Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Saturday, June 30, 2018

“The Lord Be Between Thee and Me For Ever”

*Scripture references have been highlighted in red and are hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window. Please click to read!  
  Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog.

What are some of the qualities you look for in a friend? Do you look for Godly attributes such as of faith, humility, meekness, patience, virture, kindness and charity.  What about loyalty, what is it exactly? Do we look for it in friends?  Are the attributes of faithfulness, trust and integrity, ingredients for loyalty?  The scriptures teach us that they are and also teach us that the strength of our testimonies is the degree to which we demonstrate loyalty, to our friends and most importantly, to our Savior and to the principles which he taught.  Loyalty in essence is the true test of friendship.  

The importance of friendship was established by our Savior when he taught us how to love by saying "“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." And then He taught us that we are his friends and what that means: “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”John 15:12–15.

Then by his prophet Joseph Smith those teachings of friendship were re-enforced when Joseph by word and deed, by every example taught, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."John 15:13-14  

But even from the beginning, even before all of these the Lord established the importance true friendship and its meaning along with its lasting legacies trough the eternities with David and Jonathan from 1 Samuel of the Old Testament.  

Who was Jonathan
After David killed Goliath he was taken before King Saul.  Saul retained David then and would not let him return to his father's house.  He honored David by bringing him into his home and setting him up as the head of the the army.  It was during this time that David developed a close friendship, a brotherhood even, with the eldest son of Saul, who was Jonathan.  The scriptures describe this friendship as a deep devotion and love and the two made a covenant with each other ending with Jonathan, who would have been the heir to the thrown, stripping himself of the robe that was upon him and giving it to David, even his garments, his sword,his bow, and his girdle, he gave him all.  And though David quickly became a hero after he killed Goliath and Saul as well as the entire kingdom honored him, none was as true to David as was Jonathan.  In any day and age that is quite a statement concerning the love and loyalty of friendship.  


Part 1: Jonathan and David make a covenant of friendship. Saul becomes jealous of David and tries to kill him. 1 Samuel 18:1–16

Beginning with 1 Samuel 18:1–16. Jonathan and David make a covenant of friendship (18:1–4). David is honored by the Israelites for his success in battle (1 Samuel 18:5–7). Saul becomes jealous of David and tries to kill him with a javelin (18:8–16; note that the Joseph Smith Translation of 1 Samuel 18:10 indicates that the evil spirit that came upon Saul was not from God.

We learn how David and Jonathan felt about each other in 1 Samuel 18:1, 3  
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
Why would it have been easy for Jonathan to feel jealous of David rather than love?  As Saul’s son, Jonathan was next in line to be king. However, the prophet Samuel had anointed David to become the next king 1 Samuel 16:6–13.  Also while David was greatly honored by the people for his success in battle, Jonathan received little attention for his own success on the battlefield 1 Samuel 14:1–16
Why do you think Jonathan was not jealous of David or threatened by him? Jonathan and David were true friends. Jonathan must have been a man who was pure in heart. Rather than display jealousy, he rejoiced in David's success.  Jonathan, Saul’s son, was one of the most noble men of ancient Israel. He could have seen David as a threat, as Saul did, since the oldest son generally succeeded to the kingship. But instead, Jonathan assisted David, even helping him to escape from Saul. Truly Jonathan loved David “as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught:  "When we are struggling to learn to love, we can have faith in God's developmental plans for others as well as for ourselves. Then we do not feel threatened by those who are our superiors or who are becoming such. The more unselfish we are, the more able we are to find joy in their successes, all the while rejoicing without comparing. In any case, our only valid spiritual competition is with our old selves, not with each other. True love and friendship enable us to keep that perspective. The things about other people that truly matter are their qualities such as love, mercy, justice, and patience, and their service to others." (Not My Will, But Thine, p70)
How did Jonathan show his support for David?  1 Samuel 18:4   And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
How did King Saul feel about David after the slaying of Goliath?  1 Samuel 18:2. Saul took David into his home and set him over his armies. 
And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
How did David show his loyalty to King Saul? 1 Samuel 18:5  And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.
What prompted Saul to turn against David? 1 Samuel 18:6–9   David was too popular for Saul's liking. "When David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, . . . women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick."  This should have pleased the king, and probably did until they began to sing about David and compare his accomplishments with those of Saul. "Saul hath slain his thousands," they sang, "and David his ten thousands."  This was like gall to Saul, who "was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward."
And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
Once again weaknesses in Saul’s character began to manifest themselves. He was jealous of David’s newly won popularity (see vv. 6–8, 16). Verse 10 in the Joseph Smith Translation again makes it clear that the evil spirit Saul possessed was not from God.
Why is it sometimes difficult to be happy about the success of others? We could feel that we are not good enough or don't measure up.  We sometimes take the success of others and use it as a measure if out own worth, in doing so we can become jealous and full of dark feelings.
How do jealousy and pride affect our spiritual well-being?  President Ezra Taft Benson said:  “Saul became an enemy to David through pride. He was jealous because the crowds of Israelite women were singing that ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’ (1 Samuel 18:7; see also 1 Samuel 18:6, 8).  “The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment. … ‘What will men think of me?’ weighs heavier than ‘What will God think of me?’ …“Fear of men’s judgment manifests itself in competition for men’s approval. The proud love ‘the praise of men more than the praise of God’ (John 12:42–43). Our motives for the things we do are where the sin is manifest. Jesus said He did ‘always those things’ that pleased God (John 8:29). Would we not do well to have the pleasing of God as our motive rather than to try to elevate ourselves above our brother and outdo another?  “Some prideful people are not so concerned as to whether their wages meet their needs as they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. Their reward is being a cut above the rest. …“When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let go of the iron rod” (Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 4–5; or Ensign, May 1989, 5)
How did David act after the Lord blessed him with success on the battlefield?  1 Samuel 18:5, 14–16  
14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.
15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.
What do you think it means to “behave [ourselves] wisely” when we are successful? Rather than boast in ourselves we should stay humble giving the glory to God.  
Part 2. Saul fails in three attempts to take David’s life 1 Samuel 18:17–3019:1–18
Moving to 1 Samuel 18:17–3019:1–18. David fights the Philistines in exchange for the right to marry Saul’s daughter, unaware that Saul is hoping David will die on the battlefield (18:17–25). David triumphs over the Philistines and marries Saul’s daughter Michal (18:26–28). Jonathan tells David to hide and tries to convince Saul not to kill him (19:1–7). Saul fails in another attempt to kill David with a javelin (19:9–10; see footnote 9a). Michal saves David from another of Saul’s attempts on his life (19:11–18).  
Whenever the evil spirit came upon Saul, or when his anger rose and cast him into temper tantrums, he was vicious. His jealousy of David was now so high that he was willing to kill him to preserve his own vanity.  One day as Saul sat upon his throne, David played his harp nearby to soothe the king's feelings. But anger and jealousy reached the explosive point with Saul, who looked upon David with deep hatred. He hurled a javelin at him, thinking, "I will smite David even to the wall with it."  But David, sensing the problem, was ever watchful, and when Saul threw the javelin, David quickly jumped to one side and saved his life. "And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul. Therefore Saul removed him from him."
Saul offered to let David marry one of his daughters if David would fight the Philistines. What was Saul’s real motive in doing this? 1 Samuel 18:20–25
20 And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
22 ¶ And Saul commanded his servants, saying,Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king’s son in law.
23 And Saul’s servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David.
25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
Saul was cunning, and he now planned to place David in a position in battle where the Philistines would be sure to kill him. Having made him commander of a thousand men, Saul said to himself, "Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him." It was a murderous scheme.  As a ruse to give the appearance of friendliness and confidence, the king offered David the hand of his daughter Merab in marriage, saying at the same time, "Only be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord's battles." He still had in mind putting David in hot combat where he would be killed.David was not pleased with Saul's marriage proposal, and he said, "Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king?"
Apparently the marriage was arranged, but before it was solemnized the king gave Merab to another man, probably to embarrass David. But unknown to the king, his younger daughter Michal had fallen in love with David, and when Saul learned of this he was pleased. He said, "I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." Then he said to David, "Thou shalt this day be my son in law."  David was not too impressed with this proposal of marriage either, since it became necessary for Saul to tell his servants: "Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law.  "And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?  "And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David.  "And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.  "And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired.  "Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.  "And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him.  "And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David's enemy continually.  "Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by." (1 Sam. 18.)  (Three Kings of Israel Mark E Peterson)
How was Jonathan a true friend when Saul sought to kill David?  1 Samuel 19:1–7
And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.
But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:
And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.
¶ And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:
For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?
And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.
And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.
What does it mean to be a true friend?  All of us need true friends to love us, to listen to us, to show us the way, and to testify of truth to us.
 In what ways are your friends true to you? How are you true to your friends?
Despite Jonathan’s efforts to change Saul’s feelings toward David, Saul continued to seek David’s life 1 Samuel 19:9–10
And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.
10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
How did Michal, David’s wife, show that she was true to her husband?  1 Samuel 19:11–18
11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.
12 ¶ So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.
13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered itwith a cloth.
14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.
15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.
16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster.
17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?
18 ¶ So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

Part 3: David and Jonathan renew their covenant of friendship, and Jonathan saves David’s life 1 Samuel 20

