“October 21–27. 1 and 2 Thessalonians: ‘Be Not Soon Shaken in Mind, or Be Troubled’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“October 21–27. 1 and 2 Thessalonians,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
In Thessalonica, Paul and Silas were accused of having “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Their preaching angered certain leaders among the Jews, and these leaders stirred the people into an uproar (see Acts 17:1–10). As a result, Paul and Silas were advised to leave Thessalonica. Paul worried about the new Thessalonian converts and the persecution they were facing, but he was unable to return to visit them. “When I could no longer forbear,” he wrote, “I sent to know your faith.” In response, Paul’s assistant Timothy, who had been serving in Thessalonica, “brought us good tidings of your faith and charity” (1 Thessalonians 3:5–6). In fact, the Thessalonian Saints were known as examples “to all that believe” (1 Thessalonians 1:7), and news of their faith spread to cities abroad. Imagine Paul’s joy and relief to hear that his work among them “was not in vain” (1 Thessalonians 2:1). But Paul knew that faithfulness in the past is not sufficient for spiritual survival in the future, and he was wary of the influence of false teachers among the Saints (see 2 Thessalonians 2:2–3). His message to them, and to us, is to continue to “perfect that which is lacking in [our] faith” and to “increase more and more” in love (see 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 4:10).
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul’s words reveal both the concern and the joy of someone who has given himself wholly to serving God’s children. Especially in the first two chapters of 1 Thessalonians, you will find words and phrases that describe how a true minister teaches the gospel. What are you inspired to do to improve your teaching of the gospel?
We all hope that at “the coming of our Lord,” we will be able to stand before Him with “hearts unblameable in holiness before God” (1 Thessalonians 3:13). What did Paul teach about becoming more holy in 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13; 4:1–12?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:1–10, Paul used several metaphors to teach important truths about the time when Jesus will return to the earth. As you study these metaphors, consider writing down the impressions that come to you about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
“A thief in the night”:
“Travail upon a woman with child”:
Other metaphors you find:
What additional truths do you learn about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ from 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18; 5:1–10; 2 Thessalonians 1:4–10? What are you prompted to do to watch and prepare for His coming?
See also Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 7–10.
Amid increasing persecutions, many of the Thessalonian Saints believed the Savior’s Second Coming must be near. But Paul knew that before Jesus returned to earth there would be an apostasy—a rebellion or “falling away” from the truth (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4). You could deepen your understanding of the Great Apostasy—and your appreciation for the Restoration—by exploring some of the following resources:
Observations about the Great Apostasy by Christian reformers:
Martin Luther: “I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. … I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it” (in E. G. Schweibert, Luther and His Times: The Reformation from a New Perspective , 590).
Roger Williams: “The apostasy … hath so far corrupted all that there can be no recovery out of that apostasy till Christ send forth new apostles to plant churches anew” (in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom , 851).
Erasmus: “Everything is now so entangled with these questions [of doctrine] and decrees that we dare not even hope to call the world back to true Christianity” (The Praise of Folly, trans. Clarence H. Miller, 2nd ed. , 155–56).
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to discuss based on your family’s needs. Here are some suggestions:
What impresses you about the feelings Paul had for his friends? How can we foster such feelings for our family, friends, and fellow Saints?
How can we use these verses to comfort ourselves or someone else when a loved one passes away?
Review Paul’s counsel in 1 Thessalonians 5:14–25, and find a phrase that your family wants to focus on. Consider writing it on a poster to display in your home. Family members may add a note on the poster when they see each other living by the counsel on the poster.
Do we ever feel “weary in well doing”—overwhelmed, perhaps, with the demands of discipleship? What helps us when we feel this way? (See Galatians 6:9; D&C 64:33.) How can we support each other when this happens?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.