“Unit 29, Day 3: 1 Peter 1–2,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)
“Unit 29, Day 3,” New Testament Study Guide
The Apostle Peter wrote to strengthen the faith of the Saints as they were suffering intense persecution from the Roman Empire. He emphasized that they had been redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus Christ and reminded them of their divine heritage as God’s peculiar people. He instructed the Saints to glorify God among men and endure suffering as Jesus Christ did.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “As I travel throughout the Church, I see members being tried in the crucible of affliction” (“Hyrum Smith: ‘Firm As the Pillars of Heaven,’” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 9).
A crucible is a container in which metals or other substances are refined, which means they are heated and melted in order to remove impurities and strengthen the final product. As used by Elder Ballard, “the crucible of affliction” may refer to the challenging trials of life. What are some trials, or “crucibles of affliction,” you have experienced?
The Apostle Peter wrote this epistle to strengthen and encourage the Saints as they experienced trials. Until about A.D. 64, the time when Peter wrote this epistle, the Roman government displayed a general tolerance for Christianity. In July of that year a fire destroyed much of Rome. Some prominent Romans accused the Christians of starting the fire. This led to the intense persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. Some of the mistreatment experienced by Christians came from their former friends and neighbors.
As you study 1 Peter 1–2, look for truths that can help you stay faithful during your trials.
In 1 Peter 1:1–2, Peter greeted the Saints in the Roman provinces of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and reminded them that they were an elect people.
Read 1 Peter 1:3–5, looking for future blessings the Saints were promised. Consider marking what you find.
In the scriptures the words salvation and exaltation are often used to mean the same thing. In 1 Peter 1:5, Peter was referring to exaltation, or eternal life, which is to live in God’s presence and to continue as families (see D&C 132:19–20).
We can learn the following truth from 1 Peter 1:3–6: Although we experience trials, we can rejoice in Jesus Christ’s Atonement and in the future blessings God has promised to give us.
Peter taught that despite the difficulties we go through, we can rejoice because we will have great blessings through Jesus Christ’s Atonement. How can remembering Christ’s Atonement help you rejoice even when you are experiencing trials?
Read 1 Peter 1:7–9, looking for what Peter taught about the Saints’ trial of faith. Consider marking what he compared the Saints’ trial of faith to.
Faith, like gold, is precious. However, faith is more precious than gold because gold “perisheth” (1 Peter 1:7) while faith in Jesus Christ leads to salvation (see 1 Peter 1:9), which is eternal. In addition, gold is refined by intense heat, and similarly, our faith and beliefs are sometimes challenged by troubles, questions, and doubts. One truth we can learn from Peter’s words to the Saints is that our faith in Jesus Christ is tested and refined as we faithfully endure trials.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What are some trials that you or your friends are facing right now?
In what ways are these trials testing your or their faith?
Read the following statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and mark what he encouraged us to do when we experience trials of our faith:
“How do you remain ‘steadfast and immovable’ [Alma 1:25] during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith [before the trial]: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.
“When faced with a trial of faith—whatever you do, you don’t step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view” (“Trial of Your Faith,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 40).
Why do you think it is important to do the things Elder Anderson encouraged us to do when our faith is being tested?
Read 1 Peter 1:13–17, looking for what Peter encouraged the Saints to do to faithfully endure their trials. Consider marking what you find. The phrase “gird up the loins of your mind” in verse 13 means to prepare yourself.
Read 1 Peter 1:18–21, looking for additional truths Peter taught the Saints to help them faithfully endure their trials rather than abandon their faith.
The following are some truths Peter taught the Saints in these verses: We are redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, He could offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice for us. Jesus Christ was foreordained to be our Redeemer.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “At the first organization in heaven we were all present and saw the Savior chosen and appointed and the plan of salvation made, and we sanctioned it” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 209).
How could remembering these truths help the Saints faithfully endure their trials?
- Think of a time when you or someone you know chose to endure a trial with faith in Jesus Christ rather than abandon faith in Him. In your scripture study journal, write about that experience and ways your or that person’s faith in the Savior was strengthened in the process.
In 1 Peter 1:22–25, Peter encouraged the Saints to love one another and remember that they had been born again by the word of God, which endures forever.
What are some of the ways Church members are different from those who follow after the ways of the world? What are some challenges we might face because we are different?
As you study 1 Peter 2:1–12, look for a principle that can strengthen your desire to be different from the world.
As recorded in 1 Peter 2:1–8, Peter taught that faithful Saints are like living stones built upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ and that those who are disobedient are offended by Him because He does not support their disobedience.
Read 1 Peter 2:9–10, looking for how Peter described the faithful Saints. Consider marking phrases that stand out to you.
Which of the titles that Peter gave to the Saints is your favorite?
To understand what it means to be “a peculiar people,” read 1 Peter 2:9, footnote f.
How might the words Peter used to describe the Saints in 1 Peter 2:9–10 have helped them take courage as they experienced religious persecution?
Read 1 Peter 2:11–12, looking for what Peter pleaded with the Saints to do as the Lord’s peculiar, or treasured, people. Note that Peter may have called the Saints “strangers” and “pilgrims” either because they lived among people who were culturally and religiously different than the Saints or because they were away from their heavenly home, living as mortals temporarily.
Peter told the Saints that they could be examples to those around them and help others glorify God (see 1 Peter 2:12). From 1 Peter 2:11–12 we learn that God calls His Saints to be separate and distinct from the world so that others can see their example and glorify Him. Consider writing or noting this principle in your scriptures.
Sister Elaine S. Dalton when she was the Young Women general president said: “If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world” (“Now Is the Time to Arise and Shine!” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 124).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What are some ways Latter-day Saint youth have been asked to be separate and distinct from the world?
How has your choice to be separate and distinct from the world impacted others for good or helped lead them to God?
What can you do better to be separate and distinct from the world so you can be an example? (Write a goal about what you plan to do to be an example to others.)
In 1 Peter 2:13–18, Peter taught the Saints to submit themselves to the laws and civil authorities that governed them (including the Roman emperor who promoted severe persecution against them). He encouraged those who suffered hardship as servants to bear their suffering with patience and to remember that God was aware of them.
Read 1 Peter 2:19–20, looking for Peter’s counsel to the Saints on how they should endure sufferings.
Peter encouraged the Saints to endure their sufferings patiently. Read 1 Peter 2:21–25, looking for Peter’s description of how Jesus Christ responded to persecution. Consider marking what you find.
According to 1 Peter 2:21, what is something the Savior’s suffering can provide for us?
We can learn the following truth from Peter’s teachings about enduring trials: We can follow the Savior’s example by patiently enduring trials.
Consider what you can do to better follow Jesus Christ’s example in enduring trials patiently.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Peter 1–2 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: