Busy week? Me too. LDSLiving is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions on Sunday. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of Philippians and Colossians.
What to look for in our trials
Persecution followed the early Christian saints wherever they went. Many disciples faced imprisonment or death. Our author of so many letters in the New Testament Paul was no exception. After his first missionary trip to Philippi, he found himself incarcerated several times, and it is from one of those primitive jail cells that scholars believe he wrote a portion of the letter to the Philippians.
Early Latter-day Saints left their own track of persecution across the American frontier. Joseph Smith and others spent their fair time in confinement as well, and we know that Joseph Smith was familiar with these chapters in Philippians because the Articles of Faith specifically reference Paul’s admonition of what qualities to keep.
13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
That “admonition of Paul” comes in Philippians chapter 4, verse 8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Truth, justice, and honesty would be especially meaningful to both Paul and Joseph Smith, two men who were in prison only for their testimonies of Christ. But beyond that, Paul also reminds us to think on virtue, praise, and the things of good report. When he was in his lowest moment, Paul’s focus on the positive—the attributes of Christ—never waivered, and he reminded and encouraged the early saints to do the same.
In Primary, I would talk (and sing) about the admonition of Paul, without really knowing what it meant. Now we have the scripture reference and the painful context that Paul was writing from. Even in his darkest times, he was thinking on the good things. And we can too.
Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers Philippians and Colossians. Our podcast guests this week were Colleen Nordberg and Ellissa Collet. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday.