It’s so interesting that the lesson I get to teach today is about humility, which has been the topic of Step 7. I’m excited to share thoughts with the boys and help them understand the importance of humility, even at an early age.
Scriptures to read:
- Numbers 21:4-7, 8-9
- 1 Nephi 17:40-42
- Alma 33:18-22
- Deuteronomy 8:1-2, 7-10, 11-20
- Helaman 8:14-15
- John 3:14-15
Numbers 21:4-7,8-94 …and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.5 And the people aspake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.9 And Moses made a aserpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
How does this teach Humility?
First, the people were talking bad about God and about the prophet Moses because of the decision he’d made to bring them out of Egypt into the wilderness. As they did this, the Lord sent them trials (fiery serpents) to try and test them. Some people died. However, they eventually admitted that they had sinned by talking against God and against Moses. They “humbled” themselves by asking Moses to pray for them.
Moses was given direction by God to make a fiery serpent and put it on a pole. Those that humbled themselves and simply looked at the serpent would live. It was that easy!
1 Nephi 17:40-42
40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our afathers, and he bcovenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, cIsaac, and dJacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of eEgypt.
41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they ahardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying bserpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be chealed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the dsimpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
42 And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did arevile against bMoses, and also against God; nevertheless, ye know that they were led forth by his matchless power into the land of promise.
It’s interesting, “…because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did revile against Moses, and also against God…” This is the way it is with me too. Reading the scriptures, saying my prayers, serving others – these are not “hard” things to do. It’s just about consistency and putting my priorities in order.
18 But behold, this is not all; these are not the only ones who have spoken concerning the Son of God.
19 Behold, he was spoken of by aMoses; yea, and behold a btype was craised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.
20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would aheal them.
21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in aunbelief, and be bslothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?
22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and abegin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to batone for their sins; and that he shall crise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the dresurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be ejudged at the last and judgment day, according to their fworks.
There’s another answer – being “slothful”. When I cross-referenced slothful, it had phrases like Apathy and Laziness. To me, being apathetic and lazy are doing my own will and not God’s. I’m basically saying, “Yeah, I know I should look; but it probably won’t help and I’d rather just sit here and veg on the TV or computer.” This is exactly what the people of Israel were doing. All they had to do was simply look and they would be healed, but some of them thought it wouldn’t help them. They didn’t trust in God and relied on their own strength, which couldn’t do much for them.
11 Beware that thou aforget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his bjudgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14 Then thine aheart be blifted up, and thou cforget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery aserpents, and scorpions, and bdrought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth cwater out of the rock of flint;
16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with amanna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might bprove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get awealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and awalk after other bgods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely cperish.
20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be aobedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.
One of the biggest keys to being humble is “remembering” God, acknowledging His hand in everything, recognizing that without His help, I would be NOTHING, I would have NOTHING, and I would perish.
15 And as many as should look upon that serpent should alive, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might blive, even unto that life which is eternal.
Salvation is not a difficult concept – as I look upon the Son of God and rely on Him with faith, having a contrite (humble) spirit, I’ll be saved.
As I’ve been studying this lesson, it reminds me of the song “Count Your Many Blessings”:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost –
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their land and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold,
County your many blessings money cannot buy,
Your reward in Heaven nor your home on high.
So amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged God is over all
Count your many blessings Angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Plan to Teach
Start with Puzzle Game
What is HUMILITY?
How do we show our humility?
Talk about people of Israel
Questions to Ask
How long had they been in the wilderness? (Deut. 8:2) “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to ahumble thee, and to bprove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
How was their attitude about being in the wilderness?
Why were they kept in the wilderness for SO LONG?
What happened when the people started complaining about Moses and God?
Why did the people need to be more humble?
How do we show HUMILITY?
How did Jesus show his humility?
He washed the feet of his apostles, he was baptized even though he hadn’t sinned, he had love and compassion for everyone including sinners, he always gave credit to Heavenly Father for all the good things he did, he forgave his enemies and he suffered for our sins and died for us.
Have the kids act out each of these things and determine which are humble ways of living vs. non-humble ways.
a. A person who talks during an entire meal, not giving others a chance to talk.
b. A brother who says to his younger sister, “That’s a good idea; I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
c. A person who says, “Okay, I need help; it’s harder to pound nails straight than I thought it would be.”
d. A person who insists that his room is clean and who refuses to clean it even after his parents tell him that they have noticed dust and dirt.
e. A person who loses a tennis match and honestly says to the winner, “Thanks for the game. You are a good player.”
f. A person in school who thinks, “I don’t need to listen; I already know all this stuff.”
g. A sister who helps a younger brother play a simple game, even though she would rather play something else.
h. A primary teacher who says, “I don’t know the answer to that question; I’ll have to study more and pray for understanding.”
i. A person who brags about his possessions and talents and refuses to play with children who do not dress as nicely as they do.
j. A person who takes credit for everything good that happens to him.