1 Kings 17–19 – “If the Lord Be God, Follow Him”

June 27, 2022 to July 3, 2022

Elijah the prophet served in a time of turmoil. In his service to God, he caused a famine to come upon the land because of the disobedience of the kings and the people. He performed miracles and stood bravely against the king’s prophets of Baal. He heard the Lord in a still, small voice. He anointed Elisha as a prophet and placed his mantle on Elisha. His sealing power continued, and he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration to Peter, James, and John, and he restored the sealing keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery at the Kirtland Temple. Because of this sealing power, we can be sealed to others throughout eternity.  


Video: “Elijah,” interview of Dr. Kristine Garroway by Jared Ludlow, June 19, 2022

A discussion of Elijah from a Latter-day Saint and a Jewish perspective. This is one of a series of interfaith discussions by the John A. Widtsoe Foundation. 57 minutes. 

“Elijah the Prophet,” Howard W. Hunter, General Conference October 1971

Elder Hunter reviews the life of Elijah and his role to come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Elijah’s mission to bind people together leads to peace in families. 

“1 Kings 17 to 2 Kings 2: Elijah and Sealing Power of the Holy Priesthood,” Old Testament Student Manual 1 Kings-Malachi, Church Educational System

A summary and commentary of these chapters with a map of Elijah’s journeys. 

“The Divided Kingdoms,” Old Testament Student Manual 1 Kings-Malachi, Church Educational System

A summary of the two kingdoms along with charts listing the kings and a map.  

“Elijah and Elisha: Foreshadowing the Latter-day Work,” Lenet Hadley Read, Ensign, March 1988

The lives of Elijah and Elisha have many parallels with Christ’s life and ministry. 

“The Sealing Keys Restored,” Ensign, February 2002 

This short article explains how Elijah held the sealing keys and restored them to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. 

“Who Controls the Water? Yahweh vs. Baal,” Fred E. Woods, FARMS Papers/Faculty publications

1 Kings 18:1 reveals that Elijah’s sealing power created a sore famine in Samaria, which the New Testament indicates lasted three and a half years. This resulted in a showdown to determine who really controlled the water: Baal or Yahweh? Elijah requested that all Israel and all the prophets of Baal and his consort be gathered for the contest to be performed at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19). The showdown on Mount Carmel is interesting for several reasons. First, at the time of this confrontation, Mount Carmel was situated exactly on the border of Israel and Phoenicia. Jezebel, a zealous advocate of Baal, had patronized the spread of Baalism into Israel from her homeland in Phoenicia. Perhaps this location was selected because it was the most neutral position for an encounter between the god of each land. Second, the area of Carmel is used in the Hebrew Bible as an image of fertility. Finally, an Assyrian inscription dated to 841 BC evidences that Mount Carmel was called Mount Balirasi, Baal of the headland, suggesting that Mount Carmel was referred to as Baal’s mountain or domain by the Canaanites during the time of the showdown between Elijah and the priests of Baal.

“Elijah, LDS Sources and Ancient Sources,” Franklin D. Day and R. J. Zvi Werblowdky, 

Encyclopedia of Mormonism

“The main emphasis of Elijah’s prophetic ministry is the exclusive and pure worship of Yhwh, and uncompromising opposition to the Canaanite pagan cult of Baal. His activities account for his becoming in Jewish tradition the symbol of uncompromising religious zeal.”

“Elijah’s Mission: His Keys, Powers, and Blessings from the Old Testament to the Latter Days,” E. Dale LeBaron, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament, BYU Religious Studies Center

“Like two prophetic bookends, the last words of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5–6) and the earliest revelation recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 2) give prophetic promise of Elijah’s mission.” This prophecy is spoken of in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and in Joseph Smith’s History. 

“I Will Send You Elijah the Prophet,” Kenneth L. Alford, You Shall Have My Word: Exploring the Text of the Doctrine and Covenants

Moroni’s message to Joseph Smith in 1823 prophesied that Elijah would return, which happened on April 3, 1836. This article looks at how Elijah would return, how John the Baptist was not Elijah, when Malachi’s prophecy would be fulfilled, and Elijah’s mission.

“The Power of Elijah,” Theodore M. Burton, General Conference April 1974 

If Elijah’s power was important regarding temporal affairs (the famine and the miracles), think of the spiritual power he possessed. He could bind or seal on earth and have it bound in heaven. 

“‘Follow the Prophet’: Eight Principles from 1 and 2 Kings,” Ronald E. Bartholomew, Religious Educator 9, no. 1, BYU Religious Studies Center

Elijah’s request of food of the starving woman was not selfishness, rather it was an invitation for the woman to give the Lord the best she had. Elijah challenged the apostate children of Israel to serve only Jehovah, but they insisted that God prove himself yet again.

“Priesthood Restoration Documents,” Brian Q. Cannon and BYU Studies staff, BYU Studies 35, no. 4.

Joseph Smith mentioned Elijah in connection with the restoration of the priesthood and the sealing and binding powers. See in this article documents 17, 18, and 65.

“The Appearance of Elijah and Moses in the Kirtland Temple and the Jewish Passover,” Stephen D. Ricks, BYU Studies 23, no. 4 

The History of the Church notes that the appearance of Elijah and Moses in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, coincided with the exact moment of Passover. In fact, it was not the exact moment of Passover as celebrated that year, but it was during the Passover season of remembrance.