Lesson 35: “God Reveals His Secrets to His Prophets,” Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, pg170Amos 3; 7–9; Joel 2–3Purpose In the latter days, the Lord reveals his secrets to his prophets and pours out his Spirit on all people. Preparation Prayerfully study the following scriptures: Amos was a shepherd from Tekoa, a small town south of Jerusalem. He ministered to the people of the kingdom of Israel from about 800 to 750 b.c. Most of these people were in apostasy. They loved riches and oppressed the poor, and they were so hardened that not even famine or pestilence humbled them. As Amos confronted the people with their sins, he prophesied even more dire penalties. Nevertheless, he emphasized that God was eager to cleanse anyone who would repent, exhorting, “Seek the Lord, and ye shall live” (Amos 5:6). Amos also prophesied about the latter days. a. Amos 3:6–7. Amos teaches that the Lord reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets. b. Amos 7:10–17; 8:11–13; 9:8–15. Amos is called of God to be a prophet (7:10–15). He prophesies of the captivity and scattering of Israel (7:16–17; 9:8–10). He prophesies that there will be a famine of hearing the word of the Lord (8:11–13). He prophesies that in the last days Israel will be established as a great and prosperous people (9:11–15). The prophet Joel ministered to the people of the kingdom of Judah. We do not know exactly when he lived, but his prophecies are of particular importance to us because many of them concern the latter days. Joel used the powerful image of a devouring host of locusts to symbolize the devastation that armies and God’s judgments would bring in the latter days. Joel also prophesied great blessings in the latter days, foreseeing that the Lord would “pour out [his] spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28). c. Joel 2; 3:16–17. Joel prophesies of the wars and calamities of the last days (2:1–11). He calls on the people to repent (2:12–14; note that the Joseph Smith Translation of verses 13 and 14 explains that the people, not the Lord, were to repent). Joel prophesies that God will bless his people in the latter days and pour out his Spirit upon them (2:15–32; 3:16–17). 2. Additional reading: Joseph Smith—History 1:41; Doctrine and Covenants 1:14–28, 37–38. 3. Share briefly some recent counsel from the prophet. 4. Show picture of the living prophet.
• If someone asked you what the living prophet has recently said, would you be able to answer the question?
Sister Janette Hales Beckham shared the following story: “When I was a young wife and mother, my husband spent two years in the air force. We lived in military housing on Long Island, New York. While tending our young children, I often visited with neighbors who had come from all over the country. One day as a neighbor and I were talking about our beliefs, she became curious about what was different about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I told her briefly about the Restoration, and I explained that the restored Church of Jesus Christ has a living prophet today. This really seemed to pique her interest, and she wanted to know what the prophet had said. As I started to tell her about the Doctrine and Covenants and modern revelation, she said, ‘But what has he said lately?’ I told her about general conference and that the Church had a monthly publication with a message from the prophet. Then she got really interested. I was so embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t read the current message. She concluded our conversation by saying, ‘You mean you have a living prophet and you don’t know what he said?’ ” (Janette Hales Beckham, “Sustaining the Living Prophets,” Ensign, May 1996, 84).
Emphasize the importance of listening to and following the living prophet. 2. Sing the hymn “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns,no. 19). It is important for us to study the counsel of our living prophet. Invite and share share some counsel that he has given recently.
1. Amos teaches that the Lord reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:6–7. • How do we hear the word of the Lord in our day? What did the prophet Amos teach about the importance of prophets? (See Amos 3:7.) What two words were changed in the Joseph Smith Translation of Amos 3:6–7? (See footnotes 6b and 7a; in verse 6 the word known is used instead of done, and in verse 7 the word until is used instead of but.) How do these changes clarify the meaning of the passage? Point out that the Joseph Smith Translation itself is an example of the Lord’s secrets being made known to a prophet for our benefit.
• What does Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38 teach about the respect we should have for the messages of the prophets? (Display a picture of the living prophet.) As recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–5, what counsel and commandment did the Lord give the Saints on the day the Church was organized? D&C 21:4-5 Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Fayette, New York, April 6, 1830. HC 1: 74–79. This revelation was given at the organization of the Church, on the date named, in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sen. Six men, who had previously been baptized, participated. By unanimous vote these persons expressed their desire and determination to organize, according to the commandment of God; see Section 20. They also voted to accept and sustain Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery as the presiding officers of the Church. With the laying on of hands, Joseph then ordained Oliver an elder of the Church; and Oliver similarly ordained Joseph. After administration of the sacrament, Joseph and Oliver laid hands upon the participants individually, for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost and for the confirmation of each as a member of the Church. 1–3, Joseph Smith is called to be a seer, translator, prophet, apostle, and elder; 4–8, His word shall guide the cause of Zion; 9–12, The saints shall believe his words as he speaks by the Comforter. 4 Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; 5 For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. What blessings did he promise if the Saints would do this? (See D&C 21:6.) 6 For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory. How have you seen this promise fulfilled in your own life as you have obeyed the counsel of the prophets?
• Why did Amaziah, a priest in the kingdom of Israel, ask Amos to leave the land? (See Amos 7:10–17. AMOS 7:10-17 Amos relates how he was called of God to be a prophet—He prophesies the captivity of Israel. 10 ¶ Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. 12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13 But prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. Amos had prophesied that evil would come to the people and their king. Amaziah and his people did not want to hear the truth about their evil doings.) How did Amos tell the people about their evil doings?Amos 7–9 . The Visions of Amos The last three chapters of Amos deal with five visions Amos had. The first four of these visions begin with a phrase such as “Thus hath the Lord God showed me” (see Amos 7:1, 4, 7 ; 8:1 ). The fifth commences with the words “I saw the Lord” ( Amos 9:1 ). The first four visions show the various judgments of the Lord upon Israel, while the fifth vision portends the overthrow of their apostate theocracy and the restoration of fallen Israel. The visions are a swarm of locusts ( Amos 7:1–3 ); A swarm of locusts ( Amos 7:1–3 ). “The king, who has had the early grass mown, is Jehovah; and the mowing of the grass denotes the judgments which Jehovah has already executed upon Israel. The growing of the second crop is a figurative representation of the prosperity which flourished again after those judgments; in actual fact, therefore, it denotes the time when the dawn had risen again for Israel ( ch. iv. 13 ).” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 10:1:306–7.) (2) devouring fire ( Amos 7:4–6 ); Devouring fire ( Amos 7:4–6 ). The fire that devoured the great deep (presumably the ocean) is symbolic of the partially destructive wars that Israel was later involved in. Like the fire which “did eat up a part” of the great deep, Israel’s land was partly despoiled and many of its people led away. (3) the master builder with the plumbline ( Amos 7:7–9 ); The master builder with the plumbline( Amos 7:7–9 ). A plumbline is used to obtain exactness and accuracy in construction work. Here it seems to symbolize that God’s strict justice will prevail in judging Israel for her evil ways. All wickedness will be sought out, measured (judged), and destroyed. What do verses 14 through 17 teach us about the prophet Amos? 14 ¶ Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: 15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. 16 ¶ Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. 17 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.(AMOS had integrity and courage. He would not change what the Lord told him to say but continued to prophesy that evil would come to the people if they did not repent.) • In all ages of time, why have so many people rejected or ignored prophets’ messages? (4) the basket of summer fruit ( Amos 8 ); and The basket of summer fruit ( Amos 8:1–9 ). The harvest of summer fruit symbolized the ripening of Israel. Just as summer fruit must be eaten when picked or it will spoil, Israel was ripe for picking and spoiling by enemies. What did Amos prophesy would be the result if Israel rejected the counsel of the prophets? (See Amos 8:11–13. AMOS 8:11-13 Amos prophesies the downfall of Israel—There will be a famine of hearing the word of the Lord 11 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. 13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. The sun going down at noon ( Amos 8:9–14 ). A man’s sun can be said to set at noon if he is taken by death during the prime of his life. A nation’s sun figuratively sets at noon when the country is destroyed in the midst of prosperity. But Amos’ dual prophecy is also a reminder that before the Second Coming of the Lord, the sun will be darkened and refuse to give her light. Indeed, it will be a sign for the wicked of the latter days that their sun is about to set at noon. (See Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 10:1:317.) Spiritual famine, or apostasy, would result.) What are the results for us personally if we reject the counsel of the prophets? Amos’s prophecy of a spiritual famine was fulfilled among the children of Israel after the time of Malachi, the last Old Testament prophet. This period ended approximately 400 years later when John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. Amos’s prophecy also applies to the Great Apostasy, the centuries of spiritual darkness that followed the death of the Savior’s Apostles and ended with the restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. • In what ways can the absence of the word of the Lord be compared to a famine? What evidence do you see that people today are wandering “from sea to sea” seeking for the word of the Lord? How can having the blessings of the restored gospel be compared to a feast?
