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Old Testament - Lesson 8

Living Righteously in a Wicked World
Taught by Jeff Stone on February 21, 2010

Sodom and GomorrahIntroduction:
Here we learn about the wickedness of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah along with a little bit about Lot’s family. This lesson is particularly important to us in our time. Just look at the newspaper or the news and see how much evil is in the world and how surrounded we are by unrighteous influence.

Scriptures covered in this lesson:

Genesis 13
Genesis 14
Genesis 18
Genesis 19

Speculation:
There has been much speculation about many things regarding Sodom and Gomorrah; where were they located? How where they actually destroyed? and many other questions.
For example, here are some interesting websites relating to this lesson (Sodom and Gomorrah) along with other lessons regarding Abraham, the Abrahamic covenant and many other subjects. It’s an interesting read that discusses possible sites, etc of many places including Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember to prayerfully read these resources with the spirit:

www.wyattarchaeology.com
english.sdaglobal.org

Above is one such map that gives an educated guess as to some of the locations. Click on the picture above for a larger image.

Wickedness:
Regardless of the location of Sodom, we know that it was full of wickedness. When The Lord said that he would destroy it, Abraham asked if the city could be spared if he found but 10 righteous people in the city. Of course we know that the city was destroyed, which certainly implies that there were not even 10 righteous people. Lot and some of his family were saved, but that’s it. In Genesis 19 we see that, although most of Lot’s family escaped to Zoar, his wife was lost as she turned back to look at Sodom; she was altered in form to a pillar of salt.

Spencer W. KimballPresident Spencer W. Kimball said: “Our world is now much the same as it was in the days of the Nephite prophet who said: ‘. . . if it were not for the prayers of the righteous . . . ye would even now be visited with utter destruction. . . .’ (Alma 10:22.)

Of course, there are many many upright and faithful who live all the commandments and whose lives and prayers keep the world from destruction” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 7; or Ensign, June 1971, 16).

M Russell BallardIn The World, Not of The World:
In General Conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard said: “In the Church, we often state the couplet, ‘Be in the world but not of the world.’ As we observe television shows that make profanity, violence, and infidelity commonplace and even glamorous, we often wish we could lock out the world in some way and isolate our families from it all. . . .

“Perhaps we should state the couplet previously mentioned as two separate admonitions. First, ‘Be in the world.’ Be involved; be informed. Try to be understanding and tolerant and to appreciate diversity. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement. Second, ‘Be not of the world.’

Do not follow wrong paths or bend to accommodate or accept what is not right. . . . “Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it. We each need to help solve the problem rather than avoid or ignore it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 100–101; or Ensign, May 1989, 80).

Conclusion:
Based on what we can learn from the experiences of Lot along with the teachings of modern day prophets, we know that we MUST, as Latter-Day Saints, be an example to the world, an example of righteousness and pillar of light, not salt.