Lesson 152

Amos and Obadiah

“Lesson 152: Amos and Obadiah,” Old Testament Seminary Student Material (2018)

Prepare to Learn

Prepare your mind and heart to learn. Music, especially the hymns of the Church, can invite the influence of the Holy Ghost. To help you feel reverent, consider listening to a hymn before you begin your study.

Begin your study with prayer.

Do you sometimes feel that you need more direction in life?

Media Icon The Lord directs us through prophets. Watch how these youth learn an important lesson about who they should listen to when deciding which way to go.


Danger Sign Icons

Think about your responses to the following questions:

Have you ever tried to warn someone, but that person ignored your warning? What happened as a result?

Has someone ever tried to warn you, but you ignored the warning? What happened to you as a result?

As you study the book of Amos today, look for truths that will help you understand the importance of listening to the warnings that the Lord gives us through His prophets.


Old Testament Collage #1

Amos was a shepherd from the kingdom of Judah. He was called by the Lord to preach to the Northern Kingdom of Israel about 30 years before the Assyrian invasion of Israel.

Amos 1–2 records Amos’s prophecy that the Israelites and surrounding nations would be destroyed if they did not repent. Amos taught that the Lord would “not turn away the punishment” of Judah and Israel (Amos 2:4). He said that Judah and Israel had “despised the law of the Lord,” broken His commandments, persecuted the poor, and committed immoral acts in the name of God (Amos 2:4–8).

Amos also reminded the people that the Lord had delivered them in the past and had raised up prophets and Nazarites to help them (see Amos 2:9–11). It may be helpful to know that the term Nazarite comes from a Hebrew word that means consecrated or dedicated. Nazarites were Israelites who made a vow, or promise, to the Lord to dedicate themselves completely to serving Him for a certain period of their lives. As part of this vow, they did not drink wine. (See Bible Dictionary, “Nazarite.”)

Read Amos 2:12. How did the people of Israel respond to the Nazarites and prophets?

Unrighteous Israelites

Scriptures study and teaching. Adult. Female

Israelites who encouraged Nazarites to drink wine would be similar to Church members today encouraging fellow Church members to break their covenants.

The Israelites also told the prophets to “prophesy not” (Amos 2:12). In other words, they told the prophets to stop warning them that they would be destroyed unless they repented.

Amos later personally experienced this rejection when Amaziah, a wicked priest of King Jeroboam, told Amos to return to Judah and stop prophesying to the people of Israel that they would be destroyed (see Amos 7:10–13).

Why would someone want the prophets to stop prophesying?

The Importance of Prophets

Enoch Preaching the Gospel

According to Amos 2:13–3:2 the Lord expressed sorrow that Israel had rejected Him and His servants and warned the people that they would not be able to save themselves from destruction. Amos 3:3–8 records the Lord’s response to the people who wanted Amos and the other prophets to stop prophesying.

Read Amos 3:7, looking for what the Lord inspired Amos to teach the people who demanded that the prophets stop prophesying.

What doctrine does this verse teach us about prophets?

Revelation through Prophets

First Presidency 2018 Official Portraits Photography

We can learn from Amos 3:7 that the Lord reveals truth through His prophets.

Why do you think it is important for us to understand this doctrine?

Amos 3:7 is a doctrinal mastery passage. Consider marking this passage in a distinctive way so you can locate it more easily.

The Need for Prophets Today

Quorum of the Twelve Group Photo

The Joseph Smith Translation of Amos 3:7 replaces the word but with until (see Joseph Smith Translation, Amos 3:7 [in Amos 3:7, footnote a]). You may want to record this change next to verse 7.

Pencil Icon 1. Think about the following questions. Then answer two of them:

  • In what ways do people who know about prophets ignore or oppose their teachings today?

  • What has the Lord revealed to latter-day prophets that is helping you as you strive to be the best that you can be?

  • How have you come to know that the Lord reveals truth through His prophets?

A Famine

Parched Soil (Israel)

Amos continued to warn the people of destruction, but they would not return to the Lord (see Amos 3:8–6:14). As recorded in Amos 3:8, Amos declared that just as the roar of a lion naturally instills fear in those who hear it, so also a prophet is bound to preach the message that the Lord gives to him. Amos understood this concept and would not allow the complaints of the people to stop him from fulfilling his sacred duty as a prophet (see also Amos 7:1–8:10).

Read Amos 8:11–12, looking for another consequence of Israel’s rejection of the prophets.

