importance of others
Week 36 is scheduled for study Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2023. This week is all about the importance of others. All our best progress can only be made through interacting with others. 

Day 1

As you prayerfully read 1 Corinthians 8-13, the Holy Ghost may speak to you in subtle ways. Recording these impressions will help you recall the feelings and thoughts you had during your study.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – God provides a way to escape temptation.

Does it make any sense to you that our Father in Heaven, who loves us perfectly and completely, would put us into a situation where we would experience temptations to do wrong that are so powerful that we would succumb to the temptations and be damned for doing so? Someone who loves you doesn’t deliberately put you in a situation that leads to your downfall.

God’s plan of salvation is designed to pave the way for our exaltation. Everything He does is based on that assumption, that it will be possible for us to overcome evil by choosing good, so we can return to Him and live forever in His company. Therefore He does not allow Satan or any situation in life, to be so overwhelmingly tempting that it is not possible for us to escape that temptation.

We also need to remember that if we seek after evil then when the opportunity arises, and we feel too pressed not to accept the temptation, that we put our self in that situation. As a missionary, I remember the missionaries talking about how we are protected, because of our calling. Our mission President warned us that protected though we were, we couldn’t blame anything on the Lord if we willingly walked up to the scaffold and put the hangman’s noose around our own neck!

As long as we are seeking God and to do good each day, there will never be a need to worry that Satan will overpower us with a one-time temptation. It is in the habit of giving in to the little temptations that leads, eventually, to giving in to the big ones. Even he knows his limits, and he has learned to work around them by always starting small and working his way up. That is the pattern he uses to weaken his enemy (us) and to sap our strength.

Day 2

As you prayerfully read 1 Corinthians 8-13, the Holy Ghost may speak to you in subtle ways. Recording these impressions will help you recall the feelings and thoughts you had during your study.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:16-30 – The sacrament unifies us as members of Christ’s Church.

Today’s lesson is a concept I have never before considered. Everything I have ever heard about the sacrament has been about the individual nature of the covenant, and how we are to derive power for the week by the renewing of that covenant.

After reading the short description in the manual, I can see now that one of the strengths of organized religion is to be among others who share like values and goals. When we come together and prayerfully prepare for the sacrament, we can see others making the same commitment we are to try to remember Christ each and every day of the week. Individually we participate as a part of a collective who believe alike, and who want to become one with Christ and God. We all make the same promise to seek the companionship of the Holy Spirit as we seek to become more like Christ in the coming days.

Paul spends a lot of time talking about how we are all part of the body of Christ. Can you even imagine how sick the physical body can become if the individual parts of the body start to do their own thing and actually work against each other, instead of with and for each other? This same principle applies to our lives in the Church as part of the body of Christ. The only difference between the two analogies is that in the Church we are continually changing which part of the body we are.

Many of our talents are given to assist us in the calling we currently have. When that calling is replaced by another one, we may see one spiritual gift subside, while another one that is more needed comes to the fore in our life. By becoming different parts of the overall body of Christ, we should be recognizing the value of the other parts of the body. That should increase our sense of appreciation for each and every member of the Church, no matter what they currently do in the Church, and what their current calling may be.

It is part of our own humanity that dictates that we pass through seasons in our life. We learn and we grow in each season, and during each time of testing we should be learning to be more reliant on the Spirit and increasing in our ability to draw closer to Christ. I am at the season in my life that my physical abilities are diminishing, but I am seeing an increase in many of my other abilities that, until now, I have not developed as fully. My mother, one generation ahead of me, is struggling with trying to serve as she used to be able to 60 years ago, but is no longer physically, and often mentally, able to. It is a great frustration for her, and I see myself slowly moving that direction.

Life in the Church is geared around service, and no organization is known for their service like the Latter-day Saints. But we also teach that with that service comes the need to learn to be served. That is perhaps an even greater lesson for us to learn. So often our identity gets wrapped up in our ability to do for others that we forget that service cannot be done if everyone is completely capable. In the body of Christ there is a constant flow of members who are, for a time, or permanently less able than they might have been had not the trials of life lessened their capacities. We become one when we learn to not only accept others where they are, but learn to accept our self for where we are and allow others to serve us as they learn how it is done.

