Galatians 5

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free

"The apostle Paul reminded the Galatians: 'Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.' (Gal. 5:1Gal. 5:1.)

"And Nephi pleaded with his brethren: 'O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep . . . and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.' (2 Ne. 1:13.)

"President Gordon B. Hinckley has counseled against surrendering to sin: 'Today there are persons numbered in the millions, who, in a search for freedom from moral restraint and peace from submerged conscience, have opened a floodgate of practices that enslave and debauch. These practices, if left unchecked, will not only destroy these individuals but also the nations of which they are a part. . . . Nations and civilizations have flowered, then died, poisoned by their own moral sickness. As one commentator has remarked, Rome perished before the Goths poured over its walls. But it was not that the walls were low. It was that Rome itself was low.' (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, pp 380-382.)

"If we yield to sin, we are, in effect condemning not just ourselves but our communities and our countries. We may think we are merely 'exercising our agency' when we choose not to follow the Lord's commandments, but in reality we are worshiping the devil and giving him veto power over our souls." (The Spirit of Freedom, LDS Church News, 1998, 07/04/98)

Galatians 5:1 be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage

Gordon B. Hinckley

"To the Galatian Saints Paul wrote these stirring words: 'Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.' (Gal. 5:1.)

"I thought I witnessed something of this bondage recently while riding in the lounge of a crowded plane with three other men.

"As the jet began the fast climb to its assigned altitude, I noticed that the man across the table had his eyes fixed intently on the 'No Smoking' sign. The instant it went off, he reached for his cigarettes. As he began smoking, the man next to me became nervous. He clenched and opened his fists, looked out the window, turned to look at the man across the table, and his face reddened. The air was a little bumpy. I thought he might have been frightened. I took a closer look. He was a man of good physique, well-dressed immaculately groomed. He did not look the kind who would be frightened by a little bumpy air.

"Then the fourth member of our quartet took a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He offered me one, and I declined. He then offered my seat companion one, and he replied, 'I'm trying to quit, and it's nearly killing me.'

"I had started a conversation.

"The first man to light up told how he had resolved to quit after hearing in January 1964 the report of the Surgeon General of the United States. He recounted a tale of agonizing days and sleepless nights and of a final surrender to a habit that had held him for many years. He placed his cigarette between his lips, inhaled long and deeply, then lowered his head as the smoke drifted slowly from his lips and nostrils 'I couldn't lick it,' he said with an evident air of defeat.

"The next smoker took up the conversation. 'I almost quit. I'd been burning two packs a day. I thought I could taper off. I cut down to one cigarette after each cup of coffee. That was my formula. It lasted for a time but I found myself drinking too much coffee. Now I'm back to a pack a day.'

"He had the manner of an educated man. He held in his hands a business journal. He said that the report of the Surgeon General had frightened him also, but then he had read counteracting statements. Perhaps, he concluded, the relationship between cigarette smoking and cancer is only coincidental the disease could just as likely come from the exhaust fumes we breathe. Then with an impulsive display of self-mastery, he crumpled his half-smoked cigarette into the ash tray, snapped shut the lid, and commented, 'Just the same, I wish I could quit.'

"My seat companion then spoke: 'I'm convinced there's some truth in what I've seen and read on the subject. We take the government's word for an awful lot these days, conclusions based on less convincing evidence than this I don't believe you can deny the facts. There is a hazard in smoking. But I'm having a terrible fight. I never dreamed a habit could be so tough to break.

"One of them looked at me. 'What about you?' he asked.

"I replied: 'I've never used them.'

"'How lucky can you be!' was his response. Without wishing in any way to appear self-righteous, I thought the same thing-'How lucky can I be!' And I thought of a day long ago when as a boy I sat in this Tabernacle and heard President Heber J. Grant speak with moving conviction on the 'Little White Slaver,' as he bore eloquent testimony of the Word of Wisdom as a divine law. I was greatly impressed that day, and that impression gave me resolution.

