Tag Archives: old testament

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 5

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 was teaching. These notes cover Exodus 1 – 19. I have decided not to include any pictures since I’m not sure of copyright issues with them.

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

Chapter 1
Israel and all of his sons die; Pharaoh dies. About 430 years passes
SHOW SLIDE 2 picture of statue of RAMESES II
New king doesn’t like how big Israel’s descendants are in number, so afflicts and oppresses them

The more they were oppressed, the more they grew

Midwives told to kill male babies, but refused. God blessed them and Israel continued to grow

Plan to throw baby boys in the river

Chapter 2
SHOW SLIDE 3 of artwork showing Moses in basket
Moses is born, He’s beautiful. He’s hid for 3 months and then put in ark and set off in river. Mother was Jochebed
Talk about Moses and read Moses 1: 6, Acts 7: 17-37, D&C 110: 11

His sister Miriam stood by the river and watched

Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses. Miriam volunteers to get Hebrew nurse and fetches Jochebed. Moses is raided and when older is taken into Pharaoh’s house. This was probably when he was 3 and weaned.
Moses name means what?
Bible suggests it means “drew out” since he was drawn out of the water
Etymology suggests Egyptian could mean son or Hebrew could mean deliver

SHOW SLIDE 4 of artwork showing Moses killing Egyptian
Moses kills Egyptian; tries to stop fight between Hebrews but they knew about killing. Moses was afraid and Pharaoh found out, so Moses fled to Midian

SHOW SLIDE 5 of Moses helping Jethro’s daughters
Helps Jethro’s daughters get water. Jethro meets him and gives him Zipporah. They have Gershom (stranger)

40 years passes and Israel suffers greatly. God remembers them.

Chapter 3
SHOW SLIDE 6 of artwork of burning bush
Moses sees burning bush, but it is not consumed by the fire. The Lord speaks to him and tells him to go to Pharaoh

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?”

SHOW SLIDE 7 picture of Mount Sinai
Serve God on this mountain (Horeb or Sinai). Same place, different names
Elijah also went there. See 1 Kings 19: 8


Jehovah is the Anglicized rendering of the Hebrew, Yahveh or Jahveh, signifying the Self-existent One, or The Eternal. This name is generally rendered in our English version of the Old Testament as LORD, printed in capitals. The Hebrew, Ehyeh, signifying I Am, is related in meaning and through derivation with the term Yahveh or Jehovah; and herein lies the significance of this name by which the Lord revealed Himself to Moses when the latter received the commission to go into Egypt and deliver the children of Israel from bondage: “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” In the succeeding verse the Lord declares Himself to be “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” While Moses was in Egypt, the Lord further revealed Himself, saying “I am the LORD: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto[Pg 37] Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” The central fact connoted by this name, I Am, or Jehovah, the two having essentially the same meaning, is that of existence or duration that shall have no end, and which, judged by all human standards of reckoning, could have had no beginning; the name is related to such other titles as Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

James E Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pg 36-37

Moses was to take the elders of Israel to the king

The Lord knew that the king would not let them go

The Lord will smite Egypt

Chapter 4
Moses says they won’t listen but God says he’ll take care of it. Moses throws rod on ground and it turns into snake, picks it up and it goes back to a rod

2nd sign – leprous hand

3rd sign – bloody water when poured on dry ground

Moses isn’t a good speaker. Aaron will be mouthpiece
Why wasn’t Moses a good speaker? He may have had a speech impediment. He may also have lost confidence in the language of Hebrew or Egyptian as he had spent 40 years with the Midianites.
Compare to Enoch in Moses 6: 31

Moses went back to Egypt with his family

The Lord tells Moses that Pharaoh won’t listen, and tells him what to say

The JST explains more about this episode of circumcision.
Moses was going to save the covenant people, but his own son didn’t have the sign of the covenant.

Moses and Aaron go and speak to elders

Chapter 5
Let my people go. First encounter with Pharaoh

Pharaoh makes them get their own straw for bricks

Hebrew foremen upset with Moses. Moses asks God why he was sent

Chapter 6
The Lord promises to bring Israel out of captivity

Moses tells them but they refuse to listen

v10-13, 26-30
They are supposed to go see Pharaoh again

Chapter 7
Aaron and Moses told to go to Pharaoh. The Lord knows he won’t listen

Aaron and Moses go to Pharaoh
SHOW SLIDE 9 showing artwork of 10 plagues
Pharaoh tries to have his wise men and sorcerers turn rod into serpent. It works, but Aaron’s snake eats them. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.

