Gospel Doctrine OT c18 strong and good courage
Joshua 1, 3-4, 6, 23-24 (Marvin J. Ashton, “Straightway,” Conf. Rep., Apr. 1983)
Ready to enter the promised land. Moses has given his final counsel. Joshua is the new prophet. Can you imagine how he must feel? To step into Moses’ sandals would be extremely intimidating. The Lord speaks to Joshua with comfort and counsel. ?Why? Because the Lord never leaves us alone, especially in hard, intimidating times!
What command did the Lord repeat 3 times in Joshua 1:6-9? To be strong and of good courage.
??What challenges do we face today that require strength and moral courage?
??When do you need strength and courage in your daily life?
??How/Where do you find it?
??What do you do to implement it?
Entering the Promised Land, they are going to cross the Jordan River. The people were told to watch for the Ark of the Covenant because it would go before them and they would follow. They were told to prepare themselves and to sanctify themselves. V5- “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
??What did the priests who carried the ark have to do before the waters of the Jordan River stopped?
The priests walked into the water, during the flood season, before the water was stopped and the people passed over on dry land to Jericho.
??How is this like your life?
We have to prepare, step into the water before the miracle, we follow the Lord against odds and during flood times, we are asked to do things we don’t understand or even believe are possible, we allow the Ark, or covenants, to direct our paths.
Elder Boyd K. Packer said:
“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be abedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.
“I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’” (“The Edge of the Light,” BYU Today, March 1991)
After Israel was on the other side of Jordan, they were commanded that a man from each tribe (12 men) would go and “take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you,”.
Read 4:20-24 The stones would stand as a memorial.
??What personal memorials remind you of God’s power in your life?
??How do personal memorials bless you and others?
Most of the rest of Joshua is about battles in reclaiming the Promised Land. Joshua led his people well. The book of Joshua ends with his final counsel before he dies. He reminds the Israelites about what God has done for them and how they’ve been blessed. He also reminds them to be careful and remain faithful.
Read 23:6-8 Cleave unto the Lord
24:15 Choose ye this day…
Elder Marvin J. Ashton said: “Joshua reminds us of the importance of making decisions promptly: ‘Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord’ (Joshua 24:15). Not tomorrow, not when we get ready, not when it is convenient – but ‘this day,’ straightway, choose whom you will serve. He who invites us to follow will always be out in front of us with His Spirit and influence setting the pace. He has charted and marked the course, opened the gates, and shown the way. He has invited us to come unto Him, and the best time to enjoy His companionship is straightway. We can best get on the course and stay on the course by doing as Jesus did – make a total commitment to do the will of His Father.” (Conf. Rep., “Straightway,” Apr. 1983).