1 Timothy 1–6

“1 Timothy 1–6,” New Testament Teacher Resource Manual (2002), 213–15


Timothy, when he received Paul’s letter, was a priesthood leader in Ephesus. Paul had entrusted him with many important assignments, and Timothy had always proved faithful. Timothy’s young age, however, made it difficult for older and more prominent members of the Church to accept his leadership (see 1 Timothy 4:12). Paul wrote to counsel and encourage his frustrated friend. Like Timothy, we too receive challenging calls to serve. As you read this letter, look for counsel and advice that can help you as you serve in the Church.

Prayerfully study 1 Timothy 1–6and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 361–66, 369–70.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for 1 Timothy 1–6.

1 Timothy 1:3–7, 18–20. Church leaders are responsible for ensuring that true doctrine is taught to the Saints.

(25–30 minutes)

Show students military medals or a picture with a military theme (soldiers, battle, weapons) or play an audio recording of a military march. Read Doctrine and Covenants 35:13–14 and ask:

  • How is this scripture related to the picture (music)?

  • Why do you think the Lord used military imagery in this scripture?

  • Read 1 Timothy 1:18–19. How is doing the work of the Lord like going to war?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 76:28–29. Who is the enemy?

  • Who has he declared war on?

  • What kind of war are we fighting?

Explain that in Paul’s day apostasy was seeping into the Church. Paul warned about false teachers who taught erroneous doctrines based on Jewish fables or myths that twisted or changed the truth (see Titus 1:14), and yet many members believed them.

Give each student a piece of paper and assign the students to write a letter to a fictitious friend who has begun to believe false doctrines. Have them use the principles in 1 Timothy 1:3–7and 4:1–7 to counsel the friend. Gather the papers and read some of them to the class. Ask:

  • Why is it important for Church leaders to make sure that true doctrine is taught?

  • What can our leaders do to help us learn true doctrine?

Share the counsel of Elder M. Russell Ballard:

“Those who teach must make sure the doctrine remains pure and that it is taught. Teach by the Spirit, using the scriptures and the approved curriculum. Do not introduce or dwell on speculative and questionable topics. … In a world that is filled with sin, conflict, and confusion, we can find peace and safety in knowing and living the revealed truths of the gospel” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 104; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 77).


  • Why do our prophets speak so often about daily scripture study?

  • How can daily study of the doctrines taught in the scriptures shield us from the false teachings that are so popular in the world?

1 Timothy 1:12–17. God extends mercy to us through the Atonement.

(10–15 minutes)

balance scale

Show the class a balance scale. Label some small blocks law, sin, andpunishment. Place them all on one side of the scale so the scale tips to that side. (If you do not have a scale, draw one on the board, draw the blocks on one side of the scale, and ask the students what will happen to the scale.) Write the word Justice on the board and explain that it is an attribute of Heavenly Father. Ask students:

  • If this scale represented your final judgment, how would you be affected by Heavenly Father’s justice?

  • Would it be fair?

Label a brick Atonement and place it on the other side of the scale so that the scale tips the other way. (If you use a drawing, ask the students what will happen to the scale now.) Ask: What does this teach about the power and hope that Jesus Christ offers us? Write the word Mercy on the board and explain that it is also a characteristic of God. Read Acts 9:1–5and ask:

  • How unbalanced was Paul’s scale when he was on the road to Damascus?

  • How would you feel if you were in Paul’s place? Why?

Read 1 Timothy 1:12–17and look for how Paul obtained mercy. Ask: Why do we need mercy? Invite students to read Alma 5:32–33looking for how we obtain mercy. Read 1 Timothy 2:3–6and the Joseph Smith Translation of 1 Timothy 2:4. Testify of the great mercy that comes to us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we repent.

1 Timothy 2:9–15. Members of the Church should be examples of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(10–15 minutes)

Give students paper to write on. Have the girls make a list of moral qualities they expect young men in the Church to have. Ask the boys to do the same for the young women. Invite some of the students to share their ideas, and discuss them as a class.

Read 1 Timothy 2:9–15looking for the qualities Paul said women in the Church should have. (You may wish to share the commentary for 1 Corinthians 14:34–35in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 297). Compare Paul’s list with the list made by the boys.

Read 1 Timothy 3:1–7looking for the qualities Paul taught that a bishop should have. Compare this list with the list made by the girls. You may want to explain that although Paul was speaking of bishops, most of these are qualities that the Lord expects all men to develop. Ask:

  • Who besides the Lord values these qualities?

  • How do these qualities compare with those the world values?

  • What can we do to develop these qualities?

1 Timothy 5:3–16; 6:1–19. We should not put our trust in worldly riches, “for the love of money is the root of all evil.”

(25–30 minutes)

Show the class a large stack of play money. Ask:

  • What would you do if you made this much money in a month? a week? a day? an hour?

  • How many of you plan to be wealthy someday? Why?

  • What are dangers of having a lot of money?

Read Jacob 2:18–19looking for the Lord’s teachings about riches. Ask:

  • What conditions does the Lord place on obtaining wealth?

  • What are we to seek above all else? (see also Matthew 6:33).

  • What is the value of this counsel?

Read 1 Timothy 6:10–12and look for Paul’s warning. Ask:

  • What is the danger of wealth?

  • What should we be seeking in this life?

  • If we obtain riches according to the Lord’s counsel in Jacob 2, how should we use them?

Turn to 1 Timothy 5:8–10and have students look for whom the Lord particularly wants us to care for. Ask: Why is it important to care for widows and family members? Cross-reference this scripture with Ezekiel 16:49and ask: What were the major reasons why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Read James 1:27and look for how James described those who exercise pure religion. Discuss how this doctrine relates to Paul’s teachings in 1 Timothy 5.

Read 1 Timothy 6:17–19and identify the six charges Paul gave wealthy Saints. Write them on the board and discuss them. Ask:

  • What blessing comes to those who obey the six charges listed on the board?

  • When will this blessing be received?

Write the following sentence on the board: It is one thing to be rich, but another to be rich in the Lord’s way. Ask students to share what they think it means to be rich in the Lord’s way. Read Doctrine and Covenants 6:7with students. Ask:

  • How does being rich in the Lord’s way differ from the world’s way?

  • Why might someone desire the riches of the Lord over the riches of the world?