“All down through the ages and in almost all countries, men have exercised great occult and mystical powers, even to the healing of the sick and the performing of miracles. Soothsayers, magicians, and astrologers were found in the courts of ancient kings. They had certain powers by which they divined and solved the monarch’s problems, dreams, etc. One of the most striking examples of this is recorded in Exodus, where Pharaoh called ‘the wise men and the sorcerers’ who duplicated some of the miracles the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron to perform. When Aaron threw down his rod, it became a serpent. The Egyptian magicians threw down their rods, and they also became serpents. . . .
“. . . The Savior declared that Satan had the power to bind bodies of men and women and sorely afflict them [see Matthew 7:22–23; Luke 13:16]. If Satan has power to bind the bodies, he surely must have power to loose them. It should be remembered that Satan has great knowledge and thereby can exercise authority and to some extent control the elements, when some greater power does not intervene.”
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:176, 178

Aaron and Moses told to go back
Turn Nile to blood, fish die, and river smells

They go back, but the magicians could do the same things. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen

Chapter 8
Go back to Pharaoh again

Frogs come, but magicians could get them to come as well

Pharaoh wants this to stop. Moses says they will be gone by tomorrow, then prays that it will be so. They died, but Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.

Go back to Pharaoh again

Gnats/flies/lice/mosquitos come. Magicians try but fail. They think it is God, but Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.

Go back to Pharaoh again

Blood sucking gadflies come (“Gadfly”, a fly that annoys horses and other livestock). Pharaoh says to go and worship. Moses prays that the flies will go. There remains not one. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.

Chapter 9
Go back to Pharaoh again

The livestock of Egyptians die, but Pharaoh wouldn’t listen

Go back to Pharaoh again

Boils come on the Egyptians, but Pharaoh wouldn’t listen

Go back to Pharaoh again

Thunder, hail, and fire (lightning) come down. Pharaoh tells Aaron and Moses he was wrong. Moses prays for it to stop. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.

Chapter 10
Go back to Pharaoh again

Aaron and Moses say locusts will come. Pharaoh servants say to let the people go. Pharaoh asks Aaron and Moses who will go. Everyone. Pharaoh say, “Not so!”

Locusts come and eat everything

Pharaoh says he has sinned. Moses prays that the locusts will leave. They do, but Pharaoh wouldn’t listen

Darkness comes. Pharaoh says they can go, but wouldn’t give them livestock to sacrifice. Pharaoh says to leave. Moses says they won’t see him again.

Chapter 11
Last plague is that the firstborns will die

Chapter 12
SHOW SLIDE 11 of door frames
Kill lamb/kid and put blood on the sides of and above the door frames. Eat the whole thing, and then burn the bones and other inedible parts. The firstborns will be killed in the houses where this wasn’t done. You need to always remember this

Moses tells elders of Israel to do this

SHOW SLIDE 12 of firstborn being killed
The firstborns are killed

Moses and Aaron were told to take the people and livestock and go

The people gathered their items and asked for jewels and gold from the Egyptians. There were about 600,000 men in the group (not counting women and children).
NOTE: There is an enrichment section in the book about numbering in the Bible

Passover as a symbol of Christ
1.    Lamb without blemish
2.    Blood of the lamb saved them
3.    No broken bones
4.    Only covenant people could partake
5.    Those who will not obey will die
6.    A day of remembrance is observed every 7 days (Sabbath)
Christ instituted the sacrament at the Feast of the Passover

Chapter 13
First real description of the Law of Moses version of sacrifice

Moses took the bones of Joseph with him

Pillar of cloud by day, pillar of fire by night. The pillars did not from before the people.

