Thursday, July 17, 2014

Old Testament Scriptural Summaries and Commentary
Old Testament, 1 Kings, Chapters 12-14; 2 Chronicles 17 and 20
Supplemental; 1 Kings 11:1-4, 26-40; 2 Kings 17:20-23
Gospel Doctrine Class, Sunday School Lesson #27
The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders

1 Kings 12—22,  A divided monarchy
Northern Kingdom (10 Tribes) Israel also called Ephraim
Southern Kingdom (tribes of Judah, Benjamin and the Levites) Judah

The Kings
Rehoboam (Judah) Forsook the law of the Lord
Jeroboam (Israel) Set up idols and false priesthood
Nadab (Israel) Followed Jeroboam’s pattern
Abijah (also called Abijam) (Judah) Walked in all the sins of his father
Asa (Judah) Did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord
Baasha (Israel) Followed the pattern of Jeroboam
Jehoshaphat (Judah) Did not take down the high places but was otherwise righteous
Elah (Israel) Was a drunkard—“made Israel to sin”
Zimri (Israel) Was a murderer, idolater (reigned seven days)
Omri (Israel) Was a worse idolater than all before him
Ahab (Israel) Was even worse than Omri, married Jezebel

1 Kings 12 - Rehoboam and Jeroboam

After Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam goes to Shechem as a concession to the northern tribes of Ephraim and Judah who didn’t support him, to be crowned king.  While Rehoboam is in Shechem, Jeroboam (see Chapter 11 in supplemental reading ) who fled to Egypt, was called back to speak to Rehoboam along with “all the congregation of Israel” (v. 12:3).  They said to Rehoboam, “Thy father made our yoke grievous; now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us lighter, and we will serve thee” (v. 12:4).  Rehoboam told them they should come again in three days.  During that time the king consulted the “old men” who told him “be a servant unto this people …and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever” (v. 12:7).  And Rehoboam consulted the “young men” who told him to say to the people “And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke, …and chastise you with scorpions (stinging whips)" (v. 12:11).  And Rehoboam took the advice of the young men.  And all Israel departed except for those who dwelt in the cities of Judah (vv. 12:16-17). 


And all Israel called Jeroboam to their congregation and made him king.  Then Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem and prepared for war with the northern tribes.  “But the word of God came unto Shemaiah a man of God, saying, "Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel” (vv. 12:22-24).  And Rehoboam listened to the word of the Lord through Shemaiah, the prophet, and war was avoided.

Then Jeroboam [king of the Northern Kingdom] built his capital in Shechem in mount Ephraim.  From that time he led his people into idolatry by making golden calves and placing them in Bethel and Dan so the Israelites would not go to worship in Jerusalem.  Jeroboam also changed the traditional feast days and ordained priests who were not Levites. "And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi" (vv. 12:25-33). 

1 Kings 13 - Jeroboam and the prophet from Judah
A prophet from Judah “by word of the LORD” (v. 13:1) goes to Bethel in the Northern Kingdom to prophesy.  He tells Jeroboam that the altar will be destroyed and the ashes poured out as a sign from God that his sacrifice is evil and not accepted by the Lord.  Jeroboam puts his hand on the altar and the hand “dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him” (v. 13:4).  And Jeroboam asks the prophet to plead with the Lord to restore his hand; and the hand is restored (v. 13:6). 

Now comes the strange story of the prophet from Judah and an “old” prophet from Bethel who persuades the Judean prophet to go against “the word of the Lord.”  He has been told by the Lord not to eat bread or drink water in that place.  The old prophet lied and told the prophet from Judah that the Lord had spoken to him through an angel that he should bring him back into his house to eat bread and drink water—and the prophet from Judah disregards the Lords word and accepts the offer made by the prophet from Bethel.  After he has eaten and drunk water, the old prophet tells the other prophet that because he disobeyed the word of the Lord he will be killed by a lion and his carcass will be left there (vv. 13:8-24).  And thus it is.  Then the old prophet takes the Judean prophet’s body and buries it in his own sepulchre (v. 13:31) (see also 2 Kings 13:17).  Moral of the story: always obey the word of the Lord and not the word of man.

 “And Jeroboam returned not from his evil way;" and he continues to make the lowest of the people priests over high places "and this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth” (vv. 13:33-34).

1 Kings 14 - Rehoboam and Jeroboam both die

Jeroboam's son Abijah becomes sick and the king sends his wife in disguise to Shiloh in Judah to find the prophet Ahijah.  This is the prophet who earlier told Jeroboam he would be king over the ten tribes.  He tells Jeroboam’s wife that because Jeroboam has done evil and made other gods and molten images, that his son Abijah will die.  Ahijah also tells her to tell Jeroboam that the Lord will smite Israel [the Northern Kingdom], that they will be taken out of the land of their fathers, and they shall be scattered because they have provoked the Lord to anger. (vv. 14:1-15).  "And he [the Lord] shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin" (v. 14:16).

