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In 1 Corinthians, Paul is addressing early converts to the Church who brought with them baggage and false ideas from their previous beliefs. To make matters even more difficult, they were far away from any central administration of the Church and so old ideas, firmly entrenched in their minds could clash with the gospel. Among these new converts were polytheistic Gentiles who had once worshipped idols, Jews who held to the Mosaic law, and all of the ideas influenced by the philosophies of Greece. How did Paul handle this whirlwind of opinions? We’ll see today.

You can also find it on any of these platforms by searching for Meridian Magazine-Come Follow Me.

Maurine and Scot Proctor have spent extensive time in the Holy Land, researching the life of Christ. They have taught the New Testament in the Institute program for many years and have written books and numerous articles on the life of the Savior.

Join our study group and let’s delve into the scriptures in a way that is inspiring, expanding and joyful.

Scot

In 1 Corinthians, Paul is addressing early converts to the Church who brought with them baggage and false ideas from their previous beliefs. To make matters even more difficult, they were far away from any central administration of the Church and so old ideas, firmly entrenched in their minds could clash with the gospel. Among these new converts were polytheistic Gentiles who had once worshipped idols, Jews who held to the Mosaic law, and all of the ideas influenced by the philosophies of Greece. How did Paul handle this whirlwind of opinions? We’ll see today.

Maurine

Hello, we’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and this is the Come Follow Me podcast where for the next 30 minutes we’ll be exploring the scriptures together.   Today is 1 Corinthians 14-16 and the title is “God is Not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace.” The transcript of the podcast is at latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast. And please sign up for a free subscription to Meridian Magazine, where we have scores of top Latter-day Saint writers in a magazine that is updated every week day.

Scot

Though we know it seems impossibly early to talk about Christmas, we have created something that you can do now that will make your Christmas giving easy later. There are so many people we want to remember at Christmas—the people to whom you minister, thank you’s to neighbors, stocking stuffers for family. We have created something that you can give that is timely and inspirational. Next year, 2020, is the bicentennial of the First Vision, and we have created a calendar with stunning photography, of the Smith farm and Sacred Grove with many quotes from Joseph and other family members you may not have heard. Because there will be only limited quantities, we are taking pre-orders now at latterdaysaintmag.com/calendar. They are only $15 and can be pre-ordered again at latterdaysaintmag.com/calendar. Take that worry off now, and you’ll be glad a few months from now when the season is here.

Maurine

One of the anchors in this world of chaos and cacophony is that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). This is why in the debate among the members of Corinth about what spiritual gifts were most important, Paul could say with assurance that it is the gift of prophecy. While many think of this gift as the ability to see what the future will bring, or perhaps a gift that belongs only to a prophet, in fact, it is a gift for all of us. The Guide to the Scriptures defines prophecy as “divinely inspired words or writings, which a person receives through revelation from the Holy Ghost…When a person prophesies he speaks or writes that which God wants him to know for his own good or the good of others.”

Because the gift of prophecy is about revelation from the Holy Ghost, and we learn in Revelation it is a “testimony of Jesus”, it is about having light and truth flood your understanding. This is both as an anchor for you and so that you can lift and influence others. (Revelation 19:10).

Scot

What could be more important when there is a welter of ideas vying with each other, than to have the gift of prophecy, so with the help of the Holy Ghost you can personally discern truth and speak it? Without that, everything falls to confusion.

Paul tells us that “There are…so many kinds of voices in the world” (1 Corinthians 14:10) and describes them as musical instruments that give sound without giving life. People can be very passionate about false ideas, proclaiming them as true with all their hearts while they run headlong into walls. Believing ideas that are not true, even if we cling to them with all our strength, will not save us. False philosophies and ideologies have no power to give us life.

Maurine

In our world today we are swimming in a stew of many kinds of voices that proclaim they represent virtue while they lead us from God. Never has there been a more important time for discernment.

So Paul uses an image that I have thought about for weeks. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”  (1 Corinthianss 14:8). To get a clearer view of that image of an “uncertain trumpet”, listen to these words by President Harold B. Lee:

Scot

“In a stake conference, a serviceman said something about the importance of trumpet calls to a military man. There is reveille at daybreak, which summons men to the day’s duties. There is the trumpet call that means assembly, or to assemble or fall into military order. There is the mess call. (I suspect that is probably the first one that military men learn to understand. That’s the call to meals.) There is the call that means forward march. There is the call that means a call to arms, to prepare for battle. And then there is taps, a signal to extinguish all lights in military quarters and to go to bed or to preserve silence; it is also used at a military burial.

“One can imagine the utter confusion if a military commander were to fail to give correct instructions to the bugler. If the individuals in the military encampment were not taught sufficiently to understand each trumpet call, one can likewise fancy the confusion.” Harold B. Lee-“A Sure Sound of a Trumpet” from Stand Ye In Holy Places http://www.gospelink.com/library/document/7292?highlight=1

Maurine

I recently watched a Lord of the Rings movie where two opposing sides, one the armies of darkness and one the armies of light were coming to war against each other, and the soldiers did not move until the trumpet sounded the beginning of the battle. It was a certain trumpet, and they knew what to do.

