1 Peter 3:1 wives, be in subjection to your own husbands
"The wife is to obey her husband in righteousness, which I believe includes her righteousness, for she is not to be his judge. If she attempts to be his judge and to obey whatever suits her fancy, withdrawing her support or obedience when she disagrees, or if she competes with him for leadership and direction, the patriarchal concept will be distorted. If she 'punishes him' in one way or another when he's 'off base' in her eyes, her husband could likely feel that he has atoned and no longer has to change or repent. The wife is called to love and to sustain the husband, and I believe nothing will do more to encourage and chasten him in his own stewardship than consistent acceptance, unconditional love, and steadfast sustaining. If he is absolutely unworthy, or consistently makes unrighteous demands, then she might counsel with the steward over him, the bishop, but she is not to be his judge and punisher. (quotes Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 3:1-6)
"Children are to obey and honor their parents. Children first need examples or models to follow. They need understanding and respect; they need clear limits, well-established rules, and consistently applied discipline. They need explicit teaching and testifying; they need order, system, and regularity; they need work and responsibility and opportunities to give an accounting; they need time for fun, free expression, and good humor.
"I have come to believe from my own experience, as well as my observations of others, that children tend not to obey their parents when the father does not in truth or in deed obey the Lord, or when the wife does not in truth or in deed obey her husband, or when the parents do not have this vision of the patriarchal family concept and at least a deep commitment to their parenthood responsibility." (Stephen R. Covey, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970], 189.)
N. Eldon Tanner
I often wonder if women realize what it means to a husband to have a loving wife encourage him and express confidence in him. ... A mother must realize that every word she speaks, every act, every response, and every mood-even her appearance and dress-affects the lives of the children and the whole family. ("News of the Church," Ensign, July 1980)
JST 1 Peter 3:1 that, if any obey not the word, they also may... be won by the conduct of the wives
Gordon B. Hinckley
We cannot hope to influence others in the direction of virtue unless we live lives of virtue. The example of our living will carry a greater influence than will all the preaching in which we might indulge. We cannot expect to lift others unless we stand on higher ground ourselves. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 182.)
George Albert Smith
Let us who have accepted the gospel of our Lord evidence our knowledge of its truth, let us demonstrate our assurance of its power and set such an example before all the world that our Father's other children, whom he loves as much as he loves us, may desire not only to search the old scriptures but to read the new scriptures and listen to the voice of his servants who today are in different parts of the world calling all men to repentance, with the promise that if they will repent and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed by him in former days and in this latter day, all-not just a few-but all may be exalted in his celestial kingdom and obtain glory, immortality and eternal life. (The Teachings of George Albert Smith, edited by Robert McIntosh and Susan McIntosh [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 157.)
1 Peter 3:3-4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning... But let it be the hidden... ornament of a meek and quiet spirit
"For there are two sides to human beauty: the inside and the outside. Each is a study in itself. Each reflects, to an extent, the nature of the other. Dress, makeup, carriage, and so forth, are by no means all-conclusive in conveying true impressions of personality, but our inner thoughts and emotions are indelibly recorded on our countenances for all to interpret.
"Every author who has written about beauty has recognized the 'inside secret' of 'outside finish,' so when we start to map our 'blue-print for beauty' we must first of all recognize the great secret of all charm and loveliness-the 'light within.' It is the wholesome habit of right thinking which is the whole foundation of beautiful living. 'The cleverest makeup in the world cannot hide the effect of negative, destructive thoughts,' actress Janet Gaynor once said. And she was right. No one can be beautiful on the outside and vicious and ugly on the inside. And so it follows that no girl can learn correct posture, graceful carriage, clothes sense, clever makeup, or any other attributes which are pleasing to the eye, until she first has within herself a vision of loveliness-a picture of what she wants to become-and the self-assurance that with hard work she can realize her ideal; not cross the finish line, for there is none: we do not attain perfection; we grow in it.
"We cannot begin too young to blueprint our beauty plan. 'The clever girl,' says one authority, 'is one who, quite early in the game, sits down and looks herself over, checks up on her points, good and bad, and decides not only where she'd like to go, but also how good a chance she has of getting there.' Regardless of the present, the future can be better. It is neither too late nor too early to be beautiful!
"We Latter-day Saints are richly endowed with a concept of beauty which is fundamental in our training from childhood. How grateful we should be! The difficult problem of training our thinking [is] to invite all that is beautiful and reject all that is ugly." (Blueprint for Beauty, Improvement Era, 1950, Vol. Liii. January, 1950. No. 1.)
1 Peter 3:7 ye husbands dwell with them... giving honour unto the wife
Russell M. Nelson
As fathers we should have love unbounded for the mothers of our children. We should accord to them the gratitude, respect, and praise that they deserve. Husbands, to keep alive the spirit of romance in your marriage, be considerate and kind in the tender intimacies of your married life. Let your thoughts and actions inspire confidence and trust. Let your words be wholesome and your time together be uplifting. Let nothing in life take priority over your wife-neither work, recreation, nor hobby.
An ideal marriage is a true partnership between two imperfect people, each striving to complement the other, to keep the commandments, and to do the will of the Lord. ("Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women," Ensign, May 1999, 39)
Howard W. Hunter
A man who holds the priesthood has reverence for motherhood. Mothers are given a sacred privilege to "bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of [the] Father continued, that he may be glorified" (D&C 132:63).
The First Presidency has said: "Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind" (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75, 6:178). The priesthood cannot work out its destiny, nor can God's purposes be fulfilled, without our helpmates. Mothers perform a labor the priesthood cannot do. For this gift of life, the priesthood should have love unbounded for the mothers of their children.
Honor your wife's unique and divinely appointed role as a mother in Israel and her special capacity to bear and nurture children. We are under divine commandment to multiply and replenish the earth and to bring up our children and grandchildren in light and truth (see Moses 2:28; D&C 93:40). You share, as a loving partner, the care of the children. Help her to manage and keep up your home. Help teach, train, and discipline your children.
You should express regularly to your wife and children your reverence and respect for her. Indeed, one of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
A man who holds the priesthood regards the family as ordained of God. Your leadership of the family is your most important and sacred responsibility. The family is the most important unit in time and in eternity and, as such, transcends every other interest in life. ("Being a Righteous Husband and Father," Ensign, Nov. 1994, 50)
1 Peter 3:7 heirs together of the grace of life
Bruce R. McConkie
In the true Patriarchal Order man holds the priesthood and is the head of the household of faith, but he cannot attain a fulness of joy here or of eternal reward hereafter alone. Woman stands at his side a joint-inheritor with him in the fulness of all things. Exaltation and eternal increase is her lot as well as his. (D&C 131:1-4.) Godhood is not for men only; it is for men and women together. (D&C 132:19-20.) (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 844.)
Delbert L. Stapley
Having perfect knowledge through ancient and modern revelation concerning the eternity of the marriage relationship, we can understand how husband and wife are heirs together of the grace of life. We also know that individually and separately they cannot attain to the highest glory in the celestial kingdom. No man holding the Holy Priesthood can cast it aside and then wear it as desired and expect to have his bestowed blessings ratified and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. (Conference Report, April 1957, Afternoon Meeting 75.)
1 Peter 3:8 be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another... be courteous
"It is often easier to show respect and tolerance to acquaintances-or even strangers-than to those who are closest to us. When we are tired, ill, or under stress, do we still speak kindly to a disobedient child, a thoughtless spouse, or an angry roommate? The Apostle Peter counseled, 'Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another ... be courteous.' (1 Pet. 3:8.)