And the days which Jeroboam [in Israel] reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers and Nadab, his son reigned in his stead” (14:20). 

Meanwhile, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon reigned in Judah.  And he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem.  And the people in Judah were also evil “above all that their fathers had done” (v. 14:22).  They worshiped idols in their “high places and groves” and there were “sodomites in the land” (vv. 14:23-24).  In the fifth year of the reign of Rehoboam, the king of Egypt came to war with Jerusalem.  The scriptures say that he took away all the treasures of the king’s house and the house of the Lord in Jerusalem (v. 14:26).   “And there was war between Rehoboam  [Judah] and Jeroboam [Israel] all their days” (v. 14:30).  And Rehoboam died and “Abijam his son reigned in his stead” (v. 14:31).

Note:  Rehoboam's son, Abijam,  is also referred to as Abijah in 2 Chronicles 12:16 (see footnote 1 Kings 14:31a).

2 Chronicles 17: 1-10 - Jehoshaphat, a righteous leader

The following is Jehoshaphat's  lineage: David, his son Solomon,  Solomon's son Rehoboam, Rehoboam's son Abijam (Abijah), Abijam's son Asa, Asa's son Jehoshaphat.

The first thing Jehoshaphat does is to strengthen Judah.  He “placed forces in all the fenced cities” and “sent garrisons in the land…and in the cities which Asa his father had taken” (v. 17:2-3).  “And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father[s]; David, and sought not unto Baalim [fertility gods of the Canaanites and others; see Internet]; but sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel” [the Northern Kingdom] (vv. 17:3-4). 

And because he followed the Lord, Judah prospered with “riches and honour” in abundance.  “And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD.”  And the scripture says he “took away” the high places and groves  where the immoral worship of Baal was practiced (v. 17:6) (see note below).   Then, he called the prophets and the Levite priests and sent them to teach the people of Judah “the book of the law of the LORD” throughout all the cities of Judah.  “And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat” (vv. 17:5-10).

“High places (1 Kings 12:31): altars that were built on hilltops. When the people fell into idolatry, they desecrated these altars and used them for idol worship.
Groves (1 Kings 14:15): places of pagan worship where people sometimes engaged in immoral behavior” (Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 128–33).

Note:  Second Chronicles 20:33 states: “the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.”

2 Chronicles 20: 1-30 - The people of Jehoshaphat trust in the Lord

Now a great multitude of people from Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir came against Jehoshaphat to battle.  Jehoshaphat “turned himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”  And the people came out of all the cities to ask help of the Lord.  When they were gathered Jehoshaphat prayed mightily remembering that the Lord had promised Abraham the land as a sanctuary for his people.  He tells the Lord that they don't know why this “great company” has come against them and they don't know what to do; “but our eyes are upon thee”—they are willing to rely on the Lord (vv. 20:1-13).

The Spirit of the Lord comes to Jahaziel, a Levite and the son of Zechariah, in the midst of the congregation.  And he said, “Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's“ (v. 20:15).  He told them to go to the end of the wadi or valley east of the wilderness of Jeruel (see footnotes 16b, 16c).  He tells them they will not need to fight in this battle; “set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”  Then Jehoshaphat and all the people fell on the ground and worshipped the Lord (vv. 20:14-18).

In the morning they went forth to the wilderness where the Lord sent them and the King said to them, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe in his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”  And they went out before the army singing praises to the Lord.  And the Lord caused the children of Ammon and Moab to go against the inhabitants of mount Seir to utterly slay and destroy them; then those who were left of the Ammonites and the Moabites fell on each other.  When Judah came to the given place in the wilderness, they beheld all were “dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.”  And for three days they took away the spoil found in abundance from among the dead.  On the fourth day they returned home with joy.  “And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.” And the Lord gave Jehoshaphat rest “round about.”  Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah for twenty five years in Jerusalem always doing what was right in the sight of the Lord (vv. 20:18-32).

Supplemental Reading; 1 Kings 11:1-4, 26-40; 2 Kings 17:20-23

1 Kings 11 - Solomon is corrupted; Ahijah prophesies that Israel will be divided

And Solomon married many “strange” [foreign] women who brought their idol and heathen worship with them to Israel.  The scripture states that he had seven hundred wives and princesses, and three hundred concubines (v. 11:3).  These women corrupted Solomon and when he was old, he “turned away his heart after other gods” (v. 11:4).  And God stirred up adversaries against the king. 

