David was a warrior hero who became king over all of Israel. He united the tribes into one nation, he fought for possession of the land including Jerusalem, and the government was based on obedience and worship of God. Yet his sins led to his downfall and strife among his sons. The wise king Solomon ruled for forty years and built the first temple, but he also fell because of his marriages to foreign women and turning away from God. These accounts tell us that we cannot trust in our own strength but must continue to trust in and obey God throughout our lives.
“The King Called David,” Arthur R. Bassett, Ensign, October 1973
David, one of the most complex and tragic heroes of all Israelite history, was a powerful and influential king. This article lists David’s accomplishments and trials. David was not only a skilled warrior and statesman, he was also a musician and poet. While we do not know which psalms David wrote, these psalms prophesied often of Jesus’ anguish, and Jesus quoted Psalm 22 from the cross.
“2 Samuel 13–24, The Price of Sin: Tragedy in the House of David,” Old Testament Student Manual, Genesis-2 Samuel, Church Educational System
David’s sin of murder led to a chain of misdeeds in his family and associates, notably by Amnon and Absalom. This chapter includes discussions of David’s sin and Absalom’s treachery, resulting in division in the kingdom and Absalom’s death. David’s cry over Absalom is a lament that is likely the source of the pain expressed in Psalm 55. David expressed other joys and trials of his life throughout the psalms.
“Solomon: Man of Wisdom, Man of Foolishness, 1 Kings 1-11,” Old Testament Student Manual, 1 Kings-Malachi, Church Educational System
The golden age of Israel began under David and continued under Solomon. There was peace and unity throughout Solomon’s vast domain. Solomon became famous for his wisdom and he acquired great wealth, but at the end of his life, both he and Israel were spiritually and temporally bankrupt.
“The Modern Mighty of Israel,” Monte J. Brough, Ensign, October 1993
The story of David’s mighty men is told in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11-12. These warriors were courageous, loyal, and dedicated. They are an example to us today.
“David, King,” Norman J. Barlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
David was perhaps the greatest king of Israel. His strength and reliance on the Lord marked him as an exceptional leader and hero. His name is linked with that of the Messiah. His sins are apparent, yet he sought to take responsibility (see 2 Samuel 24:15-17).
“David, Prophetic Figure of the Last Days,” Victor L. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Prophecies in Hosea and Ezekiel tell of a man who would be like King David. Jesus Christ fits the description, but there may also be another righteous king by the name of David in the last days.
“Jachin and Boaz in Religious and Political Perspective,” Carol L. Meyers, The Temple in Antiquity: Ancient Records and Modern Perspectives, BYU Religious Studies Center
Two pillars (Jachin and Boaz) flanked the entrance to the sacred center of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. Aside from their utility and beauty they had symbolic meaning, as did many other structures and appurtenances of the ancient temple.
“The Sanctifying Power of True Ritual Worship,” Carol F. Ellertson, The Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, BYU Religious Studies Center
Despite their many flaws, both David and Solomon demonstrated a true desire to obey God through their prayers and supplication.