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Come, Follow Me – Old Testament (September)

Welcome to September!
Links for other months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, October

September, Week 1

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Proverbs 1:1-9 and Proverbs 3:1-15.
2. Proverbs can be seen as a collection of wise sayings from a loving parent, whose main message is that blessings of peace and prosperity come to those who seek wisdom — particularly the kind of wisdom God offers. In Proverbs 3 we it talks about trusting in the Lord. When we trust in the Lord with all our hearts, we have faith in Him and know that He will help us.
3. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a doctrinal mastery scripture! It reads:

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

There is also a song for this scripture.

4. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Proverbs!

Youth
1. Read Proverbs 1:1-9 and Proverbs 3:1-15.
2. A proverb is a short saying that is intended to teach a lesson about life. The book of Proverbs is a collection of many sayings of wisdom collected by the Israelites. Many of the proverbs are attributed to King Solomon. In the first chapter of the book of Proverbs, we find these words: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Proverbs 1:8). Proverbs can be seen as a collection of wise sayings from a loving parent, whose main message is that blessings of peace and prosperity come to those who seek wisdom — particularly the kind of wisdom God offers.
3. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a doctrinal mastery scripture! It reads:

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

There is also a song for this scripture.
4. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,

Our Father in Heaven has invited you to express your needs, hopes, and desires unto Him. That should not be done in a spirit of negotiation, but rather as a willingness to obey His will no matter what direction that takes. His invitation, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive’ (3 Ne. 27:29) does not assure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need, as judged by a Father that loves you perfectly, who wants your eternal happiness even more than do you” (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).

How can we show the Lord that we trust Him with all our heart?

5. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Proverbs!

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Proverbs 15:1-20 and Proverbs 16:16-32.
2. In tense or frustrating situations, we may be tempted to respond with anger. Proverbs 15:1 teaches us how we can turn away anger. What is a situation where you might feel angry, such as an argument with a brother or sister? Can you think of “soft answers,” or kind words, you could use instead of angry words?
3. Listen to the song “Kindness Begins with Me.”

Youth
1. Read Proverbs 15:1-20 and Proverbs 16:16-32.
2. Some of the proverbs in chapters 15 and 16 may inspire you to improve the way you communicate with others, especially loved ones. For example, think about specific times when you could have used “a soft answer” rather than “grievous words” (Proverbs 15:1). How does the counsel in Proverbs 16:24–32 help you think about the words you use?
3. Consider this insight from Elder W. Craig Zwick

A ‘soft answer’ consists of a reasoned response — disciplined words from a humble heart. It does not mean we never speak directly or that we compromise doctrinal truth. Words that may be firm in information can be soft in spirit” (“What Are You Thinking?” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 42).

4. President Gordon B. Hinkley said that a ‘soft answer’ was one of the cornerstones of a happy home.

It seems to me that communication is essentially a matter of talking with one another. Let that talk be quiet for quiet talk is the language of love. It is the language of peace. It is the language of God. It is when we raise our voices that tiny mole hills of difference become mountains of conflict.

It seems to me that there is something significant in the description of Elijah’s contest with the priests of Baal: “A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks.” That is a rather vivid description of some of the arguments that take place between husbands and wives but, notes the writer of the scripture, “The Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11–12). The voice of heaven is a still small voice. The voice of peace in the home is a quiet voice.

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Proverbs 22:1-6 and Proverbs 31:10-31.
2. What do you think it means to “train up a child in the way he should go”? (Proverbs 22:6)
3. Proverbs 31 talks about the qualities of a virtuous woman. What does it say a virtuous woman is more valuable than in verse 10? (Proverbs 31:10)
4. Listen to the song “I Will Walk With Jesus.”

Youth
1. Read Proverbs 22:1-6 and Proverbs 31:10-31.
2. What do you think it means to “train up a child in the way he should go”? (Proverbs 22:6)
3. Proverbs 31 describes “a virtuous woman,” or a woman of great spiritual strength, capability, and influence. What does this proverb say about virtue? (Virtue is more valuable than worldly wealth.)
4. Read the following statement from “Preach My Gospel” about virtue.

Virtue originates in your innermost thoughts and desires. It is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. Since the Holy Ghost does not dwell in unclean tabernacles, virtue is prerequisite to receiving the Spirit’s guidance. What you choose to think and do when you are alone and you believe no one is watching is a strong measure of your virtue.

Virtuous people are clean and pure spiritually. They focus on righteous, uplifting thoughts and put unworthy thoughts that lead to inappropriate actions out of their minds. They obey God’s commandments and follow the counsel of Church leaders. They pray for the strength to resist temptation and do what is right. They quickly repent of any sins or wrongdoings. They live worthy of a temple recommend.

Day 4

Primary
1. Read Ecclesiastes 3.
2. It is important to remember that our life here on Earth is temporary. There is a time to be born, to grow, to learn, and even a time to die. We need to remember that it does not need to be a scary thing, because we know where we will go after we die. It is also important to remember we can love and appreciate our time here on earth, and all of the seasons that come and go.
3. Listen to the song “Keep the Commandments.”
4. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Ecclesiastes!

Youth
1. Read Ecclesiastes 3.
2. The book of Ecclesiastes was written by an individual who called himself “the Preacher.” The Preacher taught that the conditions of our mortal life are temporary and that God will bring all our works into judgment. This message is a theme throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. The writer of Ecclesiastes often wrote from the perspective of someone who had little to no understanding of the plan of salvation. This perspective can help us recognize that people waste much of their life focusing on pursuits that end when they die.
3. The Preacher wrote that even though good and bad things happen to all of us and even though one day we will all die, we can do many things to make our mortal life better before it ends. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

We understand that we will live a postmortal life of infinite duration and that we determine the kind of life it will be by our thoughts and actions in mortality. Mortality is very brief but immeasurably important. …

That understanding helps us to make wise decisions in the many choices of our daily lives. Seeing life from an eternal perspective helps us focus our limited mortal energies on the things that matter most. …

… By virtue of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, we all will be resurrected. Each of us will stand before the judgment bar of the great Jehovah and be rewarded according to our deeds in mortality.

If we make every earthly decision with this judgment in mind, we will have used our mortal probation wisely and its days will give us peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. (“The Time to Prepare,” Ensign, May 1998, 14, 16–17)

4. Because mortality is temporary, we must take great care with how we choose to use our time and energy. By focusing our time and efforts on the Lord and His work, we will find the greatest amount of purpose and joy in this life and be prepared for life after death.
5. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Ecclesiastes!

Week 2

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 1:1-20 and Isaiah 2.
2. Isaiah lived in a time when many of his people had turned away from the Lord. But the Lord promised them that their sins could be forgiven if they repented. He makes this promise to us as well.
3. Isaiah foresaw a time when the temple, “the mountain of the Lord’s house,” would attract people from “all nations.” Isaiah’s prophecy reveals some of the blessings that come from worshipping in the temple, along with other blessings to come in the last days. What are some ways that temples can help us “walk in the Lord’s path”?
4.There is a doctrinal mastery scripture today! Isaiah 1:18.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

There is also a song for this verse!
5. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Isaiah!

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 1:1-20 and Isaiah 2.
2. When Jesus Christ visited the Nephites after His Resurrection, He quoted many of the words of Isaiah to them and then said: “A commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1). He also told them that everything Isaiah had prophesied would be fulfilled (see 3 Nephi 23:3). The book of Isaiah was written during a time of great wickedness and apostasy, and it addresses both events of Isaiah’s era and events that would occur in the future. Perhaps the most important part of the book of Isaiah is Isaiah’s testimony and witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Holy One of Israel, and the promised Messiah.
3. What is Isaiah describing in Isaiah 2:1-5? According to verse 2, when will the events described in verses 1–5 happen? How do you think these verses are being fulfilled in our day?
4. As is often the case in prophetic declarations, some of Isaiah’s writings have a dual meaning. That is, they can apply to more than one situation or may be fulfilled at more than one time. He also at times wrote things that were intended to be understood by only a certain group. Such language brings to mind religious concepts that only those who have the proper religious background readily understand without further explanation. For example, Isaiah 2:2 refers to the ‘mountain of the Lord’s house’ being ‘established in the top of the mountains.’ President Harold B. Lee said that the phrase ‘mountain of the Lord’s house’ referred to both ‘a place as well as a definition of a righteous people.’ The establishment of the ‘mountain of the Lord’s house in the top of the mountains’ has been fulfilled by the coming of the pioneers to establish the Church and temple in the tops of the mountains in Utah and will be further fulfilled [by the temple that will be built in the New Jerusalem and] by the return of Judah to Jerusalem, where the Lord’s house will be built. It applies generally to those places where God’s power and authority reside and where He communicates with His people. The phrase ‘all nations shall flow unto it’ (Isaiah 2:2) can refer both to the early gathering of the Saints to the valleys of the mountains in Utah and also to the general gathering of Saints to Zion. The term Zion (v. 3), as well, has several applications. It refers to the New Jerusalem in America, the Jerusalem of Judah, and also the Lord’s people or their places of gathering in all parts of the world. By using such terms as these, Isaiah conveys profound spiritual meaning to those who understand the special significance of his language.
5.There is a doctrinal mastery scripture today! Isaiah 1:18.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

There is also a song for this verse!
6. Listen to the “Books of the Old Testament” song. Be sure you can sing it through Isaiah!

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 3:1-11 and Isaiah 5.
2. What did Isaiah say would happen to the people of Israel because of their disobedience? Why was the Lord’s anger kindled against his people?
3. Watch the video about the prophet Isaiah.
4. Listen to the song “I Will Walk With Jesus.”
5. We are passing by a Doctrinal Mastery scripture today, Isaiah 5:20 which reads:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 3:1-11 and Isaiah 5.
2. What would cause Judah to be ruined and Jerusalem to fall? (Isaiah 3:8-9) What does the Lord teach the people about choices and consequences? (Isaiah 3:10-11) If we are righteous, we will enjoy the blessings of our choices. If we sin, we will suffer the negative consequences of our choices.
3. Isaiah 5:1-7 compares the house of Israel to a vineyard. What did the Lord do for his vineyard?
4. President Russell M. Nelson taught of the way people would be influenced to call “evil good, and good evil” in our day:

Political campaigns and marketing strategies widely employ public opinion polls to shape their plans. Results of those polls are informative. But they could hardly be used as grounds to justify disobedience to God’s commandments! Even if ‘everyone is doing it,’ wrong is never right. Evil, error, and darkness will never be truth, even if popular. (“Let Your Faith Show,” Ensign, May 2014, 30–31)

5. President Nelson was referencing a Doctrinal Mastery scripture, Isaiah 5:20 which reads:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 11.
2. All prophets testify of Jesus Christ, including those who lived long before He was born, like Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied of the birth of a child who would sit on the throne of David and establish a kingdom that has no end, and talked about what will happen in the last days when Jesus Christ returns.
3. Watch the video “The Prophets Tell About Jesus.”
4. Listen to the song “Kindness Begins with Me.”
5. Isaiah 9:6 is not a Doctrinal Mastery scripture, but it is an important verse.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 11.
2. In Isaiah 9, we read Isaiah’s description of how Israel had turned away from the Lord and the consequences that awaited them. Multiple times, Isaiah repeated the phrase “His anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” Isaiah may have intended more than one meaning with the phrase “his hand is stretched out still,” because the Lord’s hand can be extended for both justice and mercy. One meaning may be that because the people of Isaiah’s time did not turn away from sin, they would experience the Lord’s hand in the form of destruction. But Isaiah may have also been teaching that the Lord still offered hope for eventual mercy if the people would repent. After all, if we repent, the Lord is willing to extend His mercy to us and forgive our sins. The justice of God demands punishment for sin, but the Atonement brings about the plan of mercy to appease the demands of justice.
3. Read Isaiah 11 verses 1 and 10. The word ‘stem’ in Isaiah 11:1 is translated from a Hebrew word that can refer to the stump of a tree that has been cut down. The ‘rod’ is new growth. (See this illustration.) The Prophet Joseph Smith’s explanations of what the stem, rod, and roots represent are recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-6. What do they represent?
4. Jesse was the father of King David; thus, the term “stem of Jesse” refers to someone who will reign as king over Israel. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that Joseph Smith was the rod that Isaiah saw:

Are we amiss in saying that the prophet here mentioned is Joseph Smith, to whom the priesthood came, who received the keys of the kingdom, and who raised the ensign for the gathering of the Lord’s people in our dispensation? And is he not also the ‘servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power’? (D&C 113:4–6.) (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [1982], 339–40)

5. Isaiah 9:6 is not a Doctrinal Mastery scripture, but it is an important verse.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Week 3

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 13 and Isaiah 14:1-4.
2. These chapters in Isaiah talk about the fall of Babylon, which is something that happened a long time ago, in the past. The same chapters also talk about what will happen when Jesus Christ returns in the Second Coming. Instead of destroying Babylon, He will destroy those who are wicked. Instead of giving peace to Israel, He will bring peace to all those who are righteous.
3. Listen to the song “I Will Walk With Jesus.”

