1 Corinthians 3

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1 Cor. 3:1 I...could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal

"The Corinthians were plagued by ignorance stemming from their preoccupation with material and immoral attractions and from their obeisance to false gods and idols (1 Corinthians 8:1-5)...Scholars have noted the difficulties Paul faced in broadcasting his message to the Saints in Corinth. As one writer observed, 'Corinth was depraved. Going beyond the licentiousness of other trading cities and ports it lent its own name as the symbol of debauchery and corruption.' Paul indicated his frustration over the conditions in Corinth: 'And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ' (1 Corinthians 3:1)." (Robert C. Freeman, The Apostle Paul, His Life and His Testimony: The 23d Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 35.)

1 Cor. 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it

Bruce C. Hafen

"One essential element in [God's] plan is the principle of 'line upon line, precept upon precept.' Not only does he leave to us the initiative to believe, he also imparts to his hearers only what they are ready to hear. Milk comes before meat. 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.' (John 16:12.)...Hugh Nibley has described this guiding principle as the 'policy of reticence,' which the Lord has always followed 'to protect sacred things from common misunderstandings and to protect the unworthy from damaging themselves with them.'" (The Believing Heart, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 6.)

Boyd K. Packer

"The scriptures teach emphatically that we must give milk before meat. The Lord made it very clear that some things are to be given only to those who are worthy.

"It matters very much not only what we are told but when we are told it. Be careful that you build faith rather than destroy it." (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 108.)

Boyd K. Packer

"Undernourished children must be carefully fed; so it is with the spiritually underfed. Some are so weakened by mischief and sin that to begin with they reject the rich food we offer. They must be fed carefully and gently.

"Some are so near spiritual death that they must be spoonfed on the broth of fellowship, or nourished carefully on activities and programs. As the scriptures say, they must have milk before meat (see 1 Corinthians 3:2; D&C 19:22). But we must take care lest the only nourishment they receive thereafter is that broth." (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 34.)

1 Cor. 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase

Ezra Taft Benson

"...in the conversion process some missionaries will plant, some will water, and some will baptize. You are not concerned with who gets the credit for the baptisms because 'God [gives] the increase' (1 Corinthians 3:6). (Mission Presidents Seminar, Provo, Utah, 25 June 1986.)" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 201.)

Spencer J. Condie

"One of Satan's techniques for thwarting the work of the Lord is to convince members and missionaries alike that certain individuals who decline invitations to attend church or to hear the gospel discussions 'have had their chance.' The number of converts to the Church who have 'gone through' several sets of missionaries emphasizes the fact that none of us can judge when another person has had an adequate opportunity to hear and accept the gospel.

"The apostle Paul observed: 'I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.' (1 Cor. 3:6.) What if Apollos had failed to make efforts with those who were not converted with Paul's initial contact? Some of us become discouraged when our gospel green thumbs don't seem to bear fruit. Often some soul-searching will reveal that our approach has been ill timed or hastily planned, or perhaps that we were anxious to accept the credit for a future conversion, even though God gives the increase." ("Bring Them to Church," Ensign, Oct. 1977, 36)

1 Cor. 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth

Marlin K. Jensen

"When our eyes are fixed on God's glory, we feel the majesty of His creations and the grand scope of His work on this earth. We feel humble to be participants in His latter-day kingdom. If we pause and quietly reflect on our role in all of this, we will come to know that placing our egos and our vain ambitions on the sacrificial altar is one of the most important offerings we can ever make. Well might we acknowledge, as did Moses after beholding in vision God's glory: 'Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.' (Moses 1:10.)

"Paul demonstrated a similar attitude and recognition in his first letter to the Corinthians, in which he asks rhetorically,

'Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.' (1 Cor. 3:5-7.)

"Brothers and sisters, I testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom on the earth today. This kingdom will roll forward with or without us as individuals. Men and women who even momentarily take their eyes off of God's glory and seek to exalt themselves, or who become entangled in the vain things of this world, will find that the kingdom quickly moves on without them. Unfortunately, none of us is immune from this all-too-human tendency." ("An Eye Single to the Glory of God," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 28)

1 Cor. 3:9-10 ye are God's building...let every man take heed how he buildeth

Sterling W. Sill

"No man can be engaged in a more godly business than that of building the character, excellence, and righteousness that will go with him throughout eternity.

"An old legend tells of a man who interviewed some stone cutters who had different attitudes about their building efforts. To the first he said, 'What are you doing?' The stone cutter said, 'I am cutting stones. I work four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon. I am a stone cutter.' To the second he said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'I am cutting stones. I make four dollars in the morning and four dollars in the afternoon. I am a stone cutter.' To the third he said, 'What are you doing?' The third stone cutter stepped back to survey the rising walls and said, 'I am building a cathedral.'

"Each of us is also building a cathedral, one that is far more important than a mere physical structure." (Thy Kingdom Come [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975], 150.)

Sterling W. Sill

"'. . . ye are God's building .... [therefore] let every man take heed how he buildeth....' (1 Cor. 3:9-10.)

"The greatest responsibility that is ever entrusted to any human being is that of building his own personality. The first soul that anyone should bring to God is his own soul. President McKay recently pointed out that the purpose of the gospel is to make men better. The primary objective in the mission of Jesus was to provide the world with better men and women. God himself has said, '. . . this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' (Moses 1:39.) It is God's work to build character, ability, and Godliness into the lives of his children. Any influence that works against that purpose is evil, and whenever we build evil into our lives, we are tending toward failure." (Conference Report, April 1962, First Day-Morning Meeting 13.)

Thomas S. Monson

"Tabernacles and temples are built with more than stone and mortar, wood and glass. Particularly is this true when we speak of the temple described by the Apostle Paul: 'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' (1 Corinthians 3:16.) Such temples are built with faith and fasting. They are built with service and sacrifice. They are built with trials and testimonies." (Live the Good Life [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1988], 17.)

1 Cor. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than...Jesus Christ

Bruce R. McConkie

"Christ is the rock (1 Cor. 10:4): the Rock of Ages, the Stone of Israel, the Sure Foundation-the Lord is our rock!

"Again we hear Paul's voice: 'Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 3:11). And also: Ye 'are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone' (Eph. 2:20).

"...If we build our house of salvation on the rock of personal revelation; if we build it on the revealed reality that Jesus is the Lord; if we build it on him who is the eternal rock-it will stand forever. If we are guided by the spirit of inspiration while here in mortality, we will be able to withstand all the floods and storms that beat upon us. If we are founded upon a rock, we worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Holy Ghost." (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 116.)

1 Cor. 3:12 Paul Paraphrased

"Now if any man build upon this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, his work shall be burned like hay and be left as stubble."

1 Cor. 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

"If we truly want to be as living temples of our God, we would do well to remember, in our thoughts and words and actions, the dedication that is inscribed on each of the sacred buildings we call temples: 'Holiness to the Lord.'" (Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 450.)

Harold B. Lee

"Any defilement of these bodies of ours, then, by the taking of substances into our bodies expressly counseled against, will result, not only in a certain bodily harm, but in a loss of the spiritual companionship promised by obedience, for in truth, the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. It is a rule of heaven that God, or the Holy Ghost, who is one of the Godhead, will not dwell in an unholy tabernacle." (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 204.)

Russell M. Nelson

"Your physical body is a magnificent creation of God. It is his temple as well as yours, and it must be treated with reverence." (The Power within Us [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1988], 60.)

Russell M. Nelson

"'Ye must give thanks unto God,' said the Lord, 'for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with.' (DC 46:32) And we can practice virtue and holiness before Him continually.

"We will regard our body as a temple of our very own. We will not let it be desecrated or defaced in any way. We will control our diet and exercise for physical fitness." ("We Are Children of God," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 87)

Thomas S. Monson

"In a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, December 27, 1832, the Master counseled, 'Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.' (DC 88:119)

"Where could any of us locate a more suitable blueprint whereby we could wisely and properly build a house to personally occupy throughout eternity? Such a house would meet the building code outlined in Matthew-even a house built 'upon a rock,' (Matt. 7:24) a house capable of withstanding the rains of adversity, the floods of opposition, and the winds of doubt everywhere present in our challenging world.

"Some might question: 'But that revelation was to provide guidance for the construction of a temple. Is it relevant today?'

"I would respond: 'Did not the Apostle Paul declare, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?'

"Perhaps if we consider these architectural guidelines on an individual basis, we can more readily appreciate this divine counsel from the Master Builder, the Creator of the world, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

"Our inspired blueprint first cautions that our house should be a house of prayer...Let our house be a house of fasting...Our house is to be a house of faith...Let our house be a house of learning. Our house is to be a house of glory...Our house is to be a house of order...Finally, let our house be a house of God. Clean thoughts, noble purpose, a willing heart, and ready hands are all features of a house of God...May we follow this divinely provided blueprint. May we be successful builders of our eternal homes." ("Building Your Eternal Home," Ensign, Oct. 1999, 2-5)

Thomas S. Monson

"In our own personal temple building, as in the building of this holy house, the words of John Ruskin typify my personal feelings: 'When we build let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think as we lay stone on stone that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred, because our hands have touched them; and men will say, as they look upon the labour and wrought substances of them: See, this our fathers did for us.'" ("News of the Church," Ensign, July 1992, 77)

The First Presidency

"You who have observed the law of chastity have kept the temples of God undefiled. You can stand unabashed before the Lord. He loves you. He will bestow honor and reward upon you. Every overcoming of temptation brings strength and glory to the soul. May the Lord continue to bless and prosper you in all your works of righteousness." (HEBER J. GRANT, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 6: 175.)

