1 Peter 3-5: Redemption of the Dead

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 157–158


Elder David B. Haight, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “Latter-day Saints are a chosen people, so appointed in the premortal world, to be in partnership with the Lord for the salvation of the living and the dead. The First Presidency has announced that one of the major responsibilities of the Church, and therefore of its members, is to redeem the dead” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 74; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 59). As you read 1 Peter 3–5, look for Peter’s teachings on this important gospel responsibility.

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Peter 3

Be in subjection (v. 1)Conform, obey, submit 
Plaiting (v. 3)Braiding 
Conversation (vv. 1–2, 16)Conduct (see JST, 1 Peter 3:1–2, 16) 
Railing (v. 9)Scolding, criticizing 
Just for the unjust (v. 18)Savior for the sinners 

1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6—The Mission of Jesus Christ in the Spirit World

On 3 October 1918, President Joseph F. Smith sat pondering these verses from 1 Peter. The eyes of his understanding were opened and he saw the hosts of the dead and was shown how the gospel is preached to those who have died. We have his account of that vision in Doctrine and Covenants 138. It tells us that the Lord visited the spirit world while His body lay in the tomb. He gathered the righteous spirits around Him and organized them into a missionary force. They accepted an assignment to teach the gospel to the spirits in prison.

The work we do in temples provides necessary ordinances for those who accept the gospel in the spirit world. In this way, all of Heavenly Father’s children have an opportunity to accept the gospel and receive all of the essential saving ordinances.

temple font

1 Peter 4

Lasciviousness (v. 3)Uncontrolled passions, lust 
Banquetings (v. 3)Drinking, carousing, lustfulness 
Abominable idolatries (v. 3)Unlawful worship of idols 
Oracles of God (v. 11)One who speaks for God (prophets) 
Reproached (v. 14)Undeserved rebuke or censure 

1 Peter 5

Constraint (v. 2)Force, pressure, intimidation 
For filthy lucre (v. 2)To get gain or money 
Heritage (v. 3)What is obtained by lot, birthright 
Whom resist (v. 9)Resist him by being 
Babylon (v. 13)Figurative for Rome 
Marcus (v. 13)Mark, author of the Gospel 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 1 Peter 3–5.

Activity A iconMake a Comparison

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

Read 1 Peter 3:1–12 and identify three principles that relate to the statement above. Write them in your notebook. You may want to discuss with your parents what you learned from this activity and how it might relate to your family.

family walking in a park

Activity B iconTeach a Friend about the Spirit World

Imagine that a friend who recently joined the Church is concerned about his or her relatives who died and who never had a chance to hear the gospel and be baptized. Read and cross-reference 1 Peter 3:18–20 and 4:6 with Doctrine and Covenants 138:18–20, 27, 30–32, 57–59. In your notebook, write an outline of what you would teach your friend.

Activity C iconMake a Grocery List

What does it mean to “feed my sheep”?

  1. 1.

    Read John 21:15–19 and write what the resurrected Lord asked Peter to do. Then read 1 Peter 5:1–4 and write what Peter asked priesthood leaders in his day to do. What does this teach about Peter’s obedience?

  2. 2.

    Read 1 Peter 5:5–9 and make a list of spiritual food needed to feed God’s flock.