Lesson 12

Judges 13–21; Ruth; 1 Samuel 1–15


The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.

Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.

Complete four of the following assignments:

1.  Judges 13–16. “The Woman Bare a Son, and Called His Name Samson”

Study Judges 13–16 looking for both the possible greatness of Samson and his failings. Fill in the chart below, indicating Samson’s blessings and his sins.

After completing the chart above, write one or two paragraphs explaining why you think some people with so much potential make such bad decisions.

Read Judges 13:5; Numbers 6:1–9 and the institute student manual commentary for Judges 13:5, “What Is a Nazarite?” (p. 259). Make a list of the requirements for a Nazarite. From Judges 14–16 write a statement that describes which of his vows Samson broke.

Using the account of Samson’s life, write a paragraph about how you could avoid yielding to temptation in your own life.

2.  Judges 17–21. “Every Man Did That Which Was Right in His Own Eyes”

Read the chapter summaries for Judges 17–21 and the student manual commentary for Judges 17:21, “Every Man Did That Which Was Right in His Own Eyes” (p. 261). Write a brief summary of events described in these chapters.

Read Judges 21:25. Explain in writing why this is such an accurate description of this terrible time of Israel’s history. Read John 14:6; 2 Nephi 9:28–29; Isaiah 55:8–9. Then write the reasons these verses give for why doing things the Lord’s way is so much better than our own.

3.  Ruth 1–2. “Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go”

Ruth is a great example of how someone can live in an overall wicked environment, such as the period of the judges, and still remain faithful and even experience spiritual growth. Through her devotion and faith Ruth chose the better part and experienced great blessings as a result. Read Ruth 1–2 and the student manual commentary for Ruth 1:1, “What Is the Background of the Book of Ruth?” (p. 261). Then complete the following tasks and answer the questions in writing:

  • What was the situation in the land of Judah when Ruth and Naomi lived?
  • List the trials Ruth faced in Ruth 1.
  • Choose one trial that is like one you have faced and briefly describe it.
  • Explain what you think motivated Ruth to go with Naomi. In what ways would it have been hard for Ruth to go with Naomi?
  • Why was Boaz so impressed with Ruth?
  • Explain what you can learn about facing your challenges from the examples in this chapter.
  • riefly describe the greatest sacrifice you have yet made because of your commit­ment to the Lord. Then write an answer to the question “Has your sacrifice become a blessing?” If so, please describe how it did. If not, describe how you now feel about the sacrifice.
  • Explain why you think Boaz was so kind to Ruth.

4.  Ruth 3–4. “Boaz Took Ruth, and She Was His Wife”

Read Ruth 3–4 and make a list of the blessings that came to Ruth as a result of her faithfulness. Compare Ruth 4:13–22 with Matthew 1:1–16. Write a brief summary of an additional blessing that came to Ruth for her devotion and faithfulness.

Read the student manual commentary for Ruth 2:18–4:10, “What Was the Levirate Marriage That Naomi Hoped to Arrange for Ruth and Boaz?” (p. 263). Explain in writing what Naomi requested in light of the Levirate marriage law.

Write one or two paragraphs detailing the ways Ruth’s example inspires you to more faithfulness in a world where there is great wickedness.

5.  1 Samuel 1–7. Samuel’s Miraculous Birth

From 1 Samuel 1 answer the following questions in writing:

  • What personality characteristics of Hannah do you find in this chapter?
  • Which of Hannah’s characteristics would you like to develop as a parent or future parent and why?

Study 1 Samuel 2:12–17, 22–25 and the student manual commentary for 1 Samuel 2:13–36, “If the Priests Were Entitled to a Portion of Certain Sacrifices, Why Were the Sons of Eli Punished?” (pp. 268–69). Then look up the word Belial in the Bible Dictionary (620). Explain in writing what you think young men who serve in the Aaronic Priesthood today could learn from this account.

Read 1 Samuel 2:22–25, 27–30. Describe in writing Eli’s experience with his sons. Briefly detail in writing what you think parents’ responsibilities should be after their children are adults.

Read the chapter summaries for 1 Samuel 4–6. Outline the major events from these chapters. Write three principles from this experience that you can apply in your own life.

6.  1 Samuel 8. “Give Us a King to Judge Us”

Read 1 Samuel 8; Deuteronomy 17:15–20. Make a list of what the Lord said would happen if a king was appointed to Israel. Then read Mosiah 29. Using these two chapters, write a brief comparison of the principles you find.

7.  1 Samuel 9–10. Saul Anointed King in Israel

Read 1 Samuel 9–10 and list the qualities of Saul that made him a good choice to be king.

Read Articles of Faith 1:5 and briefly explain in writing how the calling of Saul to be king in Israel follows the same pattern of choosing leaders in the Church today.

8.  1 Samuel 11–15. “To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice”

Read 1 Samuel 12:1–15:9 and list each of Saul’s acts of disobedience. How does Doctrine and Covenants 121:39 apply to this experience with Saul? What counsel can you find in Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–36, 41–42 that will help you avoid the mistakes Saul made?

What did Samuel mean in 1 Samuel 15:22 when he said, “To obey is better than sacrifice”? How does this apply to covenant Israel today?

Write a short essay describing the lessons you learned from the life and kingship of Saul. How might these lessons serve to make you more successful and happy?