1 Samuel 20 Tells of how Jonathan and David renew their covenant of friendship and peace (note that this covenant was not only between Jonathan and David but was also between their households). When Saul again tries to kill David, Jonathan warns David to flee.
What was David’s reaction to Saul’s hatred and efforts to kill him? 1 Samuel 20:1   David needed to know Saul’s disposition toward him before he could safely remain at court as Saul had ordered
 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?
How did Jonathan continue to show his friendship while Saul sought David’s life? 1 Samuel 20:2–4, 13–17, 23  Jonathan’s brotherly love for David remained firm, even in the face of his father’s wrath.
And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so.
And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.
Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.
13 The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father.
14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not:
15 But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David’s enemies.
17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
How did faith in God influence the friendship of Jonathan and David? 1 Samuel 20:23  And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between thee and me for ever.
How does our love of God affect our love of others? 
If we place loyalty to God first in our lives, what will we do if our friends do things that are wrong? We will lovingly try to help our friends change.
What will we do if our friends ask us to do things that are wrong? We will not do unrighteous things that our friends ask us to do, regardless of the social consequences, and we will try to influence our friends to make righteous choices.
How was Jonathan to let David know if it was safe to come back to Saul’s court? 1 Samuel 20:5–7, 18–22    A sacrifice and a feast at every new moon (Numbers 10:1028:11) afforded Jonathan a perfect opportunity to inquire into the matter.
And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.
If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beth-lehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
How did King Saul respond to David’s absence and Jonathan’s defense of his friend? 1 Samuel 20:24–33   So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat.
25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, evenupon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty.
26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean.
27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?
28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem:
29 And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king’s table.
30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman,do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?
31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.
32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.
How did Jonathan warn David to flee from Saul?  So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
35 ¶ And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him.
36 And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
37 And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?
38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.
39 But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
41 ¶ And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

Part 4: Saul is consumed by hatred for David. David spares Saul’s life 1 Samuel 23–24 

