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Lesson 35:   God Reveals His Secrets to His Prophets   (See L35 Class Member Study Guide)

Purpose:

To help us learn that in the latter days, the Lord reveals his secrets to his prophets and pours out his Spirit on all people.

†1. Janet Hales Beckham

What are some ways we can better receive General Conference messages for the next six months?


1. Amos teaches that the Lord reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets.

†2. Background of Amos

• Teach and discuss Amos 3:6–7.

 In “verse 6 the word known is used instead of done, and in verse 7 the word until is used instead of but… the Joseph Smith Translation itself is an example of the Lord’s secrets being made known to a prophet for our benefit.” (LM)

How do these changes clarify the meaning of the passage?

D&C 1:37-38 and D&C 21:4-6.

How have you seen this promise fulfilled in your own life as you have obeyed the counsel of the prophets?

2. Amos prophesies of ancient and latter-day Israel.

• Teach and discuss Amos 7:10–17; Amos 8:11–13 and Amos 9:8–15.

• Amos 7:10-17. “Amaziah the priest” told Israelite King Jeroboam, “the land is not able to bear all his words.”

In all ages of time, why have so many people rejected or ignored prophets’ messages?


• Amos 8:11-13. “Behold, the days come ... that I will send a famine in the land … of hearing the words of the Lord”.

What are the results for us personally if we reject the counsel of the prophets?†3. Spiritual Famine

In what ways can the absence of the word of the Lord be compared to a famine?

How can having the blessings of the restored gospel be compared to a feast?


• Amos 9:8-15. 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.”

 “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.” (Lesson Manual)

3. Joel prophesies that God will bless his people in the latter days and pour out his Spirit upon them.

• Teach and discuss Joel 2 and 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, and promised that God would be in their midst, and described the eventual triumph and redemption of Israel (Joel 2:12-32).” (Lesson Manual)


• Joel 2: 12-21.  †4. Invitations of the Lord

What do you think each one of these invitations might mean for us?

What are some things you think we might do in turning to the Lord with all our heart?

How do we become sanctified?


• Joel 2:12-32 and 3:16-17.  †5. Blessings for Those Who Follow the Lord in the Latter Days

What are your feelings about the Lord as you ponder these promises?


• Joel 2:28-29. Afterward “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy”.

 These verses stand in “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).” (Lesson Manual)

What examples have you seen of this outpouring in the lives of youth and adults today?

Next Week: L36: The Glory of Zion Will Be a Defense; See L36 Class Member Study Guide.

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

†1. Introduction: “… 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... 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).

†2. Background of Amos: “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.

 “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). (Lesson Manual)

†3. Spiritual Famine: “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.” (Lesson Manual)


†4. Invitations of the Lord:

 a. “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).

†5. Blessings for Those Who Follow the Lord:

 a. “He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and he will turn away the evil from you” (JST, 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).

Recommended Reading:

 1. Janette Hales Beckham, “Sustaining the Living Prophets,“ Ensign, May 1996, 84.

 2. Lenet H. Read, “God Reveals His Secrets unto His Prophets,“ accessed 9/27/14. Stories of miracles.

 3. Hugh Nibley, “Scriptural Perspectives on How to Survive the Calamities of the Last Days,“ BYU Studies, accessed 9/27/14. Wait about a minute for text to appear.

 4. Elizabeth Maki, “The Lord Provided a Way,“ Ensign, June 2014. Details of story in Lenet H. Read.

 5. Nancy Jensen, “God Reveals His Secrets to His Prophets,“ accessed 9/27/14. Has links to great sites.

 6. Gerald Smith, “God Reveals His Secrets to His Prophets,“ Joel’s Monastery, Sep. 14, 2010. Great quote about debt by Pres. Hinckley.

Recommended Videos:

 1. God Reveals His Secrets (5:36).

 2. We Need Living Prophets (2:44).

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