Solomon’s servant, an industrious man named Jeroboam, was made ruler over the house of Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh] (v. 11:28).  A prophet named Ahijah told Jeroboam that he would rule over the ten tribes of Israel but the tribe of Judah [including half the tribe of Benjamin and the Levites] would continue under David’s line [including the promised Messiah] (vv. 11:29-36).  From that day Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam who fled to Egypt for safety.  Solomon reigned over all of Israel forty years and died and was buried in the city of David.  He was succeeded by Rehoboam, his son (vv.11:40-43).

2 Kings 17- The Northern Kingdom (Israel) is conquered and scattered by Assyria

Hoshea was king of Israel when Shalmaneser [the king of Assyria after Tiglath-pileser] conquered Israel. 
“Hoshea: Reigned nine years (abt. 732–722 B.C.).  By the time of Hoshea’s reign, Israel’s captivity was unavoidable.  Samaria fell to Assyria about 721 B.C. and most of the inhabitants were deported. They were then scattered and became the ten lost tribes” (see 2 Kings 17:1–34). (See The Kings and the Prophets of Israel and Judah chart; LDS.org.)

Hoshea “became his servant, and gave him presents” which meant he was willing to be a vassal king (v. 17:3).  After a while, Hoshea quit sending tribute to the Assyrians and Shalmaneser put him in prison.  For three years the Assyrian king besieged the Northern Kingdom and finally took the city of Samaria.  The Assyrians took away the captive Israelites to Halah, Habor by the river of Gozan, and to the cities of the Medes (v. 17:4-6).  This punishment was because the Lord had been provoked to anger: “For they [the Israelites] served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing” (vv. 17:11-12).  “And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove and worshipped all the host of heaven, [the sun, moon, and stars] and served Baal” (v.17:16).  They sacrificed their children by fire and used “divination and enchantments.”

And the Lord removed them out of his sight (v. 17:17), “there was none left but the tribe of Judah only” (v. 17:18).  “The ten tribes carried into captivity at this time were Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulon, Gad, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Ephraim, and Manasseh.  The three remaining tribes [in the Southern Kingdom] were Judah, Benjamin, and Levi” (Student Manual, II, p. 127).  Not all members of every tribe were taken captive.  Some had already migrated to Judah because of the wickedness of the people in Israel.  And, some of the ten tribes remained in Israel. 

To repopulate Samaria, the Assyrians brought in their own people along with others from various countries.  The scriptures state that these people did not fear [know] the Lord; “therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them” (v. 17:25).  Then the Assyrian king sent an Israelite priest back from his captivity “and taught them how they should fear the LORD” (v. 17:28).   The result was, “They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence” (v. 17:33).  In other words, they worshipped Jehovah and combined it with the pagan religions of Assyria.  The Samaritans as a people eventually resulted from the intermarriage between the remaining Israelites and the Assyrians who came after the ten tribes were carried away (Student  Manual, II, p. 127).

Note: Sometime during the three year siege of Samaria, the Assyrian king Shalmaneser died and was succeeded by Sargon II who destroyed the city and “carried the survivors captive into Assyria” (Student Manual, II, p. 114).


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Old Testament Scriptural Summaries and Commentary
Old Testament, 1 Kings, Chapters 3, 5-11
Supplemental; 1 Kings 1; 2:1-12; 4:29-34; see also 1 Chronicles 29
Gospel Doctrine Class, Sunday School Lesson #26
King Solomon: Man of Wisdom, Man of Foolishness

The First Book of the KINGS – Commonly called The Third Book of the Kings
1 Kings, Chapters 3, 5-11 — Solomon’s reign 
1 Kings, Chapter 3 — Solomon’s vision dream; Solomon judges between two women who both claim to be a child’s mother
Solomon solidifies his political power by making the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh his wife (v. 3:1).  These foreign marriages become Solomon’s downfall as he begins to allow the worship of false gods (OT Student Manual, II, p.  4).  The temple had not yet been built in Jerusalem, so Solomon went to the tabernacle [built by Moses] located in Gibeon.  And he sacrificed “a thousand burnt offerings …upon that altar” (v. 3:4).  At night in Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream saying, “Ask what I shall give thee” (v. 3:5).  And Solomon in his humility asks God only for “an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (v. 3:9).  And that pleased the Lord who gave him that which he didn't ask for also which was “riches and honor” contingent on his keeping the statutes and commandments of the Lord (vv. 3:13-14). 

 Verses 16-28 is the story of the two harlots who both claim to be the mother of the same child.  Solomon listens to both their stories then said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other” (v. 3:25).  The false mother agrees to divide the child, but the real mother begs Solomon to give the child to the other woman that it would not be slain.  And, Solomon answered, “Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof” (v. 3:27).  And all Israel heard the judgment that “the wisdom of God was in him” (v. 3:28). 

1 Kings, Chapters 5-6 — KING Hiram of Tyre [Lebanon] sends supplies for the temple
After David died, Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon.  And Solomon said to Hiram “Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet” (v. 5:3).  And Solomon set about to build the temple with supplies of cedar and fir trees from Lebanon along with skilled Phoenician architects and craftsmen to “hew timber” (v. 5:6).  And Solomon gave Hiram wheat and oil for his household each year; and there was peace between them (vv. 5:11-12). 

Now Solomon needs workers to build the temple and he conscripts [commands] thirty thousand men from all Israel to cut stones and prepare the timbers.  This was  fulfillment of the prophesy made by Samuel that a king “will take your sons” to be servants, horsemen, captains and to reap the harvest and make his instruments of war and instruments of chariots.  And “he will take your daughters” to be cooks and bakers (see 1 Samuel 8: 11-18).

In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, after four hundred and eighty years from the time that the children of Israel came out of Egypt, work on the temple in Jerusalem began (v. 6:1).

 Brigham Young said, “The pattern of this temple…[and] all the fixtures thereunto…were given to Solomon by revelation, through the proper source” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 414; quoted in OT Student Manual, II, p. 5).
 
"This was necessary because Solomon had never built a temple and didn't know the function and arrangement of all the rooms any more than Moses did when he built the tabernacle.  And the inner rooms of the temple were built in a similar design to the ancient tabernacle" (OT Student Manual, II, p. 5-6).  The temple was built by the finest craftsmen who carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers of cedar and fir overlaid with gold within and without the temple (v. 6:29).  The word of the Lord came to Solomon that if he kept the statutes and judgments and all the commandments, “I [the Lord] will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel” (v. 6:13).  And it took seven [and a half] years to build the temple (v. 6:38).

Note: It took twenty years to build Solomon's house and "the house of the Lord" (see v. 9:10).

1 Kings, Chapter 7— Solomon’s Palace is built and the temple is finished
The first twelve verses describe the palace that Solomon built for himself and the house he built for his wife, the pharaoh's daughter.  They were made of cedar and the porches were of "costly [hewed] stones." These took thirteen years to build. 

Then, Solomon had a “molten sea of brass” (v. 7:23) built for the temple that was placed on the backs of twelve brazen oxen, symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel.

 Bruce R. McConkie explains that this was a baptismal font used for baptizing the living as there was no baptism for the dead until after the resurrection of Christ (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 103-4; quoted from The Student Manual, II, p. 6). 

 And Hiram of Tyre came to Jerusalem and built many works of brass for the temple (v. 7:13).  “And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the LORD; the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the showbread was” (v. 7:48).  And, finally, everything was finished and the work ended and everything was placed “among the treasures of the house of the LORD” (v. 7:51). 

1 Kings, Chapter 8 — The ark is placed in the Holy of Holies and Solomon dedicates the temple
Solomon calls for all the elders of Israel and the heads of the tribes to come to Jerusalem to bring the ark to the temple.  “And the priests [the Levites]  took up the ark” (v. 8:3) and “brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims” (v. 8:6).  “And there was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt” (v. 8:9).    And a cloud filled the house of the Lord (vv. 8:10-11) indicating the very presence of God (OT Student Manual, II, p. 7). 

Now Solomon blesses the congregation and begins the dedicatory prayer.  Solomon praises the Lord (v. 8:23) and pleads with him “to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day” (v. 8:28).  And he asks the Lord to forgive the sin of his servants "and teach them the good way wherein they should walk" that they will have rain on the land [temporal and spiritual blessings] (v. 8:36).  And Solomon speaks of a "stranger from a far country" who comes in the name of the Lord and prays toward the house of the Lord, and asks blessings upon Israel “that all people of the earth may know thy name” (vv. 8:41-43)—This seems to refer to the missionaries of a future day.  And Solomon asks the Lord for compassion on the people of Israel in all that they call for unto the Lord (vv. 8:50-52).  When Solomon finishes his prayer, he said to the people, “Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and keep his commandments, as at this day” (v. 8:61).  And they offered sacrifice offerings of thousands of oxen and sheep for seven days. 

Then Solomon held a feast for the whole of Israel "from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt"—all of the lands that David conquered—for an additional seven days (v. 8:65).  “On the eighth day [after fourteen days of sacrifice and worship]… they blessed the king and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people” (v. 8:66). 

1 Kings, Chapters 9-11— Solomon rules in splendor and dies in transgression
The Lord appears to Solomon a second time and accepts the temple “which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever” (v. 9:3).  Again the Lord tells Solomon everything is conditional on keeping his statutes and judgments.  And he cautions Solomon that if Israel serves other gods, he will cut them off out of the land which he has given them "and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight" (vv. 9:6-7). 

