Day 32 September 10 - I Thessalonians 3 - I Timothy 5

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As A Thief in the Night

And again, verily I say unto you, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it overtaketh the world as a thief in the night— D&C 106:4

Scripture Reference: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in adarkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Inviting the Lord into Our Lives

Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers,” Ensign, May 2009, 48

“Prayer begins with individual initiative. ‘Behold,’ saith the Lord, ‘I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:20). That door is opened when we pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 18:20; D&C 88:64). . . .

“Let us ever pray ‘that [the Lord’s] kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants . . . may . . . be prepared for the days . . . [when] the Son of Man shall come down . . . in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth’ (D&C 65:5). In our daily lives and in our own crucial hours, may we fervently apply these precious lessons from the Lord.”

Wonderful Time to Be Alive

Elder Allan F. Packer, “Finding Strength in Challenging Times!” Ensign, May 2009, 17

“Individuals and families across the world are challenged by current conditions. While I believe there are serious challenges ahead, I also know it is a wonderful time to be alive, especially for the youth. I see my children and grandchildren having full, satisfying lives even as they have challenges, setbacks, and obstacles to overcome.

“These are the days when prophecies are being fulfilled. We live in the dispensation of the fulness of times, which is the time to prepare for the Savior’s return. It is also the time to work out our own salvation.”

A Marvelous Work and a Wonder

Elder Neil L. Andersen, “Come unto Him,” Ensign, May 2009, 80

“We live in these days of the Lord’s ‘marvelous work and a wonder’ (Isaiah 29:14; see 2 Nephi 25:17). We have been blessed to bring the gospel to our families and our posterity and to assist in preparing for the Second Coming of the Savior. The Lord described the purposes of the Restoration ‘to be a light to the world, . . . to be a standard for [us, His] people, . . . and to be a messenger before [His] face to prepare the way before [Him]’ (D&C 45:9). Our responsibility is not trivial; it is not by chance that we are who we are; the keeping of our covenants in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout all the eternities.”

The Holy One of Israel

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent, Ensign, Nov. 2007, 42

"I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer who, under the guidance of the Father, was the Creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. I bear witness that He was born of a virgin mother, that in His lifetime He performed mighty miracles observed by legions of His disciples and by His enemies as well. I testify that He had power over death because He was divine but that He willingly subjected Himself to death for our sake because for a period of time He was also mortal. I declare that in His willing submission to death He took upon Himself the sins of the world, paying an infinite price for every sorrow and sickness, every heartache and unhappiness from Adam to the end of the world. In doing so He conquered both the grave physically and hell spiritually and set the human family free. I bear witness that He was literally resurrected from the tomb and, after ascending to His Father, to complete the process of that Resurrection, He appeared, repeatedly, to hundreds of disciples in the Old World and in the New. I know He is the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah who will one day come again in final glory, to reign on earth as Lord of lords and King of kings."

Reasons to Rejoice

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?" Ensign, Nov. 2007, 18-19

"We live in a time foretold in the scriptures as a day of 'wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places' (Mormon 8:30), when 'the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 45:26).

"But how does this affect us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints? Are we living with apprehension, fear, and worry? Or have we, amidst all of our challenges, not reason to rejoice?

"We all go through different life experiences. Some are filled with joy, and others with sorrow and uncertainty. . . .

". . . Aren't the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and our membership in His Church great reasons to rejoice?"

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1 Thes. 4:11 study to be quiet, and to do your own business

Brigham Young

“’To mind your own business’ incorporates the whole duty of man. What is the duty of a Latter-day Saint? To do all the good he can upon the earth, living in the discharge of every duty obligatory upon him.” (Journal of Discourses, 10: 296.)

Joseph F. Smith

“If it were in good form to project ‘don'ts’ at the young men of the Church, I should head the list with what is a very important one: ‘Don't meddle with other people's business; mind your own.’

“The ‘Mormon’ creed: ‘Mind your own business,’ is a good motto for young people to adopt who wish to succeed, and who wish to make the best use of their time and lives. And when I say young people, it includes as well aged and middle aged men and women.” (Editor's Table., Improvement Era, 1903, Vol. Vi. March, 1903. No. 5)

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JST 1 Thes. 4:17 they who are alive, shall be caught up together into the clouds

The Second Coming of Christ will not be complete until Jesus gathers to himself a celestial gathering. This grand meeting amidst the clouds will involve three different groups of saints. The first group are described as ‘all the holy angels’ (DC 45:44). They are those who were resurrected at the time of Christ (Matt 27:52-53, 3 Ne. 23:19-13). They are not an assembly of angels which do not belong to this earth, for ‘there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it’ (DC 130:5). The second group are those saints who have died since the resurrection of Christ. This group was a concern to the Thessalonian saints (v. 13-14), but Paul promised that they would be caught up as well. The third group are those mortals who are worthy of a celestial glory. The scriptures clearly promise that these three groups will be part of the heavenly throng:

‘…behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels; and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.

But before the arm of the Lord shall fall, an angel shall sound his trump, and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud.

Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace blessed are you; for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected; and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth.’ (DC 45:44-46)

‘And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him.

And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven—

They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him…’ (DC 88:96-98)

Sterling W. Sill

“At Christ's coming a great number of very exciting things are going to take place. He is not coming alone; as Paul says, he will come with his mighty angels. (See 2 Thes. 1:7-8.) At his coming a great many of the faithful dead will be resurrected and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And some of the righteous who are then living upon the earth will be changed from mortality to immortality in the twinkling of an eye to join that impressive company in the air. Certainly this is something to look forward to.” (Conference Report, April 1966, First Day—Morning Meeting 20.)

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1 Thes. 5:2 the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night

M. Russell Ballard

“I am called as one of the Apostles to be a special witness of Christ in these exciting, trying times, and I do not know when He is going to come again. As far as I know, none of my brethren in the Council of the Twelve or even in the First Presidency knows. And I would humbly suggest to you, my young brothers and sisters, that if we do not know, then nobody knows, no matter how compelling their arguments or how reasonable their calculations. . . . I believe when the Lord says 'no man' knows, it really means that no man knows. You should be extremely wary of anyone who claims to be an exception to divine decree.” (Leon R. Hartshorn, Dennis A. Wright, and Craig J. Ostler, eds., The Doctrine and Covenants, a Book of Answers: The 25th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996], 207-208.)

Harold B. Lee

“I was supposed to have said in setting apart a missionary that when he returned from his mission, Salt Lake City would be evacuated and be living out on the salt flats in tents. I have had a patriarchal blessing, so someone reports, that I would be President of the Church when the Savior would come. I was alleged to have said that some would be living when the Savior comes. Maybe we will, but I have not had the temerity to say it because the Lord said not even the angels would know of the time of His coming. He would come in a time which would be as a thief in the night. (D&C 49:1; Thessalonians 5:2)” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 402.)

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2 Thes. 1:7-8 Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire

Bruce R. McConkie

“In flaming fire! What kind of fire? Flaming fire is flaming fire. It is actual, literal fire, fire that burns trees, melts ore, and consumes corruption. It is the same kind of fire that burned in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into its blazing flames…And so shall it be at the Second Coming when the same literal fire burns over all the earth. The wicked shall be consumed and the righteous shall be as though they walked in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar.

“Graphic accounts of the fire and burning that will attend the Second Coming are found in the ancient word. ‘Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence,’ acclaims the Psalmist; ‘a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.’ (Ps. 50:3.) And also: ‘The Lord reigneth. . . . A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted the wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.’ (Ps. 97:1-5.)

“None of the prophets excel Isaiah in literary craftsmanship and in the use of grand imagery to teach and testify about the God of Israel and his laws. ‘The Lord cometh,’ Isaiah says, ‘burning with his anger, and . . . his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire. . . . And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering [i.e., with a blast], and tempest, and hailstones.’ And ‘the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,’ shall kindle the fires that destroy false worship. (Isa. 30:27-33.) ‘For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.’ (Isa. 66:15-16.)

”…When the Lord comes in his glory, in flaming fire, that fire will both cleanse the vineyard and burn the earth. In that day, so intense shall be the heat and so universal the burning, the very elements of which this earth is composed shall melt. The mountains, high and glorious and made of solid rock, shall melt like wax. They shall become molten and flow down into the valleys below. The very earth itself, as now constituted, shall be dissolved. All things shall burn with fervent heat. And out of it all shall come new heavens and a new earth whereon dwelleth righteousness. It is of these things—and they, above all else, show the literal nature of the burning fires that shall attend that dreadful day.” (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 525-526.)

