Scheduled for study Sept. 2-8, 2019. Unity is the order of the day for these chapters in 1 Corinthians. Paul teaches the members the purpose of two spiritual gifts and about the vital importance of the resurrection.

Day 1

1 Corinthians 14-16 – God Is Not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace.

Record your impressions in your journal or notebook. Pray about what the Spirit has taught you, and ask Heavenly Father if there is more He would like you to learn.

The basic principle Paul is trying to teach the Saints in Corinth is pretty simple. Unfortunately, it is one of those principles that all of us tend to forget and need to be reminded to keep.

One of the most basic fundamentals of the gospel is that Christ rose from the dead. Without this one central tenet, all the rest of the teachings of Christianity crumble and fall. Without the resurrection the atoning sacrifice serves no purpose, and everything else in the gospel becomes pointless exercises that produce no lasting good. But in a day when the concept of resurrection was unheard of, all these converts had a difficult time grasping its everlasting importance. Small wonder that soon after Paul left them to go on with his missionary journey there were those who began to teach there was no such thing as resurrection.

This problem acts as a demonstration of a basic principle of gospel survival for all of us. When we don’t understand a principle or teaching of the Church, don’t throw out, or set aside the Church or the doctrine in question. We need to remember that we all know simple things that have been born to us by the witness of the Spirit. We need to fall back on what we do understand and are comfortable with. By going back to the basics we can rest on that faith until we are able to get the answers to our more difficult questions.

The difficulty some of the Saints were having with some of the doctrines Paul taught were breaking up the unity of the Saints in Corinth. Their disagreements in doctrine were leading to a loss of faith in the overall gospel of Christ. Chapters 14 and 15 address three doctrines that were difficult for the Corinthian Saints to understand. These chapters are Paul’s attempt to explain them in simple terms the Saints could understand.

How do we apply it?

Assuming we all have a basic belief in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the notion that Joseph Smith was a prophet, when new teachings come along we can’t get to fit into our understanding, go back to what you do know. You know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that he gave us the Book of Mormon, which is true scripture. If that is true then so must this new doctrine you don’t understand. Even if you don’t understand it right now, you can rest assured the Church is still true, because the Church is guided by the same process of revelation that gave you a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.

What is required next is to use your personal “bookshelf” to stash that new doctrine on the shelf and start to study about it until you can take it down from your mental shelf and study it again having gained a greater understanding of the doctrines of the gospel. Sometimes this process of coming to understand a new doctrine can take years to complete. Sometimes it takes only a few hours or days to come to comprehend. The point is, don’t give up hope on the whole process of the plan of salvation just because you find one thing difficult to accept today. If you can be patient and rely on what you already know, the day will come when you will be able to understand what is currently beyond your grasp.

Day 2

1 Corinthians 14 – I can seek the gift of prophecy.

Record your impressions in your journal or notebook. Pray about what the Spirit has taught you, and ask Heavenly Father if there is more He would like you to learn.

When I began writing for this topic I quickly realized I needed to say and include far more than should be in this “short” daily lesson. As a result I have written a separate article called Understanding the Spirit and Gift of Prophecy. I recommend clicking the blue link and reading that article after you have had a chance to read 1 Corinthians 14.

The gist of the article is this, that we are all prophets. Why? Because we should all be speaking by the Spirit, writing by the Spirit, and living by the Spirit. This means that everything about our lives is in conformity with the will of God, and what we do, say, and feel is influenced by His Spirit. This, to me, is the testimony of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy.

Day 3

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 – Why did Paul say women should keep silent in church?

Record your impressions in your journal or notebook. Pray about what the Spirit has taught you, and ask Heavenly Father if there is more He would like you to learn.

Paul was not a woman hater. Remember that his purpose in writing his epistles, his letters to the Saints was to regulate the Church and get them to live according to the way the Lord set up the Church. Too many false doctrines and notions were floating free among the members of the Church, and they needed to be brought into line with the true doctrine and structure of the Church at that time.

