Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gospel Doctrine OT C23: David, Jonathan and Saul

What is the 10th commandment? Thou shalt not covet.
What are other words for covet? Jealousy, envy, coveting.

Saul-1 Sam 9:2 – there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he [Saul].
David- 1 Sam 18:5 - Just killed Goliath and is now set over Saul’s armies
Jonathan- 1 Sam 18:3-4 - Saul’s son, also a valiant soldier and putting faith in God (like David)

1 Samuel 18:6-9
???What did Saul let ruin his friendship and love for David? Jealousy, envy, coveting. Also the spirit of the lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit troubled him. (1 Sam 16:14).

It is interesting to see the behavior of Saul and David at this crossroads.
David’s behavior: 1 Sam 18:14-16

Brigham Young said something about behaving ourselves wisely when others speak and think evil of us. He was giving instructions to departing missionaries in 1861. He said:
“You will have all manner of evil spoken against you, and all I ask of you and all that God or angels will ask of you is that not one word spoken against you shall be true; and I want you for my sake and for your own sake and for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God to live so that the wicked shall have no cause to speak evil against you” (cited in Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors, pp. 412-13).

King Saul’s behavior:  1 Sam 18:11 (javelin). Also as a trap to get David killed, Saul offered his daughter Michal in marriage. In exchange for dowry, David needed to kill one hundred Phillistine’s. He killed two hundred and married Michal. Saul continues to seek David’s life. Threatens with the javelin again. Michal saves him by letting him out the window to escape and putting a dummy in his bed. (ADD MICHAL’S NAME BY JONATHAN) David flees to Samuel, the prophet. David continues to run. Saul kills priests who help David and eventually threatens to destroy a city. He is completely consumed by envy, jealousy and pride.
And so begins the tragic story of King Saul.
???Where do we see a lot of envy and jealousy? I’ll also add pride to the list. Why is it so destructive?

Saul’s tragic flaw was pride, often manifested as a fear of criticism and a love of popular approval.
“As the newly anointed king of Israel, he was actually a substitute. Jehovah was the true king of Israel. … He was to be the civil representative of the true king, Jehovah.” (Richard Elliot, “The Tragic Dimensions of Saul”, Ensign, June 1990).
David was to take Saul’s place as King of Israel, as prophesied by Samuel. This is seen as Saul turns away from the Lord, he also turns away from David, creating enmity with both. David takes the figurative place of Jehovah as Saul rejects them both.

Moroni 8:27 – ‘Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction.’
C.S. Lewis – “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952)

Benson- Saul became an enemy to David through pride. He was jealous because the crowds of Israelite women were singing that ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’
“The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment. ‘What will men think of me? weighs heavier than ‘What will God think of me?’
“Fear of men’s judgment manifests itself in competition for men’s approval. The proud love ‘the praise of men more than the praise of God.’ Our motives for the things we do are where the sin is manifest. Jesus said He did ‘always those things’ that pleased God. Would we not do well to have the pleasing of God as our motive rather than to try to elevate ourselves above our brother and out do another?
“Some prideful people are not as concerned as to whether their wages meet their needs are they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. Their reward is being a cut above the rest. This is the enmity of pride.
“When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let go of the iron rod.”
“Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” April 1989 Gen Conf).

Holland- “Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.
“Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! To say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him “all that he hath,” as the scripture says. So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your stand, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Laborers in the Vineyard,” April 2012 Gen Conf).

Holland- Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.”
“It has been said that envy is the one sin to which no one readily confesses, but just how widespread that tendency can be is suggested in the old Danish proverb, ‘If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill.’
“As others seem to grow larger in our sight, we think we must therefore be smaller. So, unfortunately, we occasionally act that way.”

“One observer has written: ‘In a world that constantly compares people, ranking them as more or less intelligent, more or less attractive, more or less successful, it is not easy to really believe in a [divine] love that does not do the same. When I hear someone praised,’ he says, ‘it is hard not to think of myself as less praiseworthy; when I read about the goodness and kindness of other people, it is hard not to wonder whether I myself am as good and kind as they; and when I see trophies, rewards, and prizes being handed out to special people, I cannot avoid asking myself why that didn’t happen to me.’ If left unresisted, we can see how this inclination so embellished by the world will ultimately bring a resentful, demeaning view of God and a terribly destructive view of ourselves. Most “thou shalt not” commandments are meant to keep us from hurting others, but I am convinced the commandment not to covet is meant to keep us form hurting ourselves.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Other Prodigal,” April 2002 Gen Conf).

???How do we overcome envy?

Holland- How to overcome envy? Start making your way back to the Father. Count your many blessings. Applaud the accomplishments of others. Serve others. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Other Prodigal,” April 2002 Gen Conf).

Throughout all of this, Jonathan is a true friend to David. 1Sam 18:4 indicates that Jonathan may have even known that David was anointed to be king. He tried multiple times to convince his father, Saul, to not kill David. (1Sam 20:2-4, 13-17, 23) (1Sam 23:16-18)
???What made their friendship so strong?
???What is the value of good friendships?

