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Come, Follow Me – Old Testament (May)

Welcome to May!
Links for other months: January, February, March, April

May, Week 1

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Exodus 24.
2. It was time for the people of Israel to make covenants with the Lord. They did not have a temple where they could go, so Moses climbed mount Sinai to speak with Him.
3. Watch the video, “Moses on Mount Sinai.”
4. Listen to the song, “I Love to See the Temple.”

Youth
1. Read Exodus 24.
2. There was reason to be hopeful that the children of Israel would remain true to God after He revealed His law to them. Even though they had murmured and wavered in the past, when Moses read the law at the foot of Mount Sinai, they made this covenant: “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” (Exodus 24:7). God then called Moses onto the mountain, telling him to build a tabernacle so “that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)
2. As you read in Exodus 24:3–8 about the Israelites covenanting to obey God’s law, your thoughts may turn to the covenants you have made with God. Israel’s covenant included rituals that are different from what God requires today, but you may notice some similarities, especially if you consider the eternal truths symbolized by these rituals. For example, verses 4, 5, and 8 mention an altar, animal sacrifices, and blood. What could these things represent, and how do they relate to your covenants? How can your covenants help you do “all that the Lord hath said”? (verse 7).

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Exodus 31.
2. The Lord told Moses that when the children of Israel kept the Sabbath day holy, they showed Him that they wanted to be His people. Keeping the Sabbath day holy can be easier — and more joyful — for us when we realize that it is a sign of our commitment to the Lord.
3. Watch the video “The Sabbath is for You.”
4. Watch the video, “Upon my Holy Day.”

Youth
1. Read Exodus 31.
2. The Lord often uses signs or symbols to remind His children of what they have promised Him and what He has promised them. As you read the following verses, look for a sign God uses to remind us of our relationship to Him and His promise to sanctify us. Exodus 31:12-13, 16-17
3. Consider President Russell M. Nelson’s question about our behavior on the Sabbath: “What sign will you give to the Lord to show your love for Him?”
4. Watch the video, “Upon My Holy Day.”

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Exodus 32.
2. While Moses was on Mount Sinai speaking with the Lord, the children of Israel chose to worship a golden idol instead of Him. This story can remind us that we shouldn’t let other things become more important to us than the Lord.
3. When the Israelites told Aaron to make a golden idol, he agreed to do it, even though this was wrong. How can we help other people keep the commandments even when it is hard?
4. Watch the video, “The Golden Calf.”
5. Listen to the song, “I Will Walk With Jesus.”

Youth*
1. Read Exodus 32.
2. While Moses was at the top of the mountain learning how the Israelites could have God’s presence among them, the Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain making a golden idol to worship instead. They had just promised to “have no other gods,” yet they “turned aside quickly” from God’s commandments (Exodus 20:3; 32:8; see also Exodus 24:3). It was a surprising turn, but we know from experience that faith and commitment can sometimes be overcome by impatience, fear, or doubt. As we seek the Lord’s presence in our lives, it is encouraging to know that the Lord did not give up on ancient Israel and He will not give up on us — for He is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).
*3. Moses acted as a mediator between the Lord and the rebellious Israelites. Because Moses was a “prophetic symbol of the Christ who was to come” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 137), he would do things that would resemble things the Savior would do. Print the worksheet here and find ways that Moses and Jesus Christ were similar.

Day 4

Primary
1. Read Exodus 33 and Exodus 34.
2. After Moses destroyed the golden calf, “the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” How do you think Moses felt speaking to the Lord that way? How would you feel?
3. Listen to the song, “Search, Ponder, and Pray.”

