Bible Stories


Dallin H. Oaks
Adapted from an October 1992 conference address.

When I was a boy, I loved Bible stories and read them many times. I saw mostly adventure in the story of Abraham and Isaac. When I was older, I learned that this story also shows the goodness of God in protecting Isaac from being sacrificed (see Gen. 22:1–18).

Another favorite example of God’s protecting care is the story of the shepherd boy David. David had a firm faith in God, and that faith gave him great courage. When he fought the giant Goliath, and Goliath mocked him, David’s reply is one of the great expressions of faith and courage in all our literature. It thrilled me as a boy, and it still thrills me: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts. …

“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand … that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Sam. 17:45–46; see also 1 Sam. 17:40–44, 47–51). Another story of protection was when Elisha and his young servant saw the Syrian armies surround their city. The Lord showed the boy the heavenly forces protecting them. The Lord confused and blinded the Syrians, and they were taken prisoners by the armies of Israel (see 2 Kgs. 6:15–23). When I read this wonderful story as a young boy, I always identified with the young servant of Elisha. I thought, If I am ever surrounded by the forces of evil while I am in the Lord’s service, I hope the Lord will open my eyes and give me faith to understand that when we are in the work of the Lord, those that are with us are always more powerful than those that oppose us.

During my life I have had many experiences of being guided in what I should do and in being protected from injury and also from evil. One example was how the Lord protected me and my wife from an armed robber one night many years ago in Chicago (see Ensign, November 1992, pages 39–40). We experienced the kind of miraculous protection illustrated in the Bible stories I had read as a boy. Such stories do not mean that the servants of God are delivered from all hardship or that they are always saved from death. But the protection promised to the faithful servants of God is a reality today as it was in Bible times.