Because of Solomon’s massive building projects the people are put in forced labor and heavily taxed.  This affects not only the children of Israel but the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites who were made bondmen.  The Israelites  were not bondmen but became Solomon’s soldiers, servants, princes, captains and rulers of his chariots and horsemen. (vv. 9:15-23).  Then Solomon “made a navy of ships” (v. 9:26) and Hiram sent shipmen who had knowledge of the sea.  And the ships brought gold and other treasure to king Solomon.

The queen of Sheba [thought to be from Arabia near the southern end of the Red Sea] (Student Manual, II, p. 8), came to visit Solomon to test him on his famed wealth and wisdom.  She didn't believe what she had heard until she saw it with her own eyes, “and behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard” (v. 10:7).  And, they exchange gifts of gold, silver, and precious stones.  And she gave Solomon a great abundance of spices.  Now Solomon’s heart seems to be on all the things of the world that he can build or acquire.  And his navy brought him gold, silver, ivory, and apes and peacocks (v. 10:22).  “So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom” (v. 10:23). 

And Solomon married many “strange” [foreign] women who brought their idol and heathen worship with them to Israel.  The scripture states that he had seven hundred wives and princesses, and three hundred concubines (v. 11:3).  These women corrupted Solomon and when he was old, he “turned away his heart after other gods” (v. 11:4).  And God stirred up adversaries against the king.  

Solomon’s servant, an industrious man named Jeroboam, was made ruler over the house of Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh] (v. 11:28).  A prophet named Ahijah told Jeroboam that Israel would be divided and he [Jeroboam] would rule over the ten tribes but the tribe of Judah [including half the tribe of Benjamin and the Levites] would continue under David’s line [including the promised Messiah] (vv. 11:29-36).  From that day Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam who fled to Egypt for safety.  Solomon reigned over all of Israel forty years and died and was buried in the city of David.  He was succeeded by Rehoboam, his son (vv.11:40-43).

Supplemental Scriptural Study
1 Kings 1 —  Adonijah and the succession of Solomon
King David was old and unable to keep warm.  Thus, a virgin was given to him care for him and to “lie in [his] bosom, that my lord the king may get heat” (v. 1:2).  The virgin’s name was Abishag and she was fair to behold but “the king knew her not” (v. 1:4).  The king’s fourth [next living] son Adonijah soon declares himself king and is supported by Joab, the commander of the military, Abiathar, the high priest, and other princes of the court including David’s personal servants and staff. 

Adonijah prepares a great feast a short distance from Jerusalem and purposely excludes Zadock, a priest, Benaiah, a military commander, and Nathan, the prophet, who are loyal to Solomon and David.  Nathan takes news of Adonijah’s plot to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, who along with Nathan succeeds in having King David declare Solomon his successor.  So, Solomon rode the king’s mule into Gohon and Zadock anointed Solomon with oil, and he was declared king.  And the people said, “God save king Solomon” (vv. 1:38-39). When Adonijah heard the noise, he was told that David had made Solomon king.  And Adonijah feared for his life and went to seek refuge on the horns of the altar.  But Solomon sent him to his house conditional on being “a worthy man; …but [cautioned] if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die” (v. 1:52).

1 Kings, Chapter 2 —  David counsels Solomon to keep the commandments and dies; Solomon rules the kingdom
David knows he is about to die and he counsels Solomon “be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man.”  He also tells him to “keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses” (vv. 2:2-3).  David's last advice to his son “in his wisdom” is to deal with [take revenge on] Joab for the murders of Abner and Amasa, and Shimi, who cursed David when he fled from Absalom--a sad ending for King David.  And, David “slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.” And David was king of Judah for seven years and all of Israel for thirty-three years (v. 2:10). 

 Adonijah is still plotting to get the throne and entreats Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him Abishag for his wife and she agrees to his petition.  Solomon is angry because he knows that would be a sign to the people that Adonijah is the rightful king.  In swift judgment Solomon orders Adonijah killed by Benaiah that same day (vv. 2:24-25).  And Solomon exiles Abiathar, the priest who supported Adonijah, out of the court to his own fields (v. 2:26).  Joab flees to the horns of the altar for mercy, but because there is no doubt of his guilt in the murder of two innocent men, he is killed by Benaiah.  Zadock takes the place of Abiathar as Solomon’s priest and Benaiah is made captain of the host of Israel’s military (vv. 2:34-35).  Shimi is given a house in Jerusalem and ordered not to cross over the brook Kidron or he will be killed.  However, after three years, Shimi goes to Gath seemingly to look for his errant servants—Solomon did not want Shimi collaborating with the eastern enemies of Israel (Student Manual II, p. 3).  When Solomon finds out Shimi’s deception, he confronts him and Shimi is killed by Benaiah (vv.2:36-46).