Youth*
1. Read Exodus 33 and Exodus 34.
2. When Moses came down from the mountain, he brought the law written on stone tables. After finding that the Israelites had broken their covenant, Moses broke the tables. Later, God commanded Moses to make another set of stone tables and take them back to the mountain (see Exodus 34:1–4). Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2 (in the Bible appendix) clarifies that the first set of stone tables included the ordinances of God’s “holy order,” or the Melchizedek Priesthood. The second set included “the law of a carnal commandment.” This was a lesser law administered by the “lesser priesthood” (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:17–27), which was meant to prepare the Israelites for the higher law and higher priesthood so they could more fully enter into God’s presence.
3. Because of Israel’s sins, the Lord declared that they had lost the privilege of seeing His face. When we sin, we can also feel the spirit of the Lord withdraw from us. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,

If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us. Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us. Because we estrange the Spirit of the Lord when we engage in activities we know we should shun, then such things definitely are not for us. (“That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 29–30).

Week 2

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Exodus 35 and Exodus 36:1-7.
2. Everyone worked together to build the tabernacle, donating their time, materials, and skills. Today we are not asked to donate our gold, but we all have skills and talents that can help the church.
3. Watch the video about the tabernacle.
4. Listen to the song, “I Love to See the Temple.”

Youth
1. Read Exodus 35 and Exodus 36:1-7.
2. In the year after leaving Egypt, the relationship of the children of Israel with Jehovah could be described as inconsistent. And yet, as you read Exodus 35:4–36:7, notice how the Israelites responded to the commandment to build the tabernacle. What do you learn from the Israelites that could help you better serve the Lord?
3.President Bonnie L. Oscarson taught:

Each member should know how much he or she is needed. Each person has something important to contribute and has unique talents and abilities that help move this important work along. (“Young Women in the Work,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 37)

As you read Exodus 36:1–4, ponder what the Lord has “put” into you. Consider asking Heavenly Father what He has given you so that you can participate in His work.
3. Watch the video about the tabernacle.

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Exodus 36:1. What did the Lord give to Bezaleel and Aholiab to help them build the “sanctuary” (tabernacle)? What gifts do you think you have that can help the Lord’s work?
1. Watch another video about the Tabernacle!

Youth*
1. The Lord asked His people to prepare and place holy objects in the Tabernacle to help them learn about God and prepare themselves for Him to dwell among them. Print the worksheet about these objects and follow the directions to complete it.
2. Watch another video about the Tabernacle!

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Leviticus 1.
2. The animal sacrifices performed in the Old Testament were meant to teach the children of Israel. The Lord commanded the children of Israel to make sacrifices to teach them that they could be forgiven of their sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
3. Take a look at this picture of Jesus visiting the people in the new world. After Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected, He taught the people in America why they no longer needed to sacrifice animals. Read 3 Nephi 9:19-20 to see what they were commanded to sacrifice instead.
4. Listen to the song, “I Will Walk With Jesus.”
5. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Leviticus!

Youth
1. Read Leviticus 1.
2. Much of the book of Leviticus may seem strange to us — animal sacrifices, rituals involving blood and water, and laws governing minute details of life. But these rituals and laws were meant to teach principles that are familiar — repentance, holiness, and the Savior’s Atonement. To find these principles as you read Leviticus 1:1–9, consider questions like these: What can I learn from these sacrifices about Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice? How am I like those making these sacrifices?
3. The symbolism of these rituals pointed to the way God has provided to bring us back into His presence — Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The Savior has “borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows,” even “the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4, 6). He stood in our place, gave His life to pay the penalty of sin, and then conquered death through His Resurrection (see Mosiah 15:8–9). The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was the “great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast” but rather “an infinite and eternal sacrifice” (Alma 34:10). He was the fulfillment of everything the ancient sacrifices pointed toward. For this reason, after His sacrifice was complete, He said, “Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices … shall be done away. … And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” (3 Nephi 9:19–20).
4. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Leviticus!

Day 4

Primary
1. Read Leviticus 19.
2. The Lord gave the children of Israel commandments to help them become more holy. What are we commanded to do today that helps us to be holy? Things like going to church, saying our prayers, reading our scriptures and studying our lessons can help us become holy, but there is more we have to do! Treating each other kindly, being patient, and helping others are all things that the Lord wants us to do.
3. Listen to the song, “Search, Ponder, and Pray.”

