To encourage us to fulfill our responsibilities as latter-day Israel to love all the people of the world and share the blessings of the gospel with them.
• Jonah 1:1-3. “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord”.
• Nahum 3:1-7. “And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall … say, Nineveh is laid waste”.
What does Nahum say about Nineveh’s need to repent?
In what ways do we sometimes try to escape from the presence of the Lord or from His callings?
What are some results of fleeing or avoiding the Lord and His callings? (See Jonah 1:4-17)
• Jonah 2:1-10. “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly.”
How do you think Jonah changed as he prayed in the fish’s belly? (See Jonah 1:7-9)
How does the Lord help us repent and show His tender mercies?
• Matthew 12:39-41. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of Man …”
†2. Missionary Work
• Read and discuss Jonah 3-4.
• Jonah 3:1-4. The “word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time … So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh”.
• Jonah 3:5-10. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth …”
• Jonah 4:1-3. “[A]nd he was very angry … And he prayed … I fled … for I knew that thou art a gracious God”
• Jonah 4:4-11. “Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?”
What can Jonah’s experience teach us about loving other people?
“The prophet Micah called on the people of Israel to repent of their wickedness and return to the Lord. He prophesied of the destruction of Jacob (Israel) and Judah. He also prophesied that latter-day Israel (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) would accomplish the purposes of the Lord with great power.” (Lesson Manual)
• Micah 2:12-13. “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel”.
How are these promises being fulfilled today?
• Micah 4:1-7. “But in the last days ... the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established”.
What did Micah prophesy about the latter-day temple? (See verses 1-2.)
What did he prophesy about the Millennium? (See verses 3-7.)
• Micah 4:11-13. “Now also many nations are gathered against thee … thresh … and I will make thy hoofs brass”.
“In the ancient world, oxen were often used to thresh grain. They would walk over the grain, separating the chaff from the kernel. The chaff was blown away and the kernel saved. The nations that oppose Zion will be gathered as sheaves and then be threshed by Israel.” (Lesson Manual)
How might this separation of the chaff from the kernel be compared with our latter-day missionary work?
• Micah 5:2-4. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah”.
(Compare this prophecy to its fulfillment in Matthew 2:4-6.)
How can the image of dew or showers on the grass be compared to the effect of Church members?
What do you think Micah meant, saying these showers will not wait “for the sons of men”?
• Micah 5:8. “And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles … as a lion”.
“Just as a flock of sheep have no power to stop a young lion, no power on earth will be able to hinder the work of the Lord.” (Lesson Manual) †3. Joseph Smith †4. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf †5. Elder M. Russell Ballard
• Micah 6:6-8. “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams … shall I give my firstborn for my transgression …?”
How can these verses help us when we feel overwhelmed by all that is expected of us?
• Micah 7:18-20. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity … because he delighteth in mercy.”
What can we learn about the Lord from Micah and from Jonah? And how can we share this gospel?
Next Week: L34: “I Will Betroth Thee unto Me in Righteousness”; See L34 Class Member Study Guide.
(You can download a free LDS Institute Manual at: Old Testament Manual: Religion 301 and 302.)
†1. Introduction: “The prophet Jonah was an unusual servant of the Lord. Jonah was called on a mission very similar to that of other prophets: he was to cry repentance to a people ripening in iniquity. Unlike other prophets, however, Jonah responded by attempting to flee from his assignment. Had his reason been cowardice, though still wrong, it would have been understandable. The brutality of the Assyrians in the treatment of their enemies was well known (see Enrichment D). But Jonah’s problem does not seem to be cowardice. Rather, it seems to have been resentment against the Lord for giving the hated enemy a chance to repent (see Jonah 4:1-2.)
“To someone who has been taught to have Christian love for all men, Jonah’s attitude may seem almost unbelievable. But to an Israelite who had been taught that he was of the chosen people and that the Gentiles were corrupt and therefore not acceptable to God, Jonah’s attitude was more understandable. Though surprising because we expect a different response from the Lord’s prophets, Jonah’s response was very human. As you read Jonah’s story, see if you can understand what made him respond as he did.” (Old Testament Student Manual, 97.)
†2. Missionary Work: “Through his prophets, the Lord has repeatedly commanded every worthy, able young man to serve a full-time mission. He has also encouraged senior couples to serve as full-time missionaries if they are able…
Additional Teaching Ideas … 2. The Need for couple missionaries (Lesson Manual)
“In behalf of the brethren, this is a call for retired couples to seriously consider serving a mission. We desperately need more couples to help meet our needs… Less than 50 percent of the requests for couple missionaries from [our] mission presidents are being filled…
“The Brethren hope that many, many more couples will make themselves available for full-time service to the Church. The need is great! Hundreds of thousands of new members join the Church each year, and they need to hear a friendly voice of support and comfort from experienced members.” (“Couple Missionaries: ‘A Wonderful Resource,’” Ensign, Feb. 1996, 7, 12).
†3. Joseph Smith: “No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).
†4. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf “Even more, the Lord expects the members of His Church to ‘open [their mouths] at all times, declaring [His] gospel with the sound of rejoicing’.
“This is not always easy. Some would rather pull a handcart across the prairie than bring up the subject of faith and religion to their friends and co-workers. They worry about how they might be perceived or how it might harm their relationship. It doesn’t need to be that way because we have a glad message to share, and we have a message of joy.” (“Waiting on the Road to Damascus,“ Ensign, May 2011.)
†5. Elder M. Russell Ballard: “Brothers and sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or a contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those who you speak with will feel your love.“ (“Put Your Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 2013.)
1. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign, May 2011.
2. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “A Word for the Hesitant Missionary,” First Presidency Message, Ensign, February 2013.
3. Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Put Your Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 2013.
4. Ted L. Gibbons, “OT Lesson 33: Sharing the Gospel With the World,” no date given.
5. Lenet H. Read, “Sharing the Gospel with the World,” no date given. (Jonah, a type of Christ.)
6. David R. Scott, “The Book of Jonah: Foreshadowings of Jesus as the Christ,” BYU Studies, 53:3, no date given. Free PDF Download.
7. Nancy Jensen, “Old Testament Lesson #33: Sharing the Gospel With the World,” LDS Gospel Doctrine Plus, August 21, 2010.
8. Philip Allred, “Lesson 33 ‘Sharing the Gospel with the World’,” Meridian Magazine, August 19, 2014. (Great story of gospel’s empowering grace.)
9. Enrichment “(D-2) The Standardization of Terror,” Old Testament Student Manual, 113.