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Lesson 41:   “I Have Made Thee This Day ... an Iron Pillar”   (See L41 Class Member Study Guide)


To encourage us to remain faithful in times of opposition and adversity.

†1. Background for Jeremiah  †2. Jeremiah: A Type of Christ

Read Jeremiah 1:17-19. “Speak unto them … behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar”.

Read Jeremiah 20:7-9. “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones”.

What is the Lord’s role in Jeremiah’s strength? How might He strengthen us as well?

1. Jeremiah is called of God to be a prophet.

Read Jeremiah 1:4-10. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee … and I ordained thee a prophet”.

What does Jeremiah’s call teach us about the doctrine of foreordination?

How do you think it might have helped Jeremiah to know that he had been foreordained?

†3. Joseph Smith

How did the Lord respond when Jeremiah expressed inadequacy to fulfill his calling?

Have you ever had a calling when you felt inadequate, but felt a spiritual reassurance?

2. Many people oppose Jeremiah and try to prevent him from fulfilling his mission.

Jeremiah 20:1-6. Pashur smote Jeremiah and put him in the stocks. Then Jeremiah prophesied about Pashur.

Jeremiah 26:7-15. The “priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.”

Jeremiah 12:6. Even his neighbors and relatives “called a multitude” after him.

Jeremiah 36:1-6, 20-32.

 “2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel … 5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch [his scribe] … 6 Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord’s house … 22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse … 23 [and] when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he [the king] cast it into the fire … until all the roll was consumed … 27 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, … saying, 28 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the King of Judah hath burned.”

Jeremiah 37:12-15; Jeremiah 38:4-13.

 “13 … Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans… 14 … so Irijah … brought him to the princes. 15 … [who] smote him, and put him in prison.”

 “6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon … And in the dungeon there was … but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.”

Jeremiah 20:14-18. “Cursed be the day wherein I was born …”.

What can we learn from Jeremiah to help us when we experience adversity?

Jeremiah 2:11-13. “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters”.

How do we create “broken cisterns, that can hold no water”?†4. Elder Marion D. Hanks

†5. Jeremiah and the fall of Jerusalem

3. Jeremiah is strengthened in adversity by his love for the word of God.

Jeremiah 1:9. “… And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.”

Jeremiah 15:16. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me … joy and rejoicing”.

How can we “eat” the words of the Lord as Jeremiah did?

2 Nephi 32:3. “… Wherefore … feast upon the words of Christ”.

How can feasting on the words of the Lord strengthen us?

Jeremiah 20:9. “… But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, … and I could not stay.”

Next Week: L42: “I Will Write It in Their Hearts”; See L42 Class Member Study Guide.

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

†1. Background for Jeremiah: : “Jeremiah wrote two books, this and Lamentations (which contains his lamenting over the destruction of Jerusalem). The book of Jeremiah contains both events in his life regarding Jerusalem, as well as his prophecies. He began his calling in the days of King Josiah, who was considered a righteous king. Jeremiah was probably a key counselor for Josiah. Josiah reigned for over 30 years (640-609 BC), during which he refurbished the temple, observed the Passover, and destroyed idolatry out of the land (much of which was implemented by his own grandfather, Manasseh). Josiah was killed in battle when he went out against the Egyptian army that was going north to fight against the Babylonians.

 “Sadly, Josiah’s four sons were not as righteous as he was. In a short time, Josiah was succeeded by Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah (Jehoiakim’s son), and finally Zedekiah. Jehoahaz was king for three months, then deposed by the Egyptian king Necho as he returned from Babylon and carried off into Egypt. Necho placed Jehoiakim on the throne, and Jerusalem was their tributary. Jehoiakim reigned for 11 years and died. His son, Jeconiah replaced him, but only reigned for three months. The Babylonians’ first siege of Jerusalem led to his being deposed, carried off to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar replaced Jeconiah with Zedekiah, his uncle. Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began his reign as a tributary nation under Babylon. Though Jeremiah began as his counselor, Zedekiah and the elders/leaders of the city-state chose a life of wickedness and rejected Jeremiah and the other prophets. (“I Have Made Thee … an Iron Pillar,” Joel’s Monastery, October 26, 2010.)

†2. Jeremiah: A Type of Christ: “But the whole of Jeremiah’s life was a role-play of Christ’s future suffering …

 “2. Jeremiah was sent to the temple to call it ‘a den of thieves,’ soon to be destroyed by the Lord (Jer. 7:1-2, 10-12). Jesus did the same, quoting Jeremiah (Luke 19:45-46).

 “3. As a result of this and other warnings, Jeremiah was smitten, like Jesus (Jer. 20:1-6; John 19:1; Matt. 26:68; Luke 22:62-65).

 “4. Nevertheless, Jeremiah continued teaching and making severe warnings in the court of the temple, as Jesus would later do. Both were imprisoned as a result.

 “5. Jeremiah was cast into a dungeon and mire. Not only was Jesus kept in a dungeon under the high priest’s house as believed by many, but he took upon himself the filth of men’s sins, suffered death and descended into Hell.

 “6. Jeremiah was lifted out again; Jesus was resurrected. (Lenet H. Read, “I Have Made Thee … an Iron Pillar.”)

†3. Joseph Smith: “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was” (History of the Church, 6:364).

†4. Elder Marion D. Hanks: “Material objectives consume too much of our attention. The struggle for what we need or for more than we need exhausts our time and energy. We pursue pleasure or entertainment, or become overinvolved in associations or civic matters. Of course, people need recreation, need to be achieving, need to contribute; but if these come at the cost of friendship with Christ, the price is much too high.

 “‘For my people have committed two evils,’ said the Lord to Israel: ‘they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.’ (Jer. 2:13.)

 “The substitutions we fashion to take the place of God in our lives truly hold no water. To the measure we thus refuse the ‘living water,’ we miss the joy we could have“ (“Joy through Christ,” Ensign, July 1972, 105).

†5. “Jeremiah’s prophecies that the Babylonians would destroy Jerusalem were fulfilled, as recorded in Jeremiah 39–40. Jeremiah had been in prison during the siege, but afterward the Babylonians freed him and allowed him and a remnant of the Jews to remain in the land of Judah. Johanan, the leader of those who remained, asked Jeremiah to seek the Lord’s will for them and promised to obey it (Jeremiah 42:1–6). Through Jeremiah the Lord told the people to stay in the land of Judah and promised to bless them if they would do so (Jeremiah 42:9–22). But Johanan led the people into Egypt, where most of them continued in their wickedness (Jeremiah 43–44).” (Lesson Manual)

Recommended Reading:

 1. Lenet H. Read, “How Beautiful Upon the Mountains.”

 2. Lenet H. Read, “I Have Made Thee … an Iron Pillar.”

 3. William J. Adams, Jr., “Jeremiah, Prophecies of,” BYU Studies; accessed 11/13/14.

 4. Nancy Jensen, “I Have Made … an Iron Pillar,” LDS Gospel Doctrine Plus, October 28, 2010.

 5. Gerald Smith, “I Have Made Thee … an Iron Pillar,” Joel’s Monastery, October 26, 2010.

 Elder Quentin L. Cook, “Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage,” Ensign, November 2013.

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