Monday, September 23, 2013

Scripture Mastery: Old Testament

In the seminary classes that our church youth attend, they are encouraged to learn a set of "scripture mastery" scriptures.  There are 25 from each of our 4 books of scripture:  The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.  (Okay, technically that is 5, but we sort of lump the Pearl of Great Price in with the Doctrine and Covenants, and part of it in with the Old Testment :)

These scripture mastery verses are specifically chosen to help youth learn basic gospel doctrine.  Learning them also helps prepare young men and women for future missionary service.  Some of the new scriptures help correlate with lessons the youth will be having. 

Some students even memorize these scriptures, but at very least become familiar with the wording, and where they can be found.  Seminary students often have a "scripture chase" where  they are given a clue, and race to see who can find the corresponding scripture first.  Scripture mastery study helps students to really become familiar with some key gospel doctrine. 

Our church recently revised the scripture mastery list.  They omitted some scriptures that used to be on the list.  They added some scriptures that weren't on the previous list.  Some of the scripture references were changed to add an additional verse in order to make more clear the doctrine being taught in that verse.  I'm very excited about these changes, and have already been studying to see which verses have been added.  I am so excited in fact, that I wanted to share them with you!  I will begin with the Old Testament, and perhaps add an explanation or two about why I like this addition, or why I think it is useful for students and future missionaries. I'm listing all of the scriptures in the list, but I will note which ones are new.

 (These first few are from the Pearl of Great Price.  I will try to write a separate post about why this is included in our Old Testament list.)
Moses 1:39
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Moses 7:18
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

Abraham 3:22-23
22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
Genesis 1:26-27
26 ¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 2:24
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
I think this one was added to help support the teachings found in the "Proclamation on the Family".
Genesis 39:9
9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Exodua 19:5-6
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Exodus 20:3-17
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 ¶Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. 
Joshua 24:15
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
1 Samuel 16:7
 7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Psalms 24:3-4
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Psalms 119:105
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalms 127:3
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
(This one also helps support the teachings found in "The Proclamation on the Family")
Proverbs 3:5-6
5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 
Isaiah 1:18
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 5:20
20 ¶Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
(Isn't this so applicable for today's world?)
Isaiah 29:13-14
13 ¶Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
Isaiah 53:3-5
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 ¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 58:6-7
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
(I should mention here that one of our practices is to fast for two meals once a month and contribute the money saved to help the poor.  This scripture supports that practice.)
Jeremiah 1:4-5
4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
(This scripture supports our belief that we existed as spirits before this life, and lived with our Father in heaven.  We used a different scripture before to support this teaching.)

Ezekiel 37:15-17
15 ¶The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
(We believe this scripture is talking about 1. The Bible, which is "for Judah", and 2. The Book of Mormon which is the "stick" written for "Ephraim", or the people of the American continent who were descendants of Joseph.  Combined together, these two books become one in our hand in testifying that Jesus is the Christ.)
Amos 3:7
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
(This scripture supports our belief in living Prophets.)
Malachi 3:8-10
8 ¶Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
(This scripture supports our belief in paying tithes and offerings.)
Malachi 4:5-6
5 ¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
(This scripture supports our belief in doing geneology and temple work for our ancestors.  More information about this scripture is found in the Doctrine and Covenants.)
I know that there are many other Old Testament scriptures that are important.  They are taught during seminary lessons.  But these 25 are core scriptures that are emphasized.  I will write another post another day to share the New Testament scriptures.

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