President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:“It is not an easy thing to become a member of this Church. In most cases it involves setting aside old habits, leaving old friends and associations, and stepping into a new society which is different and somewhat demanding.“With the ever increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with ‘the good word of God’ (Moroni 6:4
). It is our duty and opportunity to provide these things” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 66; or Ensign, May 1997, 47).
As you read Paul’s epistle to Philemon, think about how Paul’s counsel to him to receive a brother in the gospel is in harmony with what President Hinckley asked us to do.
Studying the Scriptures
Do the following activity as you study Philemon 1.
Write a Plan of Action
Someday, if you have not already, you will have the opportunity to meet and know a new convert to the Church. After reading Philemon, write at least five specific things you could do to treat a new convert in the right way, like Paul wanted Onesimus to be treated. By each of the five items, list a verse from Philemon that supports your plan of action.