"Who could question the bondage in which these men found themselves? Our conversation indicated that all three were educated, able men who made important decisions every day. But in a matter admittedly affecting their own lives and health, two already had conceded defeat, and the third was fighting a terrible battle, the victim of a habit that would not let him go." (Conference Report, April 1965, Afternoon Meeting 76.)

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law

"As Paul points out, trying to keep the commandments is a long way from actually keeping them. According to him, anyone stupid enough to trust his own ability to keep all the rules makes the atonement of Christ ineffectual in his own life. (See Gal. 5:4.) Moreover, anyone who wants to trust entirely in his own righteousness needs to be reminded that righteousness through law requires perfect performance...Paul points out that any claim to righteousness based on one's own efforts to keep the commandments requires a perfect record. One slip and you are no longer perfect, you have become a sinner-and in this sense we are all sinners." (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 40.)

Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision

Bruce R. McConkie

"Mormon received this revelation: '... the law of circumcision is done away in me.' (Moro. 8:8.) The disciples in the Old World received a similar revelation and with the approval of the Holy Ghost discontinued the practice of circumcision, rejecting the doctrine of those who claimed that circumcision was still essential to salvation. (Acts 15.) Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, of necessity had to write and teach much about circumcision so that his converts would understand that it was done away in Christ." (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., pp. 142-144.)

Galatians 5:11 Paul Paraphrased

"If my message was that you should be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, then I wouldn't have to suffer so much persecution. My message is offensive because I preach instead the atonement of Christ."

Galatians 5:13 use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh

The truth of the gospel provides freedom from the burdens of sin. On occasion, this liberty is abused by those who know that they can be forgiven. In a pre-meditated fashion, they concede to commit sin knowing that they can always repent later. Paul calls this taking 'liberty for an occasion to the flesh.' Such is the damnable lie with which Satan deceives the youth of the Church. He declares, "You're young! You will have plenty of time to repent later. Enjoy yourself now while you can!"

Carlos E. Asay

"Occasionally, I hear of some young people who rejoice when they leave home for the first time and who feel inclined to experiment with worldly influences once they are beyond the sight of parents or other authority figures. They regard their 'freedom' as license to stretch the commandments, test the waters of sin, and engage in questionable practices. Usually, those who use 'liberty for an occasion to the flesh' do so thinking, I will only do it once or twice, and I can repent later. Such misled people, however, fail to recognize the binding nature of drugs, other stimulants, and undesirable habits. They forget that fire from any source burns or destroys and leaves ugly and sometimes irreparable scars." (In the Lord's Service: A Guide to Spiritual Development [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 51.)

M. Russell Ballard

"You must be honest with yourself and remain true to the covenants you have made with God. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you can sin a little and it will not matter. Remember, 'the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.' (D&C 1:31.) Some young men and women in the Church talk openly about sexual transgression. They seem to forget that the Lord forbids all sexual relations before marriage, including petting, sex perversion of any kind, or preoccupation with sex in thought, speech, or action. Some youth foolishly rationalize that it is 'no big deal' to sin now because they can always repent later when they want to go to the temple or on a mission. Anyone who does that is breaking promises made to God both in the premortal life and in the waters of baptism. The idea of sinning a little is self-deception. Sin is sin! Sin weakens you spiritually, and it always places the sinner at eternal risk. Choosing to sin, even with the intent to repent, is simply turning away from God and violating covenants." ("Keeping Covenants," Ensign, May 1993, 7)

Galatians 5:13 by love serve one another

Heber J. Grant

"I have been impressed with the fact that there is a spirit growing in the world today to avoid giving service, an unwillingness to give value received, to try to see how little we can do and how much we can get for doing it. This is all wrong. Our spirit and aim should be to do all we possibly can, in a given length of time, for the benefit of those who employ us and for the benefit of those with whom we are associated." (Gospel Standards: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, compiled by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1981], 184.)