When there are many voices and many tooting horns and many ideologies in the air, a certain trumpet ends confusion. A certain trumpet is a source of grounding and truth. It is something solid you can count on in a world gone mad. With a certain trumpet, you can be sure of your course.

Scot

On a personal note here, Maurine, as part of my personal gospel study and daily devotions, I choose one of the modern apostles and start at the beginning of his ministry and carefully read and study each one of his talks.  In some cases this takes many months.  I just recently finished studying President Dallin H. Oaks’ more than 75 talks.  You and I have been talking about “a sure sound of a trumpet” for many weeks—I can testify that President Oaks is a sure trumpet.  You can really trust his voice.  

Elder Marion D. Hanks once spoke of the many voices that compete for our allegiance. He said,

“What are the voices to which our young people are listening? What do they hear in their homes, in the streets of their towns and communities? What do they hear over television and radio? What is communicated to them in books and magazines and photographs? What do they hear when they mingle with groups of their associates?

“…There are pagan voices, iconoclastic voices attacking old traditions and fundamentals, arrogantly assuring that the old ideals, the old standards, the old viewpoints of nobility and honest effort, all of these are outmoded, no longer applicable, and may be abandoned with old faith, old ways, old accepted patterns of moral behavior.

Maurine

“Entertaining voices come from illuminated screens, often in company with actions which are designed to emphasize that part of our nature that needs no emphasis. False voices issue from parked cars or darkened rooms, sometimes tainted with alcohol or inflamed with drugs, treacherously asking, always asking, for self-gratification.

“Misguided voices urging rebellion for rebellion’s sake.

“Beguiling voices inviting young eyes to filth or foulness, young ears to that which young ears should not hear.

“Foolish voices which suggest that since most people seem to be doing it, it therefore becomes all right to do.

Scot

“Cynical voices that propound moral relativism, saying that there are no virtues or principles that you can really count on anymore, none that are always applicable everywhere. You make your own rules in this time and generation.

“Sophisticated voices that skirt the edge of truth, telling youth, ‘It’s your life, you live it. Never mind what parents, honest teachers, earnest adults, persons who care, have to say about it or how they feel about it. You decide; it’s your life.’”

Marion D. Hanks Oct. 1965 http://www.gospelink.com/library/document/50055?highlight=1

Maurine

Or what we say today, “You do you.” There is no truth but your own will. What is remarkable about Elder Hanks’ quote to me is that he said this in 1965! What would he say about today’s many uncertain trumpets, ideas that will endanger and imperil our eternal lives. The idea that there is a moral truth has all but been abandoned. God is disdained and religion marginalized. In a world where we are bombarded with social media, 24-hour news cycles, enhanced peer pressure as people like or unlike our ideas, too often our imagination, understanding and very perception of existence is formed by others, who themselves may be blind guides.

Scot

That is why a certain trumpet means so much. We were recently in Alaska on an ATV trip that took us 25 miles to a glacier and then 25 miles back in the Knik river valley. With soaring green mountains on either side, the Knik River is a braided river, which means it looks just like a braid. It has scores of strands and channels that interweave between rocky islands. To make your way down this valley you go in and out of the river in your ATV again and again, have to choose between numerous trails that weave, many of which lead to bogs and ruts. In your multitude crossings of the river, you can cross only in some spots where it is shallow enough that your vehicle will not sink. In most places if you drove straight into the water your vehicle would be submerged.

Maurine

How did we possibly take that 50-mile journey? We had a guide who absolutely knew the way. He knew every place to cross. exactly where the river, in just that spot was shallow enough, so our ATVs wouldn’t take a plunge. This was our son-in-law Bryan Scoresby, who leads tours there and we counted on him to know the way. When we followed him, driving straight into the river, we trusted him, even as the water started to rise in our vehicle. We weren’t worried or frightened. He was a certain trumpet for us, and it gave us confidence in a world we hadn’t negotiated before.

Scot

So certain trumpets are critically important for us in this life where we pick our way through so many obstacles and minefields. They lead us to spiritual, emotional and eternal safety. How can I find those certain trumpets?

If we have a witness of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost to direct us, we have a certain trumpet, which helps us discern all the other voices that are vying for our time. We turn to the scriptures because they are a certain trumpet, teaching us who God is and why we can trust Him. Filling our minds and hearts with those words of scripture every day gives us power over and protection from the Adversary.

