This lesson can help students understand how to avoid sin when it is all around them. Additionally, they will learn why it is important to keep their bodies pure.
Draw a picture on the board of a bowl of rotten fruit with one fresh piece of fruit in it. Invite students to consider if they have ever wondered how to avoid sin when it is all around them.
As students study 1 Corinthians 6, invite them to look for truths the Apostle Paul taught that could help them live righteously despite being surrounded by wicked influences.
Summarize 1 Corinthians 6:1–8 by explaining that Paul counseled the Corinthian Saints to righteously resolve disputes among themselves rather than immediately resorting to civil courts.
Invite a student to read 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for sinful practices in Corinth that Paul taught Church members to avoid.
What types of sinful behaviors did Paul teach Church members to avoid?
According to 1 Corinthians 6:11, what did Paul remind these Saints about themselves? (Many converts from Corinth had participated in these sinful behaviors before joining the Church, but they had repented and been cleansed from their sins.)
Explain that ancient Corinth had a reputation for immorality, and many Corinthians promoted the idea that our bodies were made for pleasure. Summarize the Joseph Smith Translation of 1 Corinthians 6:12 by explaining that Paul taught against the philosophy that there is no right or wrong.
How were the ideas and practices in Corinth similar to trends we see in the world today?
Invite a student to read 1 Corinthians 6:13 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Paul taught about the purpose of our bodies. (You may want to explain that the word meat means food.)
What did Paul teach about our bodies? (While many of the Corinthians apparently believed that the body was made simply for physical pleasures, Paul corrected that view by teaching that our bodies were created to accomplish the Lord’s purposes.)
Summarize 1 Corinthians 6:14–17 by explaining that those who join the Church become one with Christ as spiritual “members” of His body. Paul also explained that sexual immorality is incompatible with a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ.
Invite a student to read 1 Corinthians 6:18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Paul taught the Corinthian Saints to do. (You may want to point out that the Joseph Smith Translation of 1 Corinthians 6:18 changes the phrase “without the body” to “against the body of Christ.”)
What did Paul teach the Corinthian Saints to do?
What truth did Paul teach about those who commit fornication? (You may want to suggest that students mark the words in verse 18 that teach the following truth: Those who commit fornication sin against their own bodies.)
Explain that Paul next taught why fornication, or sexual immorality, is a sin “against [the person’s] own body.”
What did Paul compare our bodies to?
Display a picture of a temple.
What is the difference between a temple and any other building?
How would you summarize the truth Paul taught in verse 19? (Students may use other words but should identify the following doctrine: Our bodies are temples of God in which the Spirit can dwell.)
How should understanding that our bodies are temples influence how we treat our bodies and the bodies of others?
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask the class to listen for additional insights about how understanding that our bodies are temples of God should influence how we treat them.
“Acknowledging these truths [from 1 Corinthians 6:19–20] … , we would certainly not deface our body, as with tattoos; or debilitate it, as with drugs; or defile it, as with fornication, adultery, or immodesty. … As our body is the instrument of our spirit, it is vital that we care for it as best we can. We should consecrate its powers to serve and further the work of Christ” (“Reflections on a Consecrated Life,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 17).
What do you think Paul meant by the phrase “ye are not your own” in 1 Corinthians 6:19?
Invite a student to read 1 Corinthians 6:20 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why our bodies are not our own.
What phrase indicates why our bodies are not our own? (Explain that “bought with a price” means to be redeemed or bought back through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.)
How would you summarize a truth from verses 19–20? (After students respond, help them identify the following truth: Because we have been bought with a price through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our bodies are not our own.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Please, never say: ‘Who does it hurt? Why not a little freedom? I can transgress now and repent later.’ Please don’t be so foolish and so cruel. You cannot with impunity ‘crucify Christ afresh’ [see Hebrews 6:6]. ‘Flee fornication’ [1 Corinthians 6:18], Paul cries, and flee ‘anything like unto it’ [D&C 59:6, emphasis added], the Doctrine and Covenants adds. Why? Well, for one reason because of the incalculable suffering in both body and spirit endured by the Savior of the world so that we could flee [see especially Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–20]. We owe Him something for that. Indeed, we owe Him everything for that” (“Personal Purity,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76).
How should remembering that our bodies are not our own influence the choices we make regarding our bodies?
Refer students to the picture on the board of the fresh piece of fruit surrounded by rotten fruit.
How can understanding these truths about our bodies help us remain pure when we are surrounded by wickedness?
Testify of the truths you have discussed. Invite students to ponder the impressions or promptings they may have received during the lesson and to act on those promptings.
Explain to the students that each of them has been given at least one spiritual gift from Heavenly Father. Invite them to study the next unit looking for what some of the spiritual gifts are that Heavenly Father gives His children. Tell them that the Apostle Paul taught that even if he gave all of his substance to feed the poor and also gave his body to be burned, if he did not have one particular spiritual gift, he would be nothing. Invite students to think about what gifts they have been given.