Proverbs 1–4; 15–16; 22; 31; Ecclesiastes 1–3; 11–12 – “The Fear of the Lord Is the Beginning of Wisdom”

August 29, 2022 to September 4, 2022

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes seek to impart wisdom through memorable maxims. Biblical wisdom is about more than how to live one’s life: it seeks to help people come to God and live righteously.


“Where Is Wisdom?” Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, November 1992

Wisdom is found in divine light which can guide all people, but many people choose not to receive it. Paul’s warnings in 2 Timothy 3 describe apostasy and other dangers of our day, and Proverbs 12:15 affirms that the “way of a fool is right in his own eyes,” so we must be on guard. 

“With All Thy Getting Get Understanding,” Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, August 1988

President Hinckley shares his appreciation for those who study and teach the knowledge of the world. He adds that coming to understand the purpose of life and our relationship to God are the foundation of human progress. He draws on Proverbs for that teaching. He teaches that gratitude to God, virtue, and faith are essential. 

“The ‘Spirit’ That Returns to God in Ecclesiastes 12:7,” Dana M. Pike, Let Us Reason Together, BYU Religious Studies Center

Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Some Latter-day Saints have understood “the spirit” to mean the spirit personages that leave their mortal bodies at death. But in its biblical context, this verse is not about souls returning to God; this verse teaches that our bodies return to the dust of the earth, and our breath returns to God, who granted it to us. See also “The Latter-day Saint Reimaging of ‘the Breath of Life’ (Genesis 2:7),” Dana M. Pike, BYU Studies 56, no. 2.  

“How did proverbs come to be and how were they used in olden times?” Keith H. Meservy, Ensign, October 1973

Proverbs belong to a literary classification known as wisdom literature: sayings of wise men who crystallized their advice into short, pithy statements. These were usually, but not necessarily, expressed in two-line couplets, the second of which emphasized the meaning of the first by an antithetical statement or by a complementary or parallel idea.

“‘Wisdom’ (Philosophy) in the Holy Bible,” David H. Yarn Jr., BYU Studies 13, no. 1

The book of Proverbs frequently uses the word “wisdom.” This article examines wisdom passages throughout the Bible and classifies them into five topics. The topics regarding knowledge of God and righteousness appear more frequently than other topics. Heavenly wisdom is peaceable, gentle, and full of mercy.