New Testament
Lesson 35
“Be Ye Reconciled to God”


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will encourage us to be true disciples of Jesus Christ through applying Paul’s counsel in 2 Corinthians.

Scripture references for study:  2 Corinthians
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 35 Handout (PDF format)


Introduction

"In 2 Corinthians we see a more personal view of Paul than we do in most of his other letters. We share his burdens, recognize the price he paid for his faith, and empathize with him as he copes with long distances and defends himself against determined enemies. We see him strengthened by the news that many of the Saints in Corinth had returned to faith and righteousness.  And we ourselves gather strength from Paul's powerful messages. He assured the Saints of God's care in times of tribulation. He encouraged them to love and forgive each other and to donate aid for the Church members in Jerusalem. And he continued his teachings on repentance and emphasized the importance of being guided by the Spirit in all things." (Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual ©1989, p33)

Side note:  I think it is safe to claim that the Prophet Joseph Smith had actually met and been tutored by Paul as an angel, for Joseph offered this description of Paul at the organization of a school of instruction: "He is about five feet high; very dark hair, dark complexion; dark skin; large Roman nose; sharp face; small black eyes, penetrating as eternity; round shoulders; a whining voice, except when elevated, and then it almost resembled the roaring of a lion. He was a good orator, active and diligent, always employing himself in doing good to his fellow man"  (TPJS, p180).  How could Joseph have known this detail about Paul, particularly the information about his voice, if he had not met him? I am sure the Prophet often thought about Paul as he endured his own trials.


Overcoming Tribulation

Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians about the trouble that he and Timothy encountered in Asia. He said that the challenge was so great that they "despaired even of life" (2 Corinthians 1:8).

READ 2 CORINTHIANS 4:15-18. All things are for your sakes.

Paul wrote of the trials that he and many of the Saints endured.

Paul said, "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." (2 Corinthians 12:7)

Paul wrote, "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:4).


Forgiving Others

READ 2 CORINTHIANS 2:5-11. Ye ought to forgive and comfort.


Feeling Godly Sorrow For Our Sins

READ 2 CORINTHIANS 7:8-10. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.


Becoming Reconciled To God

READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17-21.  Be ye reconciled to God.


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

In his second epistle to the Corinthians Paul has taught many important truths, including dependence on the Lord in times of difficulty, seeking to forgive others, truly repenting of our sins by having Godly sorrow, and reconciling ourselves to God. In the Back To The Future series, at the end of episode three, Marty's girlfriend asked Doc if their future had been altered by certain events. Doc replied something to the effect, "Your future has not yet been written, so make it a good one." Where we are today is dependent on our past actions, but our future has not yet been written. We can make it a good one by following the counsel of Paul.

Consider your life. Where might you have been had you not made proper choices when faced with adversity? What blessings have you received because of challenges in your life?


Resources Used In This Lesson

All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience by Neal A. Maxwell.

Doctrinal New Testament Commentary by Bruce R. McConkie (DNTC).

Ensign.

Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.

Repentance Brings Forgiveness (pamphlet) by Spencer W. Kimball

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith.


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Changes last made on:  26 August 2015