1 Cor. 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy

Marion G. Romney

"Paul's pronouncement that our bodies are the temples of God, that 'If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy,' (1 Cor. 3:17), is an eternal principle still in force. Much of our sorrow and distress stems from a violation of this divine command." (Conference Report, April 1952, General Priesthood Meeting 91.)

LeGrand Richards

"There are many who think their bodies are their own and that they can do with them what they will. However, Paul makes it plain that they are not their own, for they are bought with a price, and 'if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.'

"In the light of the terrible waste of money for the use of these harmful substances, the injury to the human body through their use, and the spiritual uplift that comes to those who keep their bodies clean through abstaining from their use, how can one question the source whence this revelation, the Word of Wisdom, came? It was far ahead of the scientific thought of its day. It must have, and did, come from God." (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1950], 366.)

Harold B. Lee

"Our bodies are the temples of God! We are winged for heavenly flight! We must be prepared for split-second timing decisions to meet any competition in this world of action. On every hand we see the spectacle of those who show that they apparently fear neither God nor man because they fail to keep holy that temple of God of which Paul spoke-the human body. Those who prostitute virtue and disregard the law of chastity, who defile their bodies and waste their substance by riotous living, as in the story of the prodigal son, will learn the bitterness of having to eat husks with the swine. Nothing can ever compensate us for enfeebled minds, broken bodies, broken homes, and lost weekends, in violation of the standards of society and the laws of God, for the wages of sin are death. God will not be mocked." (Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974], chap. 32.)

John Taylor

"...as man is an eternal being, and all his actions have a relevancy to eternity...if he abuses his body, and corrupts himself, he not only injures himself, but his partner and associates, and entails misery incalculable upon his posterity, who are doomed to inherit the father's misery; and this is not only associated with time, but with eternity. Hence the Lord has given laws regulating marriage and chastity of the strictest kind, and entailed the severest punishment upon those, who, in different ages have abused this sacred ordinance. For example, the curse of Sodom and Gomorrah: and the terrible judgments pronounced against those who should corrupt and defile their bodies, let any one read Deuteronomy 22:13-30. And Paul says, 'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.' 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. Whoremongers and adulterers shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; and Hebrews 13:4. And why? Because man being made a free agent over his own body, that he might exalt himself and posterity, both in time and in eternity, if he abuses that power, he not only affects himself, but unborn bodies and spirits, corrupting the world, and opening the flood gates of vice, immorality, and estrangement from God." (The Government of God [Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1852], 45 - 46.)

Marion G. Romney

"Some years ago the First Presidency said to the youth of the Church that a person would be better dead clean than alive unclean.

"I remember how my father impressed the seriousness of unchastity upon my mind. He and I were standing in the railroad station at Rexburg, Idaho, in the early morning of 12 November 1920. We heard the train whistle. In three minutes I would be on my way to Australia to fill a mission. In that short interval my father said to me, among other things, 'My son, you are going a long way from home. Your mother and I, and your brothers and sisters, will be with you constantly in our thoughts and prayers; we shall rejoice with you in your successes, and we shall sorrow with you in your disappointments. When you are released and return, we shall be glad to greet you and welcome you back into the family circle. But remember this, my son: we would rather come to this station and take your body off the train in a casket than to have you come home unclean, having lost your virtue.'" ("We Believe in Being Chaste," Ensign, Sept. 1981, 3-4)

1 Cor. 13:22 Whether...things present, or things to come; all are yours

Brigham Young

"All this, and all that men can imagine and a million times more, God has in store for us. If we are faithful, all is ours. If we trample sin and iniquity under our feet, then we are the masters, which makes the yoke easy and the burden light." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 8: 207.)

Orson Hyde

"A great many are now afraid that the gold of California will all be gone before they get any of it. Suppose they get it all-suppose they actually rob the mines of every farthing's worth of value, what are they going to do with it? Can they place it beyond the jurisdiction of the Almighty, or put it somewhere where he cannot find it, and use it in a way that he cannot control it? I tell you they may dig and dig, and get all the gold they possibly can, and put it in this bank, or in that; but God will control it all by-and-by, and give it to whom he will; and I will tell you to whom he will give it. Says the Apostle to the Corinthians, 'All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.'

"Now, it is not to him that willeth, or to him that runneth, (they run to California,) but it is God that showeth mercy. He is the character that holds all these things; and where his mercy leans, there is where he will bestow his treasure. Says he, 'All things are mine,' and I can give them to whom I will. His rebellious children who try to rob their father and take his money from his place of deposit. They say, 'We are your children, and we have a right to this money;' and they break open their father's desk, because they are his sons, and think it no particular crime to get a little of the old man's cash to enjoy themselves with.

"So it is with all those that are running to California to steal a little of the Lord's treasure; whereas, if they had remained loyal to their post, and continued to do their duty and build up the kingdom of God, by-and-by he would have given them all they could receive." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 6: 339.)