“October 28–November 3. 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon: ‘Be Thou an Example of the Believers’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“October 28–November 3. 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
It can be helpful for class members to hear each other talk about their successes and challenges with studying the scriptures, both individually and as families. Consider starting the class by inviting class members to talk about what is going well in their scripture study.
The members of your class are living in a time when many false doctrines are being taught. Timothy and Titus also lived in such a time, so perhaps Paul’s counsel to them could benefit your class members. Some passages containing Paul’s counsel are found in “Additional Resources.” You could assign each class member to read one of these passages and share what he or she learns about the importance of true doctrine (see also Alma 31:5).
It’s possible that members of your class don’t realize the power of the good example they are setting. Consider inviting them to talk about how people they know, including fellow class members, have been examples of disciples of Christ. It might help the discussion if you list on the board the words in verse 12 that describe how we should be an example—word, conversation (which can also mean conduct or behavior), charity, spirit, faith, and purity. Class members could discuss how we can be examples of the believers in each of these ways.
In this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families, your class members were invited to look in 2 Timothy for counsel Paul gave Timothy to encourage him in his ministry. Ask class members to share any insights they found, or maybe you could give them a few minutes to find and share some of Paul’s counsel (chapter 1 has some good examples). They could also share an experience when God helped them overcome their fears and gave them “the spirit of … power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
After warning Timothy about “perilous times” to come, Paul testified of the power and importance of the scriptures (see 2 Timothy 3:1, 14–17). To begin a discussion about the importance of the scriptures in difficult times, you could invite class members to review Paul’s description of the perils of the last days found in 2 Timothy 3:1–7. Then they could search for and share scriptures that have helped them guard against perils like these (some examples are listed in “Additional Resources”). How has our study of the scriptures protected us from troubles in today’s world?
Studying Paul’s counsel about the power of the scriptures could be an opportunity for class members to encourage each other in their efforts to study the word of God. Perhaps class members could read 2 Timothy 3:14–17 and identify the blessings and protections that come from studying the scriptures. Then they could share experiences when these blessings were fulfilled in their lives because of their scripture study. You could also give class members a few moments to ponder what they can do to have more meaningful experiences with the scriptures, both individually and as families.
Before you start a discussion about the Epistle to Philemon, you might ask a class member to share some information about Philemon and his servant Onesimus (there is a brief description in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families). Then you could divide your class into two groups and give each group one of the following questions: What similarities do you see between what Paul was willing to do for Onesimus and what the Savior willingly did for us? While it was likely hard for Philemon to forgive his slave who ran away, how would the gospel of Jesus Christ have made forgiveness easier? After the groups share what they learned, consider inviting class members to share scripture passages or experiences that have helped them to better understand forgiveness. Elder Kevin R. Duncan’s message in “Additional Resources” may help with this discussion.
To inspire class members to read the Epistle to the Hebrews, ask them if they know someone who feels that God is distant, impersonal, or unapproachable. Tell them they will find verses in Hebrews 1–6 that they could share with someone to show that God the Father and Jesus Christ are compassionate Beings who want to help us when we suffer.
Perils of the Last Days
Scriptures That Protect Us
Lovers of their own selves
Disobedient to parents
Elder Kevin R. Duncan taught:
“There is not a soul alive who will not, at one time or another, be the victim to someone else’s careless actions, hurtful conduct, or even sinful behavior. This is one thing we all have in common.
“Gratefully, God, in His love and mercy for His children, has prepared a way to help us navigate these sometimes turbulent experiences of life. He has provided an escape for all who fall victim to the misdeeds of others. He has taught us that we can forgive! …
“Many years ago, while I was mending a fence, a small sliver of wood entered into my finger. I made a meager attempt to remove the sliver and thought I had done so, but apparently I had not. As time went on, skin grew over the sliver, creating a lump on my finger. It was annoying and sometimes painful.
“Years later I decided to finally take action. All I did was simply apply ointment to the lump and cover it with a bandage. I repeated this process frequently. You cannot imagine my surprise when one day, as I removed the bandage, the sliver had emerged from my finger.
“The ointment had softened the skin and created an escape for the very thing that had caused pain for so many years. Once the sliver was removed, the finger quickly healed, and to this day, there remains no evidence of any injury.
“In a similar way, an unforgiving heart harbors so much needless pain. When we apply the healing ointment of the Savior’s Atonement, He will soften our heart and help us to change. He can heal the wounded soul (see Jacob 2:8)” (“The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 33).