In these last two chapters of 1 Samuel 23–24 we learn one very important thing, David continues to fight the Philistines and flee Saul, but David finds Saul and spares his life.
This is an aspect of David’s character that is much to be admired. Although anointed by God’s prophet to be king of Israel, and although Saul constantly sought his life, this chosen servant of the Lord still would not lift his hand against Saul so long as Saul lived.  David understood an important priesthood principle, that is, that one has loyalty to those called by the Lord to preside even when they may not function perfectly in their calling. Saul was failing miserably, but David knew that it was the Lord’s responsibility to remove Saul, not his.
During this time in the history David was blessed with continued success on the battlefield 1 Samuel 23:1–5
Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.
Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?
Then David inquired of the Lord yet again. And the Lord answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smotethem with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
Why did David have to leave the city of Keilah after he had saved its people from the Philistines? 1 Samuel 23:7–13  
And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.
And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
¶ And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.
10 Then said David, O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the Lordsaid, He will come down.
12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up.
13 ¶ Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.
When Saul learned that David was in Keilah, he prepared his armies to destroy the entire city 1 Samuel 23:10  What changed Saul from a righteous king to someone who was willing to destroy an entire city in order to kill one person?  Jealousy and hatred.
President Joseph Fielding Smith: "Our misery, poverty and jealousy come because of selfishness and greed and in the failure to heed the word of the Lord." (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:202)
Why are jealousy and hatred so consuming? When we commit sin and fail to repent, we lose the companionship of the spirit. When that happens, we allow unsavory influences to direct our life. The spirit is no longer present to warn us of a tendency towards jealousy and hatred. As we have seen in the story of Saul, it consumes one's life.
President John Taylor:  "...if we allow covetousness, pride, envy, jealousy, hatred, malice, lasciviousness, drunkenness, Sabbath-breaking, or any other influence to corrupt and lead us astray from the light of truth and the sweet consoling influences of the Spirit of God, we shall get into darkness, and then, as I said before, if the light that is within us becomes darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Journal of Discourses, 26:133)
President George Q. Cannon:  "Whence is it that anger comes? You will see a man all at once seized with a spirit of anger; another time you will see a person seized with a spirit of jealousy, or some other evil influence, infuriated sometimes, so much so that he or she is transformed. You have seen people's faces completely changed by the spirit that takes possession of them. They cannot see that power; but it is undoubtedly a spiritual entity. We may not be conscious of it, but it takes possession of us if we yield to it." (Collected Discourses, Vol 4, August 26, 1894)
How can we rid ourselves of jealousy or hatred?  President David O. McKay:  "...jealousy, hatred, envy, animosity—all such evils you must overcome by suppression. That is where your control comes in. Suppress that anger! Suppress that jealousy, that envy! They are all injurious to the spirit anyhow." (Gospel Ideals, p356)
President David O. McKay:  "As men of the priesthood, as women of the Church, [we have the responsibility] to make our homes such as will radiate to our neighbors harmony, love, community duties, loyalty. Let our neighbors see it and hear it. Never must there be expressed in a Latter-day Saint home an oath, a condemnatory term, an expression of anger or jealousy or hatred. Control it. Do not express it. You do what you can to produce peace and harmony, no matter what you may suffer." (Conference Report, Apr 1963)
President George Q. Cannon:  "The Lord our God has sent us here to get experience in these things so that we may know the good from the evil and be able to close our hearts against the evil…. It is true that some have greater power of resistance than others, but everyone has the power to close his heart against doubt, against darkness, against unbelief, against depression, against anger, against hatred, against jealousy, against malice, against envy. God has given this power unto all of us, and we can gain still greater power by calling upon Him for that which we lack. If it were not so, how could we be condemned for giving way to wrong influences?" (Gospel Truth, 1:19)
George W. McCune (one time president of the Eastern States Mission):  "Let us seek earnestly to be truly humble, have a desire to have our souls fed. If we do this, I know that the Lord will bless us. When we are in this attitude, there is no room in our hearts for hatred or for jealousy or anything of that kind; there is true love in our hearts. And when we get true love in our hearts we are being fed with the bread of life." (Conference Report, Oct 1919)
Saul's pursuit of David never slackened, making it necessary for David to go into hiding. . His father and mother were with him in the cave for he feared for their safety, for Saul was without pity, so he took them to Moab and left them there for safekeeping while he took his small fighting force away.  When David was hiding from Saul, Jonathan visited David and “strengthened his hand in God”  1 Samuel 23:16
16 ¶ And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
What do you think this means? How can we strengthen our friends in God?  I can still remember, as if it were today, friends who touched my life for good long ago. They are gone, but the memory of their love, example, faith, and testimony still lifts me. (True Friends Henry B Eyring) 
Later, as Saul was returning from following the Philistines, he was told, "Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi." So Saul took three thousand men and went out to find David and his men "upon the rocks of the wild goats."  Saul "came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.  1 Samuel 24:1–3 
What did David’s men say when they found Saul? 1 Samuel 24:4  "And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.
What did David do?  1 Samuel 24:4–5   David cut off the hem of Saul’s robe—the portion of the robe that symbolized authority. "And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.  "And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way."
Why did David refuse to harm Saul? 1 Samuel 24:6–12   And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.
So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.
David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
¶ And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?
10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lordhad delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed.
11 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.
12 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lordavenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
So determined was David to serve the Lord in all he did that he constantly refused to retaliate when Saul attacked him. Always in his mind was one great principle: He would not lift his hand against the Lord's anointed.
What does David’s example teach us about revenge and about responding to those who do evil to us?  1 Samuel 24:12–15  Mormon 8:20
12 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lordavenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickednessproceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.
15 The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.
President Spencer W. Kimball: "The spirit of revenge, of retaliation, of bearing a grudge, is entirely foreign to the gospel of the gentle, forgiving Jesus Christ." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p105)
President Joseph F. Smith:  "We carry to the world the olive branch of peace. We present to the world the law of God, the word of the Lord, the truth, as it has been revealed in the latter day for the redemption of the dead and for the salvation of the living. We bear no malice nor evil toward the children of men. The spirit of forgiveness pervades the hearts of the Saints of God, and they do not cherish a desire or feeling of revenge toward their enemies or those who hurt or molest them or seek to make them afraid; but on the contrary, the Spirit of the Lord has possession of their spirits, of their souls, and of their thoughts; they forgive all men, and they carry no malice in their hearts toward any, no matter what they have done. They say in their hearts, let God judge between us and our enemies, and as for us, we forgive them, and we bear no malice toward any." (Gospel Doctrine, p74)
What did Saul say when David spared his life?  1 Samuel 24:16–19
16 ¶ And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.
17 And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
18 And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not.
19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the Lord reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this da


The story of Jonathan and David reminds us that true friendship and love bring us closer to our friends and to God. The story of Saul reminds us that jealousy and hatred can consume us and lead us away from our friends and from God. As we are taught by the Savior it is most important, even very important to be true to our friends that we may be able to say to them“The Lord be between thee and me for ever” ....

Friendship self-evaluation

  1. What was the last kind thing you did for someone?
  2. What do you do when you hear someone saying unkind things about another person?
  3. What have you done to help your friends be better people?
  4. Resources
  5. Old Testament Student Manual
  6. Three Kings of Israel Mark E Peterson
  7. In Perfect Balance Spencer J Condie
  8. Companion to Your Study of the Old Testament Daniel H Ludlow
  9. Journal of Discourses
  10. Ensign
  11. Conference Reports
  12. True Friends Henry B Eyring
  13. Gospel Doctrine Manual
  14. Teachings of Spencer W Kimball
  15. Gospel Truth
  16. Gospel Ideals
  17. Collected Discourses 
  18. Church History and Modern Revelation
  19. Not My Will but Thine

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The Fall of Adam and Eve

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