Old Testament
Lesson 21
God Will Honor Those Who Honor Him


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us understand the blessings of honoring and pleasing the Lord above ourselves, others, or the world.

Scripture references for study:  1 Samuel 23; 1 Samuel 8
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 21 Handout (PDF format)


The Books of 1 & 2 Samuel

  1. These books contain a segment of the continuous history running from Genesis to 2 Kings.
  2. Spans the period from the judges to the final years of King David.
  3. They describe the change from a tribal federation to an organized royal state.
  4. There was a shift in worship during this period away from the local shrines toward centralized worship at the temple.

The Sons of Eli Honor Themselves Above The Lord

  1. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, followed in the footsteps of their father as priests (see 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25).
  2. WHAT EFFECT DID THE ACTIONS OF ELI'S SONS HAVE ON OTHER PEOPLE IN ISRAEL?
  3. HOW DO OUR ACTIONS AFFECT OTHERS?
  4. WHAT DO THE ACTIONS OF ELI'S SONS SUGGEST ABOUT WHOM THEY CHOSE TO HONOR?
  5. IN WHAT WAYS DO WE SOMETIMES CHOOSE HONOR AND PLEASE OURSELVES RATHER THAN THE LORD?
  6. WHY DO WE SOMETIMES CHOOSE TO PLEASE OURSELVES RATHER THAN GOD?
  7. WHAT ARE ARE CONSEQUENCES OF HONORING OURSELVES MORE THAN GOD?

Eli Honors His Sons Above The Lord

  1. WHAT RESPONSIBILITY DID ELI HAVE WHEN HE LEARNED OF THE WICKEDNESS OF HIS SONS?
  2. HAD ELI FULFILLED HIS RESPONSIBILITY AS A FATHER?
  3. READ 1 SAMUEL 2:27-29. A man of God delivers the Lord's chastisement to Eli.
  4. The Lord told Eli that he "honourest thy sons above me" (1 Samuel 2:29).

Samuel Honors The Lord

  1. Recall the story of the calling of Samuel (see 1 Samuel 3:1-10).
  2. WHY DID SAMUEL NOT KNOW IT WAS THE VOICE OF THE LORD CALLING TO HIM?
  3. DO WE SOMETIMES HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD AND NOT RECOGNIZE IT?
  4. HOW CAN WE BE SURE THAT WE RECOGNIZE THE LORD'S VOICE?
  5. HOW DID SAMUEL HONOR THE LORD?
  6. Like Samuel, when the Lord calls to us, are we willing to respond?

The Israelites Honor The World

  1. WHAT TYPE OF GOVERNMENT DID ISRAEL HAVE DURING SAMUEL'S MINISTRY?
  2. Unfortunately, like many of today's politicians, Samuel's "sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment" (1 Samuel 8:3).
  3. This provoked the elders of Israel to seek for a change. They came to Samuel and asked for a king.
  4. HOW DID SAMUEL RESPOND TO THEIR REQUEST?
  5. HOW DID ISRAEL RESPOND TO THEIR PROPHET?
  6. IN ASKING FOR A KING, WHOM DID THE ISRAELITES HONOR?
  7. IN WHAT WAYS DO WE SOMETIMES DESIRE TO BE "LIKE ALL THE NATIONS" OR THE WORLD?
  8. The pamphlet For The Strength of Youth provides the standards that often set us apart from the world. Though addressed to the youth, these standards apply to adults as well as youth.


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

  1. The stories of Eli, his sons, and Samuel provide a contrast on how one honors the Lord. What is the priority in my life? What do I really desire? The reason we belong to the Church is because of the promises of eternity. If our desires are elsewhere, then we are placing our eternal reward in jeopardy. The Lord said, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
  2. Record your thoughts on honoring the Lord. How did Eli, his sons, and Israel fail to honor the Lord? How did Samuel honor the Lord? Are you more like Samuel or the others? What can you do to better honor the Lord?


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Changes last made on:  01 May 2014