- Avoid contention and be unified.
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
‘Oneness is at the very heart of the atonement, which literally means at-one-ment. Its transcendent purpose is to provide a means whereby mortals, utterly divided from their Father by sin and mortality, can become one with him again. …. The atonement is also the only means whereby people, divided by their selfish interests, can become united in a glorious relationship of harmony. If oneness is God’s goal for us, then, we can be certain that its very opposite is division, the grabbing territory and self-protection, the dissension that is so often part of life in mortality. When Lucifer is on the loose, he scatters people and disintegrates relationships.’ (Maurine Proctor, Meridian Magazine.)
1 Corinthians 3: 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
“The Corinthians were plagued by ignorance stemming from their preoccupation with material and immoral attractions and from their obeisance to false gods and idols (1 Corinthians 8:1-5)…Scholars have noted the difficulties Paul faced in broadcasting his message to the Saints in Corinth. As one writer observed, ‘Corinth was depraved. Going beyond the licentiousness of other trading cities and ports it lent its own name as the symbol of debauchery and corruption.’ Paul indicated his frustration over the conditions in Corinth: ‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ’ (1 Corinthians 3:1).” (Robert C. Freeman, The Apostle Paul, His Life and His Testimony: The 23d Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 35.)
1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
‘Undernourished children must be carefully fed; so it is with the spiritually underfed. Some are so weakened by mischief and sin that to begin with they reject the rich food we offer. They must be fed carefully and gently.
Some are so near spiritual death that they must be spoon fed on the broth of fellowship, or nourished carefully on activities and programs. As the scriptures say, they must have milk before meat. But we must take care lest the only nourishment they receive thereafter is that broth.’ (Boyd K Packer, General Conference, April 1984)
1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
‘St. Paul names himself and Apollos, to show that he would condemn any division among them, even though it were in favour of himself, or the dearest friend he had in the world.’ (Benson Commentary)
1 Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
“One of Satan’s techniques for thwarting the work of the Lord is to convince members and missionaries alike that certain individuals who decline invitations to attend church or to hear the gospel discussions ‘have had their chance.’ The number of converts to the Church who have ‘gone through’ several sets of missionaries emphasizes the fact that none of us can judge when another person has had an adequate opportunity to hear and accept the gospel.
“The apostle Paul observed: ‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:6.) What if Apollos had failed to make efforts with those who were not converted with Paul’s initial contact? Some of us become discouraged when our gospel green thumbs don’t seem to bear fruit. Often some soul-searching will reveal that our approach has been ill timed or hastily planned, or perhaps that we were anxious to accept the credit for a future conversion, even though God gives the increase.” (Spencer J Condie, “Bring Them to Church,” Ensign, Oct. 1977, 36)
1 Corinthians 3: 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
‘Many come to me and say, “Brother Brigham, are we going to have any potatoes this year?” “I neither know nor care.” “Have you planted any?” “Yes, a great many.” “Have you looked to see whether there are any sets upon them?” “No: but it is my business to keep out the weeds, to water and till, and wait until the harvest.” I have not power to make potatoes set. If I should plant and hoe, and raise nothing, it is the same to me as though I obtained a good crop. God gives or withholds the increase.’ (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses)
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
They are one in that they are working in the same cause.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
‘All that Paul had done had been by the mere favor of God. His appointment was from him; and all the skill which he had shown, and all the agency which he had employed, had been from him.’ (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
“…If we build our house of salvation on the rock of personal revelation; if we build it on the revealed reality that Jesus is the Lord; if we build it on him who is the eternal rock-it will stand forever. If we are guided by the spirit of inspiration while here in mortality, we will be able to withstand all the floods and storms that beat upon us. If we are founded upon a rock, we worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 116.)
See also my post Health Warning
- Rely on the Spirit rather than the wisdom of the world.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
‘The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us.
By the same token, if we remove ourselves from the light of the gospel, our own light begins to dim—not in a day or a week but gradually over time—until we look back and can’t quite understand why we had ever believed the gospel was true. Our previous knowledge might even seem foolish to us because what once was so clear has again become blurred, hazy, and distant.’ (Dieter F Uchtdorf, General Conference, October 2014)
1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
‘The wise.—The general reference in this word is to those who would exalt human knowledge, while “the scribe” indicates the Jew, and the “disputer” the Greek, who discussed philosophy. (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers)
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Those who measure life only with the intellect will always find the gospel of Christ ridiculous. The idea of angels and gold plates and revelation and healings and visions and prophets will bring an indulgent smirk to the faces of hard-hearted intellectuals.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
“In these long weeks since July 8 [1943, the date Spencer W. Kimball was called to be an apostle] I can tell you that I have been overwhelmed and have felt that I was unable to carry on this great work; that I was unworthy; that I was incapable because of my weaknesses and my limitations. I have felt many times that I was up against a blank wall. And in that interim I have been out in the desert and in high mountains alone, apart, and have poured out my soul to God. I have taken courage from one or two scriptures that constantly came to my mind and of which people continued to remind me. One was from Paul, and as I felt so foolish, small, and weak, I remembered that he said: ‘Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. That no flesh should glory in his presence.’ (1 Corinthians 1:25-27, 29.)
“When my feeling of incompetence wholly overwhelmed me, I remember the words of Nephi when he said: ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.’ (1 Nephi 3:7.) I want to tell you that I lean heavily on these promises, that the Lord will strengthen and give me growth and fit and qualify me for this great work.” (Spencer W Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972], xvii.)
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
‘That should be the only objective of instructors and teachers in this Church to teach “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” We need not the “excellency of speech nor of wisdom,” but we need the testimony of God, as Paul said. ‘ (Harold B Lee, General Conference, April 1949)
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spirituallydiscerned.
“Note that Paul does not say that the natural man simply does not know the things of God; he says the natural man cannot know them. The things of the Spirit are just as real as the things of the earth, but they are in a different sphere, and fallen man’s ability to perceive and understand them is so limited that he can comprehend them only by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.” (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 163.)
3.Be morally clean.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
“Your physical body is a magnificent creation of God. It is his temple as well as yours, and it must be treated with reverence.” (Russell M Nelson, The Power within Us [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1988], 60.)
Elder Bednar expounded wonderfully upon this small scripture in the Sept. 2001 Ensign:
“Our physical bodies indeed are temples of God. Consequently, you and I must carefully consider what we take into our temple, what we put on our temple, what we do to our temple, and what we do with our temple.
1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
‘What would happen if we truly treated our bodies as temples? The result would be a dramatic increase in chastity, modesty, observance of the Word of Wisdom, and a similar decrease in the problems of pornography and abuse, for we would regard the body, like the temple, as a sacred sanctuary of the Spirit. Just as no unclean thing may enter the temple, we would be vigilant to keep impurity of any sort from entering the temple of our bodies.
Likewise, we would keep the outside of our bodily temples looking clean and beautiful to reflect the sacred and holy nature of what is inside, just as the Church does with its temples. We should dress and act in ways that reflect the sacred spirit inside us.’ (Susan Tanner, General Conference, October 2005)
President Boyd K. Packer said, “If we abuse our body with habit-forming substances, or misuse prescription drugs, we draw curtains which close off the light of spiritual communication.”
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
‘The Corinthians are warned against many great evils, of which they had formerly been guilty. There is much force in these inquiries, when we consider that they were addressed to a people puffed up with a fancy of their being above others in wisdom and knowledge.’ (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
“Throughout his ministry the Apostle Paul wrote many epistles to the churches where he had served and to his friends. It is likely that he wrote scores of letters in his lifetime. Fortunately, 14 of these epistles have survived the ravages of time. These precious documents are unique in scripture. Nowhere else in the Bible do we have so many personal writings of an Apostle. These letters give us a window into the life and soul of this special witness of the Savior. Through his letters the Apostle Paul becomes one of the most accessible of all scriptural figures. These letters also bring the world of the early Church to life and document the challenges of the early members in learning and practicing the gospel.” (David Rolph Seely and Jo Ann H. Seely, “Paul: Untiring Witness of Christ,” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 25)
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
‘Our challenges, including those we create by our own decisions, are part of our test in mortality. Let me assure you that your situation is not beyond the reach of our Savior. Through Him, every struggle can be for our experience and our good. Each temptation we overcome is to strengthen us, not destroy us. The Lord will never allow us to suffer beyond what we can endure. (Robert D Hales, General Conference, April 2009)
“All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.The devil has no power over us only as we permit him” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 181).