Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Saturday, September 15, 2018

“I Will Betroth Thee unto Me in Righteousness”




*Scripture references have been highlighted in red and are hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org 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.



For many of us studying to Old Testament, even just trying to read it is difficult, the language and sinereos are complicated for us to understand, ever wonder why that is?  

Well, many Prophets of the Old Testament used comparisons to teach the gospel.  Comparing a complicated or unfamiliar idea with one that is simpler or more familiar makes the idea more understandable to the people who are being taught. Comparisons also help provide a lot of detail in just a few words.  Doesn't really help us because we are in a different time with different meanings, so to help us understand Comparisons in the scriptures following are few smaller ones from the book of Hosea:


  • “The children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea” (Hosea 1:10)
  • “I will pour out my wrath upon them like water” (Hosea 5:10)
  • “The Lord … shall come unto us as the rain” (Hosea 6:3)
  • “He shall come as an eagle” (Hosea 8:1)
  • “Israel is an empty vine” (Hosea 10:1)
  • “Judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field” (Hosea 10:4)
  • “They shall be … as the smoke out of the chimney” (Hosea 13:3)
  • “I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps [cubs]” (Hosea 13:8)
  • “I am like a green fir tree” (Hosea 14:8)
  • The book of Hosea contains several comparisons and similitudes (larger comparisons) to help us understand the relationship between Jesus Christ and his people. God is our father; he loves us; his love is infinite and unconditional. His sorrow is great when we disobey his commandments and break his laws. He cannot condone our transgressions, but he loves us and wants us to return to him.  With a study of the book of Hosea, we can better understand these Similitudes or Comparisons that testify of Christ and his love for us and know that the Lord is loving and merciful and will forgive us when we repent and return to him.  Indeed one of the most important doctrines we can learn as this message from Hosea is repeated time and again through out the scriptures.   For "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Who Was Hosea?


Hosea's name means "deliverance" or "salvation" and is connected with the names Joshua and Jesus.  We know nothing of him except the name of his father, Beeri Hosea 1:1. His prophetic work began before the death of Jeroboam II 746 B.C and probably continued until  the loss of the Northern Kingdom, Israel 721 B.C., or about twenty-five years. 

How does Hoshea's writings help us? 

  • Have you ever given love and trust, or even made solemn covenants, and then been betrayed? Or have you ever been loved and trusted by someone but then, in weakness, betrayed that trust and damaged the relationship and thus know the yearning to be loved and trusted again?  This is the essence of the book of Hosea. 
    Using the imagery of a marriage, (a comparison/similitude) the Lord, through Hosea, taught His people that though they had been unfaithful to Him, He would still not divorce them (cast them off) if they would but turn back to Him. Though Hosea speaks of a nation, the same principle holds true for individuals. Even those who have been grossly unfaithful to God can reestablish their relationship with Him if they will but turn back to Him with full purpose of heart.
    About The Book of Hosea
    During the time of Hosea, the Israelites were influenced heavily by the worship and ways of the Canaanites. The gods and goddesses of fertility attracted the Israelite farmers. The rites by which the people supplicated the gods of fertility were lewd, licentious, and immoral. Even though Israel had covenanted at Sinai to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation unto God, by the time of Hosea, God’s people had become deeply involved in the practices of their neighbors, whose way of life should have repelled them.  His book reveals, his society was deeply marred by depravity and evil. But his written record exhibits an extraordinary measure of tenderness and compassion which is combined with a stern statement of repentance.  
    The Hebrew text of Hosea's book, unfortunately, is very corrupted, making some passages difficult to grasp. Even so, it is certain that the key for comprehending all of Hosea's words lies in chapters 1 through 3, the report of his marriage to a harlot.  
    A brief outline of the content of the book of Hosea is as follows:
    I. Hosea's experience in marriage and the Lord's experience with Israel (1:1-3:5)
    II. The Lord's denunciations of Israel (4:1-9:9)
    III. The history of divine grace and Israel's apostasy (9:10-13:16)
    IV. Future hope for Israel (14:1-9)  (Studies in Scripture Vol 4 Kent P Jackson)
    Nephi said that to understand the writings of Isaiah, one has to understand the Jewish way of prophesying  2 Nephi 25:1. The same is true of Hosea because he, like Isaiah, made extensive use of similitudes, comparisons and symbolism.  Each chapter contains at least one comparison/similitude, and all need to be seen against the background of Israel’s history and tradition to be understood.
  • The Comparison in Hosea
  • One comparison that is central to Hosea’s message is marriage. Throughout history every culture has made ways to celebrate the covenants of marriage. Because most people had personal knowledge of marriage, they understood the Lord better when the prophets used marriage terms to describe symbolically the covenants God made with them and they with Him. The covenant relationship between Jehovah and His people Israel was likened to the relationship between a man and his wife.  In the book of Hosea, the Lord’s relationship with Israel (and with the Church today) is compared to the relationship between a husband and wife. 
In this marriage covenant, God is the husband and Israel, the covenant people, is the bride. God wed Israel in the covenant of Abraham Genesis 17That covenant was renewed with Moses’ people at the foot of Mount Sinai  Exodus 19:4–8When Israel turned away from her husband to worship other gods, she broke the covenants.  This comparison is central to Hosea’s message. He depicts Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Lord as that of a wife who has turned her back on a faithful husband to follow her lovers.  In the first 3 chapters  of Hosea, the prophet Hosea represents the Lord as the husband, and Gomer, Hosea's wife, represents Israel as the wife.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained: “In a spiritual sense, to emphasize how serious it is, the damning sin of idolatry is called adultery. When the Lord’s people forsake him and worship false gods, their infidelity to Jehovah is described as whoredoms and adultery. (Jer. 3:8–9; Hos. 1:2; 3:1.) By forsaking the Lord, his people are unfaithful to their covenant vows, vows made to him who symbolically is their Husband.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 25.)