Youth
1. Read Leviticus 19.
2. Leaving Egypt — as important and miraculous as that was — didn’t fully accomplish God’s purposes for the children of Israel. Even future prosperity in the promised land wasn’t God’s ultimate objective for them. These were only steps toward what God really wanted for His people: “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). How did God seek to make His people holy when they had known nothing but captivity for generations? He commanded them to create a place of holiness to the Lord — a tabernacle in the wilderness. He gave them covenants and laws to guide their actions and, ultimately, to change their hearts. And when they fell short in their efforts to keep those laws, He commanded them to make animal sacrifices to symbolize atonement for their sins. All of this was meant to point their minds, their hearts, and their lives toward the Savior and the redemption He offers. He is the true path to holiness, for the Israelites and for us. We have all spent some time in the captivity of sin, and we are all invited to repent — to leave sin behind and follow Jesus Christ, who has promised, “I am able to make you holy” (Doctrine and Covenants 60:7).

Week 3

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Numbers 11 and Numbers 12.
2. Even though the Lord had done wonderful things for the children of Israel, they often focused instead on what they didn’t have. In Numbers 11 they cried and complained because they wanted to eat meat instead of manna. The Lord was unhappy because the Israelites were complaining.
3. On one occasion, the Lord was unhappy with Aaron and Miriam, Moses’s brother and sister. They were complaining against Moses, and the Lord punished Miriam by giving her leprosy for seven days. It is important for us to support the prophet and not to complain about what he tells us to do!
4. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Numbers!

Youth
1. Read Numbers 11 and Numbers 12.
2. In Numbers 11 we can see that even though we have skipped forward in the Old Testament, many of the problems Moses faced with the people were the same. They continued to murmur and show ingratitude for the blessings the Lord had given them. What happened in Numbers 11:1 when they complained? What did they complain about in Numbers 11:4-6? What was the Lord’s solution in Numbers 11:18-20?
3. Moses had a different problem, but instead of just complaining he brought his troubles to the Lord in prayer. What was Moses’s problem? (Numbers 11:11-14) What solution did the Lord give him? (Numbers 11:16-17) In verse 25 it tells us that that these 70 elders were blessed to receive revelation and speak as inspired by the Holy Ghost.
4. In Numbers 12 the complainers were Aaron and Miriam. They criticized Moses’s marriage to an Ethiopian woman and suggested that because they had received revelation in the past that they were equal in status to the prophet. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said this:

The Lord’s house is a house of order. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that ‘it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one [else], to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves’ [Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 21].

You may receive revelation individually, as a parent for your family, or for those for whom you are responsible as a leader or teacher, having been properly called and set apart.

If one becomes critical and harbors negative feelings, the Spirit will withdraw. Only when they repent will the Spirit return. My experience is that the channels of inspiration always follow that order. You are safe following your leaders.” (“Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 61)

Because she criticized the Lord’s chosen servant, Miriam was struck with leprosy and was shut out of the camp for seven days. The Lord then healed her, and she returned to the camp.
5. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Numbers!

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Numbers 13:1-2, Numbers 13:17-33, and Numbers 14:1-39.
2. When Moses sent 12 men to find out about the promised land. They found a lot of fruit and other foods, but they also were afraid because the people there were large and strong. 10 of the men were afraid because of the mighty people who lived there. Two of them, Caleb and Joshua, were not afraid, because they had faith in the Lord. Because the people did not have faith, the Lord told Moses that they would wander 40 years in the wilderness before they could come to the promised land.
3. Watch the video, “Forty Years in the Wilderness.”
4. Listen to the song, “I Will Walk With Jesus.”

