“Live in the Spirit”
Paul teaches, baptizes, and confers
the Holy Ghost on believers in Ephesus.
Paul gives a farewell address to Church
leaders from Ephesus.
Paul chastises and counsels the Galatian
A study of this lesson will encourage us to seek promptings from the Holy
Ghost and to avoid attitudes and actions that will keep them from receiving
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 32 Handout (PDF
Consider the following statistics and charts in
relation to missionary
Convert baptisms and membership 1990-2010.
Source: Deseret News 2001-2002 Church Almanac and Annual Statistical
Reports presented at April General Conferences.
I first looked at convert baptism statistics
in 1995, while preparing to teach about Paul's missionary journeys. I was
surprised at that time to find that convert baptisms had remained relatively
constant over the 1990 to 1994 period. In 1999, when I reviewed the statistics
again, I was even more surprised to see that those numbers continued to remain
constant. Over the past fifteen years, those statistics have remained constant.
WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE CONVERT BAPTISMS
HAVE REMAINED RELATIVELY CONSTANT OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES RATHER THAN INCREASING PROPORTIONATELY
WITH THE MEMBERSHIP?
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?
President Joseph Fielding Smith:
member of the Church should be a missionary; not necessarily to go forth
into the world, but to preach the gospel to our neighbors and friends who
are not in the Church. Moreover, by our example and our faithfulness to
every commandment the Lord has given us to show our friends and the strangers
within our gates the way to eternal life through our actions as well as
through our words, that is, to be humble missionaries and advocates of
the truth in our daily acts and conversations." (Answers to Gospel
We need to be as enthusiastic and diligent
in the fulfillment of this duty as Paul was in fulfilling his duty as a
missionary following his conversion. There may be a host of reasons why
the convert rate has leveled off. One thing I know, I need to be a better
member missionary, both in example and testimony. If we all "lengthen our
stride" in this regard, I believe we would see a profound difference in
"After returning from his second
mission, Paul spent some time in Antioch and then departed on a third mission.
He first went through Galatia and Phyrgia, then spent three years in Ephesus.
The work of God grew mightily during this time, but opposition stiffened
as Paul's preaching against false gods threatened the lucrative business
of silversmiths who sold small silver shrines for Diana, pagan goddess
of Asia Minor. Realizing the bitterness of the hostility toward him, Paul
decided to leave Ephesus. He called together the disciples, embraced them,
then left for Macedonia.
giving 'much exhortation' in the cities of Macedonia (Acts 20:2), Paul
went to Greece for three months. He then started the long journey back
to Jerusalem, traveling again through Macedonia. He had hoped to arrive
in Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost, but threats against his life caused
him to take a slower route. When he reached Miletus, he sent a messenger
to Ephesus to ask the Church leaders there to come and meet him. He delivered
a stirring farewell address, then resumed his journey, stopping frequently
to strengthen the churches along the way.
his third mission Paul wrote a letter to the Saints in Galatia, warning
them against false teachings and stressing the central role of Christ's
atonement." (1989, 1995 Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, p31)
Paul goes to Ephesus and finds disciples
of John who had not yet received the Holy Ghost.
Paul confers the gift of the Holy Ghost.
This verse provides Biblical evidence
that the gift of the Holy Ghost is given by the laying on of hands.
WHAT SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATIONS OCCURRED
WHEN SOME OF THE EPHESIANS RECEIVED THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST?
"...they spake with tongues, and
WHAT MANIFESTATIONS OF THE HOLY GHOST
ARE EXPERIENCED TODAY?
As we live worthy, we are entitled to
the manifestations of the Spirit as they are needed. In the 10th chapter
of Moroni, that great ancient prophet gives a list of the gifts of God that
are administered through the manifestations of the Spirit to which we may
be entitled. The quiet promptings we receive, that guide us in our daily
lives, are the most frequent gifts of the Spirit to be found in the modern
Church. Other gifts are manifest when needed.
Paul leaves the synagogue to preach in the school of Tyrannus.
WHY DID PAUL LEAVE THE SYNAGOGUE IN
Some of his listeners became
and believed not, but spake evil of that way" (v9).
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND WHEN WE MEET PEOPLE
WHO OPENLY OPPOSE THE GOSPEL?
As a young student in high school, I
belonged to the debate club for two years. I enjoyed crafting an argument
and winning a debate. I carried some of that spirit of
debate with me as I began my mission. I was thrilled, because the Lord
had provided such incredible evidence. How could I lose?
learned that clever arguments did not win souls. I came to learn that we
wanted to present the gospel in a logical way, but then
allow the Spirit to touch hearts and change minds. I also learned that
when debate and contention entered the room, the Spirit left.
A few months
into my mission, my companion and I were tracting through a rural town
in eastern Oklahoma. We came to a house and introduced ourselves. The lady
said that she, her family, and some of her friends would be interested
in hearing our message. We set an appointment for an evening visit.
A few days
later my companion and I returned to the home, only to discover that we
had been set up. Not only did the woman have her family and friends present,
but her minister was there and a tape recorder had been set up to record
to present our message and the minister argued with us on every point.