Chapter 14
SHOW SLIDE 13 map of the exodus
The Lord tells Moses where to go and that Pharaoh will come after them

The Egyptians come after the Israelites

The Israelites are afraid and complain

“I desire to call your attention to the principle of loyalty, loyalty to the truth and loyalty to the men whom God has chosen to lead the cause of truth. I speak of ‘the truth’ and these ‘men’ jointly, because it is impossible fully to accept the one and partly reject the other.
“I raise my voice on this matter to warn and counsel you to be on your guard against criticism. . . . It comes, in part, from those who hold, or have held, prominent positions. Ostensibly, they are in good standing in the Church. In expressing their feelings, they frequently say, ‘We are members of the Church, too, you know, and our feelings should be considered.’
“They assume that one can be in full harmony with the spirit of the gospel, enjoy full fellowship in the Church, and at the same time be out of harmony with the leaders of the Church and the counsel and directions they give. Such a position is wholly inconsistent, because the guidance of this Church comes, not alone from the written word, but also from continuous revelation, and the Lord gives that revelation to the Church through His chosen leaders and none else. It follows, therefore, that those who profess to accept the gospel and who at the same time criticize and refuse to follow the counsel of the leaders, are assuming an indefensible position.”
Marion G Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1942, pp. 17–18


“In the Church we sometimes find two groups of people: the builders and the murmurers. Let each ask himself: ‘In which class should I be placed?’
 “We are called upon to perform duties. When the priesthood and auxiliary leadership introduce new programs, many of the members will say, ‘Yes, we will do it. Let us perform in these new programs.’ But sometimes we hear a murmurer, a faultfinder, who will say, ‘No. We cannot do that.’ Misjudging motives, some soon find themselves with Laman and Lemuel instead of with Nephi, whose actions expressed willingness to follow the voice of God. (See 1 Ne. 17:17ff.)
 “Let us watch ourselves and be true to the examples set by our leaders. The warning is sometimes expressed: ‘Speak not against the authorities.’ What does it mean? It means ‘be not a murmurer.’ Murmuring against priesthood and auxiliary leadership is one of the most poisonous things that can be introduced into the home of a Latter-day Saint. Why are leaders called to their positions? To benefit themselves? No, not once can one point to an instance in this Church where a person was called for his personal benefit. When a call is made, it is made to bless someone, some class, or humanity at large. That is the mission of every member, from the President of the Church down to the latest convert. Everyone holds his position to build up, to bless, to establish righteousness, purity, and virtue among mankind.”
David O. McKay , “Four Guideposts,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1969, p. 3

SHOW SLIDE 16 of parting the Red Sea
Moses parts the Red Sea

The Israelites went through on dry ground

The Egyptians pursued, but their wheels got stuck

Moses closes the path. They all died

Chapter 15
Song of the Israelites praising the Lord

Miriam led the women in song and dance

They traveled but had no water. The people murmured. The Lord promises that if the people keep commandments, they won’t have the plagues of Egypt. They arrive in Elim where there is water.

Chapter 16
The people complain again

Manna and quail are provided

Sabbath is mandated

Israelites ate Manna for 40 years!

Chapter 17
There is no water and the people murmur

SHOW SLIDE 17 of Moses striking rock
Moses strikes rock and water comes out

SHOW SLIDE 18 of artwork of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses arms
Amalekites come to fight. Joshua chooses men. Moses, Aaron, Hur go to top of hill. Moses raises hands, people prevail. He gets tired and hands get heavy. Moses sits down and Aaron and Hur hold his hands up

“I think that is the role that President [N. Eldon] Tanner [Second Counselor in the First Presidency] and I have to fulfill. The hands of President [Joseph Fielding] Smith [President of the Church] may grow weary. They may tend to droop at times because of his heavy responsibilities; but as we uphold his hands, and as we lead under his direction, by his side, the gates of hell will not prevail against you and against Israel. Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has placed to preside over his church. He knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident. He has never done anything accidentally. And I think the scientists and all the philosophers in the world have never discovered or learned anything that God didn’t already know. His revelations  are more powerful, more meaningful, and have more substance than all the secular learning in the world.
“Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church and uphold his hands as President Tanner and I will continue to do.”
Harold B Lee in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, p. 153

Chapter 18
Jethro, Zipporah and others are reunited. They rejoice together.

Moses sits to judge the people. Jethro counsels him. Suggests finding able men to help. It works.

Chapter 19
The people commit to follow the Lord

The people are preparing to be taught by Moses after he talks with the Lord.

SHOW SLIDE 20 of Mount Sinai
The people come to the mountain and the Lord is there in smoke and fire.

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.


  • 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

Lord blessed Abraham in all things

Isaac can’t marry a Canaanite

Go to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife

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

Rebekah was Isaac’s cousin

See JST Genesis 24: 16

Servant speaks to Rebekah


  • SHOW SLIDE 3 artwork of Rebekah at the well

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

Servant welcomed by family

Rebekah is given to Isaac

Rebekah chose to go

Isaac Loved Rebekah

Chapter 25

Abraham remarries

Abraham lived to be 175

Ismael had 12 sons

Isaac lived 137 years

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

Esau sells birthright to Jacob for pottage (lentil stew)

  • SHOW SLIDE 4 artwork of Jacob and Esau

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

Chapter 26

The Abrahamic covenant continues through Isaac

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

Chapter 27

Isaac is going blind

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

Jacob not to marry a Canaanite

Abrahamic covenant continues with Jacob

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

Jesus himself appears and continues the covenant

Chapter 29

  • SHOW SLIDE 7 showing Jacob’s genealogy

Jacob meets Rachel

Says he’ll work 7 years to marry Rachel

Time flies… Jacob loved Rachel

Jacob didn’t know he had been with Leah?

Is given Leah

Is given Rachel

Leah has Rueben, Simeon, Levi and Judah

  • SHOW SLIDE 8 showing listing of children

Chapter 30

Jacob marries Bilhah

Jacob has 2 more children… Dan and Naphtali

Jacob marries Zilpah, has Gad and Asher

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

Leah has another son Isaacher, then Zebulun, then Dinah

God opened her womb

Rachel has Joseph. He is son 11, child 12

Chapter 31

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

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

Jacob’s name changed to Israel

Chapter 33

Jacob and Esau talk about Jacob’s gifts

Chapter 34

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

Jacob is upset

Chapter 35

Name change reiterated

Covenant given again

Rachel has son, Jacob’s 12th, Benjamin

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


  • SHOW SLIDE 11 showing picture of Donny Osmond as Joseph

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

First dream… sheaves worship sheaf

Stars, sun, moon worship Joseph

Israel pondered over this dream

Conspiring to kill Joseph, decide to sell him

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

Perez and Zerah are born

Chapter 39

The captain of the guard was also the chief executioner

Though a servant, Joseph prospered

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

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

Story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife

  • SHOW SLIDE 12 artwork of Joseph resisting

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

Chapter 40

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

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

Butler released, baker beheaded, butler forgot about Joseph

Chapter 41


  • SHOW SLIDE 13 showing artwork of Pharaoh’s dreams

Pharaoh has dreams of cows and corn

The magicians and wise men couldn’t interpret them

Baker remembers Joseph

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

Joseph hears dreams and interprets them

Joseph suggests plan

Joseph put in charge of the plan

Joseph marries Asenath

Manasseh and Ephraim are born

What trust! “What he say to you, do”

Chapter 42

Jacob has 10 sons go to Egypt

Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him

Demands that the younger one comes

Joseph loads them up with grain

Jacob doesn’t want Benjamin to go

Chapter 43

They run out of food, have to return to Egypt

Nuts = pistachios

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

Joseph reveals who he is

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

Jacob travels to Egypt

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

Israel/Jacob sees Joseph again

Chapter 47

Famine continues

Chapter 48

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

Chapter 49

Israel leaves blessing on family

Reuben, Simeon, Levi are worried

Judah will be the leader

Judah would rule until Shiloh (Christ) comes

People persecuted Joseph, but he remained strong

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

Jacob dies

Chapter 50

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

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

“Am I in God’s place?”

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

Joseph lives to be 110 years old


  • 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

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.


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

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


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


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

Lot is Abram’s nephew

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

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

Returned to an altar he had used before

Must have been a huge group travelling!!


  • 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

Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom

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

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

The brother translation could be relative or kinsmen
318 servants!


  • SHOW SLIDE 6 picture of Abram with Melchizedek

Reference to Melchizedek

  • REVIEW notes from manual about Melchizedek possibly being Shem

Abram paid tithing

Genesis Chapter 15

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

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

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

Abram has a vision and experiences great darkness like Joseph Smith

Genesis Chapter 16

Abram takes Hagar as another wife

Sarai upset about Hagai

  • SHOW SLIDE 7 artwork of Hagai leaving with Ishmael

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

The Lord visits Abram again

A covenant is made again. Why so often?

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

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

Sarai’s name becomes Sarah (princess)

Even the Lord has a sense of humour?

Isaac’s name means laughter

Genesis Chapter 18


  • 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

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

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

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

Other two men (angels?) arrive at Sodom

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

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

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

Lot, wife, 2 daughters are saved

  • SHOW SLIDE 9 artwork of Lot and family leaving

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

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

Abraham lies again

Abraham explains why he lied

Genesis Chapter 21

Isaac is born

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

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

“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

Offer him as a burnt offering

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

Where is the lamb?

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

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

Angel stops the sacrifice

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

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 1 (Introduction, Genesis 1-2)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

As I’ve mentioned before, my current calling is to be a Stake Institute Teacher. It is a very rewarding calling. I love meeting with the YSA and I love teaching, so it seems like a perfect calling.

Previously we have studied the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon, The Gospel and the Productive Life and Scripture Study – The Power of the Word. This school year, the overwhelming choice was to study the Old Testament.

I’ve decided that I will post my notes each week. Let me first say that I am not an expert on Old Testament language, geography, or anything else. In fact, I probably haven’t studied the Old Testament since I was a missionary. However, I love the gospel and I do prepare for my lessons, so they seem to go ok.

The notes that I share are just that… notes. If the students are interested in a specific scripture, we’ll spend more time talking about it. If they aren’t interested in something, we may go through it quickly.


The Old Testament is read by many different religions. It can be viewed and interpreted in many different ways. Like all scripture, it is meant to help us grow closer to Christ. It is ok to have a view of the Old Testament that might not be the same as someone else, as long as it helps you grow closer to Christ. We also must accept that some people will have less orthodox views that us.

NOTE: The manual is rather old, so some quotes are “old school”


  • 2 Timothy 3: 15-17
  • 1 Nephi 17: 17-43
  • John 5: 39

Whenever ancient scriptures talk about scriptures, it is the Old Testament they are referring to.

It is sacred scripture

If it was important to them, is it still important for us now?

If it is important for us now, why is it so difficult to study?

  • Language
  • Genealogy
  • Parts have been fulfilled
  • Seems irrelevant

So what is there for us?

Think for a moment about yourself. Does your motivation to study the scriptures come from a desire to learn more about God and His dealings with His children? Are you seeking to draw power from the scriptures in order to perfect your life by coming  to Christ? Paul and Nephi have said that, like all other scriptures, the Old Testament will help you accomplish these goals. Do you want to learn more of God and those who were faithful to Him? Then search the stories of the prophets and patriarchs. Would you be inspired by examples of men and women who overcame their weaknesses and went on to perfection? Read of Joseph and Abraham and Sarah and Job and dozens of others. Would you like to find principles of daily living that bring you closer to God? They are there in abundance. Would you like to better know Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth as our Redeemer? Then turn to the Old Testament, for, like the other scriptures, it is a  witness of His divinity, His love, and His mercy.

Discuss “facts” about Old Testament

  • 66 books in current bible
  • 39 books in Old Testament
  • 27 books in New Testament
  • 4 categories of books
    1. Law – Genesis through Deuteronomy
      • Also Pentateuch or Torah
      • 5 books of Moses
      • Believed by Jews, Christians, Muslims
    2. History – Joshua through Esther
      • Most books contain history
      • This section deal almost entirely with history
    3. Poetry or Writings – Job through The Song of Solomon
      • Almost 1/3 of the Old Testament is poetry
    4. Prophecy – Isaiah through Malachi
      • The prophets spoke for Jehovah

What is the purpose of the Old Testament?

  • To help us see how God led/protected His people

Who was the God of the Old Testament?

  • Jehovah

Almost everything in the Old Testament bears witness of Christ

  • He speaks
  • His prophets speak and testify of Him
  • Even if there is a question of literalness, you still learn about Christ

Genesis Chapters 1 and 2

There are 3 accounts of the creation

  • Genesis 1-2
  • Moses 1-3
  • Abraham 4-5

The story of the creation has inspired people from the beginning of civilization


Who created the Earth?

Abraham records that in the midst of “many of the noble and great” premortal spirits was one “like unto God,” who said to them, “We will go down . . . And We will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell” (Abraham 3:22, 24; emphasis added). This passage suggests that others besides Adam may have assisted in the Creation.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

“It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why  not Joseph Smith,and those who were appointed to  be rulers before the earth was formed? [Abraham 3:2–4.]”

Doctrines of Salvation,1:74–75

At what point was “man” and woman” created?

  • Genesis 1: 27 – male and female were created
  • Genesis 2: 19 – woman was created from man
  • Was this before or after the 7th day?
  • Genesis 2: 23-24 is the marriage of Adam and Eve

How as the Earth created?

