“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”
Job is sorely tested.
Job finds strength in the Lord.
Job finds strength in his personal righteousness and integrity.
After Job has faithfully endured his trials, the Lord blesses him.
A study of this lesson will help us develop strength to face adversity by
trusting the Lord, building our testimonies of him, and maintaining personal
Scripture references for study: Job 1–2;
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 32 Handout (PDF
Who Was Job?
As I develop lesson plans, I like to discover:
This is difficult with Job. We do not know who he was or when he
There are some scholars who believe that Job was not a real person and
that the book of Job is simply a story.
Who the main characters are, their genealogy, and how they fit in the picture.
The time frame and historical setting.
Additional information about the book of Job:
Evidence of his reality:
Ezekiel and James regarded him as historical and referred to him as among
the great individuals known for faith.
"Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job,
were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness,
saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 14:4)
"Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken
in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of
patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the
patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very
pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James 5:10-11)
The Lord referred to Job when he spoke to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the
The Lord said to Joseph: "Thou art not yet as
Job..." when he referred to Joseph's sufferings (D&C 121:10).
John Taylor, in a number of places, referred to Job as a real being.
"We refer to the extended preaching of such worthies
as Melchizedek, Abraham, Jethro, Job, Jeremiah, Jonah and others."
(Mediation and Atonement, p199)
This book is unconnected with Israel, the covenant people.
It is unconnected to all other scriptures.
There is no reference to Moses, the Exodus, or any of the subsequent events.
There is one reference to the flood and another possible reference to Sodom
It would seem logical that the time of Job was after the flood, possibly
even after Abraham, yet prior to the time of the Exodus.
The language is Hebrew with a mix of Arabic and Syriac found in no other book
The time of Job might have been an era when the Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac
languages branched off from each other.
The obscurity of several phrases, the obsolete words and forgotten traditions,
all mark a remote antiquity.
Why was the Book of Job included in the Bible?
One theory is that Moses became acquainted with this writing during his
stay near Horeb and added these writings to his own. It might be
like Mormon adding the book of Ether.
Job Is Sorely Tested
WHAT KIND OF MAN WAS JOB?
JOB 1:6-12. Satan given leave to test Job.
JOB 1:1. Perfect, upright, feared God,
and turned away from evil.
WAS JOB PERFECT?
Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet: "Some
have attained perfection in the sense that they did all that was commanded
them in the sense that they gave themselves wholly to the accomplishment
of the will of the Lord. Specific persons like Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth,
and Job are named in scripture as those who became perfect in their generation
(see Genesis 6:9; Moses 8:27; Job 1:1)." (Doctrinal Commentary
on the Book of Mormon, 4:78)
Brigham Young: "We all occupy diversified stations
in the world, and in the kingdom of God. Those who do right, and seek the
glory of the Father in heaven, whether their knowledge be little or much,
or whether they can do little or much, if they do the very best they know
how, they are perfect....
"To be as perfect as we possibly
can, according to our knowledge, is to be just as perfect as our Father
in heaven is. He cannot be any more perfect than He knows how, any more
than we. When we are doing as well as we know how in the sphere and station
which we occupy here, we are justified in the justice, righteousness, mercy,
and judgment that go before the Lord of heaven and earth." (JD,
Based on President Young's explanation, Job was one who was doing the very
best he could based on the knowledge he possessed, thus being perfect.
JOB 1:3, 21. Wealthy, but humble.
JOB 2:3. A man of integrity.
JOB 4:3-4. A man of charity. He assisted
those in need.
JOB 23:10-12. Obedient to the will of the
JOB 1:14-19. Job's bad day.
"Some have questioned whether God converses with
the devil and his spirit-followers as described here. These verses may
be a poetic way of setting the stage for what follows in Job's life--his
afflictions, temptations, loss of worldly goods--rather than a reporting
of an actual conversation. The Lord does not bargain with Satan or agree
to his evil deeds; however, Satan is permitted by the Lord to afflict and
torment man until Lucifer's allotted time on earth is done. Thus, Job's
trials would be consistent with the concept that Satan was allowed by God
to bring the afflictions upon Job, not because of a bargain God made with
Satan, but because it fit God's purposes for Job." (Old Testament
Student Manual, p29)
HOW DID JOB REACT TO THIS MISFORTUNE?
JOB 2:7-10. Job cursed with boils but still refuses
to curse God.
JOB 2: 11-13. Job joined by three friends.
The oxen and donkeys were taken away by the Sabeans.
His servants were killed.
Camels were taken away by the Chaldeans.
A strong wind blew down his son's house and all his children were killed.
JOB 42:10-17. In the end, Job blessed greater
Most of the rest of the book of Job is a dialogue between Job and his friends
over the cause of his difficulties.
Chapters 40-42 recount Job's encounter with the Lord and Job has the opportunity
to see the Lord.
What Can We Learn From The Story Of Job?
8:6, 20. Two of Job's friends, Eliphaz and Bildad, try to explain his suffering.
Job's story gives us a catalog of ills that afflict mankind: loss
of property and posterity, loss of health, and loss of love and companionship
of friends and family.
HOW DID ELIPHAZ AND BILDAD EXPLAIN JOB'S SUFFERING?
Job was asked, "Who ever perished, being innocent?"
His friends told him further, "If thou wert pure and upright; surely
now he (God) would awake for thee."
