3 John 1

“3 John 1,” New Testament Teacher Resource Manual (2002), 244


Because the faithful Saints in John’s day suffered persecution from outside the Church, they watched out for one another. John complimented them for their support of their fellow Saints. Latter-day Saints of past years experienced similar conditions that served to strengthen them. Elder Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, explained: “During the early days of the Church we passed through a period of slander and misrepresentation, and we came through. It drove us together because of enemies from the outside. And we survived it. We passed through a period of mobbing and driving, when lives were taken and blood was shed, and somehow the place of the martyr gave us strength. We passed through poverty, and we gained strength from the test of it. Then we passed through an age of what we might call apostasy, or betrayal from the inside—one of the severest tests through which we have passed. We are now going through another test—a period of what we might call sophistication. This is a time when there are many clever people who are not willing to listen to the humble prophets of the Lord. And we have suffered from that. It is rather a severe test” (“Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity,” The Instructor, June 1965, 217).

Prayerfully study 3 John 1and consider the following principle before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 435–37, 439–41.

Suggestions for Teaching

Use the following idea or one or more of your own as you prepare to teach 3 John 1.

3 John 1. Selfless service brings us closer to God. Imposing our authority on others separates us from the Spirit.

(10–15 minutes)

Write on the board the following chart:


Who is addressed?

What did he do?

Was John pleased or displeased?


3 John 1:1, 3, 5–6


3 John 1:9–11


Divide your class into two groups and have each group read one of the scripture blocks, looking for answers to the questions. Fill in the chart and discuss what students learned. Read Mosiah 2:17and Doctrine and Covenants 121:37, 39and ask:

  • How do these scriptures relate to Gaius and Diotrephes?

  • Why do so many people “exercise unrighteous dominion”?

Invite students to tell about Church leaders they know who have displayed great humility in their callings. Ask what they have learned about humble service from their leaders.