seek the Lord
Week 47 is scheduled for study Nov. 14-20, 2022. To “seek the Lord” is to seek all that is good. That should be a no brainer, right? Then why is it sometimes so hard?

Day 1

The Holy Ghost can open your mind and heart to messages in the word of God that are meant just for you. What do you feel the Lord wants you to learn this week?

Amos 3:1-8; 7:10-15 – The Lord reveals truth through His prophets.

Many struggle with faith in God because they don’t believe He is predictable. This belief that He is capricious, unpredictable, prevents them from trusting in His words. I have written a number of articles about the patterns of God. He is, in fact, very predictable, for once He declares something or does something, He doesn’t usually vary from what He did the first time. His patterns of behavior are all around us. We just need to find them and identify them. This will embolden our faith in God, because we will see in dramatic ways that He can be trusted in all things.

Today’s lesson makes reference to God’s predictability in dealing with us through His prophets. Amos is trying to point out to the people that it is as natural for God to wait to do anything to a people until He has first called and spoken to His prophet as it is to understand that you can’t have a trapped bird without a trap or that two people can’t walk together unless they are in agreement (for without agreement they won’t be walking the same route).

I often challenge you to find certain examples in the scriptures. Today I would like you to think of any time the Lord has made a declaration from heaven to a people without calling a spokesman, a prophet, to deliver the message. He will talk to individuals, but He never speaks to a whole nation without giving His message to a prophet to deliver that message. That is part of His pattern of communication with His children.

Here are some other articles that illustrate and discuss some of God’s other patterns of behavior. I’ve written six such articles on the Patterns of God’s behavior. Here are just three, but His constant use of prophets is yet another example of something He does we can trust in.

God’s Use of Patterns – Prophets and Destruction

God’s Use of Patterns – The Redemption of Living Things

God’s Use of Patterns – Stewardship and Accountability

Day 2

The Holy Ghost can open your mind and heart to messages in the word of God that are meant just for you. What do you feel the Lord wants you to learn this week?

Amos 4-5 – Seek the Lord, and ye shall live.

There is nothing anyone can do to prevent tragedy and sorrow in this life. It happens to all of us, and most likely it will happen to all of us more than once. The only thing we can do is to decide how we will handle that suffering. As Amos pointed out to the Jews in today’s reading, the Lord tried to give them extra incentives for turning to Him through the things which they suffered, yet they steadfastly refused to turn to God in their times of trial and heartache.

All good comes from God, according to God, Himself. How can we possibly expect to find peace of mind and joy in this life without turning to the source of that happiness and joy. We can do this in times of peace as well as in times of sorrow. It doesn’t take suffering to decide to turn to God. But when we don’t turn to God in times of peace the Lord sometimes sends us sorrow in the hopes that we will be reminded of the peace that comes from Him and then just maybe we will turn to Him for solace. He tried to do this multiple times with the house of Israel, yet they consistently refused to turn to God for their comfort and happiness. That is when He finally told them that He was withdrawing all of His protections from among them, and they would have to go it alone in mortality for a long while before He would try to save and comfort them again.

Life is hard – always has been and always will be. The Lord can, and sometimes does remove situations that would cause us grief, but even when He doesn’t spare us, the scriptures teach us that the tough experiences we face in life are here to teach us things that are important to our soul’s growth. Even the Savior was made to suffer, because he learned and grew by the things which he suffered.

Even when the Lord doesn’t take away the physical pain life inflicts upon us, His peace is able to bring comfort to all grieving hearts, and heal all emotional, mental, and spiritual wounds. It is up to us to take our pain to God and ask Him to teach us how to stay strong in the face of adversity, and how to feel the peace of forgiveness or the relief of unfair treatment.

The Lord was sad that Israel turn their backs on Him. He only wanted them to be happy.

Day 3

The Holy Ghost can open your mind and heart to messages in the word of God that are meant just for you. What do you feel the Lord wants you to learn this week?

Amos 8:11-12 – The word of the Lord can satisfy spiritual hunger and thirst.

It is difficult to adequately describe spiritual hunger and thirst. Physical hunger and thirst we all know well. There is a direct cause and effect when we don’t eat or drink for a long period of time. And when we finally do eat or drink, we experience the relief from the gnawing pangs and the parched mouth. Physically, it is such a relief that we rejoice that our needs have been met. We feel comfort and peace from the distress of not having that which our bodies rely upon so heavily to feel good.