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2 Thes. 2:3 that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first

The importance of this prophecy by Paul cannot be overstated. Though there are many scriptures which prophesy of the Apostasy (see Topical Guide—Apostasy of the Early Christian Church), Paul’s prediction to the Thessalonians is the clearest and most useful as a missionary scripture. He is not describing a mild setback or gradual decline in church membership. Rather, he is describing an apostasy so universal that the very powers of Satan would take over the earth.

Carlos E. Asay

“Paul knew that an apostasy would occur before Christ's second coming. He said: ‘For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition’ (2 Thes. 2:3).

“That sad day surely did come when grievous wolves entered in among the Christian flock. By the close of the first century after the death of Christ, all of the Apostles had been killed and a long night of spiritual darkness blanketed the earth. Before long, the people had ‘transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant’, just as Isaiah predicted they would (Isa. 24:5). The early Christian church became splintered, antichrists and false prophets appeared on the scene, and some men claimed to be Apostles but were found to be liars (1 Jn. 2:18; Rev. 2:2). Thus, the days came when there was ‘a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord’ (Amos 8:11).

“Many volumes have been written describing the Great Apostasy wherein pagan practices and other worldly influences diluted the early Christian doctrine. Eventually, the priesthood was lost, the gifts of the Spirit were no longer manifested, and the pure love of God waxed cold. Ultimately, the gospel taught by Christ and his Apostles was perverted almost beyond recognition and the church established by the Master was spiritually razed by men with ulterior motives.” (The Seven M's of Missionary Service: Proclaiming the Gospel as a Member or Full-time Missionary [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], prologue)

Theodore M. Burton

“The literal fulfillment of the scriptural predictions of a universal apostasy is made so plain by a reasonable study of ecclesiastical history as to be unmistakable.” (“Kingdom of God,” Ensign, June 1971, 83)

Hugh B. Brown

“…in Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History we read of the schisms and dissensions by which the Church was rent in the latter part of the first century—the period immediately following that of the apostolic ministry.

“’It will easily be imagined,’ Mosheim says, ‘that unity and peace could not reign long in the Church since it was composed of Jews and Gentiles who regarded each other with the bitterest aversion. . . . Thus, the seeds of discord and controversy were easily sown and could not fail to spring up soon into animosities and dissensions which accordingly broke out and divided the Church.’

“In the second century many unnecessary rites and ceremonies were added to the Christian worship, the introduction of which was, according to Mosheim, ‘. . . extremely offensive to wise and good men. Both Jews and heathens were accustomed to a vast variety of pompous and magnificent ceremonies in their religious service, and as they considered these rites as an essential part of religion, it was but natural that they should behold with indifference and even with contempt the simplicity of the Christian worship, which was destitute of those idle ceremonies that rendered their service so spacious and striking.’” (The Abundant Life [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965], 96.)

Ezra Taft Benson

“With the passing of the Apostles and the loss of the priesthood keys, corrupt doctrines were introduced into the Church. In the words of one eminent historian, ‘Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind, dying, came to a transmigrated [new] life in the theology and liturgy of the Church.’ (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, 3:595.) By the second and third centuries, widespread changes had been made in the pure doctrines and ordinances given by the Savior. The Church that Jesus had established and sanctioned was no longer on this earth.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 86.)

Brigham Young

“It is said the Priesthood was taken from the Church, but it is not so, the Church went from the Priesthood.” (Journal of Discourses, 12:69).

Joseph Smith

“Paul in his second epistle to the Thessalonians gives utterance to a prophecy which covers the whole ground of the absolute and universal apostasy of Christendom. A prophecy which, if the apostasy of so-called Christendom has not been complete and universal, proves beyond all question that the great Apostle of the Gentiles is a false prophet; or if fulfilled, then it proves that the Church of Christ, so far as it existed in the earth was to be destroyed; that another and different religion was to be substituted for the Christian religion: that another church, one founded by men, was to take the place of the Church of Christ, a worldly church dominated by the very spirit of Lucifer, who, under its rule, would oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God; and sit in the temple of God showing himself, so far as this world is concerned, that he is God. Moreover Paul declared in this very prophecy I am about to quote that the forces which would ultimately bring to pass this universal apostasy from the Christian religion—‘the mystery of iniquity’—was already at work even in his day.” (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1:xcii.)

