Friday, March 9, 2012
This life is a test, and it’s full of pop quizzes. We never know when life is going to surprise us with one, so we need to constantly study the gospel, follow the spirit, pray, and have the scriptures firmly implanted in our minds so that we have the knowledge and faith we need to pass each test. Doing well on today’s pop quiz will result in a sweet reward. Doing well in life’s pop quizzes (many of the questions and answers of which are the same as this one today) will result in much sweeter rewards.
Two ways you can administer this quiz:
1. Put the questions in a jar and have students draw them out randomly. Toss wrapped candies to those who answer the questions correctly. Even adults like catching candy—it keeps them awake! If you have class members who thoroughly study the reading assignments, they may be able to get the answers on their own. If not, give them the scripture references so they can find them. Discuss each answer as it is found.
2. Print up the questions and scripture references on papers to hand out to the students and have them look up and fill out the answers individually, then check them together and give a treat for each correct answer and discussing it.
· Will you ever be punished for someone else’s sins? (Jacob 1:19. If you had a stewardship and did not fulfill it, you are at least partially responsible for the sins of those you failed to help.)
· Were the only scriptures familiar to the Nephites the Books of Moses? (Jacob 2:23. They also had the stories of Solomon and David at least.)
· Is the Book of Mormon a complete record of the preaching of the ancient American prophets? (Jacob 1:4. It is “headlines” only.)
· Did Nephi live to old age? (1 Ne. 2:16; Jacob 1:1; 12. “Very young” in ancient Hebrew days would have been early teens or even younger. Add 55 years to that; he probably didn’t live to age 70.)
· Were being prideful, seeking for riches, and persecuting the poor the worst sins of the early Nephites? (Jacob 2:13; 22-23. Sexual impurity was considered much worse by the Lord.)
· Under what condition is it okay to seek for riches? (Jacob 2:19. As a secondary goal after seeking for Christ, for the purpose of following Christ in ministering to the needy.)
· How does the Lord treat victims of infidelity? (Jacob 2:35-3:2. He will console them and provide justice for them. He will fill them with his love if they receive the pleasing word of God and keep their minds firm.)
· What made the Lamanites more righteous than the Nephites and kept them from complete destruction? (Jacob 3:5-7. Their commitment to their families.)
· How powerful was Jacob the prophet? (Jacob 4:6. He could command the elements.)
· Is it possible for those whose sins are worse than the Lamanites’ to rise in the first resurrection and attain Celestial glory? (Jacob 4:11. Yes, if they repent and are reconciled through the Atonement.)
· The gospel is simple. If we desire to complicate it, how will the Lord respond? (Jacob 4:14. He will allow us to become confused by complications if we insist upon it.)
· Can excessive anxiety, even over very important troubles, distance us from the Spirit? (Jacob 4:18. Yes.)
· Was Jacob’s sermon effective? (It must have been; there is no further indication of polygamy being practiced in the Book of Mormon record.)
The subject of polygamy has always been confusing and disconcerting to Latter-day Saints, since the early Saints and many Old Testament saints were commanded by God to practice it, and yet now we are commanded not to. This year I came across the best treatise I have ever read on the subject, and I highly recommend it to anyone troubled by or curious about God’s commandments regarding polygamy:
V.H. Cassler, “Polygamy,” SquareTwo, Vol. 3 No. 1 (Spring 2010) available at this link: http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleCasslerPolygamy.html.