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 13 and Isaiah 14:1-4.
2. One of the things the Lord asks prophets to do is to warn about the consequences of sin. In the case of Old Testament prophets, this often meant telling the powerful rulers of mighty kingdoms that they must repent or be destroyed. It was a dangerous task, but Isaiah was fearless, and his warnings to the kingdoms of his day—including Israel, Judah, and surrounding nations—were bold. Isaiah 13–14 is called “the burden of” (a prophetic message about) Babylon. Once a mighty kingdom with a powerful ruler, Babylon is now considered ancient history. So why is the message to Babylon important to us today? In the scriptures, Babylon symbolizes pride, worldliness, and sin, and today we are surrounded by all of these.
3. Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Babylon, and these events can be seen as a type or similitude of the destruction of the wicked that will take place at the Second Coming of the Savior. (When the Lord comes again, He will destroy the wicked, but He will be merciful to His people and give them rest.)
4.

“Some of Isaiah’s writings have a dual [more than one] meaning. That is, they can apply to more than one situation or may be fulfilled at more than one time. He also at times combined dualistic phrases with terms that were intended for or understood by only a certain group. …

“In the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters [of Isaiah], Isaiah wrote of the gathering of Israel and their eventual triumph over Babylon. … Babylon is used to refer both to the nation of Babylon as it existed at the time of Isaiah and also to the wickedness of the world and the dominions of Satan in the world, which the nation of Babylon epitomized. In his writings about Babylon in these chapters, Isaiah used concepts that applied to the future fall of Babylon (as a nation and as the symbol of the world), to the triumph of Israel, and to the pre-mortal overthrow of Lucifer and his hosts. His words are not only dualistic but esoteric [understood only by certain people] as well, for only those who understand the Lord’s plan of salvation can grasp the full message Isaiah presented. Many of Isaiah’s chapters are dualistic in the sense that the message fulfilled in Isaiah’s time is a type or shadow of events to take place in the last days.

“This richness of language and meaning seems to be what Nephi meant when he spoke of the manner of prophesying among the Jews. There is frequent reference to the law of Moses and extensive use of imagery, figurative language, and phrases that have dualistic and esoteric meanings. Though modern readers cannot fully grasp the culture and times of ancient Israel, understanding the methods Isaiah used to convey his meaning can give the reader a far greater understanding of Isaiah” (Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 133).

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 25.
2. Jesus Christ can comfort the sorrow we feel about death. When someone we love dies, we feel very sad, but because He gained victory over death, we will all be resurrected too. What does it say Jesus will do for those who are sad? (Isaiah 25:8)
3. Listen to the song “Kindness Begins with Me.”

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 25 and Isaiah 28.
2. Isaiah 25:6–12 includes some of Isaiah’s prophecies about the joy the righteous will feel when the Lord comes again. The symbolic feast described in verse 6 represents the idea that people of all nations will be invited to partake of the blessings of the gospel.
3. According to verse 8, what will Jesus do for his people in the Millennium? How did the Savior “swallow up death in victory”? Read Isaiah 25:9. What will his people say when he returns? If we wait for the Lord, then we can receive His salvation and rejoice.
4. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,

In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. (“Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 72)

5. Read Isaiah 28:9-10, 13. What principle can we learn from these verses about how the Lord reveals truth? The Lord reveals truth to us precept upon precept and line upon line.
6. The prophet Joseph Smith explained why the Lord reveals truth ‘line upon line.’

It is not wisdom that we should have all knowledge at once presented before us; but that we should have a little at a time; then we can comprehend it.

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 268)

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 29.
2. Isaiah prophesied about a time of great apostasy, when people would turn away from the gospel and lose the guidance of the prophets. This time came after Jesus Christ left the earth and his apostles died or were killed. For a long time, the light of revelation was not available. However, God did a “marvellous work” and restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. The Restoration of the gospel, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, is a marvelous work that corrects false teachings and counters the wisdom of the world.
3. Isaiah 29:13-14 is a Doctrinal Mastery scripture. (There is a song for this one!)

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 29.
2. Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred because of the wickedness of the people who lived there. He also referred to the Nephite nation, which would also be destroyed because of wickedness. Point out the phrase, “thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust” (verse 4). This prophecy refers to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which was translated from plates hidden in the ground by Moroni. The voice of the Nephite people speaks to us today from the pages of that book. Isaiah also spoke of the conditions of the latter days (see verses 5–10).
3. According to verse 10, what did Isaiah say would happen after the Lord’s people fell to their enemies? (People would experience “the spirit of deep sleep,” and the prophets and seers would be covered, or removed from the people.) With the loss of the prophets and the straying of the Lord’s people from the truth, the world would fall into a state of spiritual darkness. This falling away from truth is called apostasy.
4. Isaiah’s words in verses 9–10 refer to a period known as the Great Apostasy, which would occur after the death of the Savior and His Apostles. Over time, people changed many gospel principles and ordinances and altered the organization of the Savior’s Church. Consequently, the Lord withdrew the authority and keys of His priesthood from the earth. Many of the “plain and precious” parts of the Bible were also corrupted or lost, and the people no longer had an accurate understanding of God (see 1 Nephi 13:26–29). Eventually many churches were established, but they did not have the authority to perform priesthood ordinances or to properly interpret the Bible.
5. Isaiah 29:13-14 is a Doctrinal Mastery scripture. (There is a song for this one!)

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

6. President Russel M. Nelson said about this verse:

Isaiah foresaw that God would do ‘a marvellous work and a wonder’ in the latter days (Isaiah 29:14). … That marvelous work would include the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel” (“Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 46, endnote 26).

Day 4

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 35.
2. Isaiah 35 contains prophecies of the last days, when Jesus Christ shall come again. What does it say it will it be like when Jesus comes again?
3. Listen to the song “Keep the Commandments.”

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 35.
2. Isaiah 35 contains Isaiah’s prophecies of the latter-day gathering of Israel. What does it mean to “strengthen … the weak hands” and “confirm the feeble knees”? (Isaiah 35:3). We can take this to mean we should strengthen the faith of those who are exhausted, discouraged, or fearful. According to verse 4, what can we do to strengthen the faith of others? As we testify that the Lord will come to save and heal us, we can strengthen the faith of others.
3. Isaiah prophesied of the great blessings that will come to the faithful in the latter days. What blessings can you find in Isaiah 35:7-10?
4. Isaiah 35:1 says that “The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”

Several General Authorities have seen the settlement of the mountain valleys of the Rockies by the Latter-day Saints as a fulfillment of these verses in Isaiah (see Milton R. Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1965, p. 81; LeGrand Richards, in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, p. 42; Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:346–47; Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 18:145). When the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, it could be described as a ‘wilderness’ and a ‘solitary place’ (Isaiah 35:1). The Saints went to work immediately, and soon the desert valleys of Utah began to ‘blossom as the rose’ (v. 1). But this prophecy may also be fulfilled by the settlement of modern Jews in the Holy Land, where similar things are taking place.” (Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 168)

Week 4

Day 1

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 40.
2. We help fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3–5 by helping others receive the Lord in their lives. What are some obstacles that might prevent people from following the Savior? How can we help “make their path straight?”
3. Listen to the song “I Will Walk With Jesus.”

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 40.
2. Isaiah comforted the people of Judah by prophesying of the coming of Christ. What do verses 3–5 teach about the coming of Jesus Christ?
3. Isaiah 40:3–5 speaks of “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness.” These verses have multiple applications. John the Baptist applied this passage to himself while acting as a forerunner of the Lord’s mortal ministry. John also fulfilled this prophecy when he appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood in preparation for the Lord’s Second Coming.

President Joseph Fielding Smith further taught:

“The Lord declared … that before his second coming a messenger should be sent to prepare the way and make it straight. You may apply this to John, and it is true. …

“But I go farther and maintain that Joseph Smith was the messenger whom the Lord sent to prepare the way before him. He came, and under the direction of holy messengers laid the foundation for the kingdom of God … that the world might be prepared for the coming of the Lord” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:194–95).

Additionally, missionaries and Church leaders in this dispensation are sent as messengers crying, “Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight” (D&C 33:10).

Day 2

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 43.
2. The Lord reminded the Israelites that they had witnessed many great things that He had done for them. He wanted them (and all of us) to be His witnesses, helping others know of His power and goodness.
3. Isaiah 43:11 says there is no Savior besides the Lord. Because Jesus Christ suffered and died for us and was resurrected, He is the only one who can save us from our sins and from death.
4. Listen to the song “Kindness Begins with Me.”

