“October 17–23. Jeremiah 30–33; 36; Lamentations 1; 3: ‘I Will Turn Their Mourning into Joy,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“October 17–23. Jeremiah 30–33; 36; Lamentations 1; 3,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
Record Your Impressions
When the Lord first called Jeremiah to be a prophet, He told him that his mission would be “to root out, and to pull down” (Jeremiah 1:10)—and in Jerusalem, there was plenty of wickedness to root out and pull down. But this was only part of Jeremiah’s mission—he was also called “to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). What could be built or planted in the desolate ruins left by Israel’s rebellion? Similarly, when sin or adversity have left our lives in ruins, how can we rebuild and plant again? The answer lies in “the Branch of righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:15), the promised Messiah. The Messiah brings “a new covenant” (Jeremiah 31:31)—one that requires more than a superficial commitment or the outward appearance of devotion. His law must be “in [our] inward parts,” written “in [our] hearts.” That is what it really means for the Lord to “be [our] God” and for us to “be [His] people” (Jeremiah 31:33). It’s a lifelong process, and we will still make mistakes and have cause to mourn from time to time. But when we do, we have this promise from the Lord: “I will turn their mourning into joy” (Jeremiah 31:13).
For an overview of Lamentations, see “Lamentations, Book of” in the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
In Jeremiah 30–31; 33 the Lord acknowledged the “lamentation, and bitter weeping” (Jeremiah 31:15) that the Israelites would experience as they went into captivity. However, He also offered words of comfort and hope. What phrases in these chapters do you think would have given the Israelites consolation and hope? What promises do you find from the Lord to His people? How might these promises apply to you today?
Although the Israelites had broken their covenant with the Lord, Jeremiah prophesied that the Lord would again establish a “new” and “everlasting covenant” with His people (Jeremiah 31:31; 32:40). The new and everlasting covenant is “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ [see Doctrine and Covenants 66:2]. It is new every time it is revealed anew following a period of apostasy. It is everlasting in the sense that it is God’s covenant and has been enjoyed in every gospel dispensation where people have been willing to receive it” (Guide to the Scriptures, “New and Everlasting Covenant,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org; italics added).
As you read Jeremiah 31:31–34; 32:37–42, ponder what it means to you to be part of God’s covenant people. How do these verses affect the way you view your covenant relationship with God? What does it mean to have His law written in your heart? (see Jeremiah 31:33).
The Lord commanded Jeremiah to record his prophecies in “a roll of a book,” or a scroll, explaining that if the people were to hear these prophecies, “it may be that … they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity” (Jeremiah 36:2–3). As you read Jeremiah 36, consider noting how the following people felt about these prophecies:
Jehudi and King Jehoiakim:
Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah:
Ponder how you feel about the scriptures and their role in your life. How have they helped you turn away from evil?
See also Julie B. Beck, “My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 107–9.
The book of Lamentations is a collection of poems written after the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. Why do you think it is important that these lamentations were preserved and included in the Old Testament? Consider what the metaphors in Lamentations 1 and 3 help you understand about the great sorrow Israel felt. What messages of hope in Christ do you find? (see especially Lamentations 3:20–33; see also Matthew 5:4; James 4:8–10; Alma 36:17–20).
How have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ shown Their “everlasting love” for us? Showing pictures of things Christ created for us or did during His mortal ministry could help your family feel His “lovingkindness.”
Jeremiah 31:31–34; 32:38–41.
Consider making a list of things in these verses the Lord promises when we make covenants with Him. What do these verses teach us about the importance of our covenants?
Family members could also write (or draw) on paper hearts something that shows how they feel about the Savior. What does it mean to have His law written in our hearts? (see Jeremiah 31:33). How do we show the Lord that we want to be His people?
How might you use Jeremiah 36 to help your family learn about the importance of the scriptures? (see, for example, verses 1–6, 10, 23–24, 27–28, 32). You might ask one family member to read a verse from this chapter while another family member writes it down, like Baruch did for Jeremiah. Why are we grateful for the efforts of people like Baruch, who preserved the words of the prophets? What can we do to show the Lord we value His words in the scriptures?
- Lamentations 3:1–17, 21–25, 31–32.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” Children’s Songbook, 74–75.