Verses 4:1-19 lists all the officers, princes and priests of his court.  “And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt” (v. 4:21).  The scripture enumerates the huge amounts of flour and meal; oxen, sheep, harts, roebucks, fallow deer [gazelles], and fatted fowl needed as provisions for one day for his servants and officers.  “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (vv. 4:27-28) to house and feed along with all the barley and straw needed for the animals.  All these provisions for the government were levied as taxes by Solomon on the people of Israel (Student Manual, II, pp. 4-5). 

“And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.  For he was wiser than all men;…and his fame was in all nations round about.  And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five” (vv. 4:30-32).

First Chronicles, Chapter 29:1-30
 1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God 2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,  4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir [probably a seaport], and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal: 5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers [skilled workman]. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?
6 ¶Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,
 7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.  8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite [Levite in charge of the treasury].  9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
10 ¶Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.  11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.  12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.  15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.  16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.  17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. 18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:  19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.
 20 ¶And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord, and the king.  21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:  22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.  23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.  24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.  25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
 26 ¶Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.  27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.  28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.  29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer [lost scriptures],  30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Is King David Redeemed or Does He Remain in Hell?


After Sunday School meeting last Sunday (July 7, 2014), several members around me were commenting on how David must have been inspired and humbled to write such beautiful verse.  During the previous week, I had studied the Psalms that were referred to in the Sunday School Teacher's Manual and I posted them on my blog.  I agree that the Psalms give great comfort and wisdom to those who read them, but I commented to the sister next to me that because David had "fallen" that he was still in hell [spirit prison] and had not been resurrected at the time of Christ because of his sins.  She said to me that the Church has told us not to teach that any more.

I hadn't heard that before and decided to do a little research.  Consequently, on Monday morning, I went to LDS.org and looked up Church references for King David. I found lots of talks and Ensign articles mentioning King David, usually that he was Israel's greatest king.  Of course, the story of David and Goliath is the most often quoted, but I also found many of his accomplishments while he was king referred to.  However, not all the references were positive.   
The following quotes can all be found when "King David" is entered in the search line on LDS.org.

In a Conference Report published in the Ensign, Milton R. Hunter of the First Council of the Seventy wrote, "David, whom the Lord loved and who is regarded by many people as Israel’s greatest king, spent the latter part of his life in brokenhearted sorrow over his sin against Uriah and his adultery with Bathsheba. His deep feelings were expressed in one of the most pitiful prayers in the holy scriptures:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: …
“Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (Ps. 51:1–3.)
"More than two thousand years after King David’s death and only 127 years ago, Jesus Christ spoke from heaven and informed us that because of David’s sin against him in the case of Uriah and his wife, David 'hath fallen from his exaltation'  and his wives have been given to another. (D&C 132:39.)  ("Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery;" CR, April 1971.)

Then I looked up D&C 132:39 relating to the "new and everlasting covenant of marriage" given to Joseph Smith, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843 as follows:
 "David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord."

Continuing, Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual (2002), 327-334; Section 132
Marriage: An Eternal Covenant:
"David’s story is one of tragedy and a lesson to all of God’s children, because he went from the height of favor with God to the depth of wickedness. He had all that this life could offer, but through sin he lost exaltation and the right to be eternally with his Father in Heaven.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:
“As to the fact that the sealing power cannot seal a man up unto eternal life if he thereafter commits murder and thereby sheds innocent blood (not in this case the blood of Christ, but the blood of any person slain unlawfully and with malice) the Prophet says: ‘A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness. David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of Uriah; but he could only get it through hell; he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell.
“‘Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the priesthood; and the priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.’ (Teachings, p. 339.) Thus, even though a man’s calling and election has been made sure, if he then commits murder, all of the promises are of no effect, and he goes to a telestial kingdom (Rev. 21:8;D. & C. 76:103), because when he was sealed up unto eternal life, it was with a reservation. The sealing was not to apply in the case of murder.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:347.)

President Spencer W. Kimball "indicated that there is no restitution possible for murder."
"Consider that David was destined for exaltation, destined to rule in heaven forever and ever as a Creator and a God to his future children. As the Lord said, there is no greater gift that He could offer a man than eternal life (see D&C 6:13). David had it within his grasp, and then, in a foolish attempt to hide his sin, sent a man to his death. Had he even come to himself after his transgression with Bath-sheba and sought repentance as sincerely and earnestly as he did after Nathan’s parable, there is every indication that he could have come back and received forgiveness. It would have been difficult, but not impossible. But he did the very thing of which so many are guilty—he compounded his sin by trying to cover it up.

“As to crimes for which no adequate restoration is possible, I have suggested … that perhaps the reason murder is an unforgivable sin is that, once having taken a life—whether that life be innocent or reprobate—the life-taker cannot restore it.…Murder is so treacherous and so far-reaching!…Even the loss of chastity leaves the soul in mortality with opportunity to recover and repent and to make amends to some degree. But to take a life, whether someone else’s or one’s own, cuts off the victim’s experiences of mortality and thus his opportunity to repent, to keep God’s commandments in this earth life. It interferes with his potential of having ‘glory added upon [his head] for ever and ever.’ (Abraham 3:26.)” (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 195–96.)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the limits of David’s eternal inheritance:
“Murderers are forgiven eventually but only in the sense that all sins are forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. (Matt. 12:31–32; Joseph Smith's Teachings, pp. 356–357.) After they have paid the full penalty for their crime, they shall go on to a telestial inheritance." (Rev. 22:15.) (Mormon Doctrine, p. 520.)

Old Testament Student Manual, Genesis-2 Samuel - Samuel 1–12: The Fall of King David, (1980), 286–92:
" From celestial to telestial—that is tragedy. Although David was brave and had great intellect, administrative ability, and faithfulness early in life, he failed in one important thing—to endure to the end.  David was a great example in his fulfillment of his calling as king, and a tragic example in his falling from glory. We can learn from both aspects of his life."

"David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba was followed by a series of misfortunes that marred the last twenty years of his life. The nation as a whole was prosperous during his reign, but David himself suffered from the consequences of his sins. There were constant family feuds, which, in the case of Absalom and Adonijah, ended in open rebellion. These incidents are a fulfillment of the pronouncement of Nathan the prophet upon David because of his sin (2 Sam. 12:7–13).
"David’s life illustrates the need for all persons to endure in righteousness to the end. As a youth, he was said to be a man after the Lord’s “own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14); as a man, he spoke by the Spirit and had many revelations. But he paid a heavy price for his disobedience to the commandments of God" (LDS.org; The Guide to the Scriptures, DAVID).

"I Have a Question" - Ensign, April 1986, by H. Donl Peterson, professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University:
"Elder McConkie wrote that even most murderers will come out of hell, or the spirit prison, in the last resurrection to live in telestial glory:
“When the Lord paraphrases the language of Rev. 21:8 in latter-day revelation (D&C 63:17–18 and D&C 76:103–106) he omits murderers from the list of evil persons. Their inclusion here by John, however, coupled with the fact that only those who deny the truth after receiving a perfect knowledge of it shall become sons of perdition, is a clear indication that murderers shall eventually go to the telestial kingdom, unless of course there are some among those destined to be sons of perdition who are also murderers.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–73, 3:584.)

"It Can’t Happen to Me," James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, CR, April 2002:
"History is full of examples of men who were gifted and able but who, in a moment of weakness, threw away their promising lives. King David is a tragic example. As a youth he was handsome, brave, and full of faith. He slew the frightening giant, Goliath. He became king. He had everything a man could desire. Yet when he saw Bathsheba, he wanted her even though she was another man’s wife. He had her husband, Uriah the Hittite, sent to the front of the hottest battle so that he would be killed. Uriah died in battle, and David married Bathsheba. As a consequence of this evil deed, David lost his spiritual inheritance.   For all the good David accomplished, much of it was negated because he allowed himself to succumb to a serious personal flaw."

"Lucifer, that clever pied piper, plays his lilting melody and attracts the unsuspecting away from the safety of their chosen pathway, away from the counsel of loving parents, away from the security of God’s teachings. He seeks not just the so-called refuse of humanity; he seeks all of us, including the very elect of God. King David listened, wavered, and then followed and fell" ("The Three Rs of Choice," President Thomas S. Monson, October, 2010).

Conclusion: I don't begin to know the official teachings outlined by the Church other than what they publish in their teaching manuals, in conference reports and Church magazines.  I agree that to cast King David as an adulterer and murderer can be offensive to some as his writings are so magnificent.  However, the scripture in D&C 132:39 revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the other quoted talks and writings are very clear.  David has not been redeemed because of his sins and has "fallen from glory;" but he will be resurrected and receive his proper judgment at the end of the Millennium.  As I understand the scriptures and the prophets, in the meantime, he will remain in hell [also known as spirit prison].


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Class  
THE PSALMS: Lesson #25: 
"Let Every Thing That Hath Breath Praise the Lord" (Psalms 150:6)

"The book of Psalms is a collection of poems originally sung as praises or petitions to God. Many were written by David. This book is like a hymnal from ancient Israel. Its lyrics constitute some of the world’s best inspirational literature, expressing faith in the Lord and an earnest desire to live righteously" (Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teachers Manual (2001) pp. 117-122).