Ezra Taft Benson

"Do we find it a burden to give of our time to others? Did Christ not heal all those who were brought to Him, even though many a day and a night it seemed the whole city was gathered around Him? Are we sometimes asked to do for others what may seem to be beneath us, or what is tiresome and monotonous? Was not the Son of God born in a stable? Did He not make Himself a servant, even to washing the feet of His disciples, saying to them, 'The servant is not greater than his Lord?' (John 13:16.) Love one another. Serve your fellowman. The example has been given you." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 448.)

Harold B. Lee

"To love God we must serve His children... I feel I would like to bear my testimony to you through an experience I had. Only four weeks ago, along in the early morning hours, I was given a glorious dream. In that dream it seemed that I was in the company of brethren being instructed by the President of the Church, and while there were others there, it seemed that everything he was saying was just for me. And if you have ever been in the presence of President [David O.] McKay when he was instructing you, it would be easy to understand the intensity with which he impressed upon me a great truth. That dream came back to me, today-came back to me with a vividness that was overwhelming, for this was the message: 'If you want to learn to love God, you must learn to love his children and to love serving his children. No person loves God unless he loves service and unless he loves our Heavenly Father's children.'

"And then it seemed that after the President had taught that lesson which impressed itself so forcibly upon my mind, he said, 'Brethren, let us kneel in prayer.' And I awoke after he had prayed, with the most heavenly feeling that I think I have ever had, wondering if I could continue until I could reach the high standard of love for service and love for the children of the Lord that had [been] impressed [upon me] in that dream." (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 178.)

Galatians 5:14 the law is fulfilled in one word...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

Howard W. Hunter

"I suggest to you that the Lord has prepared a touchstone for you and me, an outward measurement of inward discipleship that marks our faithfulness and will survive the fires yet to come. ...

"The answer of Jesus to the lawyer might be considered as the Lord's touchstone. He said on another occasion, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matt. 25:40). He will measure our devotion to him by how we love and serve our fellowmen. What kind of mark are we leaving on the Lord's touchstone? Are we truly good neighbors? Does the test show us to be 24-karat gold, or can the trace of fool's gold be detected?

"... We need to remember that though we make our friends, God has made our neighbors-everywhere. Love should have no boundary; we should have no narrow loyalties" ("Following the Master: Teachings of President Howard W. Hunter," Ensign, Apr. 1995, 23)

Galatians 5:19 the works of the flesh

Carlos E. Asay

"Today the dealers of pornography, sex, alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, and other forms of vice hate the souls of youth but love their money and resources. Such despisers of youth would make slaves of the young by drowning them in the addictive works of the flesh. So they raise their voices high and seek to entice young people to get lost down strange roads with dead ends. Their contempt for you is evidenced in the trail of broken hearts, broken promises, and broken health (physical and spiritual) they leave behind." (The Road to Somewhere: A Guide for Young Men and Women [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 127.)

Galatians 5:20 what are variances and emulations?

Bruce R. McConkie

"Variance: Disagreement on gospel principles; dissension and discord in the Church; unwarranted differences of opinions about the law of the Lord. Emulations: Envious rivalries born of jealousy and worldly ambitions." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2: 483.)

Galatians 5:21 they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God

Spencer W. Kimball

"Many people who have sinned grievously have been terrified at this statement of Paul's. ...President Joseph Fielding Smith, writing in the Improvement Era, made this comment: 'No unrepentant person who remains in his sins will ever enter into the glories of the celestial kingdom.' This statement is consistent with all we read in the scriptures on the subject, which is perhaps summed up in Alma's words: '... for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain ...' (Al. 5:21.)" (Miracle of Forgiveness, chap. 22)

Bruce R. McConkie

"True it is that sinners cannot be saved in their sins, but He who came to cleanse men from their sins will yet receive all who repent and come unto him. According to the holy word, 'the works of the flesh' are 'adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.' These works cover the earth today. With reference to them, the scripture says: 'They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.' (Gal. 5:19-21.)