What does this comparison teach us about the level of commitment and devotion the Lord expects from us?  
Part 1: Hosea describes the relationship between the Lord and Israel Hosea 1–3. 

In  Hosea 1 Hosea takes Gomer described as “a wife of whoredoms”  to wife; she bore to him two sons and a daughter. These children were given names that symbolized the Lord's intention of taking recourse against Israel because of her evil and apostate condition.
The first son was called Jezreel, "Whom God Sows."  For yet a little while, and I will visit the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. The first daughter was named Lo-ruhamah, "That hath not obtained compassion."  For I will no more have compassion upon the house of Israel, that I should in any wise pardon them.  The third and last child, a son, was given the name of Lo-ammi, "Not my people."  For ye are not My people, and I will not be yours. 

The strange, symbolic marriage of Hosea to Gomer represented the long, undulating covenant relationship of Israel with the Lord. The woman's name, Gomer, means "one who finishes, one who ends," but whether that has anything to do with the end of northern Israel near the end of Hosea's life is not told.

The name of the first child of Hosea and Gomer was Jezreel, the name of the valley where King Jehu had put many people to death in violation of the Lord's law of justice (Hosea 1:4a). Jezreel means "God shall sow" or "scatter abroad." As a name for their first child, it doubtless alluded to the imminent overthrow and scattering of Israel, which came in 722 B.C., only about seventy years later. The name of the second child, Lo-ruhamah, or "not pitied," warned that the mercy of God would not rob justice to save northern Israel, though Judah still qualified to be saved. The name of the third, Lo-ammi, "not my people," is a lament over the broken covenant relationship. Then the prophecy immediately turned to the future gathering of both Israel and Judah and a happier time when "it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God" (Hosea 1:10). Israel shall again be united and serve God under one King.

Thus were launched both the account of Hosea's symbolic marriage and family and the themes of his prophetic mission.  (Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament Ellis Rasmussen)

In Hosea 2  The comparison of the prophet's marriage to an unfaithful wife and their family of symbolically named children continues in this chapter. The application of the allegory to the Lord and his covenant relationship with unfaithful Israel is made clear. The prophet and people were urged to remember the covenant of the Lord with his people known as (Ammi); then they could receive his mercy (Ruhamah). The prophet pleaded for Israel to put away whoredoms and adultery and return to the true God, the provider of all good. The alternative was to be stripped, shamed, abandoned, humiliated, and exiled.

The message then turns to the loving offer of the Lord to guide Israel "into the wilderness," reminiscent of the escape from Egypt to the wilderness and then to the promised land. The Achor or ("trouble") of Israel's former entry into the promised land will become a future "door of hope"  The Lord is to become the true Husband of Israel upon renewal of the covenant  and that renewal of the covenant is to last forever. Finally, only loving kindness, mercy, and faithfulness will characterize the relationship, and Israel will "know the Lord." In that day heaven and earth will respond to each other, and good things shall be created and the negative names will be reversed  

And Finally in  Hosea 3 the wife, or Israel, will seek her husband or the Lord, return to the Lord, and receive of His goodness in the latter days.


As one can see in Hosea 2  many metaphors are used; following is a list to help us better understand the comparison teaching:  


Verse 1
Ammi means
“My people”
Verse 1
Ruhamah is
“Having obtained mercy,” or “those who have obtained mercy”
Verse 2
your mother is
The nation Israel
Verse 3
wilderness is
The captivity
Verse 5
lovers are
The priests, priestesses, and idols of the Canaanite temples or, in the larger sense, any person one loves more than God.
Verses 5–9, 13
bread, corn, wool, and jewels
Worldly values and treasures
Verses 9–10
her nakedness and her lewdness
Israel’s sin
Verses 11–14
allure her means
Jehovah still cares for her and will try to win her back.
Verse 15
Valley of Achor, a rich valley north of Jericho, near Gilgal
The Lord will restore her to great blessings.
Verse 16
 Ishi (Hebrew for “my husband”) and Baali (Hebrew for “my master”)
Eventually Israel will accept God as her Lord and her true husband.
Verses 19–20
betroth thee unto me forever
 The fulness of the new and everlasting covenant restored to Israel in the latter days and the eternal blessings that will result from Israel’s faithful marriage to Jehovah.
Verse 22
Jezreel (Hebrew for “God shall sow”)
The downtrodden and poor Israel. Like the Jezreel Valley, they have great potential and will be resown and made fruitful by the Lord.

Breaking down the comparison we need to remember that this is the story of Hosea and his wife who is described as wife of whoredoms meaning she left her husband for other lovers.  She was unfaithful, she was not loyal, and looked to the world for her love care and support.  The story of Hosea and his wife is his story that he is using to describe the relationship of the state of Israel with the Lord.  Israel had been unfaithful, not loyal and looked to the world for its guidance and care.
In what way was ancient Israel comparable to Gomer, who is described as “a wife of whoredoms” in  Hosea 2:13,   Gomer had left her husband for her lovers; Israel had forgotten the Lord and become wicked.  


13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.
Who or what were Israel’s “lovers," the things that caused the people to turn away from the Lord?  Other gods, material goods, and the practices of the world.  Hosea 2:13
5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
What things may divert us from our dedication to following the Savior?  President Spencer W. Kimball said:  "Modern idols or false gods can take such forms as clothes, homes, businesses, machines, automobiles, pleasure boats, and numerous other material deflectors from the path to godhood. What difference does it make that the item concerned is not shaped like an idol? Brigham Young said: 'I would as soon see a man worshipping a little god made of brass or of wood as to see him worshipping his property'." (Miracle of Forgiveness, p40-41)
To whom did the adulterous wife give credit for her food and clothing? Hosea 2:5
 5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
To whom did the Israelites attribute the fruitful land in which they lived?   Hosea 2:5, 12  The credit went to their false gods or idols.
12 And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
How do people today give credit to false gods for the blessings they receive? People often give credit to themselves, luck, karma, many different things, missing the fact that all blessings come from God.  
How did the husband remind his wife that he, not her lovers, supplied her with food, water, and other possessions?   Hosea 2:8–9

8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
9 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
In what ways has the Lord provided you with material and spiritual blessings? 
How can we show our appreciation to the Lord for the blessings he gives us? By living the gospel, remaining loyal, grateful and humble, remembering him in all things.  
What was the attitude of the husband toward his unfaithful wife in Hosea 2:6–13.
6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
9 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
10 And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
12 And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.
How was this attitude different in verses Hosea 2:14–23?  Even though the wife had been unfaithful, the husband still loved her and wanted her to come back to him.
14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
16 And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
17 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
As stated the husband loved his wife still and wanted her to come back to him.  Likewise, the Lord still loves his people who have gone astray, and he wants them to turn again to him.

Elder Henry B. Eyring explained: “This was a love story. This was a story of a marriage covenant bound by love, by steadfast love. … The Lord, with whom I am blessed to have made covenants, loves me, and you, … with a steadfastness about which I continually marvel and which I want with all my heart to emulate” (Covenants and Sacrifice [address delivered at the Church Educational System Symposium, 15 Aug. 1995], 2).
What did the husband promise his wife if she would return to him?  Hosea 2:19
19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
What does the Lord promise his people if they will repent and return to him? Hosea 2:20, 23
20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
 Why is this promise important?  It explains to us that we are assured safety and peace. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The Lord loves us, and will accept us with our broken hearts and contrite spirits, he loves us no matter what and will accept us when we faithfully return.  
In Hosea 3 Hosea redeems his unfaithful wife with "fifteen pieces of silver" which was half the price of a slave Ex. 21:32; Zech. 11:12, because at this time women were often considered property and could be bought or sold.  Hosea  then buys back his wife and symbolically uses the experience to explain how Heavenly Father redeems us from the slavery of sin though the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Hosea 3:1–2
1 Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
2 So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
When one considers Gomer as symbolic of Israel, the purchase price implies that Israel’s freedoms had been or would be lost, and in addition she suffered the slavery of sin, which also requires a purchase price before Israel can be reconciled with her Savior. Hosea desired to purchase his wife from slavery just as Heavenly Father seeks after His children to redeem them from Satan’s power with the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. (Old Testament Student Manual)
What did the husband require of his wife after he purchased her? Hosea 3:3  He  required only that she would not "play the harlot" again but would be faithful to him from that time forth.
3 And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.
What did he promise her?  so will I also be for thee.  He would be faithful to her and care for her forever.  
In what sense has Jesus Christ “bought” each of us? 1 Peter 1:18–19.
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
What does Christ require of us in return?  Even though the purchase price mentioned in Hosea 3:2 has been paid, there is a time of testing, of waiting and preparing, before one is reinstated to all the blessings of the covenant and enjoys the company of a husband and a savior. This principle is valid whether applied to Gomer as a person or to Gomer as a figure for Israel.  Devotion and loyalty must be shown.  Gomer had to purify her life before she could feel Hosea’s love. In their captivity Israel would suffer without God’s help until she purified her life. Then she would know of God’s continued love.  The same holds true for the individual repentance process. We repent and are brought back into the arms of His fold, but we also must live worthily through a time of testing to show that we are truly faithful, to show that we have purified our lives and are willing to honor with all our hearts the price He has paid to save us from slavery.   

2. Because of his love for his people, the Lord continues to invite Israel to repent and return to him Hosea 11; 13–14
Throughout the book of Hosea, the Lord reproves the Israelites for their great sins. After the Lord, through Hosea, describes the captivity and destruction that will result from Israel’s wickedness, he again invites his people to repent and return to him.  Another comparison often used in the scriptures to describe the relationship between the Lord and his people is the master-animal relationship. This similitude is used briefly in Hosea 11:4.
4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
“This is an agricultural simile, and refers to the custom of raising the yoke from the neck and cheeks of the oxen so that they can more readily eat their food. Henderson says: ‘The ol, yoke, not only included the piece of wood on the neck by which the animal was fastened to the pole, but also the whole of the harness about the head which was connected with it. The yokes used in the East are very heavy, and press so much upon the animals that they are unable to bend their necks.’ …“Compare this statement with what Jesus says about his yoke in Matthew [11:28–30].” (James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible, p. 317.)
What do we learn about the Lord’s feelings for his people through this comparison?  Hosea 11:7–9
7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. (The Joseph Smith Translation of verse 8 says “mine heart is turned toward thee” instead of “mine heart is turned within me.”)
9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
In a most notable passage in scripture, Hosea described the Lord's mixed feelings about his now recalcitrant people. Because Israel was "bent to backsliding from me," the Lord warned that "the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches" (Hosea 11:6-7). On the other hand, long ago the Lord had brought an enslaved people out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1), and like a father with a toddler, he had taught Ephraim to walk (Hosea 11:3). His original feelings of parental love still persisted and, although he must punish his people, he vowed that he would check his anger: "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel?" (Hosea 11:8). Moreover, he resolved to restore their descendants to their ancestral home: "They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord" (Hosea 11:11).  (Studies in Scripture Vol 4 Kent P Jackson)

