Week 21 is scheduled for study May 16-22, 2022. Did you know there is a kind of love that is based on moral grounds rather than emotion? That is the love we will be judged on. This is also the love the commandments are based upon.

Day 1

Moses commanded the children of Israel to teach the words of the Lord to their children. As you study Deuteronomy this week, find ways to share what you learn with members of your family.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7; 8:2-5, 11-17; 29:18-20; 30: 6-10, 15-20 – The Lord wants me to love Him with all my heart.

This lesson got me thinking. Can a person really love on demand? Or in this case, can we love on command? What kind of love is that? Society teaches only one main kind of love – eros – erotic love. This is romantic love. Surely there are different kinds of love? Why don’t we talk about them? I just couldn’t stop thinking about these things, so I wrote a separate article entitled Can We Really Love on Command? I’ll warn you now, it is long, but it has some great information in it.

Whether or not you read the additional article, the exercise listed in the manual for today’s lesson is worth the effort of thinking through the list of scriptures. Remember that these chapters are the last revelations and counsel to Israel from Moses before he is translated and they enter the Promised Land. As you read this week’s chapters, see if you can see the Savior’s future sermons and parables hidden within the commandments given to Israel.

Day 2

Moses commanded the children of Israel to teach the words of the Lord to their children. As you study Deuteronomy this week, find ways to share what you learn with members of your family.

Deuteronomy 6:4-2, 20-25 – Beware lest thou forget the Lord.

Look at the title of today’s lesson from a detached point of view.

Why would I forget the Lord, and why am I being warned that something bad will happen if I do?

Do you know what is promised will happen if Israel forgets their God? (The answer is in the chapters for this week. It has to do with the cursing God promised them if they forgot Him.)

Let’s look first at why we might be warned not to forget our God. What has your experience been when you start to forget your God? Are there signs in your life that it is happening? What are the causes that lead us away from the Lord? I’ll address these three questions in the next section.

Possible answers

How important is God in your life when you don’t think about Him, read His word, or pray to Him? He just kind of fades away, doesn’t he? It falls under the category of “out of sight, out of mind.” Forgetting the Lord is not something that happens overnight. Forgetting is not instant amnesia, it is gradual and invisible. When we slack off on reading our scriptures, find a reason to miss church meetings, skip paying our tithes or offerings, don’t minister to those we have been assigned to help, God, and all that has to do with Him begins to fade from our memory. Life moves in and takes over our thought processes. We forget what God has to do with any of the details in our life.

The signs that we are forgetting God have already been mentioned, we find reasons for not doing the things we have been commanded by God to do, which includes serving others we are assigned to serve, attending meetings, shortening or skipping personal prayer or scripture study, etc. I can’t count the number of times I have heard Church leaders say they have counseled someone who was having problems with their testimony or in their life in general, and when asked if they were doing all the little things God has commanded we do, the person just gave them a blank stare and admitted that they stopped doing those things a long time ago. That is the fading of the memory of God in action.

Why do you think we stop remembering the Lord? I doubt that anyone sets out to deliberately “forget” about God. Yet somehow it can happen to any of us, and sometimes does even when we don’t see any reason that it would happen to us. The Lord knows what it is like to be human. He experienced mortality. Because He knows what it is like, he has spelled out for us what is needful for us to do in order to overcome this mortal tendency to loose focus and to easily get diverted into other activities that will eventually strip us of blessings He knows we will sorely miss someday.

I recommend rereading today’s verses. Look at the level of detail God gives Israel to help them stay in remembrance of Him. They didn’t have scriptures they could carry around with them like we do. So He told them to bind portions of His commandments to them on their arms, their foreheads, and to write His scriptures on their doorposts. We don’t have to go to such physical extremes as this, but the principle behind it is sound. To be safe, we need to incorporate habits into our life that constantly remind us why we do what we do, and who it is we are turning to for guidance in our everyday life. Without these personal safeguards in place, we put ourselves in danger of forgetting the very source of all our happiness and support.

