Line upon Line: 1 Timothy 4:12
January 2009

“Line upon Line: 1 Timothy 4:12,” New Era, Jan. 2009, 11

Line upon Line

1 Timothy 4:12

This year’s Mutual theme tells us how we are to set an example to the world.

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Let No Man Despise Thy Youth

Paul told Timothy that his relatively young age shouldn’t matter when it comes to living the gospel and serving in the Church. Many young people have had powerful spiritual experiences. Look up these references to read about some of them: 1 Samuel 17:12–49 (David), 2 Nephi 2:4 (Jacob), Mormon 1:15 (Mormon), and Joseph Smith—History 1:7–20 (Joseph Smith).

How can you show your dedication to the gospel at this time in your life? Write about it in your journal.


Read the words of the hymn “More Holiness Give Me” (Hymns, no. 131), and ponder what it means to be an example of purity.


Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

“We should sow within our hearts the seed of charity, the pure love of Christ. He is the perfect model of charity. His total life, particularly his atoning sacrifice, is a lesson in charity. His every act reflects absolute, unequivocal love for all mankind and for each one of us. His example teaches us that charity means subordinating personal interests willingly and gladly for the good of others. I believe our progress toward exaltation and eternal life depends upon how well we learn and live the principle of charity.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Seeds of Renewal,” Ensign, May 1989, 8.


President Thomas S. Monson

Photograph of President Monson by David Newman

“We need not wait for a cataclysmic event, a dramatic occurrence in the world in which we live, or a special invitation to be an example—even a model to follow. Our opportunities lie before us here and now. But they are perishable. Likely they will be found in our own homes and in the everyday actions of our lives. Our Lord and Master marked the way: ‘[He] went about doing good.’ (Acts 10:38.) He in very deed was a model to follow—even an example of the believers.

“Are we?”

President Thomas S. Monson, “An Example of the Believers,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 98.


The Greek word means conduct or behavior.


To be an example in faith, follow the Apostle James’s teaching: “I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18).


We show great self-discipline when we master our words (see James 3:2). Rather than tearing others down, our words should uplift (see Ephesians 4:29; D&C 108:7). To improve in this area, you might, for example, write down specific goals to give compliments, speak more kindly to family members, use more pleasant tones and expressions, and avoid profanity and offensive language.