"Respect and tolerance go hand-in-hand with reverence for life itself. We should honor and respect all God's children, as well as his creations. If we remember who we are and act accordingly, we can learn to have charity, which, the Apostle Paul said, 'doth not behave itself unseemly' (see 1 Cor. 13:4-5), and which will enable us to love others as the Savior loves us. ("Charity Doth Not Behave Itself Unseemly," Ensign, Apr. 1988, 71)
1 Peter 3:10 let him refrain... his lips that they speak no guile
Joseph B. Wirthlin
In the New Testament, we learn that the Savior was without guile (see 1 Peter 2:22) and that "he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile" (1 Peter 3:10)... To be without guile is to be pure in heart, an essential virtue of those who would be counted among true followers of Christ. He taught in the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8; see also 3 Nephi 12:8.) He revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that Zion is the pure in heart (see D&C 97:21), and that a house is to be built in Zion in which the pure in heart shall see God (see D&C 97:10-16).
If we are without guile, we are honest, true, and righteous. These are all attributes of Deity and are required of the Saints. Those who are honest are fair and truthful in their speech, straightforward in their dealings, free of deceit, and above stealing, misrepresentation, or any other fraudulent action. Honesty is of God; dishonesty of the devil, who was a liar from the beginning. Righteousness means living a life that is in harmony with the laws, principles, and ordinances of the gospel.
As parents know, little children are, by their nature, guileless. They speak the thoughts of their minds without reservation or hesitation. They do not deceive. They set an example of being without guile. (Finding Peace in Our Lives [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 180-182.)
1 Peter 3:10-12 he that will love life, and see good days
Peter quotes Psalms 34:12-16:
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
1 Peter 3:14 if ye suffer for righteousness'sake, happy are ye
Harold B. Lee
"To be persecuted for righteousness' sake in a great cause where truth and virtue and honor are at stake is God-like. Always there have been martyrs to every great cause. The great harm that may come from persecution is not from the persecution itself but from the possible effect it may have upon the persecuted who may thereby be deterred in their zeal for the righteousness of their cause. Much of that persecution comes from lack of understanding, for men are prone to oppose that which they do not comprehend. Some of it comes from men intent upon evil. But from whatever cause, persecution seems to be so universal against those engaged in a righteous cause that the Master warns us, 'Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.' (Luke 6:26.)
"May youth everywhere remember that warning when you are hissed and scoffed at because you refuse to compromise your standards of abstinence, honesty, and morality in order to win the applause of the crowd. If you stand firmly for the right, despite the jeers of the crowd or even physical violence, you shall be crowned with the blessedness of eternal joy. Who knows but that again in our day some of the saints or even apostles, as in former days, may be required to give their lives in defense of the truth. If that time should come, God grant they will not fail." (Stand Ye In Holy Places, p. 348)
1 Peter 3:15 be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you
Thomas S. Monson
Many years ago I boarded a plane in San Francisco en route to Los Angeles. As I sat down, the seat next to mine was empty. Soon, however, there occupied that seat a most lovely young lady. As the plane became airborne, I noticed that she was reading a book. As one is wont to do, I glanced at the title: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. I mustered up my courage and said to her, "Excuse me. You must be a Mormon."
She replied, "Oh, no. Why do you ask?"
I said, "Well, you're reading a book written by LeGrand Richards, a very prominent leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
She responded, "Is that right? A friend gave this book to me, but I don't know much about it. However, it has aroused my curiosity."
I wondered silently, Should I be forward and say more about the Church? The words of the Apostle Peter crossed my mind: "Be ready always to give an answer to every [one] that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." I decided that now was the time for me to share my testimony with her. I told her that it had been my privilege years before to assist Elder Richards in printing that book. I mentioned the great missionary spirit of this man and told her of the many thousands of people who had embraced the truth after reading that which he had prepared. Then it was my privilege, during the remainder of the flight, to answer her questions relative to the Church-intelligent questions which came from the heart, which I perceived was a heart seeking truth. I asked if I might have an opportunity to have the missionaries call upon her. I asked if she would like to attend one of our wards in San Francisco, where she lived. Her answers were affirmative. She gave me her name-Yvonne Ramirez-and indicated that she was a flight attendant on her way to an assignment.
