Obadiah 1

Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2003), 204


The name Obadiah means “servant (or worshiper) of Jehovah” and was a common name in Old Testament times. Nothing is known of the personal history of the prophet Obadiah except what is recorded in the book that bears his name. Obadiah wrote of the destruction of Edom because of their cruelty toward Judah. He was also privileged to see in vision the salvation of Israel and other important events of the latter days. His book is the shortest of all the books of the Old Testament.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Suggestions for Teaching

Obadiah 1. We should work to save not only ourselves but also those around us. (25–35 minutes)

Draw on the board a building hovering in the air, or suspend a picture of a building so that it does not touch the ground. Label the building 1 Nephi 8:26–28 and ask the students to tell what they know about that building. Have them read 1 Nephi 11:35–36 and tell what that building represented and what eventually happened to it.

Tell students that Obadiah wrote of a place like that. Have them read Obadiah 1:1–9 and tell how Edom was similar to the great and spacious building. Discuss the similarities and share the information from the commentaries for Obadiah 1:1 and 1:3–9 in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi (pp. 258–59).

Have students read Obadiah 1:10–14 and ask:

  • What did the people of Edom do that was similar to what people in the great and spacious building did? (see the commentary for Obadiah 1:10–15 in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, p. 259).

  • Why would people act that way toward others?

  • In verses 15–16, how was the fate of Edom’s people similar to the fate of those in the building?

  • Are there people today who seem to be like the people in the great and spacious building?

  • Are Church members ever in danger of becoming like the people in the building?

  • Are people in the building in danger?

Display pictures of a temple and a missionary. (You could use Gospel Art Picture Kit, nos. 502, 612. Use a picture of a temple near you if possible.) Read Obadiah 1:16–21 with your students and ask them what temples and missionaries have to do with becoming saviors on Mount Zion (see the commentary for Obadiah 1:16–21 and “Saviors on Mount Zion” in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, p. 259).

Tell students that true heroes rescue people who fall. Read Doctrine and Covenants 4 and 15:6. Ask:

  • Why is it important to help rescue people who are in the great and spacious building?

  • How can we help save them?

Read Obadiah 1:17, 21 and ask:

  • What did Obadiah call those who help in the rescue effort?

  • How would you feel knowing you were a partner with the Savior in someone’s redemption?

Share your testimony of how our missionary efforts to the living and our work for the dead in the temples of the Lord help fulfill Obadiah’s prophecy. Ask:

  • What are the differences between people who worthily attend the temples and those who enter the great and spacious building?

  • What are some requirements for entering each?

  • What are some blessings of choosing to enter the temple?

Suggest to your students that they do the research to find one of their ancestors who has not had temple work done and that they become a savior for that person by submitting his or her name to the temple. If possible in your area, suggest they obtain a limited use temple recommend and do the baptismal work themselves.