James 4-5: Overcoming Evil in Your Life

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 156


James gave practical advice for everyday living, like the importance of submitting to God’s will and understanding how wealth can limit spiritual development. His counsel is as important today as when he first wrote it. Of the many ideas in James 4–5, note those that would help you most as you strive to live Heavenly Father’s plan.

Understanding the Scriptures

James 4

Enmity (v. 4)Opposed, against, hatred 
Lusteth to envy (v. 5)Has jealous desires 
Nigh (v. 8)Near 
Heaviness (v. 9)Sadness, sorrow 
Vapour (v. 14)Mist 

James 5

Sabaoth (v. 4)Hosts, multitudes 
Wanton (v. 5)Wasteful in luxurious living 
Husbandman (v. 7)Gardener, farmer 
Grudge (v. 9)Grumble, complain 
Effectual (v. 16)Effective, influential 
Fervent (v. 16)Intense, sincere 

Studying the Scriptures

Do the following activities as you study James 4–5.

Activity A iconWrite a Prescription

Imagine you are a doctor. Read James 4:1–4 and identify four symptoms people have who suffer from the disease known as “friendship of the world.” Now that you have diagnosed the spiritual disease, read James 4:7–12 and write a prescription that would help people overcome their “friendship of the world” and become healed as a friend of God.

Activity B iconDescribe a Priesthood Blessing

Elder Neal A. Maxwell told the following story:

“I first felt the witness of the Spirit in my life around the time my sister was ill. She lay dying of whooping cough, six weeks old. I’d been about 14-years-old. I was a grease monkey [mechanic] at a Greyhound Bus Depot. I came home at three in the morning, saw the lights on. I knew she was ill and said to myself, ‘This is big trouble.’ And when I got inside, she was laying on the round dining room table and had stopped breathing.

“Antibiotics were not available. I watched my father, after the manner of the New Testament, bless her by the power of the priesthood, and I saw her begin to breathe again. I knew then the power of the priesthood was real” (“PBS Interview Studies Effect of God in Life,” Church News, 31 Aug. 1996, 4).

  1. 1.

    After reading James 5:14–16, describe what a priesthood blessing is.

  2. 2.

    Briefly write about a time in your life when you received or witnessed a priesthood blessing.

two men blessing a woman in a wheelchair