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Lesson 31:   “Happy Is the Man That Findeth Wisdom”   (See L31 Class Member Study Guide)

Purpose:

To inspire us to be more Christlike by applying the wise counsel in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

1. Wisdom

• Proverbs 1:7; 9:9-10; 2 Nephi 9:28-29.

• Proverbs 2:2-6. Why do you think it requires diligence to obtain this wisdom and knowledge?

• Proverbs 3:13-18; Ecclesiastes 7:12. How does wisdom bring happiness and peace?

• 1 Nephi 11:8-11, 21-25. What can the “tree of life symbol” teach us about the value of wisdom?

• Proverbs 9:9-10; 15:31-33. List the qualities of wise people. Why are these necessary to gain wisdom?

2. Trust in the Lord

• Read and discuss Proverbs 3:5–7. What experiences have taught you to trust the Lord?

• Proverbs 3:6; Alma 34:38; D&C 59:21. What does it mean to acknowledge God?

How are we blessed as we acknowledge him?

3. The words we speak

• Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things the Lord hates. Three are: lying, bearing false witness, and sewing discord.

Why is the Lord so concerned with the words we speak?

• Proverbs 16:27-28; 18:8; 25:18; Matt. 12:36-37.

How can we overcome the problems of lying, gossiping, or speaking negatively about others?

• Proverbs 16:24. Pleasant “words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul.”

What are some results of speaking kind words? How have the kind words of others helped you?

• Proverbs 16:24. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” †1. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley

“Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words,” Hymns, no. 232.

4. Pride

• Read and discuss Proverbs 8:13; 13:10; 16:18–19.  †2.President Ezra Taft Benson

• Proverbs 13:10 and 16:18. “Only by pride cometh contention”.  †3. President Ezra Taft Benson

• Proverbs 16:19. “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

How can we become more humble with others and with God?

5. Friendship

• Proverbs 13:20. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

• Proverbs 22:24-25. “Make no friendship with an angry man … Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare of thy soul.”

• Proverbs 17:17. “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

What are some characteristics of good friends? How have good friends helped you through difficult times?

How do we develop good friends and strengthen friendships within our family?†4. Elder Marvin J. Ashton

• D& C 88:62; John 15:14. “I say unto you, my friends … with this commandment … that ye shall call upon me”.

6. Raising children

• Proverbs 22:6. “Train up a child in the way he should go”. How shall we fulfill this counsel?

†5. Elder Richard G. Scott

• D&C 121:41-44. “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained … only by persuasion, by long-suffering …”

7. Happiness and good humor

• Read and discuss Proverbs 15:13 and Proverbs 17:22.

What are some reasons it is important to develop a happy attitude and a good sense of humor?

†6. President Hugh B. Brown

What are some things we can do to encourage good cheer and uplifting humor in our families?

What are some ways these or similar qualities have helped your family?

Next Week: L32: “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”; See L32 Class Member Study Guide.

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

†1. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley: “We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention” (“Except the Lord Build the House …,Ensign, June 1971, 72)

†2. President Ezra Taft Benson: “The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

 “Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done.’ As Paul said, they ‘seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s’ (Philippians 2:21).

 “Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled (see Alma 38:12; 3 Nephi 12:30).

 “The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives (see Helaman 12:6). They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge, their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works.

 “Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s...

 “Pride is a damning sin in the true sense of that word. It limits or stops progression (see Alma 12:10–11). The proud are not easily taught (see 1 Nephi 15:3, 7–11). They won’t change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong” (“Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4, 6).

†3. President Ezra Taft Benson: “Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride.

 “Contention in our families drives the Spirit of the Lord away. It also drives many of our family members away...

 “Pride adversely affects all our relationships—our relationship with God and His servants, between husband and wife, parent and child” (“Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 6).

†4. Elder Marvin J. Ashton: “No greater reward can come to any of us as we serve than a sincere ‘Thank you for being my friend.’ When those who need assistance find their way back through and with us, it is friendship in action. When the weak are made strong and the strong stronger through our lives, friendship is real. If a man can be judged by his friends, he can also be measured by their heights…

 “Yes, a friend is a person who is willing to take me the way I am but who is willing and able to leave me better than he found me” (“What is a Friend,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 41, 43).

†5. Elder Richard G. Scott: “You must be willing to forgo personal pleasure and self-interest for family-centered activity, and not turn over to church, school, or society the principal role of fostering a child’s well-rounded development. It takes time, great effort, and significant personal sacrifice to ‘train up a child in the way he should go.’ But where can you find greater rewards for a job well done?” (“The Power of Correct Principles,” Ensign, May 1993, 34).

†6. President Hugh B. Brown: “I would like to have you smile because after all we must keep a sense of humor whatever comes. I think of all the people in the world we should be the happiest. We have the greatest and most joyous message in the world. I think when we get on the other side, someone will meet us with a smile (unless we go to the wrong place and then someone will grin), so let us be happy. But let our happiness be genuine—let it come from within” (The Abundant Life [1965], 83).

Recommended Reading:

 1. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, “Except the Lord Build the House …,” Ensign, June 1971, 72.

 2. Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Power of Correct Principles,” Ensign, May 1993, 34.

 3. Lenet H. Read, “Happy is the Man That Findeth Wisdom,” no date given. Important note about pain.

 4. Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “No Time for Contention,” Ensign, May 1978.

Recommended Videos:

 1. Parachutes (Proverbs 3:5-6) (5:20).

 2. Pride Keeps Us from Choosing the Lord (0:45).

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