Gospel Doctrine OT c26 Solomon - 1 Kings 3-11
“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks (From an address given at a BYU 18-stake fireside on June 7, 1992)
The lesson says: “Just before David died, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon as the new king. Solomon, who was a son of David and Bathsheba, received the following counsel from his father: “Be thou strong … , and shew thyself a man; and keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, … that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest” (1 Kings 2:1-3)
Soon after Solomon became king, the Lord appeared to him in a dream. READ 1 Kings 3:3-9.
?What did Solomon ask for? 3:9.
?What does it mean to have an understanding heart? 3:28; 4:29.
?Have you ever offer a similar prayer? What is the value of an understanding heart?
READ Proverbs 4:7 – with all thy getting, get understanding.
Sister Julie B. Beck said: “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.” (Ensign, May 2010)
Solomon understood that. The knowledge we need to make the right choices comes only by revelation, and therefore is only spiritually discerned.
?Why should we seek it? What other spiritual gifts can we seek after? Moroni 10:8-18; D&C 46:11-26; 1Cor 12:4-12.
God’s response to Solomon’s request. He was granted extra blessings. He was also given a warning. READ 1 Kings 3:10-14.
Solomon built a temple to the Lord. It took 7 years.
?How can temple attendance help us when we are weighed down with problems?
Pres. Ezra Taft Benson said: “In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes we find solutions to the serious problems of life. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there. Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the House of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways” (Ensign, Aug 1985)
After Solomon offered the dedicatory prayer, he counseled his people.
READ 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart … be perfect with the Lord our God”.
?What do you think it means to have a heart that is “Perfect with the Lord”? How can temple attendance help us perfect our hearts?
Solomon did prosper and increased in wealth and honor. READ Jacob 2:18-19.
The problem is what King Solomon did with his increase. He used it to build up his own kingdom rather than God’s kingdom. 1Kings 10 tells of his riches. 1Kings 11:1-4. His heart turned away from God.
?How do you think the blessings of wisdom, riches, and honor contributed to Solomon’s downfall?
?How have you seen these strengths contribute to the downfall of people today?
?How can we ensure that our strengths do not become a downfall for us? Remember 1Kings 8:61.
Elder Dallin H Oaks said: “How … do we prevent our strengths from becoming our downfall? The quality we must cultivate is humility. Humility is the great protector. Humility is the antidote against pride. Humility is the catalyst for all learning, especially spiritual things. Through the prophet Moroni, the Lord gave us this great insight into the role of humility: ‘I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them’ (Ether 12:27).
“We might also say that if men and women humble themselves before God, he will help them prevent their strengths from becoming weaknesses that the adversary can exploit to destroy them. …
“… If we are humble and teachable, hearkening to the commandments of God, the counsel of his leaders, and the promptings of his Spirit, we can be guided in how to use our spiritual gifts, our accomplishments, and all of our other strengths for righteousness. And we can be guided in how to avoid Satan’s efforts to use our strengths to cause our downfall.
“In all of this, we should remember and rely on the Lord’s direction and promise: ‘Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers’ (D&C 112:10)” (Ensign, Oct. 1994)
“If we are not wary, Satan can cause our spiritual downfall by corrupting us through our strengths as well as by exploiting our weaknesses.”