Quiz 1

  1. What type of famine did Amos prophesy of that would occur both in earlier days and in the latter days?

    1. Emotional famine

    2. Physical famine

    3. Spiritual famine

  2. What did Amos prophesy that the people would do during the kind of famine Amos prophesied?

    1. They would go to the sea but would find no fish.

    2. They would try to conquer their enemies but fail.

    3. They would seek the word of the Lord but would not find it.

Pencil Icon 2. In your own words, identify a principle that Amos 8:11–12 teaches about another consequence of rejecting the Lord’s prophets.

Another Consequence of Rejecting the Prophets

Young woman outdoors at Girls Camp

You may have identified from Amos 8:11–12 a principle similar to the following: When people reject the Lord’s prophets, they lose the blessing of hearing the words of the Lord.

What blessings have you received from hearing the Lord’s words through His prophets? What blessings could you lose by rejecting the Lord’s prophets?

The Great Apostasy

Scripture study. Youth. Male

The prophecy recorded in Amos 8:11–12 has been fulfilled during several different periods in history (see verse 11, footnote a). One important fulfillment of this prophecy was the Great Apostasy, when “the world was left without divine revelation through living prophets” (Doctrinal Mastery Core Document [2018], 4.6).

Although Amos foresaw the Great Apostasy, he also saw the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days, when the Israelites would be gathered again and restored to their promised land (see Amos 9:11–15).

How could you use Amos 8:11–12 and Amos 9:14–15 to teach someone about apostasy and the Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Consider writing next to Amos 8:11–12 “Apostasy” and next to Amos 9:14–15 “Restoration” to help remind you of these truths.


Bible Maps, no. 1, “Physical Map of the Holy Land”

We do not know much about the prophet Obadiah except that he may have prophesied “during the Babylonian invasion [of Jerusalem] in 586 BC” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Obadiah,” scriptures.lds.org). Much of Obadiah’s prophecy was about the land and people of Edom. The land of Edom (also referred to as Idumea) was southeast of the kingdom of Judah. The descendants of Esau, who was the son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob (Israel), lived in Edom. The Edomites and the Israelites had hated one another for many generations. (See Bible Dictionary, “Edom.”)

Can you locate the land of Edom on the accompanying map?

A Symbol of Future Events

Israel: Ruins

According to Obadiah 1:1–16, Obadiah prophesied that the Edomites would be conquered because they had refused to help defend the Jews against Babylon and had even rejoiced when Jerusalem was destroyed. In Obadiah’s record, the wickedness and destruction of Edom could symbolize the latter-day wickedness and destruction of the world (see D&C 1:36).

Read Obadiah 1:17, looking for what Obadiah prophesied would happen on Mount Zion. In this verse, Mount Zion can refer to the city of Jerusalem and its temple.

Deliverance through Temple Ordinances

Houston Texas Temple

From Obadiah 1:17 we learn that the Jews would be delivered, would be righteous again, and would regain their possessions. This prophecy was fulfilled anciently when the Jews returned to their promised land and rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple (see Ezra 1–7). It is also being fulfilled in the latter days as Israel is being gathered, Zion is being established, and temple service is blessing God’s children.

In what ways can the ordinances and covenants of the temple deliver God’s children?

As recorded in Obadiah 1:18–20, Obadiah prophesied that the Israelites would one day return to the land of their inheritance.

Read Obadiah 1:21, looking for who would come to Mount Zion.

Saviors on Mount Zion

The word savior can refer to one who saves, rescues, or delivers. Jesus Christ is the Savior because He saves and delivers us from sin and death, which we cannot do for ourselves.

Latter-day prophets have also used Obadiah 1:21 to teach about our day. Read the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–44). Look for ways in which members of the Church can act as saviors on Mount Zion.

Brother Joseph

“But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 473).

According to the Prophet Joseph Smith, how can we become saviors on Mount Zion?

Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors

Temple Family History

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the following principle: We become saviors on Mount Zion as we identify our deceased family members and perform ordinances for them in the temple.

Pencil Icon 3. Answer two of the following questions:

  • How are we like the Savior when we participate in family history and temple service?

  • What experiences have you had helping to save family members who died without the blessings or ordinances of the gospel?

  • What blessings have you or someone you know received by acting as saviors in behalf of deceased family members?

  • What are some ways you can do family history and prepare to perform temple ordinances for your ancestors?

Your Plan

Temple Family History

What can you do to learn more about your ancestors and perform ordinances for them in the temple? Write a plan in your personal journal or in your Notes on LDS.org.

Answer Key

Quiz 1: (1) c; (2) c