1 Thes. 4:3 this is the will of God, even your sanctification
Harold B. Lee
"Obey the laws and ordinances in order to be sanctified. The Lord said, 'Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will' (D&C 88:68). You may ask me, how does one sanctify himself, and make himself holy so that he is prepared to walk in the presence of the Lord? In that same great revelation the Lord says this, 'And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same' (D&C 88:34). What law? The laws of the Lord as contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the keeping of which laws and ordinances are the ways by which we are purified and made holy. The keeping of every law that the Lord has given us is one step closer to receiving the right to enter one day into the presence of the Lord." (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 166.)
1 Thes. 4:3 abstain from fornication
Spencer W. Kimball
"The world may countenance premarital sex experiences, but the Lord and his church condemn in no uncertain terms any and every sex relationship outside of marriage.
"Wholesome family life with children was set up as the perfect way, thousands of years ago. If all the world should devise some other sort of relationship, it would be wrong even if the voting were 3 1/2 billion to one." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 265.)
Spencer W. Kimball
"Fornication results from lust, not love. Across the desk from me sat a handsome nineteen-year-old boy and a beautiful, shy, but charming eighteen-year-old girl. They appeared embarrassed, apprehensive, near-terrified. He was defensive and bordering on belligerency and rebellion. They admitted they had broken the moral code and thus gone contrary to some standards, but they quoted magazines and papers and speakers approving premarital sex and emphasizing that sex was a fulfillment of human existence. ... Had it not been fairly well established, then, in their world, that sex before marriage was not so wrong? Did there not need to be a trial period? How else could they know if they would be compatible for marriage?
"Finally, the boy said, 'Yes, we yielded to each other, but we do not think it was wrong because we love each other.' I thought I had misunderstood him. Since the world began there have been countless immoralities, but to hear them justified by a Latter-day Saint youth shocked me. He repeated, 'No, it is not wrong, because we love each other.' ...
"The Savior said that if it were possible the very elect would be deceived by Lucifer. He uses his logic to confuse and his rationalizations to destroy. He will shade meanings, open doors an inch at a time, and lead from purest white through all the shades of gray to the darkest black.
"This young couple looked up rather startled when I postulated firmly, 'No, my beloved young people, you did not love each other. Rather, you lusted for each other.' ... The beautiful and holy word of love they had defiled until it had degenerated to become a bed fellow with lust, its antithesis. As far back as Isaiah, deceivers and rationalizers were condemned: 'Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!' (Isaiah 5:20.) (65-02)
"If one really loves another, one would rather die for that person than to injure him. At the hour of sin, pure love is pushed out of one door while lust sneaks in the other. Affection has then been replaced with desire of the flesh and uncontrolled passion. Accepted has been the doctrine which the devil is so eager to establish, that illicit sex relations are justified. When the unmarried yield to lust, that is called fornication. When married fall into this same sin, that is called adultery.
"In order to live with themselves, people who transgress must follow one path or the other of two alternatives. The one is to sear the conscience or to dull the sensitivity with mental tranquilizers so that the transgressing may be continued. The other is to permit remorse to lead to total sorrow, repentance, and eventual forgiveness." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 279.)
1 Thes. 4:4 every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification
"Offering vessels provide a comparison with human beings throughout the scriptures. Just as an offering vessel can be sacred when presented at the temple and profane when reused for common produce, humans can be sanctified or polluted. In both the Old and New Testament, God is likened to a potter and human beings to the clay from which he makes pots (Isa. 64:8; Jer. 18:6; Lam. 4:2; Rom. 9:20-21; Rev. 2:27). Paul compared humans to 'vessels of wrath fitted to destruction' and 'vessels of mercy,' depending on their obedience to God (Rom. 9:22-23; compare D&C 76:33). Elsewhere, the righteous are called 'chosen vessels of the Lord' (Moro. 7:31; Acts 9:15). Alma spoke of Mary, the mother of Christ, as 'a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel' (Alma 7:10). Similarly, Paul, speaking of chastity, counseled the Thessalonians 'that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour' (1 Thes. 4:3-5). He told Timothy that he who purges himself from sin becomes 'a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use' (2 Tim. 2:20-21). The 'sanctified' vessel is a clear reference to vessels dedicated to the Lord in the ancient temple. Elsewhere, Paul compares the human body to the temple of God itself, saying that God will inhabit that temple only as long as it remains chaste (1 Cor. 6:18-19). The idea gives meaning to a frequently quoted passage: 'Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord' (Isa. 52:11; 3 Ne. 20:41; D&C 38:42; 133:5)." (John A. Tvedtness, "Masada and Religion in First-Century Judea", BYU Studies, vol. 36 (1996-97), Number 3--1996-97)
1 Thes. 4:7 God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness
"Remember, brethren, that he has called you unto holiness and, need we say, to be like him in purity. How wise, how holy, how chaste, and how perfect, then, you ought to conduct yourselves in his sight." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 183.)
Spencer W. Kimball
"In our journey toward eternal life, purity must be our constant aim. To walk and talk with God, to serve with God, to follow his example and become as a god, we must attain perfection. In his presence there can be no guile, no wickedness, no transgression. In numerous scriptures he has made it clear that all worldliness, evil and weakness must be dropped before we can ascend unto 'the hill of the Lord.' The Psalmist asked: 'Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?'
