The lesson in our current manual provides for only a taste of the beauty and poetry of the Psalms, suggesting that the class focus on Psalms that testify of the Savior. Additional teaching ideas suggest discussing the Psalms in terms of latter-day hymns and as poetry. Roy A. Welker, Spiritual Values of the Old Testament (Salt Lake City: LDS Department of Education, 1952), a work prepared for the seminaries of the church, offers four chapters on the Psalms: an overview, and three chapters examining various themes. (I wish I could reproduce all four chapters here, but the introductory one will have to suffice.)
The Books of Poetry: Psalms
The books that constitute this division of the Old Testament are designated as the Poetical books including Psalms and the Song of Songs, sometimes called the Song of Solomon. By far the most important of the two is Psalms although the Song of Songs has its own worth, too.
The name “Psalms” is a transliteration of the Greek title of the book, and signifies “songs accompanied by stringed instruments.” In Hebrew the word means “praises,” a term fitting it well as so many of the poems are praises to Jehovah.