house, tours and such.

Last night was a youth cultural celebration. It was phenomenal.

The dedication today was the icing on top. The spirit was so strong and we feel so very blessed to have a temple 20 minutes away (when traffic is good 😉

Life is good!

The Church Newsroom covered the dedication with pictures and videos of the cornerstone ceremony and the cultural celebration.

Communicating in the Lord’s way

On Saturday I was talking with my wife about communication. I suggested that the next time she was assigned to speak in Sacrament Meeting, she should talk about communication. Then the next day someone actually did speak on that in Sacrament Meeting. The person used the talk Christlike Communications by Elder L. Lionel Kendrick as the source of many of her quotes. Then on Monday the blog Entitled to Revelation had a posting called Promises: All This and Greater Also that also kind of dealt with communication. (Isn’t it interesting how those sorts of things happen?!)

You can read both of those articles/postings yourself. The main point that my wife and I were talking about, was that people need to communicate. We’re talking about this in its most basic form. People need to talk. We need to share. The scriptures are literally full of examples of people who talked/shared. They preached, they counseled, they asked questions, they communicated. Very rarely do we see examples of people who know things but don’t share them (Mary obviously being one exception in Luke 2: 19).

I’ve seen too many times where leaders get frustrated because they find something out too late. When I was a bishop, I remember one time where a family had a car accident and it was weeks before I found out. Others knew but never said anything. I know of other leaders serving with me at the time who would get frustrated when I would forget to share something with them. The end result is that people can’t serve effectively, and the people we should be helping are not getting the full benefit of the resources of the Church.

Obviously we can’t share everything. Some things are confidential. Some things just aren’t important. However, generally, we need to share. We need to be open. We need to care.

Talk repeats by General Authorities

If you are lucky enough to go to enough meetings, chances are you’ve heard the same story told numerous times by a General Authority. This came to mind the other day when in the Institute class I teach we were talking about Elder Jeffrey R. Holland powerful talk (The First Great Commandment) from the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. One of the students said that he had heard the talk about a year or more before. He was a missionary in one of the missions in Russia, and apparently Elder Holland had given that talk to mission presidents in Europe with a slightly different twist (it was more about missionary work than about love/commitment).

I had the same sort of experience when I was a YSA. I had attended a few different regional conferences over a period of a year. Vaughn J Featherstone spoke at each one of them and gave the same talk at each one of them.

Whenever I hear or experience that, my first reaction is, “That stinks. Why didn’t they write a new talk?” But then I think about the number of times a year that these leaders speak, and this goes on for anywhere from 5-50 years (depending on what position they hold). There is no way they could come up with hundreds or thousands of new talks and topics over their “career”. Even President Hinckley’s invitation to read the Book of Mormon a few years ago was a repeat of the same invitation he had given years before that.

Ultimately I’m ok with this. I guess in a way it is just like a lot of other things in the Church. We are always taught the same general principles because the Gospel doesn’t change and because we haven’t kept the commandments as we should. Maybe when we are more on the ball we’ll hear some new things.

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 3 (Genesis 12 – 23)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

Here is the next entry in my series from the Old Testament Institute class that I’m teaching. These notes cover Genesis 12 – 23. I have decided not to include any pictures since I’m not sure of copyright issues with them.

To recap… I’m a Stake Institute Teacher. I teach a group of about a dozen YSA in my home on Wednesday evenings. It is a great calling! I decided I would post my notes for the classes. They are just that… notes. They are meant to help me direct the discussion and have references to pictures and quotes. I’ve included the quotes, but not the pictures.


Covenants

Enrichment section B has information about Covenants

  • In order to help His children become like Him, Father in Heaven admonishes them to observe certain gospel principles by means of covenants and ordinances. The entire gospel itself is referred to in scripture as “a new and an everlasting covenant” (D&C 22:1; see also 133:57). That overall covenant includes a series of other covenants that, if observed, will make man like his divine parents. Covenants, covenant making, and covenant keeping thus become the keys to exaltation, or the kind of life God enjoys.
    A covenant is a mutual agreement between two or more persons whereby each contracting party agrees to abide by certain stipulations. Heavenly Father agrees to give to His children all that He enjoys, providing they will keep all of His commandments (see D&C 76:50–60). “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). Broken covenants have no eternal or lasting value. As Joseph Smith said, “It requires two parties to make a covenant, and those two parties must be agreed, or no covenant can be made” (Teachings, p. 14).

