“Lesson 40: ‘Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent’” Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual (2001), 190–93
“Lesson 40,” Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 190–93
To encourage class members to strengthen the stakes of Zion and prepare for the Second Coming and the Millennium.
As you teach the following scripture passages, discuss how they apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.
What do you think is the meaning of the phrase “Enlarge the place of thy tent”? (Isaiah 54:2). (The Lord wants Church members to share the gospel with many people so it can cover the earth. Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, the Church would grow rapidly and many people throughout the world would be converted to the truth [Isaiah 54:3]).
What other counsel is given in Isaiah 54:3 regarding the tent, or Church? How can we follow this counsel? You may want to summarize the discussion on the chalkboard, as illustrated below.
What We Can Do
Stretch the tent curtains and lengthen the cords.
Serve as full-time missionaries; share the gospel with friends and neighbors.
Strengthen the tent stakes.
Strengthen our local stakes.
What can we do to strengthen the stake in which we live? (Answers could include the following: Develop personal spiritual strength, influence our families and friends to do the same, serve our member and nonmember neighbors, and accept calls from priesthood leaders to serve in the Church.)
How can stakes bless people’s lives? (See D&C 115:5–6.) How are the stakes of Zion places of defense and refuge for us?
Although Israel was scattered for many years, the Lord promised that he would gather her to the true Church in the last days (Isaiah 54:4–10). What can we learn about the Lord in Isaiah 54:4–10? What specific blessings does the Lord promise his righteous servants? (See Isaiah 54:13–14, 17.) Why are these promises important?
Who is invited to find refuge by gathering with the Saints? (All of Heavenly Father’s children.) Review the following passages from Isaiah that describe groups of people whom the Lord wants to come to him and find safety in the gospel:
Isaiah 55:1–3. (All who thirst.) What kind of thirst is referred to in these verses? What happens when we try to satisfy spiritual thirst by spending money and effort on temporal things? How can our spiritual thirst be truly satisfied? (See 2 Nephi 9:50–51; 3 Nephi 20:8.)
Isaiah 55:6–7. (The wicked who will repent.) What promise is extended to those who repent?
Isaiah 56:3, 5–8. (Strangers who do not know the Lord.) What must the stranger do to be accepted by the Lord?
What do these passages teach about the mercy of the Lord? What do they teach about how we should view all of Heavenly Father’s children?
Throughout his writings, Isaiah testified that although there would be struggles, temptations, and suffering in this world, good would overcome evil in the end, and for the righteous, the future would be full of joy. Isaiah prayed fervently for the Second Coming of the Savior, which would bring retribution for the wicked and great rejoicing for the righteous (Isaiah 64). What message of hope and joy is contained in Isaiah 64:1–4? How does this message increase your desire to endure to the end in serving the Lord?
The closing chapters of Isaiah’s record present a beautiful picture of the Millennium, the thousand-year period of peace that will be ushered in by the Savior’s Second Coming. As recorded in Isaiah 65:17–25, what conditions will exist during the Millennium? (You may want to list these conditions on the chalkboard; see also Isaiah 11:6–9.)
The Lord will create new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17).
There will be great joy and no more weeping for the Lord’s people (Isaiah 65:18–19).
People will not die young; they will live to be 100 years old (Isaiah 65:20).
People will enjoy the fruits of their own labors (Isaiah 65:21–23).
Prayers will be answered immediately (Isaiah 65:24).
There will be no enmity among beasts (Isaiah 65:25).
What does Isaiah 63:7–9 teach about the infinite goodness and love of the Lord? (Ask class members to suggest words and phrases from these verses that show the Savior’s love for us. You may want to write these on the chalkboard.) In what ways has the Savior shown you “the multitude of his lovingkindnesses”?
The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use one or more of these ideas as part of the lesson.