"And he answered the question: 'He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.' (Ps. 24:3-4.)" (Miracle of Forgiveness, chap. 2)
1 Thes. 4:11 study to be quiet, and to do your own business
"'To mind your own business' incorporates the whole duty of man. What is the duty of a Latter-day Saint? To do all the good he can upon the earth, living in the discharge of every duty obligatory upon him." (Journal of Discourses, 10: 296.)
Joseph F. Smith
"If it were in good form to project 'don'ts' at the young men of the Church, I should head the list with what is a very important one: 'Don't meddle with other people's business; mind your own.'
"The 'Mormon' creed: 'Mind your own business,' is a good motto for young people to adopt who wish to succeed, and who wish to make the best use of their time and lives. And when I say young people, it includes as well aged and middle aged men and women." (Editor's Table., Improvement Era, 1903, Vol. Vi. March, 1903. No. 5)
1 Thes. 4:13 I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not
"In the Thessalonian letters, the doctrinal problems to which Paul had to address himself were corrected fairly easily. In both letters, misunderstandings concerning Jesus' second coming are evident. In 1 Thessalonians, the problem was the belief that those who were alive when the second coming took place would have an advantage over those who had died previously. (See 1 Thes. 4:13-17.)" (Kent P. Jackson, "Early Signs of the Apostasy," Ensign, Dec. 1984, 10)
"It seems that some of the saints had lost loved ones and were fearful that their demise would deprive them from participation in the experiences of the second coming, especially if it were imminent. Paul's counsel assures them that the righteous will be resurrected to participate in these glorious happenings. (1 Thes. 4:13-18, 1 Thes. 5:10.) His second epistle also prophetically instructs them concerning the approaching apostasy and the ensuing events in the course of time before the coming of the Lord would occur. (2 Thes. 2:1-10.)" (Edward J. Brandt, "New Testament Backgrounds: 1 and 2 Thessalonians," Ensign, Apr. 1976, 56)
1 Thes. 4:16 the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout
"Paul informed the Thessalonians that when the Savior returned to the earth, he would 'descend from heaven with a shout . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise.' (1 Thessalonians 4:16; emphasis added.) All of these moments are deeply significant in the salvation of humanity. The Creation, the coming Atonement, and the Resurrection are all occasions for shouting 'hosanna to God and the Lamb!'" (S. Michael Wilcox, House of Glory: Finding Personal Meaning in the Temple [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 140.)
"The Hosanna Shout memorializes the pre-earthly Council in Heaven, as 'when...all the sons of God shouted for joy' (Job 38:7)... President Lorenzo Snow taught that this shout will herald the Messiah when he comes in the glory of the Father (cf. 1 Thes. 4:16)." (Lael J. Woodbury, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, 659.)
JST 1 Thes. 4:17 they who are alive, shall be caught up together into the clouds
The Second Coming of Christ will not be complete until Jesus gathers to himself a celestial gathering. This grand meeting amidst the clouds will involve three different groups of saints. The first group are described as 'all the holy angels' (DC 45:44). They are those who were resurrected at the time of Christ (Matt 27:52-53, 3 Ne. 23:19-13). They are not an assembly of angels which do not belong to this earth, for 'there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it' (DC 130:5). The second group are those saints who have died since the resurrection of Christ. This group was a concern to the Thessalonian saints (v. 13-14), but Paul promised that they would be caught up as well. The third group are those mortals who are worthy of a celestial glory. The scriptures clearly promise that these three groups will be part of the heavenly throng:
'...behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels; and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.
But before the arm of the Lord shall fall, an angel shall sound his trump, and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud.
Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace blessed are you; for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected; and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth.' (DC 45:44-46)
'And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him.
And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven-
They are Christ's, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him...' (DC 88:96-98)
Sterling W. Sill
"At Christ's coming a great number of very exciting things are going to take place. He is not coming alone; as Paul says, he will come with his mighty angels. (See 2 Thes. 1:7-8.) At his coming a great many of the faithful dead will be resurrected and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And some of the righteous who are then living upon the earth will be changed from mortality to immortality in the twinkling of an eye to join that impressive company in the air. Certainly this is something to look forward to." (Conference Report, April 1966, First Day-Morning Meeting 20.)
1 Thes. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words
Elder Charles A. Callis
"'Wherefore comfort one another with these words.' (I Thessalonians 4:16-18)
"The Prophet Joseph, the solver of problems, the comforter of humanity, told a mother who had lost a baby in death that in the resurrection when the Lord Jesus Christ appears, her baby would be resurrected and that she would have the joy, more joy than she could have had in mortality, in the resurrection, of rearing that baby, or the young child, young children, who have died, to manhood and womanhood.
"Horace Greeley, one of the greatest editors that ever lived, lost a boy who was five years of age. He said: 'Now, all that deeply concerns me is the evidence that we shall live hereafter. . . If I felt sure on the point of identifying and being with our loved ones in the world to come, I would prefer not to live long.' Well, all that doubt is removed by obedience to the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Conference Report, April 1943, Second Day-Morning Meeting 62.)
"Let us not sorrow as those without hope. The time is fast approaching when we shall see [our loved ones] again and rejoice together, without being afraid of wicked men. Yes, those who have slept in Christ shall he bring with him when he shall come to be glorified in his Saints and admired by all those who believe, but to take vengeance upon his enemies and all those who obey not the gospel. At that time, the hearts of the widow and fatherless shall be comforted, and every tear shall be wiped from off their faces." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 183.)