Lesson 5

Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes

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 two of the three assignments:

1.   Psalms. Praying and Singing Praises unto God

Most of the book of Psalms is a collection of sacred poems, prayers, and songs that praise God. While Psalms covers a number of topics, the most beautiful and important ones teach about the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. The New Testament quotes the book of Psalms more than any other Old Testament book. For a list of Old Testament scriptures quoted in the New Testament, see “Quotations” in the Bible Dictionary (pp.
756–59). As you prepare for your study of the book of Psalms, read “Psalms” in the Bible Dictionary (pp. 754–55). Write a paragraph summarizing what the book of Psalms consists of, who the authors are, and how the book is put together.

Read Psalm 23. If available, read the hymn “The Lord Is My Shepherd” from the hymnal (Hymns, no. 108). Describe in writing how the truths in this psalm have in the past or could in the future bring peace and comfort to your life.

Using Psalm 24:1–4 and Doctrine and Covenants 97:15–17 as a guide, write a paragraph on the conditions and blessings of those who enter the temple.

Read Psalm 118:22; Acts 4:10–12; Ephesians 2:19–20. Explain in writing how these scriptures are connected and what Peter taught concerning Psalm 118:22.

Study 10 of the references below. Then briefly describe in writing what each of the prophesies states about Jesus Christ:

2.   Proverbs. Wisdom and Knowledge from God

Read “Proverbs, Book of” in the Bible Dictionary (p. 754). Write a paragraph describing what the name proverbs means in Hebrew and a summary of what is included in the book.

Some people feel that Proverbs 1:7; 9:10 describes one of the themes of the book of Proverbs. (Note: The word fear, as used in these verses, means reverence or deep respect for God.) Read these verses together with Doctrine and Covenants 88:118; 130:18–19; 2 Nephi 9:28–29; Jacob 4:8. List the principles that lead a person to learning and knowledge in the Lord’s way.

Write a paragraph explaining how someone you have read about in the scriptures is an example of Proverbs 3:5–6.

Read Proverbs 6:16–19. List the behaviors the Lord hates. Next to each behavior listed, add your thoughts about what would be a good opposite behavior to emulate.

Read and make a scripture chain from the following scriptures by writing the reference of number 2 in the margins of your scriptures next to the verses of number 1, number 3 next to number 2, and so on:

1.     Proverbs 10:18–19

2.     Proverbs 11:13

3.     Proverbs 13:3

4.     Proverbs 15:1

5.     Proverbs 17:9

6.     Proverbs 18:13

7.     Proverbs 21:23

8.     Proverbs 29:11

Write a few paragraphs about how the principles of these verses are connected and what you could do to better practice them in your life.

Study Proverbs 16:32 and the institute student manual commentary for Proverbs 16:32, “Becoming Master of Oneself” (p. 17). Write a paragraph about what you could do to improve self-mastery in your life.

Read Proverbs 23:7 and the student manual commentary for Proverbs 23:7, “One’s Actions Follow One’s Thoughts” (p. 18). Share by writing down some of the practices you have used successfully to control your thoughts. How could you control your thoughts even more consistently?

Proverbs 31:10–31 gives a description of a godly woman. List five qualities you believe to be important and why.

3.   Ecclesiastes. Seeing Life Clearly

Read the Bible Dictionary for “Ecclesiastes,” (p. 659) and complete the following statements:

  • The book of Ecclesiastes consists of __________________________________.
  • The author describes himself as __________________________________.
  • Ecclesiastes is written from the point of view of the ________________________.
  • Ecclesiastes should not be construed as __________________________________.

Read Ecclesiastes 1–2 and list five ways the author sought happiness but couldn’t find it. After each item on your list, write the reference of the verse where you found it.

Read Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 and compare it with the principles that are taught in Mosiah 4:27; Doctrine and Covenants 10:4; 111:11; Luke 10:38–42. Write a paragraph describing why the timing and order of our activities are so important. Note some examples of how major events of life when done at the wrong time or out of order could seriously hurt an individual’s eternal progress. What do you think the Lord wants you to accomplish during this “time and season” of your life?

As you read Ecclesiastes 4–5, choose two principles to incorporate into your life. Write about them.

Read Ecclesiastes 12:7, 13–14 and answer the following questions:

  • What happens to us when we die?
  • What is “the whole duty of man”?
  • Why is this a good description of man’s purpose?