“Lesson 147: Daniel 6–12,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Lesson 147,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Daniel was cast into a den of lions for praying to God, and God delivered him from harm. Later, Daniel saw visions of the future, including events in the last days.
Invite a student to read aloud the following experience of President Joseph F. Smith. Ask students to listen for how President Smith showed his faithfulness to the Lord.
At age 19, Joseph F. Smith returned home from his first mission and joined a wagon train. One evening, a group of “drunken men rode into the camp on horseback, cursing and swearing and threatening to kill any ‘Mormons’ that came within their path.” Joseph’s “first thought was to … seek shelter in the trees and in flight [as others had done]. Then the thought came to him, ‘Why should I run from these fellows?’ With that thought in mind he boldly marched up … to the campfire.” One of the drunk men, waving a pistol and pointing at Joseph, “demanded in a loud, angry voice, ‘Are you a “Mormon”?’
“Without a moment of hesitation and looking the ruffian in the eye, Joseph F. Smith boldly answered, ‘Yes, siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.’”
Joseph’s response “completely disarmed the belligerent man, and in his bewilderment, he grasped [Joseph] by the hand and said:
“‘Well, you are the [blankety-blank] pleasantest man I ever met! Shake hands, young fellow, I am glad to see a man that stands up for his convictions’” (Life of Joseph F. Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith , 187–89).
How did Joseph F. Smith show his faithfulness to the Lord? What about his situation might have made it difficult to do so?
What are some situations today in which it might be difficult to show your faithfulness to the Lord?
Ask students to look for principles in Daniel 6 that can help them choose to be faithful to the Lord in any situation.
Remind students that Babylon was conquered by the Medes and the Persians, and Darius the Mede was made king over Babylon (see Daniel 5:28, 30–31). Invite a student to read Daniel 6:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Darius organized the government of his kingdom.
How did Darius organize his government? What position was Daniel given?
Why was Daniel preferred above the other leaders?
What do you think it means that Daniel had “an excellent spirit” (Daniel 6:3)?
Invite students to read Daniel 6:4–5 silently, looking for what the other presidents and princes sought to do to Daniel.
What did the other leaders seek to do to Daniel? (You may need to explain that the phrase “to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom” [verse 4] means to find a charge of misconduct against Daniel in the performance of his duties in the kingdom.)
Why were they unsuccessful in finding fault with Daniel?
What did the other leaders realize they needed to use against Daniel? (His commitment to obeying God.)
Invite a student to read Daniel 6:6–9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what these other leaders did to create a dilemma for Daniel.
What was the decree that the other leaders convinced Darius to establish? (You may need to explain that a “petition” [verse 7] is a prayer or earnest request.)
Who did these leaders say had consulted together to propose this decree? How did this give Darius a false impression? (Darius was led to believe that Daniel supported the decree.)
What problem did this decree create for Daniel?
Ask students to consider what they would have done if they were in Daniel’s situation. Invite a student to read Daniel 6:10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Daniel responded to this decree.
How did Daniel respond to this decree?
What action indicates that Daniel was not afraid to be seen or heard obeying the Lord instead of the king’s decree?
How would Daniel have been unfaithful to the Lord if he had obeyed the king’s decree?
Summarize Daniel 6:11–13 by explaining that the other leaders found Daniel praying and told Darius. Invite students to read Daniel 6:14 silently, looking for how Darius responded when he learned about Daniel’s defiance of the decree. Ask students to report what they find.
Invite a student to read Daniel 6:15–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Darius did.
Before casting Daniel into the lions’ den, what did Darius say to him? (You might suggest that students mark the phrase “thy God whom thou servest continually” [verse 16].)
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Daniel 6:18–23. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened to Daniel.
What did the Lord do to deliver Daniel from the lions’ den?
What principle can we learn from Daniel’s example? (Students may identify several principles, but make sure it is clear that if we are continually faithful to the Lord, He will help us through challenges we may experience as a result of our faithfulness. Write this principle on the board.)
Based on what you have learned in your study of the book of Daniel, what do you think it means to be continually faithful to the Lord?
To help students understand this principle, explain that we might not necessarily be threatened with death for being faithful to the Lord, but the world may threaten us with other challenges because of our faithfulness.
Divide students into groups of three or four. Give each group a slip of paper with one of the following faithful actions written on it:
Instruct each group to discuss different “dens of lions,” or challenges, that someone might be threatened with for choosing to act in that faithful way. While students are discussing, draw or display pictures of several lions on the board (one lion for each group of students). After sufficient time, invite a student from each group to come to the board and label one of the lions with the challenges that their group discussed. Ask them to describe the faithful action they were assigned and the possible challenges they came up with.
Why would we choose to be faithful to the Lord if we knew we might experience some of these challenges as a result?
When has the Lord helped you or someone you know endure or overcome a challenge that came as a result of being faithful to Him?
Invite students to ponder situations in their own lives in which they might be threatened with challenges for being faithful to the Lord. Encourage them to be faithful to the Lord in those situations, and testify that as they are faithful, the Lord will help them.
Summarize Daniel 6:24 by explaining that those who accused Daniel and tricked Darius were thrown into the lions’ den with their families.
Invite a student to read Daniel 6:25–28 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the new decree that Darius made. Ask students to report what they find.
Who was affected by Daniel’s fearless decision to obey the Lord?
What can happen if we are not afraid to show our obedience to the Lord? (Students may use different words, but make sure it is clear that if we are not afraid to show our obedience to the Lord, we can help others believe in Him. You might suggest that students write this principle in the margin next to Daniel 6:25–28.)
How can seeing someone’s obedience to the Lord help others believe in Him?
When has your belief in the Lord, or the belief of someone you know, been strengthened because of another person’s example of obedience to Him?
Summarize Daniel 7 by explaining that Daniel saw a vision representing different political kingdoms and evil that would be on the earth from his time through the last days. He also saw a sacred event associated with the Savior’s Second Coming.
Invite a student to read Daniel 7:9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for what Daniel saw.
What did Daniel see would happen to the “thrones,” or worldly governments?
Explain that Joseph Smith revealed that the “Ancient of days” (verse 9) is Adam (see D&C 27:11; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 104). Summarize Daniel 7:10–14 by explaining that Daniel saw a council in which priesthood holders from all the dispensations will account for their stewardships to Adam. Adam will then report to Jesus Christ, whose people will recognize Him as their King (see Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection , 289–91).
Summarize Daniel 7:24–26 by explaining that the Savior will destroy the power of the wicked over the earth when He comes in His glory.
Invite a student to read Daniel 7:18, 27 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who will reign with the Savior in His kingdom on earth after His Second Coming.
Who will reign with the Savior in His kingdom on earth? (After the Second Coming, the Savior will reign on earth with His saints. Write this truth on the board.)
Explain that the title “saints” means “holy ones” and refers to members of the Church who have faithfully kept the commandments. Explain also that after the Savior’s glorious return and His millennial reign, the kingdom “shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High” (verse 27) and this earth in its celestial state will be their home forever.
How can understanding that Jesus Christ will reign on the earth with His saints influence your decision to be faithful to Him?
Inform students that much of Daniel 8–12 consists of descriptions of additional visions of future events that Daniel saw.
Conclude by testifying of the importance of being a faithful follower of the Lord.