I bought a copy of the Old Testament Institute Manual to help me with my study of the OT. It's been really helpful! Sometimes the commentary is not terribly useful (like the section on is it appropriate for a prophet to use the phrase "piss against the wall" in the Bible--???), but most of the time it's great.
This morning I finished the introduction on Isaiah. The tone made me smile: yeah, we know it's hard, but if you are willing to "pay the price" (direct quote) you can get Isaiah. 🙂 I am trying to alter my attitude so that I can appreciate Isaiah. I am a plain-talking person and appreciate that in others. Isaiah is not so plain, written intentionally to obscure meaning, and that aggravates me. I understand why in the historic and social context the book was written that way -- still aggravated. I am truly hoping that I can gain an appreciation for Isaiah through this year's study. I'm still scared I won't get it. Also scared I will get it. But I'll slog forward.
I watched a show, Seek Ye Diligently, on BYU TV last night where Truman Madsen was talking about Joseph Smith. I love to hear Madsen on Smith. Awesome. I am teaching the first Sunday lesson in January, and I had planned to introduce our next year's Enrichment theme (assuming we choose one), but now I think I will teach a lesson on Joseph Smith. We haven't really had a lesson from the presidency on him yet, and it would be nice to start off the second year of study of Joseph's words with that type of message, I think. I love Joseph Smith. Love him. Love his teachings, would have loved the guy.