Many pagan religions were matriarchal, and the women had all the say in what went on. There were people of all persuasions joining the Church, and evidently some of the women were trying to dictate what would and would not happen in the meetings and how the church was run. Paul was simply asserting to the congregations that the Lord’s Church is run through the priesthood organization. Women receive their blessings from the priesthood, just like the men do. All decisions about how the Church is to be run must come through the priesthood leaders according to the Lord’s prescribed manner.

I have seen the trouble that can come from someone outside of the priesthood line of authority trying to dictate how the Church will be run. I lived in a ward a number of years back where there was a sister who boasted she was the fourth member of the bishopric. Every Bishop had to deal with this sister who had such a strong personality that she felt obligated to tell the Bishop how to run his ward. She hijacked the Relief Society meetings, the sacrament programs, the parties, the cleaning of the chapel – in short, any way she could, she tried to take over and run the ward. Her behavior caused great divisions and contention among the Saints, because many didn’t know who they were supposed to listen to, this sister or the Bishop. All Paul is saying in these verses is ‘Sisters let the brethren fulfill their priesthood callings.’

Please note that I am not discounting anything the women of the Church do. The value of the women’s contribution to the progress of the Lord’s work is incalculable. More and more the women have been brought in to help counsel with the priesthood at all levels of Church government. And it has been clearly stated by the Brethren that much of the progress of the Lord’s kingdom in the last days will be because of the contributions of our faithful sisters.

Day 4

1 Corinthians 15:1-34, 53-58 – Jesus Christ gained victory over death.

Record your impressions in your journal or notebook. Pray about what the Spirit has taught you, and ask Heavenly Father if there is more He would like you to learn.

This is another topic where a few words of comfort just won’t suffice. I recommend you read Resurrection – the Turning of a Key. This article was written earlier, but addresses most everything I would want to discuss for this day’s topic.

The main point of looking to the resurrection is that it is the keystone that holds up everything in the plan of salvation. Without the resurrection nothing else in the plan works or serves any purpose. Without a resurrection mortality becomes a moot issue, the atonement would have had no lasting effect, and all the commandments would serve no purpose. Everything Christianity represents and offers is wrapped up in this one culminating event called the resurrection. With it salvation is available to all of God’s children, without it there is no salvation for anyone.

Day 5

1 Corinthians 15:35-54 – Resurrected bodies are different from mortal bodies.

Record your impressions in your journal or notebook. Pray about what the Spirit has taught you, and ask Heavenly Father if there is more He would like you to learn.

A childish comparison between a mortal body and a resurrected body might go something like this: think of a one-year old child. All the main features of their body are there and, if not currently functioning, at least has the potential to function someday. Now compare the changes required to take place in the body and mind of that one-year old in order for that child to reach the age of 30. By the age of 30 that one-year old can now perform physical feats unimagined by that toddler. Their brain has fully developed and they can now comprehend things much more completely than any small child could possibly imagine. I think you get my drift here.

Now think about the differences between a mortal body and an immortal body. A mortal body is only meant to be a temporary housing for the immortal soul. Sure, it may resemble the eternal end product, but its capabilities can’t even begin to compare. The immortal body will never grow old and cannot die. It is able to be infused with limitless amounts of power and glory, something that would simply consume a mortal body. The intellect of resurrected beings is able to grow to the stature of godhood, something a mortal mind cannot even comprehend.

Yes, an immortal body has all the same features of the mortal body, but their level of operation and capacity are so far beyond anything we can imagine as mortals that we can only wonder what it must be like. This is what we are working toward. Obtaining a celestial body is the goal of all we do on our covenant path.

Scripture Study and Home Evening

Look for patterns. What patterns do you find in 1 Corinthians 14?

Just a couple of ideas:

Look at how Paul compares one gift with another gift. He demonstrates how each gift works and identifies the purpose of each gift. Did you notice the stated purpose for the gift of tongues, as opposed to the gift of prophecy?

What does Paul do with this idea of edifying the Saints? Try counting how many times in just this one chapter he uses some form of the word edify.

Now see if you can find other principles of the gospel to compare and contrast, to define and determine their main purpose. This will take a lot of thinking and feeling, but the wisdom of God will open your mind as you work through this kind of exercise.

Here is a PDF of this week’s study material.
Print it out for greater convenience in your studies.

New Testament 36