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Lesson 13:   Bondage, Passover, Exodus   (See L13 Class Member Study Guide)


To encourage us to (1) trust the Lord to fulfill his promises, (2) increase our appreciation for the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, and (3) make the sacrament more meaningful in our lives.

1. The Lord calls Moses to deliver Israel from bondage.

• Summarize Exodus 1 and 2, then read and discuss Exodus 3.

• Exodus 3:1-4

• Exodus 3:5-10 What can we learn from the Lord from his calling of Moses?

 Imagine yourself in their place. You’ve been taught that you are one of God’s covenant people and that Abraham’s promises will be fulfilled. Yet, you are an oppressed slave.  †1. George Q. Cannon

What can we learn from this story that can help us in adversity? (See D&C 90:24; D&C 98:3; Mosiah 24:14-15.)

Exodus 3:11; Exodus 4:1, and 10 How did Moses respond to God’s call?

Why might some feelings of inadequacy be good?

How has the Lord helped you in callings for which you felt inadequate?†2. President James E. Faust

Hebrews 11:24-26 What did Moses sacrifice by accepting the call to lead his people?

Why is it important that we be willing to sacrifice for the Lord?

2. The Lord sends plagues upon Egypt.

• Read and discuss Exodus 5-6.

• Exodus 5:1-9 How did Pharaoh respond the first time Moses asked him to let the children of Israel go?

• Exodus 5:15-21 How did the children of Israel respond to this trial?†3. Nancy Jensen

• Exodus 5:22-23 How did Moses respond to it? What can we learn from this account?

• Exodus 6:4-8 How did the Lord respond to Moses’ questions?

• Exodus 6:9 How did the children of Israel respond when Moses reminded them of these promises?

Why do some of us stop listening to the prophets and believing God’s promises during times of trial?

How can we maintain our faith in adversity?

• Exodus 6:10-12 How did Moses respond when the Lord told him to ask Pharaoh again?

How has the Lord helped you when you have felt doubt or fear?

• Review chapter highlights of Exodus 7-10.

3. The Lord instructs Moses in the preparation of the Passover.

• Read and discuss Exodus 11-13.

• Exodus 12:12-13, and 22-23 What was the purpose of the first Passover?

• Exodus 12:24-27, 42 Why did the Lord want Israel to keep the Passover in future years? (See Ex. 13:8-10.)

“In addition … The Passover also symbolized an important future event.” (See 1 Corinthians 5:7.)

How did the Passover symbolize the Atonement?†4. The Passover symbolizes the Atonement

“At the Last Supper, the Savior instituted the sacrament in place of the Passover (Matthew 26:19, 26-28).

What similarities are there between the Passover and the sacrament? (See Exodus 12:14; 13:9-10; D&C 20:75-79.)

†5. Elder Howard W. Hunter  †6. Elder Howard W. Hunter

How is the sacrament a covenant of safety for us?†7. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  †8. Bruce R. McConkie

• Exodus 12:26-27; 13:8, 14 Why teach their children the significance of the Passover?

How does this apply to us?

4. The children of Israel cross the Red Sea.

• Read and discuss Exodus 14.

• Exodus 14:5-9 What did the children of Israel do when they saw the advancing army? (See Exodus 14:10-12.)

• Exodus 14:13-14 What did Moses tell the children of Israel when their faith faltered?

How can we develop faith strong enough to sustain us when we are filled with fear?

• Exodus 14:21-31 How did the Lord save the children of Israel from the advancing Egyptian army?

How can this story help us in times of trial?†9. Ted L. Gibbons

Next Week: L14: “Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure unto Me”; See L14 Class Member Study Guide.

(You can download a free LDS Institute Manual at: Old Testament Manual: Religion 301 and 302.)

†1. Elder George Q. Cannon: “No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. He is an unchangeable being; the same yesterday, the same today, and He will be the same throughout the eternal ages to come. We have found that God. We have made Him our friend, by obeying His Gospel; and He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through [page 20] deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments” (Cited by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Come Unto Me,” Ensign, April 1998).

†2. President James E. Faust: “… story of a young piano student. His mother, wishing to encourage him, ‘bought tickets for a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. The night of the concert arrived and the mother and son found their seats near the front of the concert hall. While the mother visited with friends, the boy slipped quietly away.

 “ ‘Suddenly, it was time for the performance to begin and a single spotlight cut through the darkness of the concert hall to illuminate the grand piano on stage. Only then did the audience notice the little boy on the bench, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

 “ ‘His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.

 “ ‘In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, “Don’s quit. Keep playing.” And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, “Keep Playing.”’ ” (“What It Means to Be a Daughter of God,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 101. Possible origin of this story by Brian Sibley and Paderewski Variations.)