Refer to:

  • Deut 7: 9
  • 2 Nephi 6: 12
  • Romans 9: 6

Genesis Chapter 12

v1
Abram told to leave the country
Abram probably received the Melchizedek Priesthood before leaving.
See Abraham 1: 2, 3: 1

v3

First reference to Abrahamic Covenant (I think)
“In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”
Often references to covenant are that the nations will be blessed. I like the reference to families

v4

  • SHOW SLIDE 3 map of travels from student manual (pg 65)

v5
Lot is Abram’s nephew

v8
Went to a mountain (temple) and called upon the name of the Lord

v10-20
Story of Sarai saying that she is Abram’s sister
Did Pharaoh try to marry her?

  • REVIEW notes from manual about why this is or isn’t a lie

Why did Abram speak this way? The Lord told him to do it. See Abraham 2: 22-23
Similar to Nephi killing Laban, sometimes the Lord requires us to do things that might otherwise be wrong. The key is that it needs to be a message direct from the Lord

  • SHOW SLIDE 4 family tree from student manual pg 66

Genesis Chapter 13

v4
Returned to an altar he had used before

v6-7
Must have been a huge group travelling!!

v8-9

  • SHOW SLIDE 5  image of lot and Abraham splitting land

Let there be no strife
Abram was willing to do what it took to have no contention

v12
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom

v18
Abram built another altar

Genesis Chapter 14

According to some things I read, there are several evidences to the age of these records

  • READ note from Amplified Bible
    Some of the places being referenced were using the original names. Moses had to explain what they were to the audience he was writing to
    14: 2 – Bela that is Zoar
    14:3 Valley of Siddim which is the Salt Sea
    14:4 En-mishpat which is Kadesh
    14:15 Hobah which is north of Damascus
    14:17 Valley oi Shaveh which is King’s Valley

v14
Not referring to his blood brother, but his brother in the gospel

v16
The brother translation could be relative or kinsmen
318 servants!

v18

  • SHOW SLIDE 6 picture of Abram with Melchizedek

Reference to Melchizedek

  • REVIEW notes from manual about Melchizedek possibly being Shem

v20
Abram paid tithing

Genesis Chapter 15

v1
The Lord was Abram’s shield
In the Armor of God scripture in Ephesians 6: 10-18, you have the shield of faith

v5
Abram has no children, but is promised he will have innumerable descendants

v6
And Abram believed him!
JST adds a vision where Abram sees the Lord and believes

v12
Abram has a vision and experiences great darkness like Joseph Smith

Genesis Chapter 16

v2-3
Abram takes Hagar as another wife

v5
Sarai upset about Hagai

  • SHOW SLIDE 7 artwork of Hagai leaving with Ishmael

v7-12
Angel tells Hagar to name son Ishmael
This is the first recorded instance in the Bible of someone being named before birth
See Gen 17: 19 – Isaac
1 Kings 13: 2 – Josiah
1 Chron 22: 9 – Solomon
Matt 1: 21 – Jesus
Luke 1: 13 – John
Ishmael is generally thought to be the father of the Arab people. According to tradition, the prophet Muhammad came through his son Kedar

Genesis Chapter 17

v1
The Lord visits Abram again

v2
A covenant is made again. Why so often?

v5
Name changes from Abram (high exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude)

v11
Is circumcision the covenant? It was a sign/token. It was stopped later. See Acts 15: 1, 24-29

v15
Sarai’s name becomes Sarah (princess)

v17
Even the Lord has a sense of humour?

v19
Isaac’s name means laughter

Genesis Chapter 18

v1-10

  • SHOW SLIDE 8 artwork of Abraham with 3 men/angels

Visit from 3 men
The first verse is a thought unto itself
The 3 men are generally considered to be angelic visitors. If they ate and cleaned themselves, they must have been resurrected. Others believe that it wasn’t possible for them to be resurrected, so they must have just been men

v14
Is anything too hard for the Lord?

v20-22
Two of the men/angels went to check on Sodom and Gomorrah

v23-32
The Lord would not destroy the city if 10 righteous people could be found
See Alma 10: 22 – the prayers of the righteous save the people

Genesis Chapter 19

v1
Other two men (angels?) arrive at Sodom

v5
The men of the city want to have sex with the men
Is this the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? It was more than this. See Ezekiel 16: 49-50

v8
Lot willing to hand over daughters?!?! JST clarifies this

v14
Lot warns family of impending destruction but they don’t believe him

v15-16
Lot, wife, 2 daughters are saved

  • SHOW SLIDE 9 artwork of Lot and family leaving

v24-25
Sodom, Gomorrah, and other cities are destroyed

  • SHOW SLIDE 10 artwork of the destruction

v17, 26
They were not to look back
Lot’s wife lagged behind and looked back. According to the way the wording is and how it compares to other similar lines, some scholars believed she actually went back.
She may have been literally turned to a pillar of salt or it may have been figurative (the traditional spot is now where part of the Dead Sea is)
Her heart was not where it should have been. See Matthew 6: 20-21 or Luke 21:33-34
Refer to Luke 17: 31-33

v31-38
The remaining two daughters get father drunk on successive nights and had sex with him to preserve their race
Moab (of a father)
Ben-ammi (son of my people)

Genesis Chapter 20

v2
Abraham lies again

v11-12
Abraham explains why he lied

Genesis Chapter 21

v1-3
Isaac is born

v9
Sibling rivalry between Ismael (17) and Isaac (3)

v12-21
Ismael and Hagar leave
They almost die but are saved by the Lord

v17
“God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is”

Genesis Chapter 22

Story of Abraham going to sacrifice Isaac

  • SHOW SLIDE 11 artwork of the sacrifice

v2
Offer him as a burnt offering

v5
We will worship and come again
Did Abraham believe that another way would come, or was he prophesying?

v7
Where is the lamb?

v8
The statement was both faithful (referring to Isaac) and prophetic (referring to Jesus)

v9
No struggle with Isaac
One thing I read said he was around 25. He must have had great faith as well

v11-12
Angel stops the sacrifice

v18
Abrahamic Covenant
Who is the greatest of his seed? Christ. Refer to Galatians 3: 16

Genesis Chapter 23

Sarah dies (127 years old) and is buried

Salt Lake City named most Christian in new study

Hmm… I wonder what all those people who say we’re not Christian think about this study…

From the Huffington Post:

A study measuring religious bodies in the United States called the, “2010 U.S. Religious Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study (RCMS)” was recently released by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). The most comprehensive study of its kind, it provides detailed county by county information on congregations, members, adherents and attendance for 236 different faiths groups. (The survey differentiates between specific denominations within the same tradition.)

Of metropolitan areas with population greater than a million, the researchers found Salt Lake City to be the most Christian* city with approximately 72.5 percent identifying as a Christian adherent. The researchers found the greater area of Portland, OR-WA to be the least Christian city with about 30 percent identifying as a Christian adherent.

At the bottom of the article is a link to some maps showing the most and least Mormon cities with some great colour coded maps.

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 2 (Genesis 3 – 11)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

Here is the next entry in my series from the Old Testament Institute class that I’m teaching. These notes cover Genesis 3 – 11. I have decided not to include any pictures since I’m not sure of copyright issues with them.

To recap… I’m a Stake Institute Teacher. I teach a group of about a dozen YSA in my home on Wednesday evenings. It is a great calling! I decided I would post my notes for the classes. They are just that… notes. They are meant to help me direct the discussion and have references to pictures and quotes. I’ve included the quotes, but not the pictures.


Introduction

  • Before we start, highlight the Enrichment Section A of the student manual which explains who the God of the Old Testament is.

Genesis Chapter 3

  • SHOW picture of LEGO Adam and Eve

v1
Subtle – crafty

v4
Gods (plural)
Satan tells Adam and Eve that they will know Good from Evil – true
Satan tells Adam and Eve that they won’t die – lie
This is the way Satan works… mixes lies with truths to trick people – he’s crafty!

v5
READ
Joseph Fielding Smith quote about Adam’s status before the Fall

“Adam’s status before the fall was:

“1. He was not subject to death.

“2. He was in the presence of God. . . .

“3. He had no posterity.

“4. He was without knowledge of good and evil.

He had knowledge, of course. He could speak. He could converse. There were many things he could be taught and was taught; but under the conditions in which he was living at that time it was impossible for him to visualize or understand the power of good and evil. He did not know what pain was. He did not know what sorrow was; and a thousand other things that have come to us in this life that Adam did not know in the Garden of Eden and could not understand and would not have known had he remained there. That was his status before the fall.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:107–8

Eyes will be open
What do eyes represent – seeing… understanding
Joseph Smith used this phrase in D&C 110: 1 when Jesus as well as other Heavenly visitors came

V6
SHOW
stained glass window picture of Eve giving fruit to Adam
READ
Elder Talmage quote about Adam and Even partaking of the fruit

