President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “The word of God … has the power to fortify the Saints and arm them with the Spirit so they can resist evil, hold fast to the good, and find joy in this life” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson , 118).
Ezra 1: King Cyrus of Persia lets the Jews go back to Jerusalem to build the temple—Cyrus returns the vessels of the house of the Lord taken by Nebuchadnezzar.
Ezra 3: The altar is rebuilt—Regular sacrifices are reinstituted—The foundations of the temple are laid amid great rejoicing.
Ezra 4: The Samaritans offer help, then hinder the work—The building of the temple and of the walls of Jerusalem ceases.
Ezra 5: Haggai and Zechariah prophesy—Zerubbabel renews the building of the temple—The Samaritans challenge the Jews’ right to continue their building work.
Ezra 6: Darius renews the decree of Cyrus to build the temple—It is finished and dedicated, and sacrifices and feasts commence again.
Ezra 7: Ezra goes up to Jerusalem—Artaxerxes provides for beautifying the temple and sustains the Jews in their worship.
Nehemiah 2: Artaxerxes sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem—Sanballat and others oppose Nehemiah in rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 4: The Jews’ enemies seek to prevent them from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem—Nehemiah arms the laborers and keeps the work progressing.
Nehemiah 5: Many Jews are in bondage to their fellow Jews—At Nehemiah’s direction they are freed, their lands are restored, and the taking of usury is discontinued.
Nehemiah 6: Sanballat engages in intrigue against Nehemiah and the building of the wall—The Jews finish the construction of the wall.
Nehemiah 8: Ezra reads and interprets the law of Moses to the people—They keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Resources on ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families (lesson materials at ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
- Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School (lesson materials at ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
- Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes (lesson materials at ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
- Come, Follow Me—For Primary (lesson materials at ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
- “I Love to See the Temple,” Children’s Songbook, 95.
- Chapter 44: Return to Jerusalem
- Old Testament Seminary Student Material: Lesson 107: Ezra
- Old Testament Seminary Student Material: Lesson 108: Nehemiah
- Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students: Unit 21: Day 2, Ezra 1–6
- Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students: Unit 21: Day 3, Ezra 7–10
- Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students: Unit 21: Day 4, Nehemiah
- Old Testament Institute Student Manual Kings-Malachi: The Exiles Return (Ezra)
- Old Testament Institute Student Manual Kings-Malachi: Builder of Walls and Wills (Nehemiah)
Resources on Interpreter Foundation
- Scripture Roundtable: Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 47, “Let Us Rise Up and Build”, Administration, October 1, 2014
Resources on Other Sites
- Consider Your Ways: The Book of Haggai and the Responsibilities and Blessings of Temple Work, Ray L. Huntington, in Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament
- Haggai: Prophet of the Second Temple (Haggai), Old Testament Student Manual Kings- Malachi
- Harry S. Truman as a Modern Cyrus, Michael T. Benson, BYU Studies, Volume 34, no. 1
- The Exiles Return (Ezra), Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi
- The Persian Empire, the Return of the Jews, and the Diaspora, Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi