Solomon succeeds his father, David, as king, and follows the Lord. The Lord appears to Solomon, who asks to be blessed with an understanding heart. The Lord blesses Solomon with wisdom, riches, and honor.
1 Kings 3:5–15
5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
Elder James J. Hamula wrote:
“Having been made king of Israel by his father, David, Solomon became the leader of a great nation. It was about 1015 B.C., and the kingdom was large, unified, and prosperous. Solomon was but a young adult, probably in his 20s, when he ascended to the throne [see Bible Dictionary, “Chronology”].
“Solomon appears to have been deeply humbled by the burden of leading Israel, and ‘because the Lord blessed Solomon as he was walking in the statutes of David, his father, he began to love the Lord’ (JST, 1 Kings 3:3). In Gibeon . . . , Solomon earnestly sought the Lord. In response to Solomon’s deep yearning for and imploring help from the God of Israel, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Ask what I shall give thee’ (1 Kings 3:5).
“With great reverence, Solomon responded by citing the Lord’s blessings upon his father, David. Solomon then identified his own perceived weakness, his profound need: ‘O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king . . . and I am but a child’ (1 Kings 3:7).
“Solomon was concerned that he lacked the capacity to govern the affairs of men. His faith in the Lord’s mercy and his recognition of his own weakness allowed him to respond to the Lord with this request: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad’ (1 Kings 3:9).
“Solomon’s selfless request pleased the Lord: ‘Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself . . . behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart’ (1 Kings 3:11–12). The Lord then gave him other great blessings and strictly charged Solomon to walk in His ways and keep His commandments.”
(“The Quest for Wisdom,” Ensign, July 2002, 40–41.)