Old Testament
Lesson 45
“If I Perish, I Perish”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us have the courage to live according to gospel standards.

Scripture references for study:  Daniel 1; Daniel 3; Daniel 6; Esther 3–5; Esther 7–8
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 45 Handout (PDF)

Who Was Daniel?

Apparently of the royal lineage of Judah.

He was taken captive to Babylonia in about 606 B.C.

Nebuchadnezzar made him a ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

He continued to be prominent in the Babylonian court throughout the period of the captivity, until the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia.

Date of his mission: 606-536 B.C.

Prophesied to the kings of Babylonia and Persia.

Contemporary prophets:  Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Lehi.

Historical setting:

Background information on Daniel primarily from Prophets & Prophecies of the Old Testament, pp496-498.

Brother Duane Crowther wrote:  "Daniel came to Babylon eight years earlier than Ezekiel and was a younger man. He rose to prestige and power in the Babylonian court and lived in comfort there. Much of Daniel's ministry involved the receiving and interpreting of difficult dreams and visions. His ministry was primarily concerned with the affairs of state and the rise and fall of empires." (Prophets & Prophecies of the Old Testament, pp496-497)

Daniel & His Friends Refuse To Eat King Nebuchadnezzar's Food

READ DANIEL 1:1-4. Historical background.

READ DANIEL 1:5, 8. Daniel objects to the royal food.

"And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
     "Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
     "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink." (Daniel 1:10-12)

READ DANIEL 1:15, 17, 19. Daniel and his associates blessed.

Likening The Scriptures Unto Us

Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego

READ DANIEL 3:1-7. Nebuchadnezzar creates an image and commands all to worship.

READ DANIEL 3:13-18. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to worship.

READ DANIEL 3:20-25. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego cast into the fire.

READ DANIEL 3:28-30. Results of courage and faith.

Daniel & The Lion's Den

King Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son Belshazzar. When Belshazzar was slain, Darius, the Median, received the kingdom of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus of Persia. This is not the same Darius that ruled after Cyrus in Persia.

READ DANIEL 6:4-9. A plot against Daniel because of his favored status.

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." (Daniel 6:10)

READ DANIEL 6:18-24. Daniel removed and the others executed.



Esther Risks Her Life To Save Her People

Esther was a Jewish woman that lived shortly after the time of Daniel. After her parents died, she was raised by her cousin Mordecai. Esther was beautiful and Ahasuerus, the king of Persia and Media, was so pleased with her beauty that he made her his queen.

A man by the name of Haman was promoted by King Ahasuerus to be the chief prince.

READ ESTHER 3:2-5. Mordecai refuses to bow to Haman.

READ ESTHER 4:10-11. Consequences of approaching the king uninvited.

READ ESTHER 4:13-14. Mordecai's return message to Esther.

READ ESTHER 5:1-3. Esther approaches the king.

Because of Esther's courage and faith, the Jews of her time were blessed.

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

The stories in the books of Daniel and Esther provide wonderful examples of those who have had the courage to stand for the right in the face of opposition. These stories remind us that we will be blessed for striving to do what is right. Like the angel that appeared in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we will be watched over as we have the courage to live gospel standards.

Record your thoughts on the faith of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Esther. How can you strengthen your faith to live gospel standards?

Resources Used In This Lesson

All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience by Neal A. Maxwell.

Conference Reports (CR).


History of the Church by Joseph Smith.

Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney.

Prophets & Prophecies of the Old Testament by Duane S. Crowther.

Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball.

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Changes last made on:  06 August 2018