“Unit 22: Day 2, Job 17–37,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 22: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide
After suffering great afflictions, Job defended himself against his friends who claimed that his trials were the consequences of his sins. He also testified of his Redeemer. Elihu, one of Job’s friends, challenged Job’s claims of innocence.
As you prepare to study Job 17–31, read the following account:
When President Thomas S. Monson was a youth, his 15-year-old friend and neighbor Arthur Patton enlisted in the United States Navy to serve in World War II. President Monson recalled:
“Arthur’s mother was so proud of the blue star which graced her living room window. It represented to every passerby that her son wore the uniform of his country and was actively serving. When I would pass the house, she often opened the door and invited me in to read the latest letter from Arthur. Her eyes would fill with tears; I would then be asked to read aloud. Arthur meant everything to his widowed mother. …
“… While at Saipan in the South Pacific, the ship [Arthur served on] was attacked. Arthur was one of those on board who was lost at sea.
“The blue star was taken from its hallowed spot in the front window of the Patton home. It was replaced by one of gold, indicating that he whom the blue star represented had been killed in battle. A light went out in the life of Mrs. Patton. She groped in utter darkness and deep despair.
“With a prayer in my heart, I approached the familiar walkway to the Patton home, wondering what words of comfort could come from the lips of a mere boy” (“Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 22).
What would you say to comfort someone who was grieving the death of a loved one?
Like Mrs. Patton, we may experience times when we will grieve the death of a loved one. In addition, each of us at some time will die. As you continue your study of the book of Job, look for truths that can help us when we or our loved ones are confronted with death.
Read Job 17:1, looking for what Job said about his condition.
What do you think Job meant when he said “the graves are ready for me”?
Read Job 17:15, looking for the question Job asked.
How do you think Job may have felt when he asked, “Where is now my hope?”
Remember that in the previous lesson you learned that Job’s friends claimed that the trials he faced must have been because of his wickedness. In Job 18, one of these friends, Bildad, spoke about the state of the wicked who do not know God, implying that Job was also wicked.
In your own words, what was Job saying to his friends?
Read Job 19:23–27, looking for what Job testified that he knew. You may wish to mark what you find in your scriptures.
The phrase “after my skin worms destroy this body” in verse 26 refers to the death and subsequent decay of Job’s physical body. Notice the phrase “yet in my flesh shall I see God” in that same verse.
Consider how it is possible for Job to see God in his physical body after he dies and his physical body decomposes. Job understood that because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we too will be resurrected.
As you read the following statement from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, look for how our testimony of the Savior and the Resurrection can give us hope not only when we are confronted with death, but also when we experience other kinds of challenges: “The assurance of resurrection gives us the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love, such things as the physical, mental, or emotional deficiencies we bring with us at birth or acquire during mortal life. Because of the resurrection, we know that these mortal deficiencies are only temporary!” (“Resurrection,” Ensign, May 2000, 15).
How can knowing that Jesus Christ has brought about the resurrection of all mankind help us as we experience trials? Answer this question by completing the following principle: Our testimony of the Savior can in the midst of our trials.
- In your scripture study journal, write about a time when you witnessed someone’s faith and testimony in the Savior give them hope in the midst of a trial.
- Job not only possessed a testimony of the Savior but also desired to write it down, preserve it, and share it with others (see Job 19:23). Recording and preserving our testimonies can help us during future times of trial to remember the comforting and hopeful doctrines we know to be true. In your scripture study journal, write your testimony of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection.
At the beginning of this lesson, you read about President Monson, as a young man, going to comfort Mrs. Patton after her son, Arthur, was killed. As you read the conclusion of President Monson’s account, notice what happened because he chose to share his testimony of the Savior.
“The door opened, and Mrs. Patton embraced me as she would her own son. Home became a chapel as a grief-stricken mother and a less-than-adequate boy knelt in prayer.
“Arising from our knees, Mrs. Patton gazed into my eyes and spoke: ‘Tommy, I belong to no church, but you do. Tell me, will Arthur live again?’ To the best of my ability, I testified to her that Arthur would indeed live again” (“Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues,” 22).
President Monson told how, 25 years later, after he had lost contact with Mrs. Patton, he gave a talk during a general conference of the Church entitled “Mrs. Patton, Arthur Lives!” (see Conference Report, Apr. 1969, 126–29). He recalled:
“As I concluded my message those long years ago, I expressed to Mrs. Patton my personal testimony as a special witness, telling her that God our Father was mindful of her—that through sincere prayer she could communicate with Him; that He too had a Son who died, even Jesus Christ the Lord; that He is our advocate with the Father, the Prince of Peace, our Savior and divine Redeemer, and one day we would see Him face-to-face.
“I hoped that my message to Mrs. Patton would reach and touch others who had lost a loved one.
“… I had little or no hope that Mrs. Patton would actually hear the talk. I had no reason to think she would listen to general conference. As I have mentioned, she was not a member of the Church. And then I learned that something akin to a miracle had taken place. Having no idea whatsoever who would be speaking at conference or what subjects they might speak about, Latter-day Saint neighbors of Mrs. Terese Patton in California, where she had moved, invited her to their home to listen to a session of conference with them. She accepted their invitation and thus was listening to the very session where I directed my remarks to her personally.
“… To my astonishment and joy, I received a letter … from Mrs. Terese Patton. I share with you a part of that letter:
“‘I hope you don’t mind my calling you Tommy, as I always think of you that way. I don’t know how to thank you for the comforting talk you gave.
“Arthur was 15 years old when he enlisted in the navy. He was killed one month before his 19th birthday. …
“It was wonderful of you to think of us. I don’t know how to thank you for your comforting words, both when Arthur died and again in your talk. I have had many questions over the years, and you have answered them. I am now at peace concerning Arthur. … God bless and keep you always” (“Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues,” 23–24).
This account can help us see why it is important for us to share our testimony of the Savior with others. Prayerfully seek opportunities to share your testimony of Jesus Christ.
In Job 20–22 we read that Job’s friends insisted that the wicked cannot prosper. Job acknowledged that sometimes the wicked do prosper in terms of their worldly possessions, but ultimately the Lord will administer justice on the Day of Judgment.
In Job 23 we read that Job taught about how the Lord had blessed him by allowing him to experience trials.
Read each of the following verses, looking for what they teach about the accompanying principles. Use your own words to complete the principle taught in Job 23:6.
Job 23:6. If we come to the Lord in our afflictions, then He will .
Job 23:10. Our trials can refine and purify us.
Job 23:16. Our trials can soften our hearts.
- Complete the following assignments in your scripture study journal:
Describe an experience when you were strengthened in your afflictions as you turned to the Lord.
Describe an experience when your trials helped to refine and purify you.
Describe an experience when your trials made your heart softer or more tender.
Throughout Job 24–31, Job’s friends continued to challenge him, and he responded to their accusations.
In Job 32–37 we learn that Elihu, another one of Job’s friends, spoke out against Job and his other friends because he believed they had not been firm enough with Job and had failed to answer Job’s questions. Elihu also discussed some challenges that are common to all people. Read the chapter headings for Job 32–37, looking for some of Elihu’s teachings.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Job 17–37 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: