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Lesson 15:   “Look to God and Live”   (See L15 Class Member Study Guide)

Purpose:

To encourage us to overcome worldly desires and fears and look to the Savior and his prophets for guidance.

1. The Lord answers the Israelites' desire for meat by sending them quail and smiting them with plague.

• Read and discuss Numbers 11.

• Numbers 11:1-6, 10. “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord …and his anger was kindled”.

What are the dangers of coveting, envying, being ungrateful, and lusting for anything?

How does the Lord feel about this complaining and murmuring?

 “The Israelites became so lustful for meat that they lost their focus on the promised land and began to wish they had not left Egypt.” (Lesson Manuel)

What are some modern-day examples of people giving up great blessings to satisfy immediate desires?

• Numbers 11:18-20, 31-33. “And while the flesh was yet between their teeth … the wrath of the Lord was kindled”.

How did the Lord respond to their complaints?†1. Ted L. Gibbons  †2. Elder Neal A. Maxwell

• Numbers 11:13-15, 16-17, 24-29. How can we overcome such temptations?

2. The Lord chastens Miriam and Aaron for speaking against Moses.

• Read and discuss Numbers 12.

• Numbers 12:1-2, 5-10. What are the limits of our right to receive revelation?†3. Elder James E. Faust

How are we affected when we criticize Church leaders?

How can our criticism of Church leaders affect our family and friends?

• Numbers 12:3. “Moses was very meek, above all”  †4. President Gordon B. Hinckley

• Numbers 12:13-15. How does this example demonstrate humility in Moses?

How can we be meek, even when people criticize or turn against us?

How does it help us to respond to criticism with meekness?

3. Moses instructs 12 men to search the land of Canaan.

• Read and discuss Numbers 13-14.

• Numbers 13:17-20, 23-27. “And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan".

• Numbers 13:28-33. In what ways do you think Caleb and Joshua are different from the other ten men?

†5. President Gordon B. Hinckley  †6. President Gordon B. Hinckley

• Numbers 14:6-9. Why were Caleb and Joshua unafraid of the inhabitants of Canaan?

What are some ways we can follow the example and Joshua when we face difficult situations?

• Numbers 14:10. Why do you think the congregation responded this way to Caleb and Joshua’s words?

• Numbers 14:22-23, 26-35, 36-37. How does the Lord respond to all their rebellion?

• Numbers 14:24, 38. How did the Lord respond to Joshua and Caleb?

How does the way we respond to the Lord’s will, matter to Him and to us?

4. Moses makes a serpent of brass and tells the people that if they look at it, they will be healed.

• Read and discuss Numbers 21:1-9.

 “Although the Lord helped the Israelites defeat the attacking Canaanites, the Israelites continued to murmur.” (LM)

How did the serpent of brass symbolize Christ? (Read John 3:14-16; Helaman 8:15.)

1 Nephi 17:41; Alma 33:18-20†7. Elder Carlos E. Asay

What does it mean to look to Christ?

How do many people today make the same error as the Israelites who would not look at the brass serpent?

Next Week: L16: “I Cannot Go Beyond the Word of the Lord”; See L16 Class Member Study Guide.

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

†1. Ted L. Gibbons:I know I made life miserable for my parents on a couple of occasions when they took me to visit distant relatives and I did not want to go. My constant complaining and incessant review of the things I was missing at home must have filled them with indignation. The Lord seems to have had some of those same feelings about the children of Israel during their backward-looking journey to the Promised Land.

 ...

 “What happened to Israel physically can happen to us spiritually. When we insist on our own way, our own destinations, our own will, we may find ourselves left behind in places we do not want to be.” (Ted L. Gibbons, OT Lesson 15)

†2. Elder Neal A. Maxwell:Muttering and murmuring are often the expressions of our conscience gone grumpy; it is precisely because we know we need to respond affirmatively (and have some inkling about what’s coming) that we let off steam—we start puffing in advance of the climb. These are reactions genuinely to be avoided, since they can precede the keeping of a commandment or the fulfilling of a task with a slothful heart, which is more serious. Mostly, to avoid muttering, we need to trust more. So many of the things muttered about before turn out to be marvelous experiences later, and we are inwardly, and deservedly, ashamed for having grumbled.” (Deposition of a Disciple, 31)

†3. Elder James E. Faust: “The prophets, seers, and revelators have had and still have the responsibility and privilege of receiving and declaring the word of God for the world. Individual members, parents, and leaders have the right to receive revelation for their own responsibility but have no duty nor right to declare the word of God beyond the limits of their own responsibility” (“Continuous Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 8).

†4. President Gordon B. Hinckley:Meekness implies a spirit of gratitude as opposed to an attitude of self-sufficiency, an acknowledgment of a greater power beyond oneself, a recognition of God, and an acceptance of his commandments” (“With All Thy Getting Get Understanding,” Ensign, Aug. 1988, 3–4).

†5. President Gordon B. Hinckley:Ten of the spies were victims of their own doubts and fears. They gave a negative report of the numbers and stature of the Canaanites. … They compared themselves as grasshoppers to the giants they had seen in the land. …

 “We see some around us who are indifferent concerning the future of this work, who are apathetic, who speak of limitations, who express fears, who spend their time digging out and writing about what they regard to be weaknesses which really are of no consequence. With doubt concerning its past, they have no vision concerning its future” (“Stay the Course—Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 71).

†6. President Gordon B. Hinckley:There is no place in this work for those who believe only in the gospel of doom and gloom. The gospel is good news. It is a message of triumph. It is a cause to be embraced with enthusiasm.

 “The Lord never said that there would not be troubles. Our people have known afflictions of every sort as those who have opposed this work have come upon them. But faith has shown through all their sorrows. This work has consistently moved forward and has never taken a backward step since its inception. …

 “This is an age of pessimism. Ours is a mission of faith. To my brethren and sisters everywhere, I call upon you to reaffirm your faith, to move this work forward across the world. You can make it stronger by the manner in which you live” (“Stay the Course—Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 71–72).

†7. Elder Carlos E. Asay: “We, like Israel of old, must rivet our eyes and minds upon … Christ if we hope to gain eternal life. … Our looks must not be allowed to wander across the way or to become fixed upon the perishable things of the world. The eye … must be trained to look upward. We must look to God and live!” (“Look to God and Live,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 54).

Recommended Reading:

 1. Jennifer C. Lane, “The Whole Meaning of the Law: Christ’s Vicarious Sacrifice,” Religious Studies Center, 2014 BYU Church History Symposium.

 2. Nancy Jensen, Old Testament Lesson #15, LDS Gospel Doctrine Plus.

 3. Kerry Muhlestein, “Keys to Making the Old Testament a Powerful Force in your life,” Meridian Magazine.

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