The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, a priesthood leader in Ephesus, and counseled him to ensure that true doctrine was taught. He gave the qualifications for bishops and deacons and counseled Timothy to be an example of the believers. Paul admonished the Saints to care for the poor and widows. He closed his epistle by teaching that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Read the following account given by President Thomas S. Monson: “I’m reminded of an experience I had many years ago when I served as a bishop. During the opening exercises of our priesthood meeting one Sunday morning, we were preparing to ordain a young man to the office of priest. Visiting our ward that day was a high councilor who also served as a temple worker. As I prepared to have the young man sit down to face the congregation so that we could proceed with the ordination, the high councilor stopped me and said, ‘Bishop, I always have those being ordained turned to face the temple.’ He repositioned the chair so that the young man would be facing in the direction of the temple. I immediately recognized an unauthorized practice” (“Opening Remarks” [worldwide leadership training meeting, Nov. 2010], lds.org/broadcasts).
As the bishop, President Monson, rather than the high councilor, was authorized to preside over the Lord’s work in his ward. What do you think a bishop should do in such a situation? (The rest of President Monson’s account appears later in this lesson.)
The Apostle Paul wrote an epistle to Timothy, a young priesthood leader in Ephesus. In the branch of the Church he presided over, Timothy faced challenges similar to those President Monson faced in the account you read.
Read 1 Timothy 1:3–7, looking for what responsibility Paul had given Timothy.
The word fables (verse 4) refers to false teachings; heeding “endless genealogies” (verse 4) refers to the false tradition that salvation came only to those of the chosen seed of Abraham, who were often known by their lengthy or endless genealogies; and “vain jangling” (verse 6) refers to pointless discussion (see 1 Timothy 1:6, footnote c).
According to 1 Timothy 1:6–7, why was it important for Timothy to fulfill the responsibility Paul had given him?
From Paul’s teaching we learn that priesthood leaders have the responsibility to ensure that true doctrine and correct practices are taught.
Read the rest of President Monson’s account, looking for how he responded to what the high councilor did: “I could see the potential for it [having the person face the temple] to become more widespread in practice. Although much younger than the high councilor, I knew what needed to be done. I turned the chair back so that it was again facing the congregation and said to him, ‘In our ward, we face the congregation’” (“Opening Remarks,” lds.org/broadcasts).
In your scripture study journal, write about how members of the Church are blessed by priesthood leaders who work to ensure that true doctrine and correct practices are taught in the Church.
In 1 Timothy 1:8–11 we learn that Paul warned about those who desired to be teachers of God’s law but did not have a correct understanding of the law. Read 1 Timothy 1:12–16, looking for why Paul expressed gratitude toward Jesus Christ.
According to verses 15–16, how is Paul “a pattern” for all those who believe in Jesus Christ?
In 1 Timothy 1:17–2:15 Paul counseled Timothy to hold to his faith, and he taught that Jesus Christ is our Mediator. Paul also admonished women to dress modestly. In 1 Timothy 3 we read Paul’s teachings concerning the qualifications for bishops and deacons. Note that these deacons in the ancient Church were not 12- or 13-year-old young men, as they commonly are now.
In 1 Timothy 4:1–11 we read the Apostle Paul’s prophecy that “in the latter times” (verse 1) some Church members would depart from the faith and follow false teachings and practices, such as forbidding to marry. Paul exhorted Timothy to nourish the Saints with true doctrine.
What do you think it means to be “an example of the believers”?
In what ways did Paul counsel Timothy to be an example of the believers?
Consider the ways Paul counseled Timothy to be an example of the believers (see 1 Timothy 4:12). Choose three of those ways, and in your scripture study journal, write how someone could be an example of the believers in each of those ways.
Read 1 Timothy 4:13–16, looking for additional advice Paul gave Timothy that would help him be an example of the believers.
As recorded in 1 Timothy 5, Paul instructed Timothy about how the Saints were to care for those in need, including widows.
Do you think having a lot of money can lead to more evil or to more good? Why?
What do you think is meant by the phrase “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10)?
One truth we learn from Paul’s teachings is that the love of money leads to unrighteousness and apostasy.
It is important to understand that the love of money rather than money itself leads to unrighteousness. Consider how Paul’s warning can be heeded by all people—from the poor to the wealthy.
In your scripture study journal, explain how the love of money (rather than money itself) leads to unrighteousness.
Read the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“There is nothing inherently evil about money. The Good Samaritan used the same coinage to serve his fellowman that Judas used to betray the Master. It is ‘the love of money [which] is the root of all evil.’(1 Tim. 6:10; italics added.) The critical difference is the degree of spirituality we exercise in viewing, evaluating, and managing the things of this world and our experiences in it.
“If allowed to become an object of worship or priority, money can make us selfish and prideful, ‘puffed up in the vain things of the world.’ (Alma 5:37.) In contrast, if used for fulfilling our legal obligations and for paying our tithes and offerings, money can demonstrate integrity and develop unselfishness. The spiritually enlightened use of property can help prepare us for the higher law of a celestial glory” (“Spirituality,” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 63).
Read 1 Timothy 6:11–12, 17–19, looking for what counsel Paul gave to Timothy and to those who were rich.
Consider how Paul’s counsel can help us to have the right attitude toward seeking riches and using money and other forms of physical wealth.
According to 1 Timothy 6:19, if the Saints trusted God and were rich in good works, what did Paul say they could “lay hold on”?
One truth we can learn from Paul’s counsel is that if we trust in the living God and are rich in good works, then we can lay hold on eternal life.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: If trusting in God and following after righteousness are our greatest priorities, how can that affect the way we view, seek after, and use money?
As you trust in God and make following after righteousness your greatest priority, you can obtain the true riches of eternal life.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Timothy and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: