“That Your Faith Should Not Stand in the Wisdom of Men”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 75–76


Theme

Latter-day Saints should put their trust in God rather than rely totally in the wisdom of men.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The church at Corinth was torn by contention and division.

    1. 1.

      Paul warned his brethren to beware of those who would come among them and speak “perverse things to draw away disciples after them.”

    2. 2.

      The church at Corinth had members who claimed they followed this or that apostle, and they urged others to do the same.

  • B.

    Religious division results when men try to supplant God’s infinite truth with their own finite wisdom.

  • C.

    Division and strife are overcome by the power of God.

    1. 1.

      Paul described himself as a vessel in whom God had placed the message of salvation.

    2. 2.

      The Spirit of God is the means whereby eternal truths are taught and received.

      1. a.

        Spiritual men receive the things of God only as they are taught by the Holy Ghost.

      2. b.

        Natural men, those impressed only with worldly wisdom, often do not receive the things of God.

  • D.

    To receive the Spirit of God, we must build on the foundation of Christ.

    1. 1.

      Men are temples of God.

    2. 2.

      To be holy, we must study, pray, fast, and serve.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Acts 18:23-27; 21:1-17; 1 Corinthians 1-3

Course Manual

Chapter 34, “That Your Faith Should Not Stand in the Wisdom of Men”

Standard Works

D&C 50:13-18. If the gospel is taught “some other way,“ what may we conclude?

D&C 50:19-24. If truth is received in a way other than by the Lord’s ordained process, what may we conclude?

2 Nephi 9:28, 29, 42. What “cunning plan” has Satan devised?

2 Nephi 28:14-16. What temptation did Nephi see would cause even the humble follower of Christ to fall?

Alma 12:10, 11. What does it mean to harden one’s heart?

2 Nephi 28:31. What does it mean to put one’s trust in the arm of flesh?

Mosiah 23:21, 22. In whom are we to put our trust?

2 Nephi 32:4; Jacob 4:8-13; 7:11-20; D&C 42:14; 43:16; Alma 17:2, 3. How can we receive the Spirit of God?

Basic Library

Discourses, pp. 258-61. What is our source of knowledge?

Gos. Doc, p. 313. What are the three threatening dangers of which we should be aware?

Gos. Doc, p. 38. What is the difference between theory and divine revelation?

Gos. Doc, p. 371. How can we detect false teachings?

DS, 1:292-306. Distinguishing truth from error.

DS, 2:106-10. What would this passage about Elijah contribute to our understanding of not putting our trust in men?

Teachings, pp. 11, 191-92. How can we best obtain wisdom?

Teachings, p. 43. How can we have the Spirit and avoid contention?

Teachings, p. 62. To whom is the Spirit given?

Teachings, pp. 112, 155-56, 243. How is the gospel to be preached?

A of F., pp. 158-69. What effect can the Holy Ghost have on us?

Mark E. Petersen in CR, Apr. 1973, pp. 158-59. How does history teach us that Christ is not divided?

Media Suggestions

Filmstrip (The life of Paul, 6), The Fruits of Dedication (18:40)

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

The Problems of the Corinthian Church (Chalkboard Discussion)

The teacher could begin by discussing with the students the problems that were being faced by the Corinthian saints. (See theme analysis A and B; course manual, 34-4; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:3, 4.) The following chart could be developed:

Problems in the Corinthian Church

Similar Problems Today

  1. 1.

    Choosing a favorite General Authority to follow rather than studying and applying the words of all the leaders, particularly the prophets.

  1. 1.

    Members were arguing over doctrine and using a favorite church leader to sustain them.

  1. 2.

    Rationalizing the standards given by our prophets—dress, grooming, morals.

  1. 2.

    A “free thinking” attitude prevailed concerning the doctrines Paul had taught-moral standards, etc

  1. 3.

    Others.

  1. 3.

    Others.

The Wisdom of God and Man (Scriptural Analysis and Transparency)

  1. 1.

    How can we avoid falling into the problems faced by the Corinthians? This question could be answered by using Paul’s reasoning in 1 Corinthians 1-3 and quotes from other standard works and Church leaders. See the references under Study Sources.

How can the Holy Ghost help us to overcome strife, contention, and false ideas?

How Can We Come to Know the Will of God? (Scripture Analysis)

Why are many people afraid to ask the Lord for help in making a decision? Why do we sometimes rely so heavily upon opinions of the world? How much does the Lord expect us to do in making decisions? How can we learn to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost? The following quote by Marion G. Romney could be helpful:

“Now, I tell you that you can make every decision in your life correctly if you can learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This you can do if you will discipline yourself to yield your own feelings to the promptings of the Spirit.” (Marion G. Romney in CR, Oct. 1961, p. 60; see also Marion G. Romney, “What Would Jesus Do?” New Era, Sept. 1972, p. 4, and Thomas S. Monson, Pathways to Perfection, p. 34.)

Some of the scriptures under the Study Sources could be used to indicate what we can do to receive the Spirit.

Acquiring the Mind of Christ (Scripture Analysis and Chalkboard Illustration)

1 Corinthians 2:16. What was Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian saints?

The teacher could illustrate this on the chalkboard by drawing a line to represent the mind of Christ and, below it, another line to represent the mind of man (Isaiah 55:8, 9). Then, as he desires, the teacher could discuss and illustrate the idea that man acquires the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit. The following scriptures could be used: