Home-Study Lesson: Exodus 14–20 (Unit 10)

“Home-Study Lesson: Exodus 14–20 (Unit 10)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

“Unit 10,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

Home-Study Lesson

Exodus 14–20 (Unit 10)

Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher

Summary of Daily Home-Study Lessons

The following summary of the doctrines and principles students learned as they studied Exodus 14–20 (unit 10) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of your students.

Day 1 (Exodus 14–15)

In learning about the Lord’s deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptian army at the Red Sea, students discovered important truths about having faith in the Lord and recognizing what He has done for us. From the experience of the healing of the waters of Marah, students learned that if we seek the Lord’s guidance when facing difficulties, He can inspire us to know how to proceed.

Day 2 (Exodus 16:1–17:7)

In their study about the Lord’s gifts of manna, quail, and water for the children of Israel, students identified the following principles: One reason the Lord gives us commandments is to test our obedience to Him. When we murmur against Church leaders, we are really murmuring against the Lord. As we remember the Lord daily, our trust in Him will grow. Jesus Christ is the source of all spiritual nourishment.

Day 3 (Exodus 17:8–19:25)

From the experience of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’s hands so that Israel could prevail against their enemies, students learned that as we sustain the prophet, we will prevail in our conflict against Satan. In studying Israel’s preparation to enter into a covenant with the Lord at Mount Sinai, students discovered that if we obey the Lord’s voice and keep our covenants with Him, then we will become the Lord’s treasured possession and His holy people. Students also learned that to be prepared to return to God’s presence, we must enter into His covenant and obey His commandments.

Day 4 (Exodus 20)

In studying about the Ten Commandments and the Israelites’ experience at Mount Sinai, students discovered that if we love God and keep His commandments, then He will show us mercy. They also learned that reverence for God helps us to resist sin.


While the children of Israel were camped at Mount Sinai, God gave them the Ten Commandments. This lesson can help students understand principles related to two of the Ten Commandments: keep the Sabbath day holy and honor your father and mother.

Note: This lesson provides an opportunity for two students to teach the class. To be sure these students have time to prepare, provide each student with a copy of the section he or she is to teach a week in advance. You could also choose to teach these sections yourself.

Students studied two scripture mastery passages in this unit. The mastery passage in Exodus 20:3–17 will be reviewed in the beginning of this lesson. You may want to review Exodus 19:5–6 at the end of the lesson by reciting it together with students and perhaps discussing how it relates to what they learned in the lesson today.

As students studied Exodus 19 on day 3 of this unit, they began working on a handout titled “Moses’s and Israel’s Experiences with Jehovah at Mount Sinai.” A completed version of the handout is located in the appendix of this manual.

Suggestions for Teaching

Exodus 20:1–17

God gives the children of Israel the Ten Commandments

Invite students to help list the Ten Commandments on the board. Remind them that these commandments are found in the scripture mastery passage Exodus 20:3–17.

  • If someone were to ask you what the most important commandment is, what would you say? Why?

Explain that the Savior was asked a similar question during His mortal ministry. Invite a student to read Matthew 22:36–40 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the Savior responded. Ask students to report what they find.

Write the headings Love God and Love Thy Neighbor on the board. Explain that the Savior summarized all of God’s commandments into these two commandments.

Remind students that while the Israelites were camped at Mount Sinai, they heard the voice of God give the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1; Deuteronomy 4:12–13; 5:22–26). Ask students to categorize each of the Ten Commandments under one of the two headings on the board. Write the number of the commandment under the heading students select. (One way to categorize them is identifying that commandments 1 through 4 deal with loving God and commandments 5 through 10 deal with loving our neighbor.)

Write the following principle on the board: By living the Ten Commandments, we can show love for God and our neighbor. Explain that in this lesson students will have the opportunity to learn more about one commandment that pertains to loving God and one that pertains to loving our neighbor.

The remainder of this lesson is designed for two students to teach.

Student Teacher 1—Exodus 20:8–11

Ask your classmates:

  • What was a special day in your life that you will always want to remember? Why is that day important to you?

Invite a classmate to read Exodus 20:8–11 aloud. Ask the other students to follow along, looking for a special day the Lord wants us to remember.

After the verses have been read, ask your classmates:

  • According to Exodus 20:10, who does the Sabbath day belong to?

  • How did the Sabbath become a holy day? (After the Creation of the earth and all things upon it, the Lord blessed and hallowed the Sabbath day. This means He set it apart so it would be different from all the other days.)

You may want to invite your classmates to write the following truth in their scriptures: The Sabbath is the Lord’s day and is holy.

Explain that because the Sabbath is already holy, our responsibility is to keep it holy. Then ask the following questions:

  • Based on what we learn in verses 9–10, what must we do to keep the Sabbath a holy day? (Your classmates may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: Resting from our labors on the Sabbath can help us keep it a holy day.)

  • How can obeying the instructions in verse 9 help us obey the instructions in verse 10?

  • What are some other ways that we can keep the Sabbath a holy day? (If your classmates need help with some ideas, see D&C 59:9–13. You could also be prepared with information from For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 30–31. Listing things you can and should do on the Sabbath and not just things you should not do will increase your peers’ understanding of the value of the Sabbath day.)

  • How have you been blessed as you have kept the Sabbath a holy day?

As you conclude, you may want to explain why the Sabbath day is important to you and how you have been blessed by keeping the Sabbath a holy day.

Student Teacher 2—Exodus 20:12

Remind your classmates of the commandment to honor our fathers and mothers (see Exodus 20:12). Then ask:

  • Why do you think the way we treat our parents is important to the Lord?

Invite a classmate to read Exodus 20:12 aloud. Ask the other students to follow along, looking for the blessing the Lord promised those who obey the commandment to honor their father and mother.

Explain that the land referred to in verse 12 was the land of Canaan, which had been promised to the children of Israel if they kept their covenants with the Lord. However, they learned that if they broke their covenants they would be driven from the land and scattered (see Deuteronomy 4:23–38). We can learn the following principle from verse 12: As we honor our parents, the Lord will bless us.

Ask the following questions:

  • What do you think it means to honor your father and mother? (If needed, you may want to point out that we honor them as we show love and respect for them. We also bring honor to them as we live righteously.)

  • How can a person honor a parent who is not living righteously or who teaches his or her children to do things that are contrary to Heavenly Father’s commandments? (As your classmates respond, you may want to point out that the commandment to honor your parents comes after the first commandment to love and serve Heavenly Father above all else [see Exodus 20:3; Matthew 22:35–39]. In addition, we can show love and respect for our earthly parents even when they are not perfect.)

  • How have you been blessed as you have honored your parents?

As you conclude, you may want to display a picture of your parents or guardians. You might share an experience when you honored them and were blessed as you did so. Invite your classmates to consider what they might do to more fully honor their parents.

Next Unit (Exodus 21–36)

To help students prepare for their study of the next unit, ask the following questions: Would you bow to a golden calf? Why would the children of Israel make an idol? Invite students to consider times in their lives when they have disobeyed God’s commandments. Explain that as they continue their study of Exodus in the coming week, they will learn important truths from the Lord’s dealings with the children of Israel after they disobeyed His commandments by making and worshipping a golden calf.