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2 Thes. 3:10 if any would not work, neither should he eat

Dallin H. Oaks

“Work and self-reliance are ancient principles in the Christian faith. The apostle Paul taught that ‘if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ (2 Thes. 3:10.) He also wrote: ‘But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’ (1 Tim. 5:8.)

“These same principles were reaffirmed by revelation in the last dispensation: ‘Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.’ (D&C 42:42.) ‘Every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church. Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways.’ (D&C 75:28-29.)

President Brigham Young explained: ‘My experience has taught me, and it has become a principle with me, that it is never any benefit to give, out and out, to man or woman, money, food, clothing, or anything else, if they are able-bodied, and can work and earn what they need. . . . This is my principle, and I try to act upon it. To pursue a contrary course would ruin any community in the world and make them idlers.’

President Joseph F. Smith taught the same thing as a principle of individual behavior: ‘Men and women ought not to be willing to receive charity unless they are compelled to do so to keep them from suffering. Every man and woman ought to possess the spirit of independence, a self-sustaining spirit, that would prompt him or her to say, when they are in need, `I am willing to give my labor in exchange for that which you give me.` No man ought to be satisfied to receive, and to do nothing for it.’” (The Lord's Way [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 116.)

Henry D. Taylor

“From early youth, Latter-day Saints have or should have been taught to regard work as honorable and to dignify it by performing an honest day's work for a fair day's pay. The poet Carlyle expressed this sentiment when he penned the lines: ‘All work, even cotton-spinning is noble; work alone is noble.’ The Apostle Paul clearly understood and emphasized the principle of work. In his epistle to the Thessalonians, he reminded them: ‘

‘. . . this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly working not at all, but are busybodies.

Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.’ (2 Thes. 3:10-13.)

“…there are those who look forward with anticipation to age sixty-five as the time of retirement from all work and labor. Much to their sorrow many discover that too much leisure time may create problems not anticipated and brings disillusionment and unhappiness. They learn the important truth that work is a great blessing and can result in joy and happiness to themselves and to mankind. They also discover that doing nothing is one of the hardest of all jobs. When you get tired, you can't rest. You are in bondage when you refuse to work.

“Elizabeth Barrett Browning said: ‘Free men freely work: Whoever fears God, fears to sit at ease.’

“Idleness is an offense against the gospel and has received the Lord's severe condemnation…Brigham Young admonished the Saints by saying: ‘To give to the idler is as wicked as anything else. Never give to the idler.’ (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 275.)

“The First Presidency expressed disapproval of the evil of idleness when in explaining the purposes of the welfare program, they stated, that it is among other things: ‘To set up . . . a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with.’” (Conference Report, April 1961, Afternoon Meeting 124-125.)

Spencer W. Kimball

“The Lord’s way builds individual self-esteem and develops and heals the dignity of the individual, whereas the world’s way depresses the individual’s view of himself and causes deep resentment.

“The Lord’s way causes the individual to hasten his efforts to become economically independent again, even though he may have temporary need, because of special conditions, for help and assistance. The world’s way deepens the individual’s dependency on welfare programs and tends to make him demand more rather than encouraging him to return to economic independence.

“The Lord’s way helps our members get a testimony for themselves about the gospel of work. For work is important to human happiness as well as productivity. The world’s way, however, places greater and greater emphasis on leisure and upon the avoidance of work.” (“Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1976, 125)

Neal A. Maxwell

“One of the reasons some people today feel alienated is that they are alienated from one of the great satisfactions of life—work! Acknowledged is our need to help the poor, but to help in a way that is truly helpful. The more we institutionalize our efforts to help the poor, the less personal these efforts become. The dole desensitizes both the giver and the receiver and it pushes people apart.” (Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 8.)

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1 Timothy 1 Biographical Sketch: Timothy

“[Timothy] was the son of one of those mixed marriages which, though condemned by stricter Jewish opinion were yet not uncommon in the later periods of Jewish history. The father’s name is unknown; he was a Greek, i.e. a Gentile, by descent. (Acts 16:1,3) The absence of any personal allusion to the father in the Acts or Epistles suggests the inference that he must have died or disappeared during his son’s infancy. The care of the boy thus devolved upon his mother Eunice and her mother Lois. (2 Timothy 1:5) Under their training his education was emphatically Jewish. ‘From a child’ he learned to ‘know the Holy Scriptures’ daily. The language of the Acts leaves it uncertain whether Lystra or Derbe was the residence of the devout family. The arrival of Paul and Barnabas in Lycaonia, A.D. 44, (Acts 14:6) brought the message of glad tidings to Timothy and his mother, and they received it with ‘unfeigned faith.’ (2 Timothy 1:5) During the interval of seven years between the apostle’s first and second journeys the boy grew up to manhood. Those who had the deepest insight into character, and spoke with a prophetic utterance, pointed to him, (1 Timothy 1:18; 4:14) as others had pointed before to Paul and Barnabas, (Acts 13:2) as specially fit for the missionary work in which the apostle was engaged. Personal feeling led St. Paul to the same conclusion, (Acts 16:3) and he was solemnly set apart to do the work and possibly to bear the title of evangelist (or elder). (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; 4:5)

“A great obstacle, however, presented itself. Timothy, though reckoned as one of the seed of Abraham, had been allowed to grow up to the age of manhood without the sign of circumcision. With a special view to the feelings of the Jews making no sacrifice of principle, the apostle, who had refused to permit the circumcision of Titus, ‘took and circumcised’ Timothy. (Acts 16:3) Henceforth Timothy was one of his most constant companions. They and Silvanus, and probably Luke also, journeyed to Philippi, (Acts 16:12) and there the young evangelist was conspicuous at once for his filial devotion and his zeal. (Philippians 2:22)” (John Rutherfurd,

“Timothy's worth is proved by his continued labors with Paul, for Timothy's history is virtually the history of Paul's missions. Paul added Timothy's name to the opening of seven letters and mentioned his trustworthiness in two others. Paul had many powerful companions, but not one continued to be closer to him.

“Timothy had served in missionary work and in building the branches over a dozen years when Paul sent him to Ephesus to preside over that region ("1 Tim. 1:31 Tim. 1:3). Then he was probably in his early thirties, and Paul counseled him to speak with authority: ‘Let no one despise your youth’ ("1 Tim. 4:121 Tim. 4:12, NKJB). The issue here is not some supposed bashfulness of this experienced associate, whose vigor is written in thousands of missionary miles. He was assigned by an apostle called directly by God. The problem was that rebellious teachers openly challenged the true priesthood, beginning the era of evil that "2 Thes. 2:12 Thessalonians 2 describes. But Paul told Timothy that he had the power and ability to fill his calling—that if he would not fail, the Lord would not fail him.” (Richard Lloyd Anderson, Understanding Paul [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 315 - 316.)

“Some writers have seen in (Hebrews 13:23) an indication that he even shared St. Paul’s imprisonment, and was released from it by the death of Nero. Beyond this all is apocryphal and uncertain. He continued, according to the old traditions, to act as bishop of Ephesus, and died a martyr’s death under Domitian or Nerva.” (John Rutherfurd,

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1 Timothy 1:4 fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions

“The Apostle Paul referred to ‘genealogies’ in letters to Timothy and Titus. To Timothy he said, ‘Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister [present] questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.’ (1 Tim. 1:4.)

“To Titus he said, ‘But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.’ (Titus 3:9.)

“These passages, taken out of context, could cause misunderstanding. Paul was not condemning genealogy work itself. The importance of genealogy had been well established from the time of Adam down to Paul’s day…

“Paul himself was aware of the necessity for ordinances for the dead (see 1 Cor. 15:29) and understood the accompanying necessity of genealogical work in this activity. Why, then, would Paul make those remarks about genealogy to Timothy and Titus?

“Paul was living in a time of conflict and confusion. False teachers abounded, preaching false doctrines and fables. Two specific problems existed relating to genealogies:

“(1) Some apostate teachers recited their genealogies to give credence to their claims as coming with authority. Many Jews had become arrogant because of their illustrious ancestors. Some even flaunted their lineage when opposing the Savior himself: “We be Abraham’s seed” (John 8:33), they said, as if to indicate that they were thereby natural inheritors of the truth.

“(2) Some of the apostate Jewish teachers were guilty of manufacturing their own genealogies—creating them in hopes of giving the added weight of authority to their teachings.

“Such practices understandably caused a great deal of contention among the Jews, as well as between Jews and Gentiles. No wonder Paul condemned them as ‘fables and endless genealogies,’ ‘contentions, and strivings about the law,’ and ‘unprofitable and vain.

“Bible commentators agree upon this interpretation. The statement to Timothy, says one authority, ‘seems to refer to legends and fictitious genealogies of OT [Old Testament] personages.’ Adam Clarke wrote that these fables were ‘idle fancies; things of no moment; doctrines and opinions unauthenticated; silly legends, of which no people ever possessed a greater stock than the Jews.’” (George H. Fudge, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Mar. 1986, 49)

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1 Timothy 2:5-6 Christ Jesus… gave himself a ransom for all

Boyd K. Packer

Each of us lives on a kind of spiritual credit. One day the account will be closed, a settlement demanded. However casually we may view it now, when that day comes and the foreclosure is imminent, we will look around in restless agony for someone, anyone, to help us.

And, by eternal law, mercy cannot be extended save there be one who is both willing and able to assume our debt and pay the price and arrange the terms for our redemption.

Unless there is a mediator, unless we have a friend, the full weight of justice untempered, unsympathetic, must, positively must fall on us. The full recompense for every transgression, however minor or however deep, will be exacted from us to the uttermost farthing.

But know this: Truth, glorious truth, proclaims there is such a Mediator.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5.)

Through Him mercy can be fully extended to each of us without offending the eternal law of justice.

This truth is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them.

The extension of mercy will not be automatic. It will be through covenant with Him. It will be on His terms, His generous terms, which include, as an absolute essential, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.

… Our transgressions are all added to our account, and one day if it is not properly settled, each of us, like Belshazzar of Babylon, will be weighed in the balance and found wanting.

There is a Redeemer, a Mediator, who stands both willing and able to appease the demands of justice and extend mercy to those who are penitent, for “He offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” (2 Ne. 2:7.) (“The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977, 55-56)

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1 Timothy 2:11-13 suffer not a woman to teach… but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve

Joseph Fielding Smith

Times have changed from what they were in the days of Paul. The counsel that Paul gave in the branches of the Church in his day was in strict conformity to the law of the times in which he lived. In the beginning it was not so. Paul intimates that Eve was silent because she was created after Adam, but we may read in the Pearl of Great Price that after the consequences brought upon Adam and Eve by the fall, Eve preached the discourse. It is brief but wonderfully full of meaning and is as follows:

Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

"Moses 5:11And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters. (Moses 5:11-12.) (Italics added)

We learn from this that Eve as well as Adam received revelation and commandment to teach their children in the ways of eternal life. Then we learn that Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, was a prophetess who played an important part in the exodus from Egypt. She led the women in a triumphal song after the deliverance from Egypt. (Exodus 15:20.) We also read in the Book of Judges where Israel was taken captive, or into bondage, by the Canaanites. Deborah, another prophetess, led the armies of Israel to victory and she judged Israel. ("Judg. 4:4, 24; 5:1-3.) We also read of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, who went to the Lord in the temple, or tabernacle, and prayed for a son and the Lord hearkened to her pleading. (Samuel 1:11-28.) In the Book of Judges we also read of the wife of Manoah who received a visitation from an angel who gave instruction and said she should have a son who would judge Israel. This manifestation was repeated in the presence of her husband. (Judges 13:2-21.)

Joel also prophesied in the following words that in the last day the Lord would pour out his spirit:

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29.)

In the New Testament we read of a great number of faithful women who sought and gave counsel. Many of these followed the Lord and ministered to him. Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, was a prophetess (Luke 2:37.) “…which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day,” and she taught those who were present of the redemption which should come through this infant son. Even in the days of Paul there were a number of notable women who ministered to the needs of the brethren, and it appears that to some of these there had been given authority.

In the days of Paul, however, it was the universal custom that women should play no part in political government or minister in churches. Israel, without doubt, gathered some ideas from the Gentile governments with which they associated. The Jewish people, after the return from the captivity, adopted some of the customs and practices common among their captors which were contrary to the former government in Israel. Many man-made rituals and technicalities were added to the law. The custom that women should remain silent may have been borrowed from their pagan neighbors with such additions as the Jewish priests added to the Jewish law. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 3: 66-67.)

