Old Testament
Lesson 20
“All the City … Doth Know That Thou Art a Virtuous Woman”


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will encourage us to emulate the righteous qualities of Ruth, Naomi, and Hannah.

Scripture references for study:  Ruth; 1 Samuel 1
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 20 Handout (PDF format)


Ruth & Naomi

  1. Historical Background:
  2. Due to a famine Elimelech left his home in Bethlehem for Moab with his wife, Naomi, and their two sons (Ruth 1:1-2).
  3. Hearing that there was once again bread in the land, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Both Ruth and Orpah expressed a desire to return with Naomi.
  4. "So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest." (Ruth 1:22)
  5. Since Naomi and Ruth were poor Ruth went to the fields of Boaz to glean the field for grain (Ruth 2:1-3).
  6. Boaz came out from Jerusalem to visit his fields and observed Ruth busily gleaning. He learned from his servant the identity of Ruth.
  7. Once again we see how the selfless acts of Ruth bless the life of Naomi. Ruth could have remained with her kindred in Moab and would not have been subjected to the tedious labor of gleaning for grain in order for her and Naomi to survive. We observe no complaint from Ruth. She was absolutely dedicated to Naomi and her care.

Ruth & Boaz Marry

  1. READ RUTH 3:1-5.
  2. Ruth did as Naomi instructed.
  3. HOW DID BOAZ RESPOND?
  4. President Thomas S. Monson stated:  "In our selection of heroes, let us nominate also heroines. First, that noble example of fidelity--even Ruth. Sensing the grief-stricken heart of her mother-in-law, who suffered the loss of each of her two fine sons, and feeling perhaps the pangs of despair and loneliness which plagued the very soul of Naomi, Ruth uttered what has became that classic statement of loyalty: 'Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.' Ruth's actions demonstrated the sincerity of her words. There is place for her name in the Hall of Fame." (Ensign, Nov 1974, p108)

Hannah Is Blessed With A Son - 1 Samuel 1

  1. Hannah was one of the wives of Elkanah. Hannah had been childless
  2. READ 1 SAMUEL 1:9-15. Hannah prays and makes a covenant with the Lord.
  3. "Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him" (1 Samuel 1:17).
  4. "And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD." (1 Samuel 1:19-20)


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

  1. Consider this verse read by Eldred G. Smith at the 1953 October General Conference:
  2. What are we willing to give for the kingdom? What are we willing to do for the sake of righteousness? Naomi, Ruth, and Hannah were not royalty. They were not prophets. They were simple women committed to righteousness and doing the will of the Lord. They were willing to sacrifice their time, their homes, and their family to do the right thing. Are we willing to follow their example or are we more like the verse read by Patriarch Smith?
  3. Record your thoughts on the stories of Naomi, Ruth, and Hannah. How can you incorporate their examples into your life?

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