‘Come, Follow Me’ for Aug. 28-Sep. 3: What have Church leaders and scholars said about 1 Corinthians 8-13?

This week’s study guide includes the apostle Paul’s teachings on charity, resisting temptation and ‘the body of Christ’

This week’s “Come, Follow Me” study guide covers 1 Corinthians 8-13, which includes the apostle Paul’s teachings on charity, resisting temptation and “the body of Christ.”

Church News recently dug through archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to learn what leaders and scholars have said about these chapters.

1 Corinthians 9

“If Paul was a prophet, Joseph Smith was also a prophet. The evidences that support Paul’s prophetic calling also support that of Joseph Smith. …

“For instance, Joseph Smith’s credibility is attacked because the earliest known description of his vision wasn’t given until a dozen years after it happened. But Paul’s earliest known description of the Damascus appearance, found in 1 Corinthians 9:1, was recorded about two dozen years after his experience.

“Both prophets knew that they had authority to represent God. Their remarks are filled with the personal knowledge of their authority to speak for the Savior. When Paul was challenged, he answered: ‘Am I not an apostle? … Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?’ (1 Corinthians 9:1) And Joseph Smith declared: ‘I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me…’ (Joseph Smith History 1:25) …

“As we read Joseph Smith’s teachings and Paul’s letters, we can see the commitment of each prophet. Both were men consumed with a mission. Of his work, Paul said, ‘Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!’ (1 Corinthians 9:16) With the same conviction of urgency, Joseph Smith said: ‘If I had not actually got into this work, and been called of God, I would back out. But I cannot back out — I have no doubt of the truth’ (Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, ‘The Words of Joseph Smith,’ page 179).

“These two prophets, who had stood in the presence of Jesus Christ, knew the urgency of each day and the work of eternity going on around them. Their lives testify eloquently to the truth of their message — and of their callings as prophets.”

— Richard Lloyd Anderson, former professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, in the April 1985 Ensign article, “Parallel Prophets: Paul and Joseph Smith”

1 Corinthians 10

“On those occasions that you think the temptations are too great, remember that Paul taught, ‘[God] will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able’ (1 Corinthians 10:13).

“Take added strength from knowing that the enabling power of the Atonement, which comes through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, is a divine means to help us resist temptation. …

“Regretfully, we sometimes succumb to temptation, but be reassured that there is a way back. The journey is not easy, but it is worth the effort…

“I testify that as we shun temptation and choose the better way, we will feel the loving arm of the Lord bearing us up, and His Spirit will fill our hearts with peace and joy.”

— Elder Ian S. Ardern in the February 2014 Ensign article, “Shunning Temptation: A Key to Receiving Revelation”

1 Corinthians 11

“Jews, Greeks and Romans at Corinth had different conventions for men’s and women’s hair length and for covering one’s head, particularly during worship. The general expectation in all the cultures was that married women would cover their heads. On the other hand, Jewish, Greek and Roman men had different expectations about covering their heads, especially while praying.

“These cultural expectations were clearly a factor in Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 11. But there may have been another issue: the behavior of the Christian elite who flouted social customs, both pagan and Christian. In an atmosphere where some Christians in Corinth seem to have been going against conventional standards because of pride, Paul counseled modesty and decorum in harmony with Corinthian cultural expectations.”

— Eric D. Huntsman, professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, in the 2023 Liahona article, “Christians in Corinth”

“In one of Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians, he invited them to be his followers as he himself was a follower of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 11:1). This is a sincere and valid invitation from Paul’s time until today: to be a follower of Christ.

“I began to reflect on what it means to become a follower of Christ. And more important, I began to ask, ‘In what way should I imitate Him?’

“To be a follower of Christ is to strive to conform our actions, conduct and lives to those of the Savior. It is to acquire virtues. It is to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. …

“My prayer is that by following Jesus Christ and drawing upon the blessings of His Atonement, we become more and more humble, we are more courageous, we forgive more and more, and we sacrifice more for His kingdom.”

— Elder Alfred Kyungu, October 2021 general conference, “To Be a Follower of Christ”

“The Apostle Paul warned the early Saints against eating this bread and drinking this cup of the Lord unworthily (see 1 Corinthians 11:27–30). …

“Worthy partakers of the sacrament are in harmony with the Lord and put themselves under covenant with Him to always remember His sacrifice for the sins of the world, to take upon them the name of Christ, and to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. The Savior covenants that we who do so shall have His Spirit to be with us and that, if faithful to the end, we may inherit eternal life.”

— Elder David B. Haight, October 1989 general conference, “The Sacrament — and the Sacrifice”

Paul preaches to the Athenians in this scene from the Church’s Bible Videos.
In this Bible still from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Paul is depicted preaching. This week’s “Come, Follow Me” study guide covers 1 Corinthians 8-13, which includes the apostle Paul’s teachings on charity, resisting temptation and “the body of Christ.” | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1 Corinthians 12

“Brothers and sisters, the Apostle Paul taught a key element in our ministering. He taught that we are all ‘the body of Christ, and members in particular’ (1 Corinthians 12:27) and that each member of the body is needed in order to ensure that the entire body is edified. Then he taught a powerful truth that entered deeply into my heart when I read it. He said, ‘Much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour’ (1 Corinthians 12:22–23; emphasis added).

“Hence, in each ward and branch we need everyone — those who may be strong and those who are perhaps struggling. All are necessary to the vital edification of the entire ‘body of Christ.’ I often wonder who we are missing in our various congregations that would strengthen us and make us whole.”

— Elder Jorge T. Becerra, April 2021 general conference, “Poor Little Ones”

“We seek to strengthen the testimonies of the young and old, the married and single. We need to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to men, women, and children, those of every race and nationality, the rich and the poor. We need the recent convert and those among our numbers descended from the pioneers. We need to seek out those who have strayed and assist them to return to the fold. We need everyone’s wisdom and insight and spiritual strength. Each member of this Church as an individual is a critical element of the body of the Church.

“‘For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

“‘For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. …

“‘For the body is not one member, but many’ (1 Corinthians 12:12–14).

“Each member serves as a testimony of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We are at war with the forces of the adversary, and we need each and every one of us if we are going to succeed in the work the Savior has for us to do.”

— President Boyd K. Packer, October 2014 general conference, “The Reason for Our Hope”

“As already stated, spiritual knowledge is definitive. Our experiences may lead us to certain conclusions, but they cannot lead to the conviction that dispels doubt and motivates endurance — not the way that knowledge received through the Spirit does. As Paul wrote, ‘No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost’ (1 Corinthians 12:3).

“Can you see why it is a fearful thing to deny the witness of the Holy Ghost? Unlike other evidence, this witness ends argument. Such verification by the Spirit leads to a certainty unknown in any other area of thought.”

— Elder Robert S. Wood in the June 2007 Ensign article, “The Quest for Spiritual Knowledge”

1 Corinthians 13

“Secular voices are growing in volume and intensity. They increasingly urge believers to abandon beliefs the world considers irrational and unreasonable. Because ‘we see through a glass, darkly’ (1 Corinthians 13:12) and ‘do not know the meaning of all things’ (1 Nephi 11:17), at times we may feel vulnerable and in need of greater spiritual assurances. …

“The Lord remind[s]… us to rely on sacred personal witnesses already received when our faith is challenged. Like Moses’s, Alma’s and Joseph’s before, these divine encounters serve as spiritual anchors to keep us safe and on course in times of trial.”

— Elder Paul B. Pieper, April 2012 general conference, “To Hold Sacred”

“We do not know the hearts of those who offend us. Nor do we know all the sources of our own anger and hurt. The Apostle Paul was telling us how to love in a world of imperfect people, including ourselves, when he said, ‘Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ (1 Corinthians 13:4–5). And then he gave solemn warning against reacting to the faults of others and forgetting our own when he wrote, ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known’ (1 Corinthians 13:12).”

— President Henry B. Eyring in the September 2008 Ensign article, “Be One”

“Hope, charity and faith are closely related. Paul, in concluding his treatise on charity in 1 Corinthians 13, said, ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three’ (1 Cor. 13:13). …

“These three good friends — faith, hope and charity — become stronger because of their association with each other. Perhaps what is most important about them is that they exist together. …

“It appears from the interlacing of these qualities that if we lack one, we will soon lack the others. Let us cling to our faith, our hope and our charity, remembering that upon this trio hangs our well-being, now and forever.”

—Sister Elaine L. Jack, former Relief Society general president, in the March 1992 Ensign article, “A Perfect Brightness of Hope”

“Although both [Paul and Joseph Smith] were given great doctrinal insights, they avoided another trap common to impostors: they didn’t claim to know all the answers. Paul shattered the arrogance of the Corinthians by comparing human knowledge to the understanding of a child: ‘For we know in part, and we prophesy in part’ (1 Corinthians 13:9). And several of Joseph Smith’s statements regarding judgments and the Second Coming mirror his 1839 comment: ‘I know not how soon these things will take place’ (Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, ‘The Words of Joseph Smith,’ page 12). …

“It is hardly necessary to comment on Paul’s sketch of celestial love found in 1 Corinthians 13 or on his fatherly concern for converts — faithful or rebellious.

“Joseph Smith’s life exhibits the same mature concern for others. For example, he could have escaped before being confined in Liberty Jail, but he would not do so for fear of reprisals on the Saints. … Time and again Joseph placed his safety second, and the welfare of his family and the Latter-day Saints first.”

— Richard Lloyd Anderson, former professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, in the April 1985 Ensign article, “Parallel Prophets: Paul and Joseph Smith”

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