Study the following scriptures:
Daniel 6. King Darius’s men persuade the king to sign a decree that for 30 days all petitions must be directed to him rather than to any other man or to God (6:1–9). In spite of the king’s decree, Daniel prays to God (6:10–13). As punishment for disobeying the decree, Daniel is thrown into a den of lions (6:14–17). The Lord sends an angel to protect Daniel (6:18–23).
Esther 3–5; 7–8. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, refuses to bow to Haman (3:1–4). Haman persuades King Ahasuerus to prepare a decree calling for the death of all Jews in the kingdom (3:5–14). Esther learns of Haman’s plan to kill her people and risks her life by going to ask King Ahasuerus for help (4:1–17). The king grants Esther’s request to come with Haman to a banquet (5:1–8). At the banquet Esther reveals Haman’s plot to kill the Jews (7:1–6). The king hangs Haman (7:7–10). The king honors Mordecai and grants Esther’s request to reverse Haman’s decree (8:1–17).
As a young boy, Daniel was carried captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. He and other promising Hebrew youths—including his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—were trained in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Esther was a Jewish woman who lived shortly after the time of Daniel. After her parents died, she was raised by her cousin Mordecai. Esther was very beautiful, and Ahasuerus, the king of Persia and Media, was so pleased with her beauty that he made her his queen.
What did Daniel and his friends propose when they were given the king’s meat and wine? (See Daniel 1:8–14.) How are the blessings they received similar to the Lord’s promises to us if we obey the Word of Wisdom? (See Daniel 1:15, 17, 20; D&C 89:18–20.)
What happened when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into the furnace? (See Daniel 3:21–27.) Who was in the furnace with them? (See Daniel 3:25.) How does the Savior help us when we turn to him during our trials?
What challenges do we face today that require courage like Esther’s? What blessings will we receive as we strive to do what is right even when we are faced with difficult consequences?