Day 3

Moses commanded the children of Israel to teach the words of the Lord to their children. As you study Deuteronomy this week, find ways to share what you learn with members of your family.

Deuteronomy 15:1-15 – Helping the needy involves generous hands and willing hearts.

The visuals the Lord provides in these verses are beautiful. Imagine someone holding out their hand to you, palm up. That is a gesture of welcome and acceptance. But if they have something in their hand, and they extend it with their fist closed, that shows their reluctance to give it to you. The Lord wants us to give with open hands, freely. This requires faith in God. Why? In these verses the Lord tells them of the Lord’s release from debts once every seven years. If the end of the seven years is coming soon, to lend or give something to someone, knowing all debts have to be cancelled soon, requires faith that God will bless us with a replacement of that which we are giving away. We must believe that the Lord provided that increase in the first place, and because we are being generous to others He will give it to us again. I have underlined the verse where the Lord declares that the person who is selfish and withholds helping someone in need is both wicked and a sinner (Deuteronomy 15:7-10). Verse 10 is where the Lord assures us that freely and generously helping those in need will come back to us in prosperous ways.

7 ¶ If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

In Deuteronomy 8:18 the Lord reminds them that it is He who will make them rich (so don’t be stingy with what you have).

18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Day 4

Moses commanded the children of Israel to teach the words of the Lord to their children. As you study Deuteronomy this week, find ways to share what you learn with members of your family.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 – Jesus Christ is the Prophet who would be raised up like unto Moses

I have only one point to make today. Moses was the physical embodiment of the mission of Christ. So much of what Moses did for Israel physically, Christ did for us all spiritually during his ministry. Moses provided Israel with a temporal law, a law of physical commandments, but Christ replaced that law with a higher law of spiritual commandments. The law Moses gave was just for Israel, to make them clean and prepare them for the higher law Jesus would bring. The Law Jesus taught was meant for the whole of mankind, and unlike the law of Moses, is enough to save us in the celestial kingdom. As you look at the references back to these verses by other prophets, be thinking of ways in which the ministry of Moses to Israel mimicked or mirrored the ministry of Christ.

Day 5

Moses commanded the children of Israel to teach the words of the Lord to their children. As you study Deuteronomy this week, find ways to share what you learn with members of your family.

Deuteronomy 34:5-8 – What happened to Moses?

Alma 45:19 is the definitive source for what happened to Moses. The “he” being referred to is the prophet Alma (the Younger), Helaman’s father.

19 Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself; therefore, for this cause we know nothing concerning his death and burial.

FHE/Personal Study

Improving Personal Study – Seek your own spiritual insights.

Socially, we talk about triggers that set people off about certain sensitive subjects. Well we all have triggers the Spirit can use to teach us things we weren’t even anticipating learning. Our spiritual triggers can come from anywhere, literally. I was reading the lessons for this week, and about the third time I read the lesson title for day 2 I suddenly had questions pop up in my head that I hadn’t considered before. Those thoughts were triggered by the Spirit, because He wanted me to learn something. Those thoughts were not me being clever or super intelligent. I had already read the title for that day’s lesson multiple times. But apparently, it was time I did something with that material, so the Spirit gave me a push.

As you read the assigned chapters, also feel free to read the in between chapters. A few weeks back I read the “assigned” reading for these lessons, only to be left wondering how what I had read had to do with what was in the manual. I learned all sorts of new things in the reading, but it wasn’t until I checked a little closer that I realized I had been reading out of the wrong book altogether. I was in Leviticus when I was supposed to be in Deuteronomy.

Personal insights can come in almost any form. You may suddenly have a question that wasn’t there before. You may see something that applies to your life right now, or answers something that has happened to you in the past. Some readings may create visual images in your head that make the meaning clear, or you may suddenly see a relationship that you hadn’t noticed or thought about before. The Spirit is the master teacher, so be open to absolutely anything that presents itself when you study the scriptures. Just be sure to acknowledge to the Lord that you recognize where it comes from so you are appropriately grateful.

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OT21-2022 – Beware Lest Thou Forget the Lord

Week 21