1 Thessalonians 3

1 Thes. 3:1-2 we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timotheus...to establish you

"Silas and Timothy seem to have joined Paul in Athens. These two brethren had doubtless labored hard, but quietly, to put the work in Beroea on a firmer foundation after Paul's flight (Acts 17:14). But Paul was concerned with the branches that had been raised up in Macedonia. He concluded that it was wiser to send Silas and Timothy back, rather than to labor with them in Athens, where the prospects of establishing a healthy branch of the Church were slim. So young Timothy, inexperienced as he was, was sent to Thessalonica:
'Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow-laborer in the Gospel of Christ, to establish you [Greek: buttress, or strengthen you], and to comfort you concerning your faith.' (1 Thes. 3:1-2)
"These words of Paul, months later, do not tell us where Silas was sent, but it is highly probable that he was sent to Philippi, because in due time contributions seem to have reached Paul from there. (Philip. 4:15)" (Sidney B. Sperry, Paul's Life and Letters [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1955], 87.)

1 Thes. 3:3 we are appointed unto afflictions

'My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom' (D&C 136:31).
Neal A. Maxwell
"One's life, therefore, cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free. President Wilford Woodruff counseled us all about the mercy that is inherent in some adversity: 'The chastisements we have had from time to time have been for our good, and are essential to learn wisdom, and carry us through a school of experience we never could have passed through without.' (In Journal of Discourses, 2:198.)" ("Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," Ensign, May 1991, 88)
Neal A. Maxwell
"We are told not to despise or resent, therefore, the chastening of the Lord. Paul said, 'My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.' (Hebrews 12:5.) He further observed, 'Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.' (Hebrews 12:11.) No wonder we must have eternal perspective to endure chastening, because there would seem to be little pleasure or joy in it and sometimes virtually no immediate understanding of why. But later! Later! For we so often get our witness only after the trial of our faith. (See Ether 12:6.)
"It was a marvelous Job who said, 'Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me; if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.' (Job 34:31-32.)
"Paul, in writing to the saints in Thessalonica in a very sensitive, sweet epistle, wanted to comfort them 'that no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.' (1 Thessalonians 3:3-4.)" (Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 58.)

1 Thes. 3:6 Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity

"Paul opens his first letter to the Thessalonian converts with gratitude that they are strong in the gospel. His concern shows how important following through is in all leadership in the Church and family. Timothy was sent 'to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith' (1 Thes. 3:2, italics added). The italicized words are not strong enough in today's English-Timothy was to 'strengthen' (sterizo) and to 'encourage' (parakaleo). All Christian religions see the importance of faith, but Paul knew that without continuing leadership, faith could fail. So after assigning Timothy to build up faith, he was anxious to receive a report. He repeats his concern twice: he could 'no longer forbear' (1 Thes. 3, italics added) to wait at Athens without news. Again, the italicized word is traditional but inadequate; Paul says that he could no longer 'endure' the suspense (stego). He worried that conversion would be pointless if they failed to follow through. But the two companions came from northern Greece with 'good news of [their] faith' (1 Thes. 3:6, NKJB), at which point the apostle penned gratitude and further encouragement to strengthen that faith. Such circumstances show the incompleteness of mere belief in Christ." (Understanding Paul [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 73 - 74.)

1 Thes. 3:10 that we might...perfect that which is lacking in your faith

Neal A. Maxwell
"Serving, studying, praying, and worshiping are four fundamentals in perfecting 'that which is lacking in [our] faith.' (1 Thes. 3:10.) If we cease nurturing our faith in any of these four specific ways, we are vulnerable." ("Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," Ensign, May 1991, 88)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Increasing our faith, therefore, requires decreasing, one by one, whatever our personal equivocations, reservations, and hesitations are in each of the specific dimensions of faith-those spiritual weaknesses that impede our finally surrendering to the Lord in full faith. By so doing we 'perfect that which is lacking in [our] faith' (1 Thessalonians 3:10).
"With little faith, for example, we may actually acknowledge God's past blessings but still fear that He will not deliver us in a present situation. Or we may trust that God will finally deliver us but fear He will do so only after a severe trial which we desperately do not want! Such a severe trial may have been in God's plans all along, but it certainly is not in ours! We don't like negative surprises." (Lord, Increase Our Faith [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 3.)

1 Thes. 3:12 the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another

Chieko N. Okazaki
"Sisters, in conclusion, remember...All family situations take courage, faith, and love. Our relationships as parents and children are based on deeper, older relationships as eternal brothers and sisters, children of a Heavenly Father who loves us and watches over us and yearns that our faith may increase, that our courage may uplift others, and that we may enfold others in our love as he enfolds us in his. In the words of the Apostle Paul: 'The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all ... even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints' (1 Thes. 3:12-13)." ("A Living Network," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 95)