Spiritual hunger and thirst are not so easily measured. Many have gone their entire mortal lives without any satisfaction of having the comfort of being fed spiritually. They are distressed, but don’t know why. They feel a need to seek for something, but don’t know what it is. This is spiritual hunger and thirst. My personal opinion is that this is the craving Satan uses to supply substitutes for spiritual truths. Some of his substitutes include the worship of other pantheons of gods, the pursuit of money or power as a means to satisfy one’s self, as well as those beliefs that declare there is no such thing as a god, and that man should worship himself and what he alone can accomplish. Satan has found so much success because he has supplied us with so many substitutes for the truth. Some of his substitutes are clever enough that people feel a sense of fulfillment. But if they were able to compare that sense with the fulfillment we receive when we have actually been given truth from God, they would feel positively cheated.

Only the truths God has to give us and to reveal to us can give us a full sense of satisfaction, like a starving person feels at the end of their first meal after breaking an extended fast. This is why the prophet says that the people will experience a famine of the word. They will be seeking for truth – real, eternal truth – but will have no place to find it. They will go from one end of the earth to another, but will still be hungry for that which only the Lord can give us.

As a side note – this is why we cannot convert anyone. Only the Spirit can help someone taste the spiritual satisfaction that we all used to partake of so freely when we lived with God. This taste of a previous life must be revealed to us, and that is the Spirit’s position in the Godhead. He opens our eyes to what we have been missing, and to what we might be able to experience in mortality. He awakens the hunger and desire for truth in earnest, and intensifies our need so we are more willing to make sacrifices to find it and receive it.

Day 4

The Holy Ghost can open your mind and heart to messages in the word of God that are meant just for you. What do you feel the Lord wants you to learn this week?

Obadiah 1:21 – Who are the “saviours … on mount Zion”?

Today I am being brave and making a declaration for which I have no prophetic backup to rely on. Normally I don’t make declarations unless I recall hearing what I declare from a prophet or an apostle somewhere.

There have always been those who do missionary work. It started with Adam and Eve, and the call to spread the word of God has been around ever since. But being a “savior on mount Zion” is something very different than just that of being a missionary. To be a savior on mount Zion requires you to perform ordinances of salvation for those who did not have the opportunity to do it for themselves during this part of their mortal life. I think it also includes the work necessary to enable the saving ordinances to be done. This means any kind of temple work, friendshipping, ministering, or just plain loving someone into the gospel of Christ. To be a saviour on mount Zion can include both work for the living as well as work for the dead.

This concept of “saving others” also means that the phrase of being a “saviour on mount Zion” refers primarily to those of us who live in the last dispensation of time, or to those who live during the millennium where time no longer holds sway. Once the Savior returns time, as we now know it, will no longer apply to us. We will be living in eternity. That is a scriptural reality. Temple work and genealogy, as we have them today, didn’t exist as far as I am aware in any of the previous dispensations of time. They lacked the depth of ancestry, the technology, and this work of redemption of the dead has been reserved for our dispensation and for the millennium. That has always been part of the plan as God laid it out for us in the premortal life.

Refer to the next section for a continuation of this discussion.

FHE/Personal Study

Obadiah 1:21 – Saviours on mount Zion (Yes, this is the same topic as Day 4)

What makes being a savior on mount Zion different from what was done in prior dispensations? For one thing, being a savior, in any capacity, requires use of the principle of vicarious works. To do something vicariously means to have someone do it for you, because you cannot do it for yourself. All of us rely on the doctrine of vicarious works for our salvation. This is what Christ did for us in Gethsemane and on the cross. He did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. That makes him our Savior. When we do the work of salvation for our brothers and sisters in the family of God, we are also doing vicarious work for the salvation of others who couldn’t do it for themselves. I made this meme a few years ago that I think expresses vicarious works well.

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None of us will become exalted on our own. The whole plan of salvation is designed to be a family effort, not individual in nature. This is why the Lord requires that we learn to become united in all that we do. It is only through unity that we can be saved in the Celestial kingdom. This concept was well understood by the Savior, for that is what his calling as Redeemer is all about – doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Here is an article I wrote several years ago about the principle of saving others through vicarious works.

We Believe in Vicarious Salvation

In mortality we cannot be saved without bringing others along for the ride. Even if we bring along our family and friends, if we neglect the rest of God’s children on the other side of the veil, we will still deprive ourselves of the salvation we seek. Salvation really is a family effort, not a clan or an individual effort. The scripture speaks true when it says that we without them or they without us are lost. We are all in this together.

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OT47-2022 – Seek the Lord

Week 47