So often I hear people plead for others to help them in their extremities, but we need to remember that all of this is a learning process. Those who serve must exercise patience, and those who need more than they receive need to do the same. All of this should be uniting us as a body. Our covenants are what unify us mentally and spiritually, and our service unifies us physically.

Day 3

As you prayerfully read 1 Corinthians 8-13, the Holy Ghost may speak to you in subtle ways. Recording these impressions will help you recall the feelings and thoughts you had during your study.

1 Corinthians 11:11 – In God’s plan, men and women need each other.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

If my memory serves me correctly, the first ordinance performed in “mortality” (Adam and Eve were still in the garden at the time) was an eternal marriage. The point of experiencing mortality is to receive a body and prepare for immortality and exaltation. Receiving the body, in any condition whatsoever, is all that is needed to receive the promised immortality and a glorified body, for that is the fulfillment of the promise to all those who kept their first estate (Abraham 3:26).

The promise of eternal life (exaltation) can only happen through receiving the ordinance of eternal marriage, for godhood comes only to companionships, not singles. This tells me that there is true significance in an eternal marriage being the first ordinance performed for Adam and Eve, even before they fell. The most important things they needed to accomplish in life could only be done as a married couple.

Day 4

As you prayerfully read 1 Corinthians 8-13, the Holy Ghost may speak to you in subtle ways. Recording these impressions will help you recall the feelings and thoughts you had during your study.

1 Corinthians 12-13 – Spiritual gifts are given to benefit all of Heavenly Father’s children.

Did you know that if you cut off a person’s toes they tend to lose their balance and fall over? What if the toes, which give us a sense of uprightness so we don’t fall over, decided that they were unimportant, because they weren’t the nose which gives a sense of smell? If the toes stopped working and deprived the body of their usefulness, the whole body would lose its balance and topple over.

Most of the human body, and the body of Christ, are small members who bring limited input into the overall system of the body. But each part’s contribution is an important part to the overall health and wellbeing of the body. The individual members have each been given specific spiritual gifts meant to benefit themself and those around them. It is the combination of everyone’s contribution to the general happiness and wellbeing of the local body that the body of the Church as a whole derives the greatest benefits.

The Prophet may have all of the gifts available to him, but we don’t need all of the gifts as members of the Church. Our individual callings don’t require that type of spiritual endowment. Each of us has abilities that God has given us for the intent to bless the lives of those around us. But we are also encouraged to seek for the best gifts, like the testimony of Jesus, or the spirit of discernment. These gifts are bestowed through hard work on our part, as well as a lot of supplication to the Lord to lead us to circumstances where we can bless others with the use of the gift we seek. Every gift comes with responsibilities. We can’t expect to receive a spiritual gift and then not ever be required to use it through responsible behavior.

FHE/Personal Study

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Charity

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemlyseeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Too often, though we recite the attributes of charity, we still tend to think of charity just as “the pure love of Christ.” The love of Christ is a love of what?

The pure love of Christ isn’t referring to just his love of us or of our Father in Heaven. It also refers to having a pure love of all that is good, wholesome, righteous, and pure. It is a love of kindness, generosity, humility, patience, and purity of thought. Charity rejoices in righteous living and in truth. It also is longsuffering, believes easily and quickly, has lasting hope in the promises of God and in the potential of others. Charity is also willing to endure whatever is required to remain faithful to covenants made.

If we want to develop the quality of charity in our life, it isn’t just one quality that we must develop, but many. If we are mean to others, but are faithful to our covenant to pay tithing, yea for the paying of our tithe, but how sad that we are still so unkind to others. We must learn to master all of the Christlike attributes in order to truly develop the kind of love Jesus has. His love goes far beyond just a love for God or a love for us. The purity of his love extends to all things good, wholesome, and uplifting. This is what we seek after, a universal love of all that is good.

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NT36-2023 – Ye Are the Body of Christ