“Eve was fulfilling the foreseen purposes of God by the part she took in the great drama of the fall; yet she did not partake of the forbidden fruit with that object in view, but with intent to act contrary to the divine command, being deceived by the sophistries of Satan, who also, for that matter, furthered the purposes of the Creator by tempting Eve; yet his design was to thwart the Lord’s plan. We are definitely told that ‘he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world’ [Moses 4:6]. Yet his diabolical effort, far from being the initiatory step toward destruction, contributed to the plan of man’s eternal progression. Adam’s part in the great event was essentially different from that of his wife; he was not deceived; on the contrary he deliberately decided to do as Eve desired, that he might carry out the purposes of his Maker with respect to the race of men, whose first patriarch he was ordained to be.”

James E Talmage, Articles of Faith, pp. 69–70

How much times passed between v6 and v7?
How much times passed between v7 and v8?
I think this is the sort of thing where a lot of misunderstanding comes into play. We assign a timeline to things that just aren’t there in the scriptures. We’ll get to this later, but the entire Tower of Babel story is 9 verses long

v10
God was heard walking. He has a physical body

v13
Beguiled – deceived

v15
Enmity – The state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something
Does Satan have “seed” (posterity)?
Compare head and heel
A snake might nip at the heel, but that same foot/heel it was trying to bite is going to be the thing that crushes it

v16-17
Woman’s and Man’s curse
How is this manifest today?

v19
How did Adam and Eve feel?
See Moses 5: 10-11
Was there death before the Fall? Not as we understand it. This is one reason why many people in the Church have a hard time reconciling evolution and the Creation (evolution implies change through the generations… creatures die)
READ
Joseph Fielding Smith quote about death

“Modern education declares that there never was such a thing as the fall of man, but that conditions have always gone on in the same way as now in this mortal world. Here, say they, death and mutation have always held sway as natural conditions on this earth and everywhere throughout the universe the same laws obtain. It is declared that man has made his ascent to the exalted place he now occupies through countless ages of development which has gradually distinguished him from lower forms of life.

“Such a doctrine of necessity discards the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden, which it looks upon as a myth coming down to us from an early age of foolish ignorance and superstition. Moreover, it is taught that since death was always here, and a natural condition prevailing throughout all space, there could not possibly come a redemption from Adam’s transgression, hence there was no need for a Savior for a fallen world.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315

v20
The name Eve means “living”
What do we think of Eve?

v22
Who is god speaking to? There is obviously more than one person here (plural)

Genesis Chapter 4

The Book of Moses really helps here. There is a gap here in the bible where we learn:

  • They are driven out
  • They have children
  • God taught them
  • They offered sacrifices
  • An angel tells them why they offer sacrifices

v2
Cain was a farmer
Abel was a shepherd

v3-5
SHOW
artwork of Cain and Abel’s offerings
Cain’s offering was rejected
It came from the ground, and the ground was cursed
Abel’s offering was accepted
It was in similitude of the Only Begotten

v5
The Lord hadn’t rejected Cain. He was still speaking with Cain

v7
READ TOGETHER
How does sin lie at the door?

v8
SHOW
artwork of Cain killing Abel
Cain kills Abel
Moses 5: 29-31 adds in information about Satan conspiring with Cain

v9
Am I my brother’s keeper?

v14
“those hast driven me out…” – Cain is blaming God

v15
Could Cain die? Yes
Do we know what the curse/mark was? No
One thing I read suggested there was a physical feature (size perhaps) that made him look different and people left him alone

Genesis Chapter 5

Adam lived to be 930
Seth 912
Enos 905
Cainan 910
Mahalaleel 895
Jared 962
Enoch 365 – translated, see Moses 7: 69
Methuselah 969 – not taken up with Enoch so righteous patriarchal/priesthood line could continue (see Moses 8:2); died the year of the flood
Lamech 777
Noah 950

Genesis Chapter 6

v2
Sons of God married the daughters of men
What does this mean?
READ
President Kimball quote about marrying people of different faiths

“Paul told the Corinthians, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together. . . .’ Perhaps Paul wanted them to see that religious differences are fundamental differences. Religious differences imply wider areas of conflict. Church loyalties and family loyalties clash. Children’s lives are often frustrated. The nonmember may be equally brilliant, well trained and attractive, and he or she may have the most pleasing personality, but without a common faith, trouble lies ahead for the marriage. There are some exceptions but the rule is a harsh and unhappy one.

“There is no bias nor prejudice in this doctrine. It is a matter of following a certain program to reach a definite goal.”

Spencer W Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 240

v3
My Spirit shall not always strive with man

v4
Giants?

v5
Thoughts of hearts were evil continually
Compare to King Benjamin’s people who had a desire to do good continually (see Mosiah 5: 2)

v6
It repented the Lord?
Regret, sorry
Joseph Smith said it should be translated “It repented Noah that God made man”

v8-9
First reference to Noah. Was he perfect?
Who is Noah?
Gabriel spoke to Zacharias/Elizabeth about John the Baptist being born as well as Mary about Jesus being born
He delivered keys to Joseph Smith as an Elias (a forerunner)

v14
Make an ark
The word which ark is translated from is only in the bible one other time. That is in Exodus 2: 3 (an ark of bulrushes). Means box or chest

  • Made of gopher/cypress wood
  • Had rooms
  • Covered with pitch (bitumen), in Genesis 11: 3 the same word was translated as slime
  • 300 cubits long x 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high
  • 450ft x 75 ft x 45 ft

v17
A flood is coming

v18
God covenants with Noah

v19
Bring 2 of every kind

v21
Food storage

Genesis Chapter 7

v2
Why bring more of the clean animals? For food and sacrifices

v4
Will rain for 40 days/nights

v7
Only 8 people were righteous?
READ
quote from Elder McConkie about translated beings

“During the first 2200 or so years of the earth’s history—that is, from the fall of Adam to the ministry of Melchizedek—it was a not uncommon occurrence for faithful members of the Church to be translated and taken into the heavenly realms without tasting death. Since that time there have been occasional special instances of translation, instances in which a special work of the ministry required it.

“. . . Methuselah, the son of Enoch, was not translated [with Enoch’s city], ‘that the covenants of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to Enoch; for he truly covenanted with Enoch that Noah should be of the fruit of his loins.’ (Moses 8:2.) But during the nearly 700 years from the translation of Enoch to the flood of Noah, it would appear that nearly all of the faithful members of the Church were translated, for ‘the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.’ (Moses 7:27.)”

Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 804

v12
Rained for 36 hours in parts of Louisiana and some parts were several feet under water

v22
Everything not in the ark is dead

v24
After raining, it took 110 days for the waters to recede

Genesis Chapter 8

v4
Where is Mount Ararat? one book said in modern-day Armenia
SHOW
map of the Old World

v8-11
Dove didn’t come back once there was dry land to live

v18
On ark for 1 year and 10 days

v20
What is the first thing that Noah did? Offered a sacrifice

Genesis Chapter 9

v6
First instance of what would become the Law of Moses

v11-17
No more killer floods
The rainbow is a sign of this promise
SHOW
picture of rainbow from Pen Centre

v20
Husbandman – someone who runs a vineyard

v21
Noah got drunk?!

v25
Why was Canaan cursed?
Noah was upset that Ham hadn’t covered him up?
Was Noah cursing Canaan or was it a prophecy?

Genesis Chapter 10

More genealogy

v9
Nimrod was a bad man

v25
Peleg – How was the earth divided (physical/political)?

Genesis Chapter 11

v1
One language

v4
SHOW
picture of the Tower of Babel
Note: the whole Tower of Babel story only takes 9 verses
See Book of Ether

v7
The confusion of the language didn’t happen all at once
Jared saw this happening and asked his brother to intervene

v26
First mention of Abram/Abraham

v29
Abram marries Sarai

Blast from the past… Mitt Romney in 1958

Wow, time flies! 4 years ago when Mitt Romney was making his first run at being President of the United States, I posted parts of an article I found in an old magazine. Here we are 4 years later and he’s at it again, but this time has made it further in the race.

Anyway, we have a wonderful elderly sister in the ward who has been receiving Church magazines for, well… forever! At one point when I was visiting her I borrowed a few of the old magazines. It just so happens that one of the magazines had an article about George Romney and his family. It includes a picture of Mitt Romney when he was just 11 years old.

Visit The Busy George Romneys – Juvenile Instructor May 1958 to see the rest of the pictures

The colours and styles of ties at General Conference

During conference, my wife and I commented a couple of times to each other about a nice tie that someone had on. I was following the #ldsconf hastag as well, and occasionally someone would tweet something about a tie.

Well, This Week in Mormons actually did a tie tracker. They tracked colours and patterns and made a few comments. I know it’s not the purpose of General Conference, but it is still fun to look at 🙂