Today we’ll demonstrate a comprehensive search and study session where we really try to dig into the scriptures and how you can get deeper into scripture study using Scripture Notes.
Open a reading pane to Doctrine and Covenants section 1 and scroll down to verse 36. This verse reads: “And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world.”
When I read this I wondered, “What is Idumea? Why did the Lord use that word here instead of just leaving it out and saying he would come down in judgment upon the world?”
Open a new search pane while leaving the reading pane open. Do a search for the word:
There are only four other references in the scriptures to this word, two in Isaiah right next to each other, and two in Ezekiel. Now change your search at the top of this results column to:
Use the wildcard on the end and you will actually find another verse in Mark 3:8 referencing “Idumaea” as a land where Gentiles came from to hear the Savior speak.
You might now wonder, “why would the Lord only use the word a few times in the Bible and then reference the word in the D&C?” That’s a great question to ask 🙂 (and it should remind you of the first tutorial with the word “director”).
Do you suppose the Lord is trying to draw our attention to these other references so we can build on our knowledge of what he’s talking about in the D&C? Yes! By doing this, he doesn’t have to spell out everything he does in Isaiah and Ezekiel, because he knows the student of the scriptures is going to find those references, understand the context of that word as used in those chapters, and establish the connection to fill in the blanks. In other words, by referencing the word once in the D&C, it should bring to mind all the stuff taught in these other places as context for what the Lord says here, which is:
D&C 1:36 “And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world.”
Those chapters in Isaiah and Ezekiel actually talk about the destruction of the world, typified by this word Idumea. The word Idumea in Hebrew is “edom” and means red. Recall that when Esau (the elder brother of Jacob) was born, “he came out red” (Genesis 25:25). The region occupied by Esau’s descendants is Idumea, or where the Edomites live. How is this significant or instructive?
In Isaiah 34:6 we read of a judgment of the Lord upon the people. “The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats…” These are kosher animals, representative of covenant people. These are covenant people that didn’t keep their covenants, sold out, and the Lord will destroy them.
Now think about Esau. It’s a parallel back to his life where he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Idumea is a macro view of Esau’s life. It’s his spiritual descendants who sell their birthright as covenant people, for a mess of worldly pottage, and the Lord is bringing judgment on them. They have lost everything by embracing the world and neglecting their covenants.
Now reflect back on D&C 1:36 and recognize the Lord is invoking Idumea upon the latter-day saints receiving this revelation. It’s a warning to us to be a true and faithful covenant people and not sell our birthright for a mess of pottage.
1) You could go back to the previous narrower search or stick with this broader search and start making notes on the verses.
2) You could glance at these and decide it’s not something of interest in studying and close them up.
3) You might just make a couple quick basic notes on these verses right now and call it good and close the search.
4) You could save the search to a collection note and start reading that batch of verses and make a master note.
5) You could save the search to a collection note but go back to your original Idumea search and look closer at those chapters in Isaiah and Ezekiel.
With Scripture Notes it’s up to you to decide how you study, but notice we didn’t lose the previous searches. We just expand our opportunities for study. You can choose how to organize your thoughts for future retrieval.
Here’s a few things you could do if you wanted to dig in more.
Get curious about other phrases in these verses. Notice in Isaiah 34:5 the phrase “my sword shall be bathed in heaven.” Also notice in Ezekiel 36:5 the phrase “fire of my jealousy”. Get curious about those phrases. We typically read over a symbolic phrase and don’t stop to think about it.
Open a search pane and do a search for
Use quotes around it to find verses that contain this two word phrase. Three results appear and we can see that two mention the sword bathed in heaven and one is a reference that the moon will be bathed in blood. Swords are a symbol of justice and cause blood to appear in combat and the moon is a heavenly object. Is there some connection between these verses?
In your search pane do a new search for
fire and jealousy
Don’t use quote marks to find all scriptures that contain those two words in any order. Seven results appear. Many other verses identify the Lord as a jealous God. These verses talk about his fire which is a reference to his judgments and cleansing power.
At the top of this same search results pane, click your search term at the top and delete the first two words so it only says “jealousy” and click the search icon. Thirty-one results appear because you’ve broadened the search.
This one word we got curious about can lead to amazing adventures in searching and studying the scriptures. Important through it all is the need to ask the Lord to reveal to you things you haven’t previously seen. Ask and ye shall receive. Then cherish the revelation and record it in Scripture Notes. The above project can be saved however you want. Multiple verse notes or collection notes.
At this point, you’ve got some basic training under your belt and you can decide what you want to note or study on these topics. If you are new to the gospel, you’ll want to be sure to spend a bit of time reading through the scriptures and getting familiar with the stories and context of the teachings. As you do, write down all the questions you have as you go. They’ll be there forever waiting for you to revisit them with new understanding and maturity in the gospel. The same will happen for experienced members. We are all learning, all the time. There is so much meaning to be found in the scriptures, they are truly a treasure from God.
This is the last tutorial. Now it’s time to graduate and move on to other resources and study topics. I have prepared two other email series for you. Here’s how it works.
With the completion of the tutorials, you’ll be subscribed to the weekly resources emails (which last about 2 months). These give you some awesome tools to dig in and understand the scriptures even better.
You’ll also get the “old” study topics which means starting with study topic blog post #1 and going forward. The first several topics will give you some projects and approaches to studying the scriptures and uses the resources as well. I hope you’ll hang around for a bit with them. These are sent out on Wednesdays.
Then if you sign up for the new study topics via email at the top right of this page, you’ll get them each Sunday.
When the old topics catch up to the new topics, you can unsubscribe from the old ones and just get the new. Or you can just stick with one email a week and stay on the full historical “old” post trail.
It’s up to you how involved you get with this site, but my goal is to help you be more involved with the scriptures whether you subscribe to everything available here or not…
You can also sign up on our social media channels if you want to get notifications that way and join in the conversations. On Pinterest we’ll be posting items that teach and simplify concepts in the scriptures. If you create an awesome graphic to explain something, please share it with me and I’ll consider posting it there for everyone. This is one big classroom and with the right tools, we’re going to do some awesome learning. See you soon.
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