1 Timothy 6:4 knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife...
Russell M. Nelson
"Divine doctrine of the Church is the prime target of attack by the spiritually contentious. Well do I remember a friend who would routinely sow seeds of contention in Church classes. His assaults would invariably be preceded by this predictable comment: 'let me play the role of devil's advocate.' Recently he passed away. One day he will stand before the Lord in judgment. Then, I wonder, will my friend's predictable comment again be repeated?
"Such contentious spirits are not new. In an epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul gave this warning, 'that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.' (1 Tim. 6:1.)
"'If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to [his] doctrine ... doting about questions and strifes of words, ... supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.' (1 Tim. 6:3-5; see also Isa. 29:21; 2 Ne. 27:32; D&C 19:30; D&C 38:41; D&C 60:14.)
"Dissecting doctrine in a controversial way in order to draw attention to oneself is not pleasing to the Lord. He declared:
'Bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me.
And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.' (D&C 10:62-63.)"
("The Canker of Contention," Ensign, May 1989, 70)
1 Timothy 6:5 supposing that gain is godliness
Dallin H. Oaks
"Those who preach the gospel of success and the theology of prosperity are suffering from 'the deceitfulness of riches' and from supposing that 'gain is godliness' (1 Timothy 6:5). The possession of wealth or the acquisition of significant income is not a mark of heavenly favor, and their absence is not evidence of heavenly disfavor. Riches can be among the blessings that follow right behavior-such as the payment of tithing (Malachi 3:9-12)-but riches can also be acquired through the luck of a prospector or as the fruits of dishonesty." (Pure in Heart [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 75.)
1 Timothy 6:6 godliness with contentment is great gain
Herein Paul combines the qualities of godliness and contentment. This interesting combination entitles us to the abundant life in mortality and eternal life in the world to come. 'Godliness with contentment' is the abundant life whereby we are made truly rich, regardless of our material possessions.
Spencer W. Kimball
"The abundant life, of course, has little to do with the acquisition of material things, though there are many wonderful individuals who have been blessed materially and who use their wealth to help their fellowmen-and this is most commendable. The abundant life noted in the scriptures is the spiritual sum that is arrived at by the multiplying of our service to others and by investing our talents in service to God and to man." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 380.)
"The love of the world does not bring happiness. The greatest happiness that anyone can enjoy is godliness with contentment, and to visit the widow and the fatherless, and keep ourselves pure and unspotted from the world. That produces the most unalloyed happiness that we can attain to." (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 5, George Teasdale, June 26, 1898)
1 Timothy 6:7 we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out
"There is a saying that 'you can't take it with you.' Job said it this way: 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither' (Job 1:21), while Paul wrote to Timothy, '... we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out' (1 Tim. 6:7; see also Eccl. 5:14-16)." (Robert J. Matthews, "Searching the Scriptures: Managing Money and Earthly Treasures," Ensign, Sept. 1973, 25)
Hartman Rector, Jr.
"Some years ago while I was serving in the navy and was away from home, a very prominent and well-to-do farmer died in my home neighborhood. Upon my return I was talking with my cousin about the estate of the deceased, and I asked the inevitable question, 'How much did he leave?' My cousin said, 'He left it all; he didn't take any of it with him.'
"That struck me as being a great truth that very, very few men seem ever to comprehend. Certainly many of us act as though we are going to take it all with us when we go; of course, we are not. In terms of material things, each of us leaves it all. In the words of Paul to Timothy, 'For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.' (1 Tim. 6:7.)" ("Ignorance Is Expensive," Ensign, June 1971, 79)
1 Timothy 6:9 they that be rich fall into temptation and a snare
Joe J. Christensen
"When it comes to overcoming being greedy, selfish, and overly indulgent, we all need a lot more help. In his candid manner, President Brigham Young said: 'The worst fear ... I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church. ... My greater fear ... is that they cannot stand wealth.'