  • We don’t know

The Garden of Eden

  • Meaning of Eden is not certain, but it might mean “delight” or “fruitful, well-watered”
  • Was Eden a place, and a garden was there? Was all of Eden a garden?


  • Beginning
    • President Brigham Young explained:
      “When was there a beginning? There never was one; if there was, there will be an end; but there never was a beginning, and hence there will never be an end; that looks like eternity. When we talk about the beginning of eternity, it is rather simple conversation, and goes far beyond the capacity of man.”
      Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 47
    • When was the Earth created?
    • How long did it take?
    • A day is
      • 24 hours
      • 1000 years
      • An unspecified length of time
    • The church has no official stance on how long it took
  • Create
    • Formed, prepared, fashioned
  • Dominion
    • Rule
    • Authority
    • How should we treat what we have dominion over?
  • Replenish
    • How can you replenish if it wasn’t there?
    • Proper translation is “to fill”
    • Some people would say that the Earth is full. God has not said that yet
  • Man
    • Genesis 1: 27
    • God create man, male and female he created
    • A complete man is male and female person together
    • “‘And I, God said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man [not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife] in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.’ (Moses 2:26.) What a beautiful partnership! Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord. Such a marriage extends beyond the grave. All peoples should call for this kind of marriage….
      “This is a partnership. Then when they had created them in the image of God, to them was given the eternal command, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it’ (Gen. 1:28), and as they completed this magnificent creation, they looked it over and pronounced it ‘good, very good’—something that isn’t to be improved upon by our modern intellectuals; the male to till the ground, support the family, to give proper leadership; the woman to cooperate, to bear the children, and to rear and teach them. It was ‘good, very good.’
      “And that’s the way the Lord organized it. This wasn’t an experiment. He knew what he was doing.”
      Spencer W. Kimball, “Speaking Today,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, p. 71
  • Evolution
    • Must remember role of Adam
    • There was a Fall and we needed a Savior
    • Theories change; policies change
    • Doctrine is eternal

Infographic of the Day: What The Bible Got Wrong

This fascinating chart I read about at FactoDesign shows contradictions between verses in the Bible. It is from Project Reason (“a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society”). The red lines are drawn between the verses that contradict each other.

My favourite part of the article I linked to is this line, “So to anyone who thinks the Bible’s the last word on anything, remember this: It isn’t even the last word on itself.”

I suppose that the source of the chart would make you think that they are trying to discredit the Bible. However, we Mormons might have a different view than most. We’ve always accepted the fact that the Bible is not perfect. After all, We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. So seeing something like this doesn’t bother me at all.

A few other thoughts/questions:

  • It would be interesting to see the chart without links between the Old and New Testament (separating the old and new laws)
  • Can the contradictions be ranked or categorized? A contradiction of an age by a few years, or a location by the next city over doesn’t seem like much of a contradiction.
  • Do all the contradictions exist in all the “standard” (or popular) version of the Bible?
  • It’d be neat to see this done for the Book of Mormon as well. Does it “hold up” better?

Ultimately, does this really matter at all? Sure, it is interesting to look at and think about, but does it really affect anyone’s faith or how they perceive the Bible? I suspect not. If you believe the Bible, you’ll still believe the Bible. If you don’t, then you still won’t.

New Gospel Art Book


Quite a few years ago my wife purchased the Gospel Art Picture kit. It was around $30, and seemed like a great resource to have around the house. Now, the Church has released a nice new resource called the Gospel Art Book. I’m sure this will end up replacing the Gospel Art Picture Kit in most homes (this is probably not something that will end up in PDF format on the Church site, because there are some copyrighted images in the book).

This book contains 137 pictures that can be used in the home or at church to enrich gospel teaching and learning. The pictures are organized into six sections: (1) Old Testament, (2) New Testament, (3) Book of Mormon, (4) Church History, (5) Gospel in Action, and (6) Latter-day Prophets.

An index lists the pictures and corresponding references to scriptures and other sources. The book includes the index in each of the following languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The book is spiral bound (like “Preach My Gospel”) and has some beautiful pictures in it. The only drawback I can see is that you can’t show two pictures at the same time, since the pages don’t come out.

It is priced well, too. It is $3.50 for a single book, but only $1.50 when purchased in a box of 20. We’ll probably buy a box for the ward so the members get the cheaper price.