“September 19–25, Isaiah 40–49: ‘Comfort Ye My People,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“September 19–25, Isaiah 40–49,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022
Record Your Impressions
Consider writing a question like the following on the board: What did the Spirit teach you as you studied Isaiah 40–49? Class members could ponder this question and write down answers, and a few could share their thoughts.
This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests looking for messages of comfort and hope in Isaiah 40–49 and lists some passages to start with. You might ask class members to share any messages they found. Encourage them to talk about why these messages might have helped the Jews in captivity and how they can help us today. You could also point them to passages you found in your personal study. What does the Lord want us to know about Him? How does He comfort us? You might remind class members that “the Lord” in the Old Testament refers to Jehovah, or Jesus Christ.
The hymn “How Firm a Foundation” (Hymns, no. 85) draws on Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 41:10; 43:2–5; 46:4. After reading these scriptures and singing relevant verses of the hymn, class members could talk about times they have felt the Lord was with them and how their experiences helped them to “fear not.”
What does it mean to be the Lord’s “witnesses”? Class members could ponder this question as they read one or more of the following passages: Isaiah 40:1–3, 9–11; 48:20–21; 49:1–9. The statement in “Additional Resources” could also provide some answers. What are the “good tidings” that we share as the Lord’s witnesses? What in these verses helps us “be not afraid” to share our witness? (Isaiah 40:9). Class members could talk about opportunities they have to be the Lord’s witnesses and how their testimonies can bless others.
To help class members apply the teachings in Isaiah 43:8–13, you could invite them to imagine that they have been called to the witness stand in a court trial. In this trial, Jesus Christ has been charged with making the claim recorded in Isaiah 43:11. If we were called as witnesses in support of Jesus’s claim (see verse 10), what testimony could we offer? What evidence from our lives would we present?
Perhaps class members could discuss how these words from Elder Quentin L. Cook help us understand Isaiah 48:10: “Qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us” (“The Songs They Could Not Sing,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 106). They could also talk about how their own “furnace of affliction” has helped refine them spiritually. How does Isaiah 49:13–16 help us when we are afflicted? See also the video “The Refiner’s Fire” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
President Margaret D. Nadauld explained what it means to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9):
“In standing as a witness at all times, we promise to love the Lord, to honor Him all the time—daytime and nighttime, summer and winter, good times and bad times—love the Lord and let that love show by the way we live. …
“Standing as a witness in all things means all things—big things, little things, in all conversations, in jokes, in games played and books read and music listened to, in causes supported, in service rendered, in clothes worn, in friends made. …
“Finally, we say that we will stand as a witness in all places. That means not only in public places but in private places, in secret, in dark or in light places; in church, school, home, or cars; in mountain places or beach places; on the street or in the park. …
“When we think of the magnificence of [the Savior’s] gift to us, what small thing could we do for Him and for our Heavenly Father who sent Him? We could stand as witnesses of Their love and teachings at all times, in all things, and in all places” (“Stand as a Witness,” Ensign, May 2000, 93, 95).