"Our prosperity brings some real challenges because many are getting rich, more of us are waxing fat, and as a result of greed, selfishness, and overindulgence, we could lose the Spirit and literally kick ourselves out of the Church.
"Money and material things are on the minds of almost everyone. As Morris Chalfant wrote: 'The great [question] of the twentieth century is, `How can I acquire wealth?` No question occupies a larger place in the minds and ... hearts of ... people today than this. ... This is true of men in every station and in every walk of life.'
"Money in and of itself is not an evil, but as Paul taught Timothy, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. There are some of the wealthy who deal with their prosperity very well using their resources to bless others and build the kingdom. For many, however, wealth presents major difficulties." ("Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence," Ensign, May 1999, 9)
"Of all the devil's arrows, this has ever proven the most deadly and effective...The people 'do not understand the power of the devil and how liable they are to be decoyed.' Wealth is a pleasant and heady narcotic that gives the addict an exhilarating sense of power accompanied by a growing deadening of feeling for anything of real value. It seals up the heavens and closes the mind to revelation; it takes possession of the heart and darkens the spirit; it works by deception, bewitching the nations (Revelation 18:23); it becomes an obsession-'We wish the wealth or things of the world; we think about them morning, noon, and night; they are first in our minds when we awake in the morning, and the last thing before we go to sleep at night'; it gives a false sense of security." (Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 39 - 40.)
1 Timothy 6:10 the love of money is the root of all evil
Gordon B. Hinckley
"'For the love of money is the root of all evil.' "#1 Tim. 6:10That's true. You get your mind on the things of the world and you lose the Spirit of the Lord in your work. It isn't money that He's talking about, it's the love of money, it's the covetousness, it's the greed, it's the desire to have more than you need which becomes the root of all evil. I hope you'll remember that all the days of your life." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 708 - 709.)
Dallin H. Oaks
"There is nothing inherently evil about money. The Good Samaritan used the same coinage to serve his fellowman that Judas used to betray the Master. It is 'the love of money [which] is the root of all evil.' (1 Tim. 6:10; italics added.) The critical difference is the degree of spirituality we exercise in viewing, evaluating, and managing the things of this world and our experiences in it.
"If allowed to become an object of worship or priority, money can make us selfish and prideful, 'puffed up in the vain things of the world.' (Alma 5:37.) In contrast, if used for fulfilling our legal obligations and for paying our tithes and offerings, money can demonstrate integrity and develop unselfishness." ("Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1985, 63)
Heber J. Grant
"The great criterion of success in the world is that men can make money, but I want to say to you Latter-day Saints that to do this is not true success. . . .What is the matter? Why, the appetite for money grows upon a man, increases and strengthens unless he is careful, just as much as the appetite for whiskey, and it gets possession of him, and he loves the money instead of loving it only for the good that he can do with it. He does not estimate properly the value of things. (CR, October 1911, p. 23-24.)" (Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 1: 61)
Gordon B. Hinckley
"I think of a friend. He was, and I still think he is, a good man. He had a good home and a good family, and plenty to take care of his needs and the needs of his family. But he became consumed by a yearning for yet greater riches. I think he also was sincere in his desire to help his friends get more. One thing led to another, until when a drop in the economy occurred, he found himself in a trap from which he could not extricate himself. Those who wanted him to make them rich, and who initially professed love for him and admiration for his acumen, have become his violent and hateful accusers. I think it was not the money itself which destroyed them. They could live without it. It was the love for money which took hold of them and drove them until they found themselves in difficulty and failure. (University of Utah Institute of Religion Fireside, May 21, 1989.)
"I wish every one of you might have some of the good things of life, but I hope your desire will not come of covetousness, which is an evil and gnawing disease. (University of Utah Institute of Religion Fireside, May 21, 1989.)
"Let not selfishness canker your relationship. Let not covetousness destroy your happiness. Let not greed, for that which you do not need and cannot get with honesty and integrity, bring you down to ruin and despair. (University of Utah Institute of Religion Fireside, May 21, 1989.)" (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 252.)
