“January 31–February 6. Genesis 6–11; Moses 8: ‘Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“January 31–February 6. Genesis 6–11; Moses 8,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022
Record Your Impressions
Consider asking class members to share a spiritual message for our day from the story of Noah or the Tower of Babel. Encourage them to share a scripture that supports this message.
The wickedness in the days of Noah can remind us of the wickedness we see around us today. To help class members benefit from the lessons in the story of Noah, you could write on the board Warnings and Reassurances. Class members could review Genesis 6–8 or Moses 8:13–30 and find something they feel is an important warning for our day and something they consider reassuring (see also “Additional Resources”). They could write what they find under the appropriate heading on the board. Why is the story of Noah valuable to us today?
This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests reading Genesis 9:8–17 and pondering how symbols or tokens can serve as reminders of our covenants. To help class members share their thoughts, you might bring to class some objects that remind us of important things—such as a wedding ring, a national flag, or a missionary name tag—and compare them with the “token” of the rainbow. What does Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:21–25 (in the Bible appendix) teach us about this token? How does God use tokens or symbols to help us remember our covenants?
The account of the people of Babel building a tower provides an interesting contrast to the account of Enoch and his people building Zion, which class members studied last week. Both groups of people were trying to reach heaven but in different ways. You might invite class members to list on the board anything they remember about the people of Zion (see Moses 7:18–19, 53, 62–63, 69) and what they learn from Genesis 11:1–9 and Helaman 6:26–28 about the people of Babel. What differences do they find? What does this teach us about our own efforts to return to God’s presence?
The ancient city of Babel no longer exists, but the pride and worldliness it symbolizes do. To help class members apply lessons from the Tower of Babel to their lives, start by inviting them to review Genesis 11:1–9. Then you could distribute slips of paper and invite the class members to write things people do that draw them away from God; then, on other slips of paper, they could write things people do that draw them nearer to God. Youth might enjoy arranging the first group of papers on the board in the shape of a tower and the second group in the shape of a temple. What has God provided to help us “reach unto heaven”? (Genesis 11:4; see also John 3:16). You might sing a hymn on this topic, such as “Nearer, My God, to Thee” (Hymns, no. 100).
President Henry B. Eyring said:
“The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late.
“Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety” (“Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25).
Some people wonder about the justice of God in sending a flood to “destroy man” (Genesis 6:7). Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained that at the time of the Great Flood, “corruption had reached an agency-destroying point that spirits could not, in justice, be sent here” (We Will Prove Them Herewith , 58).