We could see that the others enjoyed seeing us squirm and struggle. Then
I felt prompted to ask the minister where he obtained his authority to
teach the gospel. He did a poor job of explaining how he had been ordained.
For the benefit of those present, I then traced my line of authority back
to Jesus Christ. I bore solemn testimony of the restoration of this priesthood
authority. After bearing this testimony, we felt prompted to end our visit.
departure from the synagogue, we left this home. Debate and contention was not
right. We did not feel right about being in that situation. We were prompted
to leave after bearing testimony.
night, I have often wondered if one of the young people present in that
home on that night, heard our honest, sincere testimonies and were touched.
Did they go back and listen to the recording and hear two young missionaries
pour out their hearts? Did they wonder what prompted such a testimony?
"For verily, verily
I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but
is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the
hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold,
this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against
another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away."
(3 Nephi 11:29-30)
Elder Marvin J. Ashton:
disagree with our stand we should not argue, retaliate in kind, or contend
with them.... Ours is to explain our position through reason, friendly
persuasion, and accurate facts. Ours is to stand firm and unyielding on
the moral issues of the day and the eternal principles of the gospel, but
to contend with no man or organization. Contention builds walls and puts
up barriers. Love opens doors.... Contention never was and never will be
an ally of progress." (Ensign, May 1978, pp7-8)
Silversmith's craft threatened.
WHY WERE DEMETRIUS AND THE EPHESIAN
SILVERSMITHS SO UPSET WITH PAUL?
People are motivated by economics. It
has often been said that when voters go to the polls, they vote their pocketbook.
If the economy is doing well, they retain the incumbents. When the economy
turns south, they vote the rascals out of office.
silversmiths were dependent on their sale of shrines for their income.
It had become a lucrative venture. When Paul came into town and started
preaching against false gods, these men became concerned about their income.
HOW CAN WORLDLY INTERESTS LEAD PEOPLE
TO OPPOSE THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
The Ephesian silversmiths are a great
example as their livelihood would be affected by the decreased sale of
shrines as people joined the church and began to live the gospel.
Consider the case of W.F. Magraw. Magraw
held a lucrative contract from the government to carry the mail from Independence
to Salt Lake City. He lost his bid to retain the contract when Hyrum Kimball
and the Y.X. Company (a Mormon firm) underbid Magraw.
Ephesian silversmiths, he began to cry out against the Church and sent
the following communication to President Buchanan in October 1856:
is no disguising the fact that there is left no vestige of law and order,
no protection for life or property; the civil laws of the territory are
overshadowed and neutralized by a so-styled ecclesiastical organization,
as despotic, dangerous, and damnable, as has ever been known to exist in
any country, and which is ruining, not only those who do not subscribe
to their religious code, but is driving the moderate and more orderly of
the Mormon community to desperation" (Comprehensive History of the
Church, 4:210). This letter, along with other accusations against the Mormons,
led to the Utah War.
HOW CAN OUR OWN MATERIAL INTERESTS AFFECT
OUR LOYALTY TO THE LORD?
Do we engage in an occupation that is
dependent on a product or service that would cause others to violate laws
What will be the result of business
dealings with good members of the Church? What happens if the venture turns
Are we responsible for a business that
leads ourselves or others to violate the Sabbath day?
Do we have material interests that take
precedence over the payment of tithes and offerings?
Indeed, we must be careful. Our first
loyalty needs to be to the Lord. If we are living a Christ centered life,
then we will do our best to make the proper choices in regards to our material
We read in Acts of those who
had practiced magic arts: "And many that believed came, and confessed,
and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought
their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted
the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver" (Acts
These people would not let their material
possessions or interests stand in the way of their conversion. They gave
up their craft and sacrificed their valuable books.
As he was returning to Jerusalem, Paul
sent a messenger to Ephesus to ask the Church leaders to meet with in in
Miletus. There he delivered a farewell address.
Paul warns against apostasy.
WHAT IS PAUL WARNING THE ELDERS OF EPHESUS
FROM WHAT SOURCES WOULD APOSTASY COME?
WHO WERE THESE GRIEVOUS WOLVES?
Members of the Church who would apostatize
and try to lead other members away.
HOW CAN WE GUARD AGAINST APOSTASY IN
Paul's final comments to the people at Ephesus.
"It is more blessed to give than
Great love was shown to Paul.
There are various arguments as to when
the book of Galatians was written.
Many scholars say it was written
on Paul's third missionary journey while at Ephesus.
Galatia was a Roman province (now in
modern day Turkey - see above map).
GALATIANS 1:6-10. After
a brief greeting, Paul chides the Saints for being deceived by false doctrine.
Paul then states his credentials for
teaching the gospel.
The gospel is not of man, but given by
revelation from Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12).
His teaching is in harmony with the
GALATIANS 2:16, 21. Man
justified by faith in Christ, not by the works of the law.
This is the major theme of the letter
to the Galatians.
The people had been led astray - to
believe again in the works of the law.
WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION
"Justification means 'to be declared
righteous,' and also 'to be put back in to the right relationship with
a person.' Therefore, what Paul was saying is that no man can be
made righteous and reestablish the proper relationship with God exclusively
by the works of the Mosaic law or, for that matter, by any law of works
alone. This can come only through the atoning sacrifice of the Savior
and through obedience." (1989, 1995 Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual,
Sidney B. Sperry: "...justification
seems to anticipate for a Christian a decision of 'acquittal' or of being
regarded as 'righteous' in a future Divine judgment. Can a member of the
Church of Christ be regarded in the present time as being justified by
faith? If he has truly been 'born again' of the Spirit and continues in
a newness of life, we may answer 'yes.' In anticipation of his continued
observance of the requirements of God, he may be regarded as 'acquitted'
or as 'righteous,' and so is in Divine favor." (Paul's Life and Letters,
"Justification is a judicial
act, whereby God declares that the sinner who repents and by faith accepts
the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and who is baptized according to the
Word of God, is acquitted and received into His Kingdom.
is the work of the Holy Spirit by which he who is justified is enabled
to keep the Commandments of God and grow in holiness (Helaman, 3:35)."
(Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, p104)
Reminder: Any references to the LAW
in the New Testament are speaking of the Mosaic Law. With the death and resurrection of Christ the Law was made dead. Therefore, what
Paul was saying to the Galatians was this: You must give up your old ways
and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Lord himself and his commissioned representatives.
"But before faith
came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards
the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith.
after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither
male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the
promise." (Galatians 3:23-29)
As in Paul's day, today there are Church
members that pervert the gospel. WHAT ARE SOME EVIDENCES OF THIS?
Bishop Glenn L. Pace: "The last
category of criticism I will address comes from within the Church itself.
This criticism is more lethal than that coming from non-members. The danger lies not in what may come from a member critic, but in the chance
that we might become one.
activity which often leads a member to be critical is engaging in inappropriate
intellectualism. While it would seem the search for and discovery
of truth should be the goal of all Latter-day Saints, it appears some get
more satisfaction from trying to discover new uncertainties. I have
friends who have literally spent their lives, thus far, trying to nail
down every single intellectual loose end rather than accepting the witness
of the Spirit and getting on with it. In so doing they are depriving
themselves of a gold mine of beautiful truths which cannot be tapped by
the mind alone....
intellectualism sometimes leads one to testify that he knows the gospel
is true but believes the Brethren are just a little out of touch....
are some of our members who practice selective obedience. A prophet
is not one who displays a smorgasbord of truth from which we are free to
pick and choose. However, some members become critical and suggest
the prophet should change the menu." (CR, Apr 1989)
Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "In the five
years since I was called as a General Authority, I have seen many instances
where Church leaders and members have been troubled by things said by these
alternate voices. I am convinced that some are confused about the
Church's relationship to the alternate voices. As a result, members
can be misled in their personal choices, and the work of the Lord can suffer.
alternate voices are those of well-motivated men and women who are merely
trying to serve their brothers and sisters and further the cause of Zion. Their efforts fit within the Lord's teaching that his servants should not
have to be commanded in all things, but 'should be anxiously engaged in
a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass
alternate voices are pursuing selfish personal interests, such as property,
pride, prominence, or power. Other voices are the bleatings of lost
souls who cannot hear the voice of the Shepherd and are trying to find
their way without his guidance. Some of these voices call out guidance
for others--the lost leading the lost.
alternate voices are of those whose avowed or secret object is to deceive
and devour the flock. The Good Shepherd warned, 'Beware of false
prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are
most instances, alternate voices are heard in the same kinds of communications
the Church uses to perform its mission. The Church has magazines
and other official publications, a newspaper supplement, letters from Church
leaders, general conferences, and regular meetings and conferences in local
units. Similarly, alternate voices are heard in magazines, journals,
and newspapers and at lectures, symposia, and conferences.
Church...does not attempt to isolate its members from alternate voices. Its approach, as counseled by the Prophet Joseph Smith, is to teach correct
principles and then leave its members to govern themselves by personal
choices." (CR, Apr 1989)
HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THIS
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO SUCH CHURCH
GALATIANS 5:16-25. Works
of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit.
An interesting comparison between the
works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit.
WHAT HONEST AND PURE IN HEART INDIVIDUAL
WOULD DESIRE THE WORKS OF THE FLESH OVER THE WORKS OF THE SPIRIT AS DESCRIBED
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOING THE
WORKS OF THE FLESH?
"Be not deceived;
God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For
he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he
that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
WHY, THEN, ARE THESE WORKS SO PREVALENT?
WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE THE SPIRITUAL
ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN?
Some final teachings in Galatians.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the experiences of Paul as considered in this
lesson. What teachings of Paul touched your heart? How can you better live
Resources Used In This Lesson
Answers to Gospel Question, Volume 4, by
Joseph Fielding Smith.
Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H.
Conference Reports (CR).
Doctrine and Covenants Commentary by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl.
Paul's Life and Letters by Sidney B. Sperry.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
30 June 2015