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An apostle's teachings

The Apostle Paul taught of patterning lives after Jesus Christ to gain the greatest happiness in this life and exaltation in the life to come. He delivered messages of faith, repentance and baptism, bore witness to the divine mission of the Savior, strengthened testimonies, defined doctrine and reinforced the teachings of the Christian church.

He instructed the saints in everyday living. Many of his teachings are as applicable today as they were nearly 2,000 years ago when he sent epistles to the Romans, Hebrews, Galatians, Ephesians, Corinthians, Colossians, Philippians and Thessalonians, and to Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

Paul exhorted that those who preach the gospel "should live of the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14).

He taught that offering "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men..." (1 Timothy 2:2), and encouraged studying the scriptures, "given by inspiration of God...." (2 Timothy 3:16—17).

On marriage and family, he told husbands to "love your wives" and told the wife to "reverence her husband" (Ephesians 5:25, 33).

Young women, he said, should be taught to be "sober, discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good," and young men should be "sober minded," follow "a pattern of good works" and "in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned" (Titus 2:4—8).

To fathers, he said, "provoke not your children to wrath...." (Ephesians 6:4), and to children, he said, "Obey your parents..." (Colossians 3:20).

To all he taught: "Be ye therefore followers of God,..." (Ephesians 5:1—2), "hold fast that which is good," "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21—22), and "walk honestly" (Romans 13:13).

He counseled the saints to "remember the poor" (Galatians 2:10), to give "not grudgingly," (2 Corinthians 9:7), and to "Bear ye one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2). He instructed, "Let us do good unto all men" (Galatians 6:10), and "Let brotherly love continue" (Hebrews 13:1), be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32), and, "be content with such things as ye have" (Hebrews 13:5).

Paul told the saints to judge not (Romans 14:13), and to put away "all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking" (Ephesians 4:31).

He told them: "Despise not prophesyings" (1 Thessalonians 5:19—20), "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (Ephesians 6:10), "put on the new man... "(Ephesians 4:24), "be of one mind, live in peace..." (2 Corinthians 13:11).

Paul cautioned the rich to "be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches...." (1 Timothy 6:17—18).

He warned:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers..." (2 Corinthians 6:14).

"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils" (1 Corinthians 10:21).

He warned of when people "...shall turn away their ears from the truth" (2 Timothy 4:3—4), and he said "in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:...Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:1—5, 7). "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him..." (Titus 1:16).

After Paul gave warning, he gave guidance:

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,...Having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always" (Ephesians 6:13—18).

Paul counseled members to "walk worthy of the Lord" (Colossians 1:10), and said, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

He promised that we can "do all things through Christ which strengtheneth" us (Philippians 4:13).

In Paul's teachings, we can find a pattern by which to live.

(Based on "Teachings of the Apostle Paul," Elder Delbert L. Stapley of the Quorum of the Twelve, October 1976 general conference, Ensign, November 1976.)

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