2 Thes. 3:1 brethren, pray for us
Spencer W. Kimball
"What a blessing it would be for the brethren as they approach their stake conferences and general conferences and as they prepare their addresses if all the people were praying for them as Paul requested, and what a blessing to all the Church if all the families were that much interested and concerned. Little or no criticism would find place in their minds and hearts. The brethren pray for the people continually and hope that it is fully reciprocated in every home in the Church." (Faith Precedes the Miracle [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972], 203.)
2 Thes. 3:6 withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly
Neal A. Maxwell
"Paul urged the saints in his day not to associate with those who were rude disbelievers. His conservative counsel sounds a little aloof until one remembers how much is at stake. C. S. Lewis in his 'Reflections on the Psalms' says, 'I am inclined to think a Christian would be wise to avoid, where he decently can, any meeting with people who are bullies, lascivious, cruel, dishonest, spiteful, and so forth. Not because we are `too good` for them. In a sense because we are not good enough. We are not good enough to cope with all the temptations, nor clever enough to cope with all the problems, which an evening spent in such society produces. . . .' (A Mind Awake, pp. 160-61.)
"Paul counseled the saints in Corinth 'not to company with fornicators.' (1 Corinthians 5:9.) He broadened the counsel to include not only fornicators but also 'the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolators.'
"As President Harold B. Lee said, in order to help someone else 'we must stand on higher ground' than he is standing on. We must be careful not to abandon that ground-for the sake of the sinner as well as for our own welfare. There is a difference between assisting the wounded Samaritan who needed help and companying with those who are evil.
"In similar counsel given to the saints in Thessalonica, Paul said, 'If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.' (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15. Italics added.) In refusing to keep company with evil people, we do it not because they are our enemies, but because they are our friends. If we became just like them and did the things they do, we could not admonish them or help them 'as a brother.'" (Things As They Really Are [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 86.)
2 Thes. 3:10 if any would not work, neither should he eat
Dallin H. Oaks
"Work and self-reliance are ancient principles in the Christian faith. The apostle Paul taught that 'if any would not work, neither should he eat.' (2 Thes. 3:10.) He also wrote: 'But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.' (1 Tim. 5:8.)
"These same principles were reaffirmed by revelation in the last dispensation: 'Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.' (D&C 42:42.) 'Every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church. Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways.' (D&C 75:28-29.)
"President Brigham Young explained: 'My experience has taught me, and it has become a principle with me, that it is never any benefit to give, out and out, to man or woman, money, food, clothing, or anything else, if they are able-bodied, and can work and earn what they need. . . . This is my principle, and I try to act upon it. To pursue a contrary course would ruin any community in the world and make them idlers.'
"President Joseph F. Smith taught the same thing as a principle of individual behavior: 'Men and women ought not to be willing to receive charity unless they are compelled to do so to keep them from suffering. Every man and woman ought to possess the spirit of independence, a self-sustaining spirit, that would prompt him or her to say, when they are in need, `I am willing to give my labor in exchange for that which you give me.` No man ought to be satisfied to receive, and to do nothing for it.'" (The Lord's Way [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 116.)
Henry D. Taylor
"From early youth, Latter-day Saints have or should have been taught to regard work as honorable and to dignify it by performing an honest day's work for a fair day's pay. The poet Carlyle expressed this sentiment when he penned the lines: 'All work, even cotton-spinning is noble; work alone is noble.' The Apostle Paul clearly understood and emphasized the principle of work. In his epistle to the Thessalonians, he reminded them: '
'. . . this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly working not at all, but are busybodies.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.' (2 Thes. 3:10-13.)
"...there are those who look forward with anticipation to age sixty-five as the time of retirement from all work and labor. Much to their sorrow many discover that too much leisure time may create problems not anticipated and brings disillusionment and unhappiness. They learn the important truth that work is a great blessing and can result in joy and happiness to themselves and to mankind. They also discover that doing nothing is one of the hardest of all jobs. When you get tired, you can't rest. You are in bondage when you refuse to work.
"Elizabeth Barrett Browning said: 'Free men freely work: Whoever fears God, fears to sit at ease.'
"Idleness is an offense against the gospel and has received the Lord's severe condemnation...Brigham Young admonished the Saints by saying: 'To give to the idler is as wicked as anything else. Never give to the idler.' (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 275.)
"The First Presidency expressed disapproval of the evil of idleness when in explaining the purposes of the welfare program, they stated, that it is among other things: 'To set up . . . a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with.'" (Conference Report, April 1961, Afternoon Meeting 124-125.)
Spencer W. Kimball
"The Lord's way builds individual self-esteem and develops and heals the dignity of the individual, whereas the world's way depresses the individual's view of himself and causes deep resentment.
"The Lord's way causes the individual to hasten his efforts to become economically independent again, even though he may have temporary need, because of special conditions, for help and assistance. The world's way deepens the individual's dependency on welfare programs and tends to make him demand more rather than encouraging him to return to economic independence.
"The Lord's way helps our members get a testimony for themselves about the gospel of work. For work is important to human happiness as well as productivity. The world's way, however, places greater and greater emphasis on leisure and upon the avoidance of work." ("Family Preparedness," Ensign, May 1976, 125)
Neal A. Maxwell
"One of the reasons some people today feel alienated is that they are alienated from one of the great satisfactions of life-work! Acknowledged is our need to help the poor, but to help in a way that is truly helpful. The more we institutionalize our efforts to help the poor, the less personal these efforts become. The dole desensitizes both the giver and the receiver and it pushes people apart." (Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 8.)
2 Thes. 3:13 be not weary in well doing
'Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.' (DC 64:33-34)
Neal A. Maxwell
"The urgings for us not to weary in well-doing contain prescriptions to avoid such weariness. (See Gal. 6:9; 2 Thes. 3:13; Alma 37:34.) We are to work steadily, but realistically, and only expect to reap 'in due season.' (Gal. 6:9.) We are to serve while being 'meek and lowly' (Alma 37:34), avoiding thereby the wearying burdens of self-pity and hypocrisy. We are to pray always so that we will not faint, so that our performance will actually be for the welfare of our souls, which is so much more than just going through the motions. (See 2 Ne. 32:5, 9; D&C 75:11; D&C 88:126.)" ("Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," Ensign, May 1991, 88)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Without knowing that we are here on His errand, oh, how weary we could become living on without purpose on a pointless planet! It is this very weariness that is being experienced by many but is wisely commented on by only a few:
"'On the other hand, if buses and newspaper headlines and...all that happens, represent the whole significance of life, it is equally intolerable. For what does happen? I look backwards and see for individuals and societies a round as monotonous as the seasons of rising and falling hopes; I look forward and see the same process continuing; I look into my own heart and see such a tangle of desires, such fluctuating moods, such a burning passionate egotism, that, imagine my life as I will, I know it can yield no more than momentary satisfaction.'
"However, once we align ourselves with God's purposes, then routine and the ordinary play their part, as John M. Synge said: 'When men lose their poetic feeling for ordinary life, and cannot write of ordinary things, their exalted poetry is likely to lose its strength of exaltation in the way men cease to build beautiful churches when they have lost happiness in building shops.'
"Instead, disciples can have enough confidence in His cause so that most causes of weariness can be avoided and the unavoidable weariness can be absorbed." (We Will Prove Them Herewith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 112-113.)
2 Thes. 3:17 the salutation of Paul...which is the token in every epistle
If Paul was careful to leave his special salutation in every one of his epistles, then we can conclude that he has already written many epistles. Chronologically, the epistles to the Thessalonians are the first extant Pauline epistles, written about AD 50. Yet, even in the first known epistles, Paul admits that he has already written many more (which, unfortunately, we do not have)-sealing them all with his own personal salutation.