Lesson 8

Ephesians; Philippians; 1 Timothy; Philemon


The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.

Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.

Complete assignment 1 and one of the remaining assignments:

1.  Ephesians 1–6. Counsel to the Ephesians

Read the Bible Dictionary entry entitled “Analysis of Ephesians” (“Pauline Epistles,” p. 746). Identify in writing major issues the Apostle Paul addressed to the Saints from Ephesus. Read the chapter summaries for Ephesians. Identify four doctrines or teachings that are part of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ today. For each doctrine you identify, write a few sentences on why that doctrine or teaching is still needful today.

Read Ephesians 1 and the institute student manual commentary for Ephesians 1:3–4, “On What Basis Did the Lord Choose His Saints Before the World Was?” (p. 350); Ephesians 1:5, 11, “Why Does Paul Say We Are Predestined?” (pp. 350–51).  Write your answers to the following questions:

Read Ephesians 2:14–22 and the student manual commentary for Ephesians 2:20, “How Is Jesus the Chief Cornerstone?” (pp. 350–51). Compare Ephesians 2:12 and Ephesians 2:19 by responding in writing to the following items:

  • How does Jacob 4:14–16 relate to the important role of the Savior as a foundation “stone”?
  • List the words Paul used to describe the changes that took place in those who had made the Savior the “chief cornerstone” in their lives.
  • How have you seen these same changes in yourself or others?

Ephesians 4 answers many questions, including the purpose of the different callings in the Church. Briefly respond to the following questions using Ephesians 4:11–14:

  • What are the reasons given in these verses for why we have Church officers, leaders, and teachers?
  • Using the footnotes and the Bible Dictionary, what is the definition of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher in the Church today?
  • In what ways have you been blessed by the service of Church leaders and teachers?

Read the promise by President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) in the student manual commentary for Ephesians 4:14, “That We Henceforth Be No More Children, Tossed To and Fro . . . with Every Wind of Doctrine” (p. 351). Describe in writing what blessings come to those who follow the counsel and teachings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Read Ephesians 4:21–5:4. From these verses make a list of ways true disciples of Jesus Christ can effectively “put off . . . the old man” (v. 22) and “put on the new man” (v. 24). Read Mosiah 3:19 and determine what could you add to your list.

As you read Ephesians 5:22–6:4, look for the responsibilities of husbands, wives, and children. List these responsibilities in the appropriate column in the following chart:

Study and compare Doctrine and Covenants 27:15–18 with Ephesians 6:11–17. Read the student manual commentary for Ephesians 6:11, “What Does It Mean for a Latter-day Saint to Put on the Whole Armour of God?” (pp. 353–54). List each piece of armor and explain what it represents. What purposes and advantages did Paul give for having the armor of God? Describe in writing what piece of armor you feel is most critical for you right now in your life and how you could strengthen that quality more in your life.

2.  Philemon 1. The Gospel Can Change a Servant to a Brother

Read Philemon 1:1–23, the student manual commentary for “Significant Contributions of Philemon” (p. 354), and the Bible Dictionary entry entitled “Epistle to Philemon” (“Pauline Epistles,” p. 746). Answer the following questions in writing:

  • What insights into Paul’s character did you gain through his short letter to Philemon?
  • What can you learn from this epistle about the gospel’s power to transform human relationships?
  • How could Doctrine and Covenants 64:9–11 apply to Paul’s counsel to Philemon?
  • How did Paul show respect for Philemon’s agency? What did Paul hope Philemon would do?
  • How did Paul show his commitment to Onesimus’s welfare?

3.  Philippians 1–4. Find Solutions in the Scriptures to Life’s Challenges

For each of the following common challenges, write the counsel from Philippians that you would use to resolve it:

  • People sometimes argue and complain over petty matters in church meetings or throughout the week (see Philippians 2:1–8, 14–15).
  • Many youth feel that their parents’ testimony is sufficient for them. Since they have good parents, they rely on them for all their spiritual strength (see Philippians 2:12–15; student manual commentary for Philippians 2:12, “Work out Your Own Salvation with Fear and Trembling” [pp. 361–62]).
  • An investigator is considering joining the Church, but his family will no longer associate with him if he does (see Philippians 3:7–16; 4:13).
  • How is this writing assignment an example of the principle taught in 2 Nephi 32:3?

4.  1 Timothy 1–6. “Be Thou an Example of the Believers”

Read 1 Timothy 2:9–10 and describe in writing what Paul said about dress standards. How does Doctrine and Covenants 61:18, 36 help us understand that what Paul taught applies to both men and women? Study Moses 6:9; Mosiah 2:37; Alma 41:2. Then list three reasons our bodies could be considered sacred. How does understanding that our bodies are sacred help us know why they should be covered modestly? What is mentioned in Alma 1:32 that relates to the other concern Paul mentioned about dress? What can you do to apply these principles in your life?

List the evidences Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:1–5 that an apostasy would not only come in the future, but that some people were already practicing false doctrines.

How could Paul’s counsel to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 be used to strengthen a new missionary or a young person called to serve in any responsibility?

Read 1 Timothy 6:7–11 and answer the following questions:

  • What did Paul teach about the love of money?
  • In what sense is the love of money the “root of all evil”?

What guidelines are given in 1 Timothy 6:17–19; Jacob 2:18–19 that when followed can help ensure that you do not focus too much on money or material wealth?