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1 Timothy 3:1 the office of a bishop

Gordon B. Hinckley

We have more than eleven thousand bishops in the Church. Every one is a man who has been called by the spirit of prophecy and revelation and set apart and ordained by the laying on of hands. Every one of them holds the keys of the presidency of his ward. Each is a high priest, the presiding high priest of his ward. Each carries tremendous responsibilities of stewardship. Each stands as a father to his people.

None receives money for his service. No ward bishop is compensated by the Church for his work as a bishop.

The requirements of a bishop today are as they were in the days of Paul… (“To the Bishops of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 48-49)

Gordon B. Hinckley

I carry in my heart a deep appreciation for our bishops. I am profoundly grateful for the revelation of the Almighty under which this office was created and functions.

…How thankful I am for these men who, without regard for their own comfort, give of their time, of their wisdom, of their inspiration in presiding over our wards throughout the world. They receive no compensation other than the love of their people. There is no rest for them on the Sabbath, nor very much at other times. They are the ones closest to the people, best acquainted with their needs and circumstances.

The requirements of their office are today as they were in the days of Paul, who wrote to Timothy:

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Not given to wine, no striker [that is, not a bully or a violent person], … not a brawler, not covetous” (1 Tim. 3:2–3).

(“The Shepherds of the Flock,” Ensign, May 1999, 52-53)

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1 Timothy 4:1-3 in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…Forbidding to marry

“Most Latter-day Saint missionaries recall that Paul's letters to Timothy contain prophecies about an impending apostasy. Indeed, three of the most frequently quoted passages in the New Testament about apostasy are found in either 1 or 2 Timothy. A careful examination of these passages reveals that they deal with personal apostasy and a falling away from truth and righteousness in the latter days, even after the gospel and true church had been restored to the earth.

“The first of these is in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, wherein Paul indicates that the Spirit expressly taught him that in the last days many would ‘depart from the faith,’ would give heed to ‘seducing spirits,’ would speak ‘lies in hypocrisy,’ and by so doing would forbid to marry and command to abstain from meats. Regarding these two prohibitions of the apostates, the word of the Lord is clear in this last dispensation: ‘Whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man....And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God.’ ("D&C 49:15, 18) An editorial in the Church News elucidates the problems of ‘forbidding to marry’ in our day: ‘Since eternal life may only be achieved through celestial marriage, Satan does all within his power to forbid men and women to marry. Celibacy, living together out of wedlock, homosexuality, adultery, abortion, and birth control are but a few of the many methods employed to pervert men's minds and prevent the creation and continuance of this holy union. In the words of President Harold B. Lee, `Satan's greatest threat today is to destroy the family, and to make mockery of the law of chastity and the sanctity of the marriage covenant.`’” (Bruce A. Van Orden, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 6: Acts to Revelation, ed. by Robert L. Millet, [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 187 - 188.)

Bruce R. McConkie

“Many who practice celibacy do so out of an excessive religious devotion and with the idea in mind that they are serving their Maker. In reality they are forsaking some of the most important purposes of their creation for a man-made, uninspired system. Indeed, Paul says of this practice of celibacy that it consists in ‘giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.’ (1 Tim. 4:1-3.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 119.)

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1 Timothy 5:8 if any provide not for his own… he hath denied the faith

Ezra Taft Benson

Early in the history of the restored Church, the Lord specifically charged men with the obligation to provide for their wives and family. In January of 1832 He said, “Verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown” (D&C 75:28). Three months later the Lord said again, “Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken” (D&C 83:2). This is the divine right of a wife and mother. While she cares for and nourishes her children at home, her husband earns the living for the family, which makes this nourishing possible.

In a home where there is an able-bodied husband, he is expected to be the breadwinner. Sometimes we hear of husbands who, because of economic conditions, have lost their jobs and expect the wives to go out of the home and work, even though the husband is still capable of providing for his family. In these cases, we urge the husband to do all in his power to allow his wife to remain in the home caring for the children while he continues to provide for his family the best he can, even though the job he is able to secure may not be ideal and family budgeting may have to be tighter.