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 43.
2. Isaiah’s message to them and to us is simple: “Fear not” (Isaiah 43:1). All is not lost. The Lord has not forgotten you, and He has power over situations that seem out of your control. Isn’t the Lord “he that created the heavens, and … he that spread forth the earth, and … he that giveth breath unto the people upon it”? (Isaiah 42:5). Isn’t He more powerful than Babylon, than sin, than whatever is holding you captive? “Return unto me,” He pleads, “for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 44:22). He can heal, restore, strengthen, forgive, and comfort—whatever is needed for you, in your case, to be redeemed.
3. What did the Savior say he would do for Israel? (Isaiah 43:1-5)
4. The Lord told the Israelites that they were witnesses of Him because of the great things He had done for them, and He emphasized that there is no Savior other than Him.

Day 3

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 45.
2. In Isaiah 45:5, 6, 18 it says “I am the Lord, and there is none else.” This means that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer, the only one who can save us. Why do you think the Lord would repeatedly emphasize that He is the only God who can save us?
3. In Isaiah’s day, many in Israel had turned to two false gods, Bel and Nebo, for help from their problems. These false gods did nothing to help the Israelites. In modern days we might look to different idols (wealth, possessions, physical strength, appearance, popularity, or intellect) instead of trusting in the Savior. If we trust in the Savior, He will carry and deliver us.

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 44 and Isaiah 45.
2. In Isaiah 45:5, 6, 18 it says “I am the Lord, and there is none else.” This means that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer, the only one who can save us. Why do you think the Lord would repeatedly emphasize that He is the only God who can save us? In Isaiah’s day, many in Israel had turned to two false gods, Bel and Nebo, for help from their problems. These false gods did nothing to help the Israelites. In modern days we might look to different idols (wealth, possessions, physical strength, appearance, popularity, or intellect) instead of trusting in the Savior. If we trust in the Savior, He will carry and deliver us.
3. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told what it means to trust in Jesus Christ.

This life is an experience in profound trust — trust in Jesus Christ, trust in his teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience. (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).

4. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helped us understand what the title Redeemer means:

Among the most significant of Jesus Christ’s descriptive titles is Redeemer. … The word redeem means to pay off an obligation or a debt. Redeem can also mean to rescue or set free as by paying a ransom. If someone commits a mistake and then corrects it or makes amends, we say he has redeemed himself. Each of these meanings suggests different facets of the great Redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ through His Atonement, which includes, in the words of the dictionary, ‘to deliver from sin and its penalties, as by a sacrifice made for the sinner’ [Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 3rd ed. (1988), ‘redeem’]. (“Redemption,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 109)

Day 4

Primary
1. Read Isaiah 49.
2. When we feel distant from the Lord because of sin, trials, or any other reason, the message of Isaiah 49:14–16 can bring comfort. What might make people feel forgotten or forsaken? How can we help others know that the Lord has not forgotten them? How do we know He has not forgotten us?
3. Listen to the song “Keep the Commandments.”

Youth
1. Read Isaiah 49.
2. Isaiah warned the Israelites that because of their wickedness, they would be scattered. Read Isaiah 49:14. How would the Israelites (referred to in this verse as “Zion”) feel in their scattered condition?
3. Isaiah 49 records the words the Lord spoke to reassure the Israelites of His love for them. Read Isaiah 49:15–16. According to verse 16, why will the Savior not forget any of Heavenly Father’s children? (Because the Savior has “graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands.”) To engrave is to cut or carve something into an object so the imprint remains there permanently. In what way have we been graven upon the palms of the Savior’s hands?
4. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained a purpose of the Savior’s wounds:

Even though the power of the Resurrection could have—and undoubtedly one day will have—completely restored and made new the wounds from the crucifixion, nevertheless Christ chose to retain those wounds for a purpose, including for his appearance in the last days when he will show those marks and reveal that he was wounded ‘in the house of [his] friends’ [Zechariah 13:6; see also D&C 45:52].

“The wounds in his hands, feet, and side are signs that in mortality painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect, signs that tribulation is not evidence that God does not love us. It is a significant and hopeful fact that it is the wounded Christ who comes to our rescue. He who bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love, the emblems of humility and forgiveness is the Captain of our Soul. That evidence of pain in mortality is undoubtedly intended to give courage to others who are also hurt and wounded by life, perhaps even in the house of their friends. (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 258–59)

5. Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, the descendants of Israel will be gathered in great numbers. Isaiah 49:22–23 specifically refers to how the Gentiles, or non-Israelite people, will assist in this process. The Lord testified that the time will come when all people will know that He is the Savior and Redeemer of mankind.

You are done with September! Please proceed to October!