†3. Nancy Jensen: “Dealing With the Devil”

 “Pharaoh exemplifies Satan and his followers in this story. He hardens his heart. He thinks only of himself and his pride and his glory. He is not loyal to his own people. He makes ridiculously impossible assignments and is angry when they are not accomplished. He does not offer aid. He shows no mercy. He does not keep promises. He is powerful, but not nearly as God, yet he seems to keep forgetting that.” (Old Testament Lesson #13 at LDS Gospel Doctrine Plus)

†4. The Passover symbolizes the Atonement

 a. The children of Israel were to use a firstborn male lamb without blemish in the Passover (Exodus 12:5). The Savior is the firstborn Son of God, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19).

 b. The children of Israel were to sprinkle the blood of the lamb on their doorposts to save their firstborn from death (Exodus 12:7, 22–23). The Savior’s blood, which he shed in Gethsemane and on the cross, cleanses the faithful and saves them from spiritual death (Mosiah 4:2).

 c. The children of Israel were to eat unleavened bread (Exodus 12:8, 15–20). “Leaven, or yeast, was seen anciently as a symbol of corruption because it so easily spoiled and turned moldy. … For the Israelites, eating the unleavened bread symbolized that they were partaking of the bread which had no corruption or impurity, namely, the Bread of Life, who is Jesus Christ (see John 6:35)” (Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel [1981], 119). The removal of leaven also suggested repentance, or the removal of sin from a person’s life.

 d. The children of Israel were to eat the Passover meal in haste (Exodus 12:11). Like the Israelites, we need to respond eagerly and immediately to the deliverance that the Savior offers us. (Lesson Manual)

Recommended Reading:

 1. Elder Howard W. Hunter, “His Final Hours,” Ensign, May 1974, 18.

 2. Elder Howard W. Hunter, “Christ, Our Passover,” Ensign, May 1985, 19.

 3. Acts 7:18-41 (esp. 22-25); and Hebrews 11:24-29.

†5. Elder Howard W. Hunter: “The bread and wine, rather than the animals and herbs, would become emblems of the great Lamb’s body and blood, emblems to be eaten and drunk reverently and in remembrance of him forever.

 “In this simple but impressive manner the Savior instituted the ordinance now known as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. With the suffering of Gethsemane, the sacrifice of Calvary, and the resurrection from a garden tomb, Jesus fulfilled the ancient law and ushered in a new dispensation based on a higher, holier understanding of the law of sacrifice. No more would men be required to offer the firstborn lamb from their flock, because the Firstborn of God had come to offer himself as an ‘infinite and eternal sacrifice’” (”Christ, Our Passover,” Ensign, May 1985, 19).

†6. Elder Howard R. Hunter: “As the hour of sacrifice approached, Jesus retreated with his twelve apostles to the peace and privacy of an upper chamber. There the Master sought to fortify his special witnesses against the snares of the evil one by laying aside his outer garment, girding himself with a towel, and washing the apostles’ feet.

 “This magnificent gesture of love and unity was a fitting prelude to the paschal meal that followed. From the time the firstborn of the faithful children of Israel had been ‘passed over’ in the destruction brought on Egypt by Pharaoh’s intransigence, the Passover meal, with all its symbolic emblems and gestures, had been faithfully observed by Israel’s families. How fitting it was during the observance of this ancient covenant of protection that Jesus should institute the emblems of the new covenant of safety—the emblems of his own body and blood. As he took the bread and broke it, and took the cup and blessed it, he was presenting himself as the Lamb of God who would provide spiritual nourishment and eternal salvation.” (“His Final Hours,” Ensign, May 1974, 18.)

†7. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Do we see [the sacrament] as our passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?

 “With so very much at stake, this ordinance commemorating our escape from the angel of darkness should be taken more seriously than it sometimes is. It should be a powerful, reverent, reflective moment. It should encourage spiritual feelings and impressions” (“This Do In Remembrance of Me,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 68).

†8 Bruce R. McConkie: “The Passover is a type of deliverance from the slavery of sin: from the bondage of the world; from the Pharaohs of greed and power and lust. It is passing over of the angel of the spiritual death so that the darkness of unbelief is replaced by the light of the gospel. It is a deliverance from the doom we deserve for our sins; from the spiritual death that awaits the wicked; from the outer darkness of Egypt and Sodom and Sheol—because the blood of Christ has been applied to us by faith. By sprinkling our Lord’s blood upon the doorposts of our hearts and upon the lintels of our souls, we set our dwellings apart from the world: we make open and visible confession of our allegiance to Him whose blood has eternal saving power; we set ourselves apart from the Egyptians, the Sodomites, and the seekers after Sheol; and we place ourselves with the believing portion of mankind. As each family group ate their paschal lamb and drank of the cup of blessing so must we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Lord Jesus. As the Passover was useless unless eaten, so must we live godly lives in Christ, and openly certify our love for him by keeping his commandments. As it was eaten with bitter herbs so must we eat our Passover with the bitter herbs of confession and repentance. (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, vol. 1, p. 165)

†9. Ted L. Gibbons: “It is not as though these people had never experienced the power of God. What nation since the days of Enoch had ever seen the might of God displayed like these people saw it during the plagues?

 “Moses tried to reassure them. ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord … (Exodus 14: 13-14)

 “The Lord said to Moses: ‘Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward ... (Exodus 14:15).

 “Forward? The Red Sea is forward ... But the Lord has said, “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6). going toward the sea is such an act of faith." (OT Lesson #13)

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