Spencer W. Kimball
"Book of Mormon history eloquently reveals the corrosive effect of the passion for wealth. Each time the people became righteous, they prospered. Then followed the transition from prosperity to wealth, wealth to the love of wealth, then to the love of ease and luxury. They moved then into spiritual inactivity, then to gross sin and wickedness, then on to near destruction by their enemies. This caused them to repent, which brought back righteousness, then prosperity, and the cycle had begun all over again.
"Had the people used their wealth for good purposes they could have enjoyed a continuing prosperity. But they seemed unable for a sustained period to be simultaneously wealthy and righteous. For a limited time some people can 'hold the line,' but they deteriorate spiritually when money is abundant." (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 47-48)
1 Timothy 6:10 while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows
Gordon B. Hinckley
"It is when greed takes over, when we covet that which others have, that our affliction begins. And it can be a very sore and painful affliction.
"'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.' We all need shelter. We all need a roof over our heads with warmth in the winter and a measure of comfort in the summer. This is not evil. It is important. But when we go to wild excess, as some are prone to do, our folly can become as a trap to destroy us.
"Thou shalt not covet the kind of clothes and jewels thy neighbor wears. Oh, what slaves we become to fashion. It can be a possessive and monstrous thing. It can destroy individuality and resourcefulness. It seems that most of us want to look alike, to live in the same circumstances, rather than give some play to our own individuality.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's car. The modern automobile is a wonderful machine. It is almost indispensable in the society in which we live and work. But when I see persons borrowing heavily to buy cars with exorbitant prices, I wonder what has happened to our values.
"It is so with boats and other fancy toys. When one family in the neighborhood gets a boat, others think they need one. To satisfy our desires, we go into debt, dissipate our resources in the payment of high interest, and become as slaves working to pay it off. Please do not misunderstand me. I repeat that I wish everyone might have some of the good things of life, but I hope our desire will not come of covetousness, which is an evil and gnawing disease. I think of many of our younger single and married members; I hope that you will be modest in your physical wants. You do not need everything that you might wish. And the very struggle of your younger years will bring a sweetness and security to your later life.
"In 1831, the Lord spoke to the Saints in Ohio. His words are applicable to us today: 'Now, I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness; they also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness.' (D&C 68:31.)" ("Thou Shalt Not Covet," Ensign, Mar. 1990, 4)
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life
Bruce R. McConkie
"'Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.' (1 Tim. 6:11-12.) So wrote our fellow apostle to those who had accepted the Son of God...And so say we to all those today who have in like manner taken upon themselves the name of Christ and enlisted in the cause of truth and righteousness: Be valiant. Fight a good fight. Stand true. Keep the commandments. Overcome the world.
"Speaking of himself and the great warfare with the world which he had won, Paul said:
'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.' (2 Tim. 4:7-8.)
"As members of the Church, we are engaged in a mighty conflict. We are at war. We have enlisted in the cause of Christ to fight against Lucifer and all that is lustful and carnal and evil in the world. We have sworn to fight alongside our friends and against our enemies, and we must not be confused in distinguishing friends from foes. As another of our ancient fellow apostles wrote: 'Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.' (James 4:4.)
"The great war that rages on every side and which unfortunately is resulting in many casualties, some fatal, is no new thing. There was war even in heaven, when the forces of evil sought to destroy the agency of man, and when Lucifer sought to lead us away from the path of progression and advancement established by an all-wise Father.
"That war is continuing on earth, and the devil is still wroth with the Church and goes forth 'to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.' (Rev. 12:17.)
"And it is now as it has always been. The Saints can only overcome him and his forces 'by the blood of the Lamb, ... by the word of their testimony,' and if they love 'not their lives unto the death.' (Rev. 12:11.)