Several times in this chapter the Lord reminded the Israelites of how their ancestors were delivered out of captivity in Egypt Hosea 11:1; 12:9, 13; 13:4–5
1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
9 And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.
13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

4 Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
What might this event be a similitude of?   Hosea 13:14.  As the Lord delivered the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, so will he deliver them, and all people who come unto him, from sin and death.
14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
What did the Israelites need to do to return to the Lord and receive deliverance? Hosea 12:6; 14:2–3. They needed to repent of their sins and renounce the other gods they had worshiped.
6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.
2 Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
What did the Lord promise to do if they repented?  Hosea 14:4–7.
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
In his last effort to offer counsel and comfort, even in light of the certain punishment that Israel would experience, the prophet intoned: "O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; . . . turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all [our] iniquity, and receive us graciously" (Hosea 14:1-2). Even though Israel would suffer consequences for wickedness, the Lord promised a blessed future: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. . . . His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree. . . . They that dwell under his shadow shall return" (Hosea 14:4, 6-7). Thus would the stage be set for the fulfillment of the Lord's promise of the full flowering of his covenant with his people: "And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord" (Hosea 2:19-20).(Studies in Scripture Vol 4 Kent P Jackson)
What does the Lord promise he will do if we repent of our sins?
How do the similitudes in the book of Hosea help you understand how the Savior feels about you?   It pained the Lord to punish his children, even though they plainly deserved it, it is the same with us individually.  God sorrows for the wickedness of his children.  But he loves us and like a kind, loving, and good parent, he extends his arms to us when we come back home.  
God sorrowed for the wickedness of his children — wickedness which required a tough response on his part. Even so, it is clear from these sources that God has been pained at the prospect of punishing them. Consistently, he has been a God of love and compassion. "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. . . . It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love" (Hosea 11:1, 3-4, RSV).(Studies in Scripture Vol 4 Kent P Jackson)
Conclusion
While the Lord’s blessings are reserved for those who keep his commandments, his love is constant and extended to all. Even when we turn away from him through sin, the Lord loves us and wants us to repent and return to him. It is for us to be faithful to him and give our love in return.  
Gomer, the "wife of whoredoms," not only symbolizes wayward Israel who went "whoring" after other gods (see Deut. 31:16-17; Hosea 9:1) but also represents each of us individually. Just as she was unfaithful to Hosea and to the covenants she had made with him, each of us to some degree has also been remiss. We all have in some manner broken covenants and been unfaithful in our spiritual duties. Hosea, on the other hand, stands as a graphic reminder of the steadfast love that the Savior has for each of us. We cannot help but marvel at the continued compassion and love Hosea demonstrated for his wicked wife. Of course he abhorred her adultery. He could not and did not minimize the severity of her sins or ignore her infidelity, but he loved her still and yearned for her return. Jehovah, God of the Old Testament, Savior, and Bridegroom, declared to Jeremiah: "I have loved thee with everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." (Jer. 31:3.) His love for us is perfect and divine. While others may reject or withhold love because of our sins and unworthy ways, Jehovah stands ever ready to encircle us about "in the arms of his love." (2 Ne. 1:15.) Despite our moments of spiritual infidelity, we are loved with His chesed or "steadfast love" described by the Apostle Paul as "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." (Eph. 3:19.) Almost as if echoing from eternity we can hear Hosea testifying from painful personal experience that no matter who we are, no matter how low and unworthy we may feel, we are not rejected or alone—Jehovah, even Jesus Christ loves us still. "Certainly the Lord loves the sinner," wrote President Spencer W. Kimball, "and especially the one who is trying to repent, even though the sin is abhorrent to him (D&C 1:31.). .(Witness of Jesus Christ Richard D Draper) 


BYU Religious Studies Hosea 


Resources
Old Testament Student Manual
Studies in Scripture Kent P Jackson
Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament Ellis Rasmussen
Witness of Jesus Christ Richard D Draper
BYU Religious Studies Hosea
James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible
Miracle of Forgiveness 
Mormon Doctrine
Covenants and Sacrifices Symposium Aug 1995










 













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The Fall of Adam and Eve

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