(5) the smitten sanctuary ( Amos 9:1–6 ). Each has a symbolic meaning that clearly shows that the Lord intended to bring the kingdom of Israel to an end if His people did not repent. The meaning of each vision will be considered individually. The smitten sanctuary ( Amos 9:1–6 ). From His dwelling place, the Lord will smite the wicked. There is none to escape, hide where they may. Only the Second Coming of the Lord fulfills such a description, for when the Lord comes in His glory, the rewards of justice will be met. No mountain is high enough, no sea so deep that the unrepentant sinner can hide from the judgments of a just God. AMOS 9:1-6 Israel shall be sifted among all nations—In the last days, they will be gathered again into their own land, and it shall become productive. 1 I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered. 2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: 3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: 4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. 5 And the Lord God of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 6 It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name. What message of hope concludes the book of Amos? (See Amos 9:8–15. 8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. 9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. 11 ¶ In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. 13 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. The children of Israel would not be completely destroyed, they would be scattered among all the nations, and in the last days they would be reestablished as a great and prosperous people. Note that at the end of verse 9, the Lord makes clear that he is concerned about each member of the house of Israel.)
3. Joel prophesies that God will bless his people in the latter days and pour out his Spirit upon them. Joel 2; 3:16–17. The prophet Joel described some of the events of the latter days that would precede the Second Coming. He described the march of a great army that would cause great destruction because of the wickedness of the people (Joel 2:1–11). He called on Israel to repent and turn to the Lord, promised that God would be in their midst, and described the eventual triumph and redemption of Israel (Joel 2:12–32). JOEL 2:12-32 War and desolation precede the Second Coming—The sun and the moon shall be darkened—The Lord will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh—There will be dreams and visions. 12 ¶ Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knowethif he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? 15 ¶ Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? 18 ¶ Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19 Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: 20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. 21 ¶ Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. 22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 ¶ And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. • Write Joel 2:12–32 and Joel 3:16–17 on the chalkboard. : JOEL 3:16-17 All nations shall be at war—Multitudes stand in the valley of decision as the Second Coming draws near—The Lord will dwell in Zion. 16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. What invitations has the Lord given to those living in the latter days? Invitationsa. “Turn ye even to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). b. “Rend your heart” (Joel 2:13, meaning to break your heart or be humble). c. “Turn unto the Lord your God” (Joel 2:13). d. “Sanctify the congregation” (Joel 2:16). e. “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice” (Joel 2:21). • What do these invitations suggest about the importance of turning to the Lord with all our hearts? What can we do to sanctify ourselves so we are worthy of the Lord’s promised blessings?
• Ask class members to review Joel 2:12–32 and Joel 3:16–17 again, looking for answers to the following question: What blessings has the Lord promised to those who follow him in the latter days? Blessingsa. “He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and he will turn away the evil from you” (Joseph Smith Translation, Joel 2:13; see footnote 13b). b. The Lord will “pity his people” (Joel 2:18). c. The Lord will drive the northern army (described in verses 1–11) into a barren place (Joel 2:20). d. “Ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied” (Joel 2:26). e. “I am in the midst of Israel, … and my people shall never be ashamed” (Joel 2:27). f. “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28; see also verse 29). g. Young and old will prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions (Joel 2:28). h. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32). i. “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem” (Joel 3:16). j. “The Lord will be the hope of his people” (Joel 3:16). k. “The Lord will be the … strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:16). l. “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion” (Joel 3:17). • What do these blessings teach about the Lord’s commitment to his covenant people? about his power in behalf of his Saints? about his mercy and love? about our opportunities in the last days?• Joel’s declaration that the Lord would pour out his Spirit on all people in the latter days (Joel 2:28–29) is a stark contrast to the famine that Amos described (Amos 8:11–12). The angel Moroni quoted Joel’s prophecy to Joseph Smith and told him that it was not yet fulfilled but was soon to be (Joseph Smith—History 1:41). What examples have you seen of this outpouring in the lives of youth and adults today?
“I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28) • All the modern inventions of travel and communication have come since the gospel was restored. How do these developments help fulfill Joel’s prophecy in Joel 2:28–29? How do these developments help further the work of the Lord in our day? Pres.Joseph Fielding Smith explained the great benefit of these inventions in performing the work of the Lord: “I maintain that had there been no restoration of the gospel, and no organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there would have been no radio; there would have been no airplane, and there would not have been the wonderful discoveries in medicine, chemistry, electricity, and the many other things wherein the world has been benefited by such discoveries. Under such conditions these blessings would have been withheld, for they belong to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times of which the restoration of the gospel and the organization of the Church constitute the central point, from which radiates the Spirit of the Lord throughout the world. The inspiration of the Lord has gone out and takes hold of the minds of men, though they know it not, and they are directed by the Lord. In this manner He brings them into His service that His purposes and His righteousness, in due time, may be supreme on the earth. “… I do not believe for one moment that these discoveries have come by chance, or that they have come because of superior intelligence possessed by men today over those who lived in ages that are past. They have come and are coming because the time is ripe, because the Lord has willed it, and because He has poured out his Spirit on all flesh” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1926, 117).
Conclusion It is a great blessing to live in the latter days, when many prophecies are being fulfilled and when we have the guidance of a living prophet. Prayerfully study the words of the living prophet and apply his counsel in our lives.
We Ever Pray For Thee, Our Prophet, Dear
35 Old Testament - God Reveals His Secrets To His Prophets
God Reveals His Secrets to His Prophets <br />Amos 3; 7–9; Joel 2–3 <br />“Lesson 35: God Reveals His Secrets to His Prophets,” Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, pg 170<br />
If someone asked you<br /> what the living prophet has recently said, would you be able to answer the question?<br />
Sister Janette Hales Beckham shared the <br />following story: <br />“When I was a young wife and mother, my husband spent two years in the air force. We lived in military housing on Long Island, New York. While tending our young children, I often visited with neighbors who had come from all over the country. One day as a neighbor and I were talking about our beliefs, she became curious about what was different about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. <br />“I told her briefly about the Restoration, and I explained that the restored Church of Jesus Christ has a living prophet today. This really seemed to pique her interest, and she wanted to know what the prophet had said. As I started to tell her about the Doctrine and Covenants and modern revelation, she said, ‘But what has he said lately?’ I told her about general conference and that the Church had a monthly publication with a message from the prophet. Then she got really interested. I was so embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t read the current message. She concluded our conversation by saying, <br />‘You mean you have a living prophet<br />and you don’t know what he said?’ ” <br />(Janette Hales Beckham, “Sustaining the Living Prophets,” Ensign, May 1996, 84). <br />
“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,<br /> and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old” <br />
“Turn ye even to me with all your heart ; Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice”<br />
“I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” <br />
Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith explained the great benefit of inventions in performing the work of the Lord:<br /> “I maintain that had there been no restoration of the gospel, and no organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there would have been no radio; there would have been no airplane, and there would not have been the wonderful discoveries in medicine, chemistry, electricity, and the many other things wherein the world has been benefited by such discoveries. <br /> Under such conditions these blessings would have been withheld, for they belong to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times of which the restoration of the gospel and the <br />organization of the Church constitute the central point, from which radiates the Spirit of the Lord throughout the world. The inspiration of the Lord has gone out and takes hold of the minds of men, though they know it not, and they are directed by the Lord. In this manner He brings them into His service that His purposes and His righteousness, in due time, may be supreme on the earth. <br /> “… I do not believe for one moment that these discoveries have come by chance, or that they have come because of superior intelligence possessed by men today over those who lived in ages that are past. They have come and are coming because the time is ripe, because the Lord has willed it, and because He has poured out His Spirit on all flesh” <br />(in Conference Report, Oct. 1926, 117). <br />
Prayerfully study the words of the Living Prophet <br />and apply his Counsel in our lives.<br />