Eliphaz and Bildad seemed to be saying that suffering comes upon a person
because of transgression.
IS THERE A DANGER IN BELIEVING THAT ALL SUFFERING COMES AS GOD'S PUNISHMENT
FOR OUR SINS? WHAT IS THAT DANGER?
We know that suffering also comes to the righteous. Thus, believing
in this erroneous doctrine could lead to a loss of faith when suffering
comes to the righteous.
Joseph Smith: "It is an unhallowed principle to say
that such and such have transgressed because they have been preyed upon by
disease or death, for all flesh is subject to death, and the Savior has said,
'Judge not, lest ye be judged' [Matt. 7:1]." (Joseph Smith's
Commentary on the Bible, p40)
ARE THERE OTHER EXAMPLES OF OTHER RIGHTEOUS PERSONS THAT HAVE SUFFERED?
Jesus Christ in mortality.
Abinadi in the Book of Mormon.
WHY DO MANY RIGHTEOUS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE SUFFER?
"Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his
people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." (Mosiah
"...ye receive no witness until after the trial
of your faith." (Ether 12:6)
Consider the words of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith, "If
thou art called to pass through tribulation . . . know thou, my son, that
all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
(see D&C 122:5-7)
WHAT IS OUR ULTIMATE POTENTIAL?
CAN WE ACHIEVE OUR ETERNAL POTENTIAL WITHOUT LEARNING TO OVERCOME AND BECOME
THE MASTER OF ANYTHING WHICH MAY MASTER US?
President Spencer W. Kimball: "Being human,
we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure
ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors
upon such sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends
and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience,
long-suffering and self-mastery. The sufferings of our Savior were part
of his education." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p168)
Elder Orson F. Whitney: "No pain that we
suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education,
to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and
humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we
endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands
our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called
the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil
and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire
and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven."
(quoted by Spencer W. Kimball in Faith Precedes the Miracle, p98)
JOB 21:7-15. Job's observation that the wicked
HOW DID JOB ENDURE THIS SUFFERING?
Job displayed unwavering faith.
JOB 19:25-26. He
knew of the reality of the Savior.
JOB 27:2-6. He
held fast to his righteousness.
HOW DO JOB'S TRIALS COMPARE WITH THE TRIALS PEOPLE EXPERIENCE IN OUR DAY?
Today's trials are similar: loss of property, loss of children, loss
of health, and the loss of the love and companionship of friends and family. We do not necessarily experience these trials in the same doses as Job,
but they are experienced.
HOW HAVE YOU REACTED TO ECONOMIC LOSSES, POOR HEALTH, THE DEATH OF LOVED
ONES, OR OTHER TRIALS? HOW HAVE THESE TRIALS AFFECTED YOUR FAITH
I have personally experienced much smaller trials than Job and, at times,
my faith has been strained. After having passed through such experiences,
in a small way, I begin to appreciate the awesome faith displayed by Job.
TO WHAT EXTENT DOES JOB'S OBSERVATION SEEM TO BE TRUE TODAY?
I remember a Sunday afternoon many years ago. I was a child at the
time and was in the car with my parents. We were driving through
Salt Lake City to visit relatives. I recall my dad making
an observation about all the people who were out with their boats and campers
on the Sabbath and appeared to be doing well economically. I have
thought about my father's observation over the years and have continued
to observe the same thing.
North of downtown Seattle, the Ballard Locks allow boats to travel from
Puget Sound into Lake Union and on to Lake Washington to the east. I have visited the Ballard Locks on a Sunday afternoon and have seen everything
from small sailboats to magnificent yachts pass through the gates. These people are not necessarily living lives of great wickedness, but
they are not honoring the Sabbath and they are cutting themselves off from
proper worship. And yet they seem to prosper.
I believe that it is essential for us to understand that blessings
for righteous living do not necessarily come in the form of wealth. If we
believe otherwise, then we would have to believe that the Sabbath
breakers on the waters of Puget Sound are being blessed for their disobedience.
WHY DO YOU THINK GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY REWARD THE GOOD OR PUNISH
I think this question is answered in a single word: Agency.
President Spencer W. Kimball: "If we looked at
mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short
life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching
far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future,
then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
"Is there not wisdom
in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities
that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls?
Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we
might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
"If all the sick
for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the
wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and
the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man
would have to live by faith.
"If joy and peace and rewards
were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all
would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would
be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers,
no free agency, only satanic controls." (Faith Precedes The
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
- What are the blessings of righteousness? The life of Job is an
interesting study. Job was a goodly man and yet the blessings of
his righteousness were not, for a time, physically apparent. Yet
he continued to be a man of faith and not only were his physical blessings
restored, but his eternal blessings became more sure. In times of
difficulty and testing, the story of Job should be a reminder of enduring
to the end or as is often expressed today, "Hanging in there." As
we continue our diligence, we also should be able to express for ourselves
those great words from Job, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and
that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after
my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job
- Record your thoughts on Job. What lessons can you apply to your life?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon by Joseph
Fielding McConkie & Robert L. Millet.
Faith Precedes the Miracle by Spencer W. Kimball.
Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible, compiled and edited by Kent P. Jackson.
Journal of Discourses (JD).
Mediation and Atonement by John Taylor.
Old Testament Student Manual - Religion 302.
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
30 July 2014