Also, the need for education or material things does not justify the postponing of children in order to keep the wife working as the breadwinner of the family. (“To the Fathers in Israel,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 49)

Howard W. Hunter

You who hold the priesthood have the responsibility, unless disabled, to provide temporal support for your wife and children. No man can shift the burden of responsibility to another, not even to his wife. The Lord has commanded that women and children have claim on their husbands and fathers for their maintenance (see D&C 83; 1 Tim. 5:8). President Ezra Taft Benson has stated that when a husband encourages or insists that his wife work out of the home for their convenience, “not only will the family suffer in such instances, … but [his] own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered” (Ensign, Nov. 1987, p. 49).

We urge you to do all in your power to allow your wife to remain in the home, caring for the children while you provide for the family the best you can. We further emphasize that men who abandon their family and fail to meet their responsibility to care for those they have fathered may find their eligibility for a temple recommend and their standing in the Church in jeopardy. (“Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 51)

Gordon B. Hinckley

Many years ago President Stephen L. Richards, then a Counselor in the First Presidency, speaking from this pulpit made an eloquent plea to put father back at the head of the family (see Conference Report, Apr. 1958, p. 94). I repeat that plea to all fathers. Yours is the basic and inescapable responsibility to stand as the head of the family. That does not carry with it any implication of dictatorship or unrighteous dominion. It carries with it a mandate that fathers provide for the needs of their families. Those needs are more than food, clothing, and shelter. Those needs include righteous direction and the teaching, by example as well as precept, of basic principles of honesty, integrity, service, respect for the rights of others, and an understanding that we are accountable for that which we do in this life, not only to one another but also to the God of heaven, who is our Eternal Father. (“Bring Up a Child in the Way He Should Go,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 59–60)

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1 Timothy 5:13 tattlers…and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not

Richard L. Evans

Among the many human faults and failings there is one that seems peculiarly persistent, and that is, gossiping—whispering; spreading rumors that travel like a windswept fire from ear to ear and sometimes destroy, without conscience, the good name of a man, the reputation of an institution, or even the pride and confidence of a country. To speak abusive words in public, to put libelous statements in print, and to bear false witness in court are offenses that can be traced to their source. But to let words loose on a whisper that sweeps from ear to ear and from lip to lip, and that suggests more than it says, is in some ways among the worst forms of bearing false witness. And because of our receptiveness to gossip and our eagerness to be the first to tell something, we perhaps involve ourselves in the spread of what is false and unfounded oftener than we would wish to admit. “There is nothing that can’t be made worse by telling,” said Terence. “That which passes out of one mouth passes into a hundred ears.” And Paul spoke of “tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” As Juvenal in his Satires said:

“And there’s a lust in man no charm can tame

Of loudly publishing his neighbor’s shame;

On eagles’ wings immortal scandals fly,

While virtuous actions are but born and die.”

May heaven keep us from the blight of those who spread rumors and gossip, like spores and seeds on a whispering wind, widely carried beyond recall. (“The Spoken Word,” Ensign, Sept. 1971, 43)

Harold B. Lee

The spread of rumor and gossip (we have mentioned this before) which, when once started, gains momentum as each telling becomes more fanciful, until unwittingly those who wish to dwell on the sensational repeat them in firesides, in classes, in Relief Society gatherings and priesthood quorum classes without first verifying the source before becoming a party to causing speculation and discussions that steal time away from the things that would be profitable and beneficial and enlightening to their souls.

Just an example: I understand that there is a widely circulated story that I was alleged to have had a patriarchal blessing (I don't know whether any of you have heard about that) that had to do with the coming of the Savior and the ten tribes of Israel.

In the first place, a patriarchal blessing is a sacred document to the person who has received it and is never given for publication and, as all patriarchal blessings, should be kept as a private possession to the one who has received it.

And second, with reference to that which I was alleged to have had, suffice it to say that such a quotation is incorrect and without foundation in fact.

There is one thing that shocks me: I have learned, in some instances, that those who have heard of these rumors are disappointed when I tell them they are not so. They seem to have enjoyed believing a rumor without substance of fact. I would earnestly urge that no such idle gossip be spread abroad without making certain as to whether or not it is true. (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 433.)

Joseph Smith

There is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols. 6:363)

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