"But men can repent and be saved. 'Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?' Paul asks. 'Be not deceived,' he says, for 'neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.'

"But-and herein lies man's hope!-our ancient friend then says: 'And such were some of you'-some of you saints were once partakers of all these evils-'but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.' (1 Cor. 6:9-11.)" (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 46.)

Galatians 5:22 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace...

"The gifts of the Spirit are one thing, the fruit of the Spirit another. Patience, mercy, meekness, gentleness, longsuffering, and, of course, charity or the pure love of Christ-these are the kinds of things that characterize men and women who have begun to live in Christ. Such persons are simply more Christlike. Elder Mark E. Petersen once asked a haunting question that strikes at the core of this matter of being Christlike. He inquired: 'If you had to prove in court that you are a Christian, what would you use as evidence?'

"The interesting thing about the fruit of the Spirit is that such attitudes and such actions do not seem to be situational. In other words, a person is not just very fruitful in the Spirit while the sun shines, pleasant and kindly only when circumstances are positive. Rather, those who enjoy the fruit of the Spirit feel 'love for those who do not love in return, joy in the midst of painful circumstances, peace when something counted upon doesn't come through, patience when things are not going fast enough, kindness towards those who treat others unkindly, goodness towards those who have been intentionally insensitive, faithfulness when friends have proven unfaithful, gentleness towards those who handle us roughly, self-control in the midst of intense temptation.'" (Robert L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 80.)

Parley P. Pratt

"The Holy Spirit...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being." (Key to the Science of Theology/A Voice of Warning [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1965], 100-101.)

B. H. Roberts

"Such are the effects of the operations of the Holy Ghost upon the nature of man. These fruits of the Spirit indicate the change that the Spirit of God may effect in human nature; by which that which is corrupted through sin may be conformed to that which is pure and holy, according to the working whereby the Spirit is able to subdue all things unto Himself, in them that give place for His indwelling in their souls. This effectual working of the Spirit in the souls of men, by which they were transformed from vileness to holiness, was the boast of the early saints. And, upon reflection, all will concede that the victories of the Spirit in reforming the lives of men and making them in their very nature conform to the likeness of Christ in righteousness, are more to be desired and more to be celebrated than those victories which are physical or intellectual merely in their nature." (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 1, introduction, pp. lxxvii - lxxviii)

Gordon B. Hinckley

"You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit-that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God. That which tears us down, which leads us into forbidden paths-that is of the adversary. I think it is just that plain, just that simple." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 261.)

Ezra Taft Benson

"Jesus...expects us to be like Him. He expects us to demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit in our lives: 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.' (Galatians 5:22-23.)

"These Christlike traits should characterize each member of the Church and should permeate every Latter-day Saint home. It can be done and must be done if we are to honorably bear His name." (Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 54.)

Elaine L. Jack

"I know that a good mother has the Spirit of the Lord with her. I know because the 'fruit of the Spirit is love.' It is also 'joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.' (Galatians 5:22-23.)

"When those things occur in your home, point out to your family that such wonderful feelings are the fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes when children are touched by the Spirit, they may not know what they are feeling. Don't let those moments pass without gratitude and comment. When a child feels the joy of accomplishment, or you have a peaceful Sabbath, or an older sister is longsuffering with a younger one who just destroyed her new nail polish, that's the fruit of the Spirit. Invite it. Then acknowledge it in prayers, in blessings, and at other times." (Eye to Eye, Heart to Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 55.)

Galatians 5:23 against such there is no law

Dennis E. Simmons

"Paul described the fruit of the Spirit; that is, what the Spirit produces, 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,' and he observed, 'Against such there is no law' (Gal. 5:22-23). In other words, the Spirit can penetrate anything. No law can be passed which will preclude the Spirit from doing His work." ("His Peace," Ensign, May 1997, 32)

Galatians 5:24 they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts

The natural man must be destroyed in order to truly live in the spirit. Paul says the carnal creature must be 'crucified with the affections and lusts.' The process, however, is not so easy. The natural man fears death; he loathes the idea of being crucified. Therefore, any efforts to kill him will bring about immediate resistance. He flies off in a rage at the site of the hammer and nails. He will kick and bite before he can be subdued. Indeed, he acts like a wild animal cornered in a small room. But this is the animal which must die.

C.S. Lewis wrote about what Jesus says in this regard, 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked-the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours' (Mere Christianity, 167).

Neal A. Maxwell

"The real act of personal sacrifice is not now nor ever has been placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal that is in us upon the altar-then willingly watching it be consumed!" (Meek and Lowly [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 94.)

David O. McKay

"I bear you that testimony that I know whereof I speak; that we must live in the spirit and get power thereby to overcome the lusts of the flesh as enumerated here by a man (Paul) who knew. And you know, and the happier you will be if you live above the flesh. Conquer the animal within you when you are tempted to scold or find fault with your wife or with your husband. Control your tempers if prompted to deal unjustly with a wayward child. Young men and young women, conquer your own desires and obey your parents. Do not think that they are old-fashioned. They are more experienced than you. Love them, be kind to them." (Conference Report, April 1960, Afternoon Meeting 122.)

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit

Brigham Young

"[January 1847, Winter Quarters] I told the brethren I dreamed of seeing Joseph the Prophet, last night, and conversing with him; Joseph appeared to feel extremely well, was sociable, and laughed heartily, conversed freely about the best manner of organizing companies for emigration, etc...I said, 'Brother Joseph, the brethren you know well, better than I do, you raised them up and brought the Priesthood to us; the brethren have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption, or the sealing principles, and if you have a word of counsel for me, I should be glad to receive it.'

"Joseph stepped toward me, and, looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly, said, 'Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the still, small voice, it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can distinguish the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits: it will whisper peace and joy to their souls: it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts, and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in heaven before they came, into the world. Our Father in Heaven organized the human family but they are all disorganized and in great confusion.'

"Joseph then showed me the pattern, how they were in the beginning; this I cannot describe, but I saw it, and saw where the Priesthood had been taken from the earth, and how it must be joined together, so that there would be a perfect chain from Father Adam to his latest posterity. Joseph again said, 'Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and to follow it, and it will lead them just right.'" ("The Prophet and Brigham Young" by Susa Young Gates, Improvement Era, 1919, Vol. Xxiii. December, 1919. No. 2.)

Bruce R. McConkie

"There is no better counsel; there is no better way. Man can have no higher aim, no greater goal; he can pursue no grander course than that of seeking the Spirit. A Christian's whole purpose in life is to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Spirit, for he knows that through such a course he will find peace in this world and gain eternal life in the world to come." (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 298.)

M. Russell Ballard

"'If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit' (Gal. 5:22-23, 25).

"As members of the Church, each of us needs to model what it truly means to be a believing and behaving Latter-day Saint. Our example will have a powerful effect on others, making the restored gospel become much more relevant, meaningful, convincing, and desirable to them. Let us, each one, radiate to others the joy, confidence, love, and warmth of being part of the true Church of Christ. Our discipleship is not something to be endured with long face and heavy heart. Nor is it something to be jealously clutched to our bosoms and not shared with others. As we come to understand the love of the Father and the Son for us, our spirits will soar, and we will 'come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy' (D&C 45:71).

"Let us reach out in friendship and love to our neighbors, including those of other faiths, thus helping to build better family-to-family relationships and greater harmony in our neighborhoods. Remember, too often our behavior is a bigger deterrent to others than is our doctrine. In the spirit of love for all men, women, and children, help them to understand and to feel accepted and appreciated." ("Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 64)