Eyring- “The promise we made in the waters of baptism “to bear one another’s burdens’. It is to be a friend. … All of us will be tested. And all of us need true friends to love us, to listen to us, to show us the way, and to testify of truth to us so that we may retain the companionship of the Holy Ghost. You must be such a true friend.”
--John 15:12-15- “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servant; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

Hales- “There’s a marvelous lesson to be taught by those who live in the islands. When they catch crabs, they place them in a small, flat basket. If you place one crab in the basket, it crawls right out. If you place two crabs in the basket, every time one crab starts to crawl out, it is pulled back in by the other crab. Does that tell you something about your friends? What is the definition of a friend? Friends are people who make it easier to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. If they deviate from the path and lead you away, it does not matter what kind of cars they drive, who their parents are, how effective they are on the football field or the basketball floor or the baseball diamond. You have to ask yourself, ‘Do they make living the gospel easier? Do they help me out of the basket? Will they go with me?’” ( Robert D. Hales, “This is the Way; and There is None Other Way,” BYU speech, Jan 10, 1982

Hales-“We need to measure very carefully who our true friends are. The measure of a true friend is one who will not have us choose between his way and the Lord’s way. A true friend makes it easier for us to live the commandments of the Lord. A true friend will not let us do anything we want. True friends will correct us when we do something wrong and bring us back on the straight and narrow path that leads to exaltation.” (Robert D. Hales, “Return with Honor,” Ensign, June 1999)

Scott- “I wish to share with you some of my most treasured friends,” Richard G. Scott, Oct 1988 Gen Conf). He then says two of those treasured friends are the prophet (at the time, Pres. Benson) and the Book of Mormon. “I offer you the Book of Mormon, a precious friend provided by a loving Savior. Within its pages is truth that brings comfort, guidance, peace, and yes, the companionship of the other true friends. Between its covers you will find the friendship and worthy example of Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Benjamin, Alma, Ammon, Helaman, Mormon, Moroni, and so many others. They will rekindle courage and mark the path to faith and obedience. They will ehlp you overcome the bitterness and anguish of transgression. More important, all of them, without exception, will lift your vision to the perfect friend—our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ. … I cannot comprehend his power, his majesty, his perfections. But I do understand something of his love, his compassion, his mercy.
“There is no burden he cannot lift.
“There is no heart he cannot purify and fill with joy.
“There is no life he cannot cleanse and restore when one is obedient to his teachings.
“Let my other friends guide you to him, but find him yourself through humble, sincere prayer, obedience, and faith.”

“[God] is your Father; pray to him. If your life is in disarray and you feel uncomfortable and unworthy to pray because you are not clean, don’t worry. He already knows about all of that. He is waiting for you to kneel in humility and take the first few steps. Pray for strength. pray for others to be led to support you and guide you and lift you. Pray that the love of the Savior will pour into your heart. Pray that the miracle of the Atonement will bring forgiveness because you are willing to change. I know that those prayers will be answered, for God loves you. His Son gave his life for you. I know they will help you.” (Richard G. Scott, “True Friends That Lift,” Oct. 1988, Gen Conf)

BE ONE—eternal friendships
Proctor- “In the same way that our bonds with our cousins might be built upon the stronger relationship of our parents as siblings, so a friendship nurtured in this world is stronger if founded upon the eternal relationship we have with our Father and his Son.
“The implications of this potential friendship are enormous. It demands that we rise above the limits of common friendship and grasp the higher values that the gospel has been teaching us. A friendship in this world usually develops because we share similar backgrounds, interest, goals, abilities, or traits. yet these can be tenuous, or in a word, temporary, temporal, not eternal.
“If instead, we start with the background of having the same eternal parents and the objective of eternal life, the bond is definitely more powerful. If we can move beyond the petty boundaries that eventually seem to plateau friendship in this world and replace envy, jealousy, and strife with faith and charity, we have a chance at forming here on this imperfect earth an eternal relationship.” (Maurine Proctor, Meridian Magazine, June 4, 2018_)

Maxwell- “Can one expect human relationships to be deep and lasting sources of purpose and meaning without having truth at their center? Can there be friendships such as the friendship of Jonathan and David outside the context of absolute values?”

Holland-  Paul “reminds us we are all the body of Christ, and that all members, whether comely or feeble, are adored, essential, and important. We feel the depth of his plea that there be “no schism in the body, but that the members … have the same care one for another. And [when] one member suffer[s], all the members suffer with it; or [when] one member [is] honoured, all the members rejoice. That incomparable counsel helps us remember that the word generosity has the same derivation as the word genealogy, both coming from the latin genus, meaning of the same birth or kind, the same family or gender. WE will find it easier to be generous when we remember that this person being favored is truly one of our own. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Other Prodigal,” April 2002 Gen Conf).

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