Individuals and Families
February 28–March 6. Genesis 28–33: “Surely the Lord Is in This Place”


“February 28–March 6. Genesis 28–33: ‘Surely the Lord Is in This Place,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“February 28–March 6. Genesis 28–33,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022

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Tijuana Mexico Temple at Night

February 28–March 6

Genesis 28–33

“Surely the Lord Is in This Place”

As you read Genesis 28–33, ponder what you learn from the examples of Jacob and his family. Write down any impressions you receive.

Record Your Impressions

Chapters 28 and 32 of Genesis tell of two spiritual experiences that the prophet Jacob had. Both happened in the wilderness but under very different circumstances. In the first experience, Jacob was traveling to his mother’s homeland to find a wife and, along the way, spent the night on a pillow of stones. He may not have expected to find the Lord in such a desolate place, but God revealed Himself to Jacob in a life-changing dream, and Jacob declared, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not” (Genesis 28:16). Years later, Jacob found himself in the wilderness again. This time, he was on his way back to Canaan, facing a potentially deadly reunion with his angry brother, Esau. But Jacob knew that when he needed a blessing, he could seek the Lord, even in the wilderness (see Genesis 32).

You may find yourself in your own wilderness seeking a blessing from God. Maybe your wilderness is a difficult family relationship, such as Jacob had. Maybe you feel distant from God or feel that you need a blessing. Sometimes the blessing comes unexpectedly; other times it is preceded by a wrestle. Whatever your need, you can discover that even in your wilderness, “the Lord is in this place.”

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2022 IC Individual and Family
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Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Genesis 28; 29:1–18

I am promised the blessings of Abraham in the temple.

On his way to Haran to find a wife, Jacob dreamed of a ladder stretching from the earth to heaven, with God standing above it. In the dream, God renewed with Jacob the same covenants He had made with Abraham and Isaac (see Genesis 28:10–17; see also Genesis 12:2–3; 26:1–4). President Marion G. Romney shared this thought about what the ladder could represent: “Jacob realized that the covenants he made with the Lord there were the rungs on the ladder that he himself would have to climb in order to obtain the promised blessings—blessings that would entitle him to enter heaven and associate with the Lord. … Temples are to us all what Bethel was to Jacob” (“Temples—The Gates to Heaven,” Ensign, Mar. 1971, 16).

What other words and phrases in Genesis 28:10–22 suggest to you a connection between Jacob’s experience and temple blessings? As you read these verses, think about the covenants you have made; what impressions come to you?

As you read Genesis 29:1–18, ponder how Jacob’s marriage to Rachel was important to the covenant God renewed with Jacob in Bethel (“house of God”; see Genesis 28:10–19). Keep this experience in mind as you continue reading about Jacob’s life in Genesis 29–33. How has the house of the Lord brought you closer to God?

See also Yoon Hwan Choi, “Don’t Look Around, Look Up!Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 90–92.

Genesis 29:31–35; 30:1–24

The Lord remembers me in my trials.

Even though Rachel and Leah lived in a time and culture different from ours, we can all understand some of the feelings they had. As you read Genesis 29:31–35 and 30:1–24, look for words and phrases describing God’s mercy to Rachel and Leah. Ponder how God has “looked upon [your] affliction” and “remembered” you (Genesis 29:32; 30:22).

It is also important to remember that even though God hears us, in His wisdom He doesn’t always give us exactly what we ask for. Consider studying Elder Brook P. Hales’s message “Answers to Prayer” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 11–14) to learn about different ways Heavenly Father answers us.

For more about the cultural background of this story, see Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel (2003), 86–88.

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Esau and Jacob Embracing

Illustration of Jacob and Esau embracing, by Robert T. Barrett

Genesis 32–33

The Savior can help us overcome discord in our families.

As Jacob returned to Canaan, he was “greatly afraid and distressed” about how Esau would receive him (Genesis 32:7). As you read in Genesis 32–33 about Jacob’s encounter with Esau and his feelings leading up to it, you might ponder your own family relationships—perhaps one that needs healing. Maybe this story could inspire you to reach out to someone. Questions like these could help guide your reading:

  • How did Jacob prepare to meet Esau?

  • What stands out to you about Jacob’s prayer found in Genesis 32:9–12?

  • What do you learn about forgiveness from Esau’s example?

  • How can the Savior help us heal family relationships?

See also Luke 15:11–32; Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Reconciliation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 77–79.

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Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Genesis 28–33.

Use “Jacob and His Family” (in Old Testament Stories) to help children understand the events from these chapters. Maybe family members could pause at each picture and identify what is being taught, such as the importance of marriage, covenants, work, and forgiveness.

Genesis 28:10–22.

You could use a ladder (or a picture of one) to talk about how our covenants are like a ladder. What covenants have we made, and how do they bring us closer to God? Family members might enjoy drawing Jacob’s dream, described in Genesis 28:10–22.

The hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee” (Hymns, no. 100) was inspired by Jacob’s dream. Your family could sing this song and discuss what each verse teaches.

Genesis 32:24–32.

You might have family members who like to wrestle. Why is “wrestling” a good way to describe seeking blessings from the Lord? What do Enos 1:1–5; Alma 8:9–10 suggest about what it means to “wrestle … before God”?

Genesis 33:1–12.

After many years of hard feelings, Jacob and Esau were reunited. If Jacob and Esau could talk to us today, what might they say to help us when there is contention in our family?

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “Dearest Children, God Is Near You,” Hymns, no. 96.

Improving Personal Study

Look for Jesus Christ. The Old Testament testifies of Jesus Christ through its stories and symbols. Consider noting or marking verses that point to the Savior and are especially meaningful to you.

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Jacob's Dream

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel, by J. Ken Spencer