Upon returning home I wrote to the mission president and the stake president, advising them of my conversation and that I had written to her and sent along some suggested reading. Incidentally, young men, I recommended that rather than sending two elders to this pretty off-duty flight attendant and her pretty roommate, two lady missionaries be assigned to call.
Several months passed by. Then I received a telephone call from the stake president, who asked, "Brother Monson, do you remember sitting next to a flight attendant on a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles earlier this fall?" I answered affirmatively. He continued, "I thought you would like to know that Yvonne Ramirez has just become the most recently baptized and confirmed member of the Church. She would like to speak with you."
A sweet voice came on the line: "Brother Monson, thank you for sharing with me your testimony. I am the happiest person in all the world."
As tears filled my eyes and gratitude to God enlarged my soul, I thanked her and commended her on her search for truth and, having found it, her decision to enter those waters which cleanse and purify and provide entrance to eternal life.
I sat silently for a few minutes after replacing the telephone receiver. The words of our Savior coursed through my mind: "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)
Such is the promise to all of us when we pursue our missionary opportunities and follow the counsel and obey the commandments of Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior and our King. ("That All May Hear," Ensign, May 1995, 50)
1 Peter 3:17 it is better, if... ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing
Most of us have a hard time accepting criticism. Taking blame when blame must be taken is a difficult pill to swallow. It takes a lot of humility and patience to gracefully handle such accusations. Solomon makes it sound easy when he says "rebuke a wise man and he will love thee," and "reproof entereth more into a wise man than a hundred stripes into a fool." (Prov. 9:8; 17:10)
Step one for the saints is to learn how to graciously accept criticism when it is deserved. As Elder Maxwell stated, "Chastisment... is usually a major challenge for our egos." Step two is much harder. Justice teaches us that we shouldn't have to suffer for well doing. While God doesn't punish us for doing good, the world sometimes will. We find it particularly difficult when the purity of our motives is questioned. Elder Maxwell reminds us, "enduring the indignity of being wronged for being right is yet another irony. Being misunderstood even when engaged in well-doing is part of it, too..." (We Will Prove Them Herewith, 117-118.) The good Samaritan who helps a crime victim only to be accused of the crime, the doctor who is sued by a patient whose life he has saved, the missionary who is rejected and railed upon for teaching the gospel of Christ-these are the hardest to take. Yet Peter is teaching us that there is a greater reward in enduring such ironies. Certainly, the Lord knows what it is like to suffer for doing good. The Master never suffered for His mistakes; He suffered for ours, "the just for the unjust" (v. 18)
Neal A. Maxwell
As we endure a tiny fraction of what He endured, we come to know the "fellowship of his sufferings." (Philippians 3:10.) It is the most exclusive fraternity, and the dues are high. (We Will Prove Them Herewith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 117-118.)
1 Peter 3:19 By [the Spirit] also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison
No commentary on this scripture could ever compare to section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants. That section is a glorious vision which explains this passage perfectly. How great it would be if we had more scriptures about scriptures-more revelation on revelation!
President Joseph F. Smith was wondering how the Savior could perform such a work in such a short time (D&C 138:28). The answer was that the Lord didn't go in person to preach to all those spirits but "organized his forces and appointed messengers" (D&C 138:30). This answer doesn't only solve the practical problem; it teaches another important principle. The spirits in prison were not worthy of a direct visitation of the Lord. The resurrected Lord never appeared to the wicked. He didn't go back to the Sanhedrin and said, "See! I told you so." He only appeared to the righteous Jewish saints as a resurrected being. Similarly, the wicked Nephites were destroyed before he could openly minister on that continent.
Therefore, it would be inconsistent for the Master, after having accomplished the task given Him of the Father, to appear directly to the wicked. Just as the Gentiles were to be converted by the preaching of missionaries, so were the residents of spirit prison. The Savior said, "they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice-that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost." (3 Ne. 15:23) Similarly, the souls in spirit prison should not at any time hear His voice-that he should not manifest Himself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. Unto them "he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression" (D&C 138:37.) In light of this, we need to take a careful look at Peter's exact wording. He said that Christ was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. By which [Spirit]... he went and preached unto the spirits in prison." Christ's ministry was not in person but by the Spirit through his missionaries who were "clothed with power and authority... to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness." (D&C 138:30)
1 Peter 3:19-20 the spirits in prison; Which... were disobedient... in the days of Noah
Peter makes his remarks regarding spirit prison in passing-obviously because the concept of a vicarious work was familiar to his readers. Although lost over the centuries, the principle was so well understood that the Apostle did not need to spend time explaining it. This passage has been of great value to missionaries teaching the doctrine of a vicarious work to investigators who are skeptical of LDS practices.
Interestingly, Peter refers to the wicked (and righteous) of Noah's day. He isn't talking about those who didn't have the opportunity to hear the gospel. He isn't talking about those who would have received the gospel if they had the opportunity. He is talking about a people who rejected the message of a prophet so great that he would be called Gabriel-the one chosen to declare the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. These were so wicked that the Lord was justified in drowning them and their sins.
Yet even for these seemingly lost souls, the Lord has a plan of redemption. He does not want them to suffer for eternity. They will be saved from death and hell. "The dead who repent will be redeemed... after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, [they] shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation." (D&C 138:58-59)
"Modern revelation teaches that God indeed suffered great sorrow over the Flood, which served as the baptism of the earth, and that he did all he could to prevent the destruction of his children-including giving the people one of his greatest preachers of righteousness to try to get them to change-and then, when the people failed to respond, he mercifully provided an opportunity for their redemption after their deaths." (Joseph B. Romney, "Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness," Ensign, Feb. 1998, 27)
Harold B. Lee
The gates of hell would have prevailed if the gospel had not been taught to the spirits in prison and to those who had not had ample opportunity to receive the gospel here in its fulness. It would have prevailed if there was not a vicarious work for the dead. (Conference Report, Apr. 1953, pp. 26-28.)
Joseph F. Smith
Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission. We will not finish our work until we have saved ourselves, and then not until we shall have saved all depending upon us; for we are to become saviors upon Mount Zion, as well as Christ. We are called to this mission. The dead are not perfect without us, neither are we without them. We have a mission to perform for and in their behalf; we have a certain work to do in order to liberate those who, because of their ignorance and the unfavorable circumstances in which they were placed while here, are unprepared for eternal life; we have to open the door for them, by performing ordinances which they cannot perform for themselves, and which are essential to their release from the "prison-house," to come forth and live according to God in the spirit, and be judged according to men in the flesh.
The Prophet Joseph Smith has said that this is one of the most important duties that devolves upon the Latter-day Saints. (Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, compiled by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], 442.)
1 Peter 3:20-21 while... eight souls were saved by water... even baptism doth also now save us
"With the Flood, the earth received its baptism, the water being used as a cleansing agent to restore the earth from its degraded condition. Jesus taught that humankind must also be immersed in water to be restored or saved from their degenerate conditions. 'I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' (John 3:5.)
"Peter pursued the comparison of the Flood with individual immersion for removal of sin: ' . . . in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God).' (1 Pet. 3:20-21.) The physical properties of water are not meant to cleanse the soul, but the symbolic act of submission, of lowering oneself into the water, shows contrition and a desire to be cleansed from sin. The immersion, accompanied by genuine repentance, accomplishes the cleansing." (D. Kelly Ogden, Where Jesus Walked: The Land and Culture of New Testament Times [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 52.)