Youth
1. Read Numbers 13:1-2, Numbers 13:17-33, and Numbers 14:1-39.
2. The Lord had brought the children of Israel through the wilderness, a land of vast nothingness, near the goodly land that He promised to give them if they were faithful to Him. After they had been in the wilderness for two years, they found the promised land (the land of Canaan) and discovered that it was inhabited by other people. As directed by the Lord, Moses sent 12 spies to explore the land of Canaan and report what they found. The 12 spies spent 40 days investigating the land and then returned with their reports and the fruit they brought from the land. After 10 of the spies gave “an evil report” (Numbers 13:32), the Israelites feared that the people in the land were too strong to conquer and lacked the faith they needed to enter the promised land. As a consequence, the Lord declared that they would wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
3. Read Numbers 14:9. Why did Joshua and Caleb believe they could defeat the people in the land of Caanan? If we know the Lord is with us, we can overcome fear and more courageously stand for righteousness.
4. Read the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson.

We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? …

… May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.” (“Dare to Stand Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60, 67)

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Numbers 21.
2. The children of Israel rebelled again when they were not allowed to pass through the land of Edom on their way to the promised land and instead had to travel a great distance to go around it. In response to their rebellion, the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people. He then instructed Moses to set a brass serpent upon a pole and promised that those who looked upon it would be healed.
3. Watch the video, “Moses and the Brass Serpent.
4. Listen to the song, “Search, Ponder, and Pray.”

Youth
1. Read Numbers 21.
2. Because the Israelites were not allowed to travel through the land of Edom, their journey was more difficult. (Numbers 21:4-5) In response, the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people. In the footnote, it clarifies that fiery means poisonous, and may refer to the way that the bites burned painfully. What did the people do when they began to be bitten by the snakes? What did the Lord tell Moses to do? What were the Israelites required to do to be healed?
3. Read Alma 33:19-22 for more information on this scripture story. Why does it say that some of the Israelites refused to look at the brass serpent?
4. The venom of the serpents represents the effects of sin. What do we need to do to look to Christ and be healed from this venom? President Boyd K. Packer said:

Jesus Christ has prescribed a very clear method for us to repent and find healing in our lives. The cure for most mistakes can be found by seeking forgiveness through personal prayer. However, there are certain spiritual illnesses, particularly those dealing with violations of the moral law, which absolutely require the assistance and treatment of a qualified spiritual physician. …

If you … wish to return to full spiritual health, see your bishop. He holds the keys and can help you along the pathway of repentance. (“The Key to Spiritual Protection,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 28)

Day 4

Primary
1. Read Numbers 22 and Numbers 23:1-12.
2. The king of Moab, Balak, was afraid that the Israelites would destroy his nation. He had an idea: he asked a prophet, named Balaam, to curse the Israelites. The Lord told Balaam not to curse them, and so Balaam refused to do it, even though the king offered him money and power if he would.
3. Listen to the song, “I Love to See the Temple.”

Youth
1. Read Numbers 22 and Numbers 23:1-12.
2. After the Israelites defeated the Amorites, the king of Moab (Balak) was afraid the Israelites would destroy his nation as well. Balak asked a prophet named Balaam to curse the Israelites. However, the Lord directed Balaam not to curse the Israelites, so Balaam blessed them instead. In Numbers 22:15-17, we see what the King tried to use to persuade Balaam to do what he wanted. Just like Balak, Satan sometimes uses promises of riches, popularity, and worldly status to entice us to commit sin.
3. The story found in Numbers 22:22-35 is often known as the story of Balaam’s donkey. On his way to Moab, Balaam tried three times to force his donkey forward. In what way was this like Balaam’s relationship with the Lord? (Balaam wanted to force his own will on the donkey and on the Lord. It is also worth noticing that the donkey saw the angel, but Balaam did not. Similarly, the Lord saw many things that Balaam did not see.)
4. When Balaam finally saw the angel, the angel told Balaam he could continue his journey to see Balak but was to speak only the words the Lord told him to speak. When Balaam arrived in Balak’s kingdom, the king again promised Balaam wealth and popularity if he would curse Israel, but Balaam blessed them instead.

Week 4

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Deuteronomy 6 Deuteronomy 7:1-4, and Deuteronomy 8.
2. Moses taught the children of Israel that they should love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and might. He also warned them not to forget all the things God had done for them. What were they supposed to do to help make sure they did not forget the words Moses taught them? (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
3. Moses gave the children of Israel directions on how to remember the word of the Lord daily. What do we do each day or each week to always remember the words we are taught?
4. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Deuteronomy!

Youth*
1. Read Deuteronomy 6 Deuteronomy 7:1-4, and Deuteronomy 8.
2. The book of Deuteronomy contains Moses’s teachings to the Israelites as they camped on the plains of Moab, just east of the Jordan River and the promised land. When Moses gave these teachings, it had been 40 years since the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt. Their days of wandering were nearly at an end!
3. What miracles and blessings does Moses remind the people of? Print the worksheet and fill it out.

4. Why do you think Moses worried that the people would forget all the miracles that they had been blessed with?
5. Moses taught the Israelites that Canaan was a land where they would “not lack any thing” (Deuteronomy 8:9) and where they would prosper. However, he warned that if the Israelites forgot the Lord in their prosperity, they would perish. He also warned against the temptation to attribute their success to themselves rather than to God. Such warnings also apply in our lives. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of a test of prosperity that would challenge members of the Church in our day:

The love of work is an attitude that members of the Church must develop. In some ways, we have gone through a period of great prosperity which may, when history is written, prove to be as devastating as the Great Depression in its effect upon the attitudes of the people. President Harold B. Lee said, ‘Today we are being tested and tried by another kind of test that I might call the “test of gold” — the test of plenty, affluence, ease — more than perhaps the youth of any generation have passed through, at least in this Church.’ (Sweet are the Uses of Adversity … , Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, 7 Feb. 1962, p. 3.)” (“Providing for Our Needs,” Ensign, May 1981, 86).

How can we remember the Lord when things are good and we have everything that we need?
6. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Deuteronomy!

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Deuteronomy 15.
2. This chapter talks about the way we are supposed to treat people in need. Helping others involves more than just actions. It should be done with a willing heart. Look at Deuteronomy 15:7-11 to see WHO we are supposed to help and HOW we are supposed to help them!
5. Listen to the song, “I Will Walk With Jesus.”

Youth
1. Read Deuteronomy 15.
2. What were the Israelites supposed to do every seven years? (Deuteronomy 15:1-2) The word “release” here means “canceling or pardoning debts.” What do you think of this arrangement? What kind of attitude would the Israelites need to develop in order to live this commandment?
3. How does the Lord want His people to treat the poor? (Deuteronomy 15:7-8) When we are able to help those in need and we refuse, we are committing sin. Even if we are not always able to meet others’ needs, we should be able to say in our hearts that we would help if we could.

Day 3

Primary*
1. Read Deuteronomy 29 and Deuteronomy 30.
*2. Like the children of Israel, we need constant reminders to live our covenants. Read Deuteronomy 30:8-10. Then print the worksheet and follow the directions.
3. Listen to the song, “Search, Ponder, and Pray.”

Youth
1. Read Deuteronomy 29 and Deuteronomy 30.
2. Moses prophesied that Israel would become lost if the people sinned. The Israelites covenanted with God to keep His commandments. Moses promised that if they kept this covenant they would be blessed and prospered. What did Moses warn would happen if they broke their covenant with the Lord? (Deuteronomy 29:25-28)
3. As we continue to study the Old Testament, you will discover that the Israelites did break this covenant and then were scattered throughout the world. The scattering and captivity of the ancient Israelites resulted from their disobedience. Similarly, if we disobey God’s commandments, we become further separated from God and are captive to sin.
4. Read Deuteronomy 30:1-6. What did the Lord say he would do for scattered Israel? What did the people of Israel need to do to for these promises to be fulfilled?
5. What can these verses teach us about deliverance from the captivity of sin? (As we return to the Lord with all our hearts and souls, He will deliver us from the captivity of sin.)