Note - "Selah - [is] A musical term that occurs 71 times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. Its meaning is uncertain. Most likely it is a direction to the musicians to strike up, either with a louder accompaniment or with an interlude while the singing ceased" (Bible Dictionary, p. 771).

1. Prophecies of the life and mission of Jesus Christ
Psalm 107:23-30 — 23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
 24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
 26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
 28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
 29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Fulfilled - Matthew 8:23-27 — 23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Psalm 69:8 — 8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.
Fulfilled - John 1:11; 7:5 — 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 
•7:5  For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14 — 9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. 
•55:12  For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 
13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. 
14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
Fulfilled - John 13:18, 21 — 18  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

Psalm 69:20 — 20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Fulfilled - Mark 14:32-41 — 32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist [knew] they what to answer him.
41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Psalm 22:7-8 — 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Fulfilled - Matthew 27:39-43 — 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Psalm 22:16 — 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Fulfilled - Mark 15:25 —  25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

Psalm 22:18 — 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Fulfilled - Matthew 27:35 — 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Psalm 22:1 — 1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
Fulfilled - Matthew 27:46 — 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Psalm 69:21 21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Fulfilled - John 19:28-30 — 28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Psalm 34:20 — 20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
Fulfilled - John 19:33-36 — 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

Psalm 31:5 — 5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
Fulfilled - Luke 23:46  —  46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Psalm 16:10 — 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Fulfilled - Acts 2:31-32; 13:34-35  —  31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
 •13:34-35  And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
 35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

"Jesus Christ is the only person whose birth, life, death, and resurrection were prophesied before his birth. Why do you think such detailed prophecies were given about the Savior’s life? (These prophecies made it clear that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world.) How were these prophecies a blessing to those who received them? (The prophecies helped people learn of the Savior and gain testimonies of him even before he was born [see Mosiah 3:13]. The prophecies also helped some people recognize him when he came.) (Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual (2001) pp. 117-122.)

2.  The Creation of Heaven and Earth
Psalm 19:1 — 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Psalm 104:5-7, 14, 24 — •5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
•14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
•24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
Psalm 136:3-9 — 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
 8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

3.  The Savior’s Mercy, Forgiveness, and Love
Psalm 23 — 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 59:16 — 16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Psalm 78:38 —  38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
Psalm 86:5, 13 — 5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
•13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
Psalm 100:4-5 — 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 103:2-4, 8-11 — 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
•8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

4.  Gratitude for the Scriptures
Psalm 19:7-11 —  7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Psalm 119: 15-16, 33-35, 40, 47-50, 72, 92, 97, 104-105, 174 — 15  I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
•33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
•40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
• 47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
 48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
 49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
•72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
•92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
•97 O how love I thy law! [scriptures] it is my meditation all the day.
•104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
•174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.

5.  The Temple
Psalm 5:7 —  7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
Psalm 15:1–3 — 1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
Psalm 24 1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
 5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
 6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Psalm 27:4— 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 65:4— 4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
Psalm 84:1–2, 4, 10–12 — •1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
 2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
 •4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
•10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
Psalm 122 —  1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
 2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
 3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
 4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.
 5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
 7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
 8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
 9 Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.
Psalm 134 — 1 Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.
 2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
 3 The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

6.  Gratitude to the Lord
Psalm 116:12-13, 16-19 — 12 What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.
16 O Lord, truly I am thy servant;
17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people,
19 In the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.

7.  Trust in the Lord
Psalm 4:5 — 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
Psalm 5:11  — 11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psalm 9:10  —10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Psalm 18:2  — 2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 56:11  —  11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Psalm 62:8  —  8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm118:8–9  — 8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
 9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

8.  LDS Hymns inspired by the psalms
Some of these hymns are “The Lord Is My Shepherd” (Hymns, no. 108; Psalm 23), “The Lord Is My Light” (Hymns, no. 89; Psalm 27:1), “How Great Thou Art” (Hymns, no. 86; Psalm 8:3–9; 9:1–2), and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (Hymns, no. 72; Psalm 23:6; 150).

The First Presidency said:
“Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord.
“Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns. Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end (Hymns, ix)." (Quoted from the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, pp. 117-122.)

9. Poetic parallelism in the Psalms (from the Teacher's Manual)

"Your study of the psalms may be enriched by an understanding of the poetic techniques that David and other Hebrew poets used. One of these techniques is parallelism. One common characteristic of parallelism is the repetition of a thought in different words. Such repetition expands or intensifies the meaning of an idea. One example of this kind of parallelism is Psalm 102:1–2, in which the same thought is expressed in different words five times (“hear my prayer,” “let my cry come unto thee,” “hide not thy face from me,” “incline thine ear unto me,” and “in the day when I call answer me speedily”).…repetition intensifies the message."