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Lesson 45:   “If I Perish, I Perish”   (See L45 Class Member Study Guide)

Purpose:

To help us have the courage to live the gospel standards in all circumstances.

1. Daniel and his friends refuse King Nebuchadnezzar’s food; they are blessed with health and wisdom.

Daniel 1:1-15, 17, 20. “In the third year of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebachadnezzar king of Babylon”.

How are the blessings they received similar to the blessings in the Word of Wisdom? (See D&C 89:18-20.)

†1. Elder Boyd K. Packer

What can we learn about how to respond when we feel pressure to do something we should not do?

What situations today require courage for us to obey the Lord’s commandments?

How can we develop the courage needed to obey in tough situations?

2. The Lord saves Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from death in the fiery furnace.

Daniel 3

• Daniel 3:1-6. A “herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded … fall down and worship the golden image … (v6) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace”.

• Daniel 3:8-12. “Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.”

• Daniel 3:13-15. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage told them “if ye worship not [the golden image], ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”

• Daniel 3:16-18. They said, “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods”.

• Daniel 3:19-20. “Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury …”  †2. Elder Neal A. Maxwell

What can we learn from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?

• Daniel 3:21-27. The king saw “four men … walking in the midst of the fire … the fourth is like the Son of God.”

• Daniel 3:28-30. “Nebuchadnezzar … said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego”.

How do our actions affect our neighbors’ attitudes toward the Church?

3. Daniel prays in spite of the king’s decree and is thrown into a den of lions.

Daniel 6†3. Darius

• Daniel 6:1-5. “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him”.

• Daniel 6:6-9. “decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God … he shall be cast into the den of lions.”

• Daniel 6:10. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and … gave thanks”.

What can we learn from Daniel about the importance of prayer?

• Daniel 6:11-15. “Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.”

• Daniel 6:16-18. The king said to Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.”

• Daniel 6:19-23. “Then the King arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.”

†4. Elder L. Tom Perry  How might we grow in righteous influence in our own families and communities?

4. Esther risks her life to save her people.

Esther 3-5 and Esther 7-8†5. Esther's Background

• Esther 3:1-4. King Ahasuerus promoted “Haman … and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes”.

• Esther 3:5-14. When “Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, … then was Haman full of wrath.”

• Esther 4:1-9. “And in every province, … there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting”.

• Esther 4:10-11. Esther: Whoever “shall come unto the king … not called, [there is a law] to put him to death”.

• Esther 4:13-14. Mordecai: Who “knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

• Esther 4:15-16. Esther: Gather “together all the Jews that are present in Sushan, and fast ye for me, … three days … I also and my maidens will fast … and if I perish, I perish.” (Compare Daniel 3:16-18.)  †6. Esther's Plan

• Esther 7:3-4. On the second day of the banquet Esther said, “let my life be given me at my petition, and my people”.

• Esther 7:5-10. “So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.”

• Esther 8:16-17. “The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.”

What challenges do we face today that require courage and faith and inspiration like Esther’s?

†7. “Speaking Up for Morality”

Next Week: L46: “A Kingdom, Which Shall Never Be Destroyed”; See L46 Class Member Study Guide.

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

†1. Elder Boyd K. Packer “I have come to know … that a fundamental purpose of the Word of Wisdom has to do with Revelation.

 “From the time you are very little we teach you to avoid tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco, narcotics, and anything else that disturbs your health.

 “…

 “If someone ‘under the influence’ can hardly listen to plain talk, how can they respond to spiritual promptings that touch their most delicate feelings?

 “As valuable as the Word of Wisdom is as a law of health, it may be much more valuable to you spiritually than it is physically.” (“Prayers and Answers,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 20.)

†2. Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “We will [not] always be rescued from proximate problems, but we will be rescued from everlasting death! Meanwhile, ultimate hope makes it possible to say the same three words used centuries ago by three valiant men. They knew God could rescue them from the fiery furnace if He chose. ‘But if not,’ they said, nevertheless, they would still serve Him!” (“Brightness of Hope,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 35).

†3. Darius “King Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son Belshazzar. When Belshazzar was slain, ‘Darius the Median took the kingdom’ (Daniel 5:31), and Daniel rose to a position of great prominence. (Note: Darius the Mede is not the same King Darius who ruled the Persian Empire after Cyrus and to whom the Jews appealed while rebuilding the temple. See Ezra 4-6; lesson 47; and Bible Dictionary, “Darius,” page 653.)

†4. Elder L. Perry: “Not only did Daniel’s service benefit the king, but because of the faith that Daniel had in the Lord, it affected an entire land. The king sent forth a proclamation that all the people of the kingdom should worship the true and living God, the God that Daniel worshiped How mighty was the power of the service of one righteous man, affecting so many, as he served ‘in the world’ in which he lived! How effective will be the results of our service if we continue to serve in our own personal way ‘in the world’ in which we live!” (“In the World,” Ensign, May 1988, 15).

†5. Esther's Background: “Esther was a Jewish woman who lived shortly after the time of Daniel. After her parents died, she was raised by her cousin Mordecai. Esther was very beautiful, and Ahasuerus, the king of Persia and Media, was so pleased with her beauty that he made her his queen..” (Lesson Manual)

†6. Esther's Plan: “When Esther approached the king, he received her and said he would grant anything she requested (Esther 5:1-3). She requested that the king and Haman come to a banquet (Esther 5:4-8). On the second day of the banquet, what did Esther ask of the king? (See Esther 7:3-4.)” (Lesson Manual)

†7. “Speaking Up for Morality”: “I was excited when our medical office received a telephone call from a Spanish–speaking, Los Angeles–based TV station. As a doctor familiar with an innovative surgical procedure, I was grateful for the opportunity to explain it on television.

 “Upon meeting with the program’s young assistant director, I was ushered into a large conference room where I met the other people who would appear with me on the ‘panel.’ It was then I discovered that what I thought would be an informative medical symposium was actually a talk show titled ‘I’m a Virgin … and So What!’

 “... [Note: There had been a misunderstanding about her medical procedure.]

 “I sat in shocked silence as we received instructions from the assistant director, two other men from the station, and the host of the show. Repeatedly we were encouraged to yell at each other and give the public a ‘good show.’ They also told us the order in which we would be introduced on the program. First would be Stephanie, a 23–year–old virgin who was waiting to meet the right man before surrendering her virginity but who was not necessarily waiting for marriage. Next would be Teresa, a mother of two in her 40s, who championed the need for her daughter to remain chaste until marriage but who believed her son had ‘certain needs’ so the need for chastity did not apply to him or any other man. Following Teresa would be Dolores, a 26–year–old who had lived with two men already and believed the concept of chastity was outmoded, unhealthy, and hypocritical. Finally, I would join the panel. Despite my objections, the show’s producers wanted me to explain the details of a ‘miraculous surgery that could restore a woman to her virginal state.’

 “Early that morning I had gone to the Lord in prayer, asking for guidance to help me with my TV appearance. I had felt the witness of the Spirit telling me I should appear on the program. Now I couldn’t understand how things could have turned so wrong.”

[Please click on the link to continue reading the story.]

(Patricia H. Arnazzi, “Speaking Up for Morality,” Ensign, Oct. 1998.)

Recommended Reading:

 1. Elder L. Tom Perry, “In the World,” Ensign, May 1988.

 2. Patricia H. Arnazzi, “Speaking Up for Morality,” Ensign, Oct. 1998.

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