Old Testament 2022
August 15–21. Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86: “I Will Declare What He Hath Done for My Soul”

“August 15–21. Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86: ‘I Will Declare What He Hath Done for My Soul,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“August 15–21. Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022

Jesus holding lantern

Saving That Which Was Lost, by Michael T. Malm

August 15–21

Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86

“I Will Declare What He Hath Done for My Soul”

This outline identifies some of the doctrinal topics addressed in these psalms. As you study, certain words, images, or ideas may stand out to you. What do you feel the Lord is trying to teach you?

Record Your Impressions

The writers of the Psalms shared deeply personal feelings in their poetry. They wrote about feeling discouraged, afraid, and remorseful. At times, they even seemed to feel abandoned by God, and some psalms carry a tone of frustration or desperation. If you’ve ever had feelings like these, reading the Psalms can help you know that you aren’t the only one. But you’ll also find psalms that can encourage you when you’re having such feelings, because the psalmists also praised the Lord for His goodness, marveled at His power, and rejoiced in His mercy. They knew that the world is burdened by evil and sin but that the Lord is “good, and ready to forgive” (Psalm 86:5). They understood that having faith in the Lord doesn’t mean that you’ll never struggle with anxiety, sin, or fear. It means that you know Who to turn to when you do.

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Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Psalms 49; 62:5–12

Redemption comes only through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 49 has a message for “both low and high, rich and poor” (verse 2). What would you say this message is? What do you feel Psalm 62:5–12 adds to that message?

Reading these psalms may prompt you to ponder the ways that some people put their trust in something other than God for redemption (see Psalm 49:6–7). How is your life influenced by your testimony that “God will redeem [your] soul from the power of the grave”? (verse 15).

See also Proverbs 28:6; Alma 34:8–17.

Psalms 51; 85–86

Because of the Savior’s mercy, I can be forgiven of my sins.

The pleas for mercy in Psalm 51 are attributed to King David, who was guilty of adultery and murder (see 2 Samuel 11). Even when our sins are less serious, we can relate to the need for mercy expressed in this psalm. We can also learn something about what it means to repent. For example, what words or phrases in Psalm 51 teach you about the attitude we need in order to repent? What do you learn about the effect the Savior’s Atonement can have in your life?

You might ask the same questions as you read Psalms 85–86. You could also look for phrases that describe the Lord. How do these phrases strengthen your faith that He will forgive you? (see, for example, Psalm 86:5, 13, 15).

See also Alma 36; Russell M. Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 67–69; Carole M. Stephens, “The Master Healer,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 9–12.

Psalms 51:13–15; 66:16–17; 71:15–24

My testimony of Jesus Christ can help others come unto Him.

Ponder how you gained your testimony of Jesus Christ and His atoning power. Then, as you study Psalms 51:13–15; 66:16–17; 71:15–24, think about how you can invite others to “come and see the works of God” (Psalm 66:5). What does it mean to you to “talk of [His] righteousness all the day long”? (Psalm 71:24). How will you tell others “what he hath done for [your] soul”? (Psalm 66:16).

See also Mosiah 28:1–4; Alma 26.

two young men talking with each other

We can share with others our testimonies of what the Lord has done for us.

Psalms 63; 69; 77–78

The Lord will help me in my time of urgent need.

Several psalms describe, in vivid language, what it’s like to feel distant from God and to desperately need His help. You might consider looking for such descriptions in Psalms 63:1, 8; 69:1–8, 18–21; 77:1–9. What do you find in Psalms 63; 69; 77–78 that gave these psalmists reassurance?

When you are distressed, how does it help you to “remember the works of the Lord” and His “wonders of old”? (Psalm 77:11). Some of those wonders are described in Psalm 78. As you read about them, ponder what helps you “set [your] hope in God” (verse 7). What experiences from your family history inspire you?

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Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Psalm 51:17.Consider how you might teach your family what it means to have a broken heart. For example, family members could take turns breaking open something that has a hard shell, like an egg or a nut. How are our hearts sometimes like that shell? How can we open our hearts to the Lord? Reading Psalm 51 together might provide some ideas.

Psalm 61:2–3.Family members might enjoy drawing pictures of the symbols in these verses and discussing how Jesus Christ is like a high “rock,” “a shelter for [us],” and “a strong tower.”

Psalms 71:17; 78:5–7.What does the Lord want you to “make … known to [your] children”? (Psalm 78:5). Perhaps each family member could share an example of the Lord’s “wondrous works,” such as a scripture story, an experience, or a personal testimony, that helps them “set their hope in God” (Psalms 71:17; 78:7).

Psalm 72.Psalm 72 was written by David about his son Solomon, but much of it can also apply to Jesus Christ. As your family reads this psalm, they could hold up a picture of the Savior when they find verses that remind them of Jesus Christ. How can we help fulfill the desire that “the whole earth be filled with his glory”? (Psalm 72:19; see also Doctrine and Covenants 65:2).

Psalm 85:11.This verse could inspire a discussion about events of the Restoration of the gospel—how the Book of Mormon is truth that “[sprang] out of the earth” and how heavenly messengers came “down from heaven” (see also Moses 7:62). The video “Preparation of Joseph Smith: Tutored by Heaven” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) depicts some of these events.

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

Suggested song: “I Need Thee Every Hour,” Hymns, no. 98.

Improving Our Teaching

Use variety. “Look for ways you can add variety to your efforts to teach the gospel. Doing so will add richness and beauty to the experience. … Consider how using music, stories, pictures, and other forms of art can invite the Spirit” (Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 22).

man kneeling before Jesus

Doubt Not, Thomas, by J. Kirk Richards