"Now there neither are nor can be any neutrals in this war. Every member of the Church is on one side or the other...We are either for the Church or we are against it. We either take its part or we take the consequences. We cannot survive spiritually with one foot in the Church and the other in the world. We must make the choice. It is either the Church or the world. There is no middle ground. And the Lord loves a courageous man who fights openly and boldly in his army." ("Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith," Ensign, Nov. 1974, 33-34)
1 Timothy 6:16 the light which no man can approach
The reader is referred to the Joseph Smith Translation for verse 16, but for a moment, let's consider the text as it reads. Both Joseph Smith and Paul approached the light which 'no man can approach.' Think of how Joseph Smith described this glory-as a light which was 'above the brightness of the sun' (JS-Hist. 1:16). Can you look directly at the sun at noonday? Not without damaging your eyes. If God's glory exceeds that light then certainly the human retina would melt in God's presence. Mortal eyes cannot endure such glory, as Moses declared, 'mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence' (Moses 1:11).
Paul had a special, first-hand experience with this concept. Lacking the spiritual purity that would protect him from such a manifestation, Saul was on the road to Damascus when he was overcome by the light of the Lord (Acts 9:3). What happened to him? He was blinded for three days-only receiving sight after a priesthood blessing (Acts 9:9-18). Paul later declared, 'I could not see for the glory of that light' (Acts 22:11). Truly, without the process of transfiguration, the glory of God cannot be endured, neither can man approach the glorious light, nor can he see God with his own eyes.
1 Timothy 6:17-18 Charge them that are rich...That they do good, that they be rich in good works
Franklin D. Richards
"...every man who has property and means should live so as to obtain wisdom to know how to use them in the best possible way to produce the greatest amount of good for himself, for his family, for his fellowmen, and for the kingdom of God.
"Again quoting from President Young: 'When this people are prepared to properly use the riches of this world for the building up of the Kingdom of God, He is ready and willing to bestow them upon us. I like to see men get rich by their industry, prudence, management and economy, and then devote it to the building up of the Kingdom of God upon the earth." (JD, vol. 2, pp. 114-15.)
"Andrew Carnegie, one of this country's great philanthropists, stated his attitude toward wealth as follows: 'This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: First, to set an example of modesty, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community-the man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee and agent for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.' (The Gospel of Wealth.)
"With this philosophy of wealth in mind, one might properly say, 'What I am worth is what I am doing for other people.'
"In many respects the real test of a man is his attitude toward his earthly possessions." ("The Law of Abundance," Ensign, June 1971, 46)
1 Timothy 6:20 oppositions of science falsely so called
Bruce R. McConkie
"Is there a conflict between science and religion? The answer to this basic query depends entirely upon what is meant by and accepted as science and as religion. It is common to say there is no such conflict, meaning between true science and true religion-for one truth never conflicts with another, no matter what fields or categories the truths are put in for purposes of study. But there most certainly is a conflict between science and religion, if by science is meant (for instance) the theoretical guesses and postulates of some organic evolutionists, or if by religion is meant the false creeds and dogmas of the sectarian and pagan worlds. 'Oppositions of science falsely so called' were causing people to err 'concerning the faith' even in the days of Paul. (1 Tim. 6:20-21.)
"There is, of course, no conflict between revealed religion as it has been restored in our day and those scientific realities which have been established as ultimate truth. The mental quagmires in which many students struggle result from the acceptance of unproven scientific theories as ultimate facts, which brings the student to the necessity of rejecting conflicting truths of revealed religion. If, for example, a student accepts the untrue theory that death has been present on the earth for scores of thousands or millions of years, he must reject the revealed truth that there was no death either for man or animals or plants or any form of life until some 6000 years ago when Adam fell.
"As a matter of fact, from the eternal perspective, true science is part of the gospel itself; in its broadest signification the gospel embraces all truth. When the full blessings of the millennium are poured out upon the earth and its inhabitants, pseudo-science and pseudo-religion will be swept aside, and all supposed conflicts between science and religion will vanish away." (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 681.)