“July 18–24. Ezra 1; 3–7; Nehemiah 2; 4–6; 8: ‘I Am Doing a Great Work’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“July 18–24. Ezra 1; 3–7; Nehemiah 2; 4–6; 8,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022
Record Your Impressions
Sometimes writing key words or phrases on the board can remind class members of things they learned from the scriptures and make it easier for them to share. For example, you could write Rebuild, Repair, and Reestablish on the board and invite class members to share verses from their reading that relate to one or more of these words.
Reading about the joy the Jews felt as their temple was rebuilt could help class members feel greater appreciation for temples in our day. Perhaps you could invite class members to review Ezra 3:8–13 and 6:16–22 and then discuss some of the ways the Jews celebrated the rebuilding and dedication of the temple. Why is the building of a temple a cause to celebrate? You could invite class members to share how temples, and the work we do there, bring them joy. The statement in “Additional Resources” can encourage class members to experience the joy of temple work.Imagefamily walking on temple grounds
The temple can be a source of joy in our lives.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah describe people accomplishing important work despite opposition from their enemies. To begin a discussion, you might ask class members what Nehemiah’s “great work” (Nehemiah 6:3) could be compared to in our lives. What important work has God given us to do? Then you could read Ezra 4:4 and discuss how Satan tries to weaken our hands and trouble us in doing God’s work. What do we learn from Nehemiah and his fellow workers in Nehemiah 2:18–20; 4:6–9; and 6:1–3? What does it mean to have “a mind to work” in the service of the Savior? (Nehemiah 4:6). Consider sharing part of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s message “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 59–62), especially the last two sections.
You may feel inspired to lead a discussion comparing Zerubbabel’s efforts to rebuild the temple to our efforts to attend the temple and do saving work there. For example, you could write two headings on the board: Zerubbabel and Us. Under Zerubbabel, class members could write what “the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin” (Ezra 4:1) did to try to stop Zerubbabel and the Jewish people from rebuilding the temple (see Ezra 4). Under Us, class members could list ways the adversary tries to stop us from attending the temple. They could then share advice with each other about how we can seek the Lord’s help in overcoming that opposition.
Perhaps class members could read Nehemiah 8:1–12 together and discuss how Ezra and his people felt about God and His word. Encourage class members to refer to specific verses that show how they felt. Invite class members to express how they feel about the word of God. How can we improve our efforts to study the word of God?
President Russell M. Nelson taught:
“We can be inspired all day long about temple and family history experiences others have had. But we must do something to actually experience the joy ourselves. I would like to extend a challenge to each one of us so that the wonderful feeling of this work can continue and even increase. I invite you to prayerfully consider what kind of sacrifice—preferably a sacrifice of time—you can make in order to do more temple and family history work this year.
“We are engaged in the work of Almighty God. He lives. Jesus is the Christ. This is His Church. We are His covenant children. He can count on us” (Russell M. Nelson and Wendy W. Nelson, “Open the Heavens through Temple and Family History Work,” Ensign, Oct. 2017, 39).
Include parents of youth. If you teach youth, share what you are teaching with their parents. They can help you understand the needs of the youth and how to help them. This can also be a good way to encourage family discussions about what youth are learning in class. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 27.)