1 Nephi 15:24

24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

Maurine

President Marion G. Romney said,

“For want of a knowledge of the true and living God, this world is today dying. And please do not be deceived. Such a knowledge is not widespread. It is true that, in their great concern about world conditions, men are almost frantically proclaiming from the pulpit, the platform, over the air, and through the press that a return to God is the only way out of our difficulties. The tragedy is their cries, like Paul’s trumpet of uncertain sound  1 Cor. 14:8 are unheeded. Now the obvious reason is that neither the trumpeters nor the hearers know the God to whom we must return. They use the familiar term with which we are all so well acquainted. But when they attempt to define the God to whom they would have us return, they reveal a woeful lack of knowledge concerning the living and true God. Frequently they actually deny him.” Marion G. Romney, “For Want of Knowledge of God the World is Dying.” Oct. 1964

Scot

Having a knowledge of who God is and what his attributes are really is a matter of life and death. We must have that certain trumpet. We study the scriptures every day, and often extensively, because we want a certain trumpet, a place to stand and a place to be sure and steady.

“Another important certain trumpet in our lives are the words of the apostles and prophets. I look forward to General Conference every six months to be renewed and restored with these voices of sureness.

Maurine

Elder Marion D. Hanks again said at the conclusion of a General Conference many decades ago, “I express deep appreciation for the clear and forthright and courageous expressions of conviction which have come from this pulpit at this great conference. They have not been intemperate nor unloving, but they have been firm and understandable and impressive. I mention this because there are those who seem to believe it unfashionable or even unChristian to have unconditional convictions, really to believe in something and to devote one’s life and energy to those convictions. As this conference has proceeded, I have been increasingly grateful to belong to a Church, the position of which is clear and the spokesmen for which are convinced and courageous.

“At a recent meeting I attended, a talk was given which seemed to be lacking in real conviction. At its conclusion the chairman of the day characterized the experience as ‘the bland leading the bland.’” Elder Marion D. Hanks, “Who Shall Prepare Himself?” April, 1960.

Scot

In addition to finding the certain trumpets and voices we can trust in a noisy world, we need to be those certain trumpets for others, particularly those who we influence directly like our children. If we are an uncertain trumpet about the gospel, not sure where we stand or what we know, we leave them without safety. Our voices to them must ring with conviction that we know that Jesus lives and leads this Church because it gives them something firm to hold to. It has become very trendy and sophisticated to have doubts. Some people say, I don’t want to shove my beliefs on my children. I’ll let them figure it out for themselves.

We can’t do that and provide security for our children. And the only way to speak to them of God with conviction is to pay the price ourselves to know Him. Our testimonies must be sure to bless our children’s lives and others we teach. If we waffle or are unsure or enjoy questions more than answers, they will be attracted to other voices.

Maurine

This does not mean that our voices are strident or loud or demanding. It means our testimonies are secure and filled with conviction. Nothing can be more important in this day when the youth are struggling so much, than a parent who is a certain trumpet, who speaks with the courage of conviction.

I had an experience with one of our daughters that let me know she had heard my testimony and that I really knew. She was 24 at the time, studying for a masters in England and dating a young man she truly loved from Alaska. It was hard for them to find a way to see each other and so they planned to both meet at a third location where neither lived. It was Zanzibar! That concerned me and so, though, she was an adult, I sat down with this daughter whom I adore and  said very directly, “You will have to be careful being alone together in this far away place. You must never be in each other’s room. You must make sure you go to bed early so you are not put in the place of temptation.” Etc. I went on for a few minutes.

She responded in such a great way. She said, “Mom, you remind me of Moroni.” I said, “Why?” She answered, because he came to Joseph Smith three times in one night and once the next day to deliver the same message.” It was such a sweet way to say, “Mom, I hear you and I have always heard you. I believe you.” I didn’t worry after that because I knew that she knew. That young man is her husband today and their visit to Zanzibar was entirely safe.

There is something powerful about calm conviction. You pass that on to your family as the best legacy they can have.

Scot

Paul on Women

Now Paul, writes something in this letter in chapter 14 that is enough to give Maurine heartburn and many other women as well. He writes:

34 Let your awomen keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to bspeak; but they are commanded cto be under dobedience, as also saith the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to aspeak in the church.

Some have suggested that Paul didn’t really write these words, but that they were inserted later as a scribal error because it isn’t consistent with other comments he makes about women, yet these words do appear in the earliest manuscripts.

We are going to quote an article from Jolene Edmunds Rockwood extensively here because she discusses it so well.

Maurine

It is in the epistles of Paul or in letters attributed to him that the status and conduct of women are most discussed… Before examining these passages, we need to remind ourselves of some things. First, these passages represent a very small portion of Paul’s total writings, and so not only must we look at Paul’s message as a whole to see how these smaller segments fit in but we also must not let a few passages color the rest of the tremendous doctrinal wisdom and teachings of Paul that include both men and women.

“Second, we need to remember that these epistles were answers to specific questions and problems that were troubling the small units of the Church throughout the Christian world. These groups were living far away from the center of the Church in Jerusalem. Eventually they became even more isolated as the leaders of the Church were killed, Christians became openly and viciously persecuted, and Jerusalem’s prominence as Church headquarters decreased.

Scot

”Third, the early converts to the Church brought with them all kinds of baggage from previous beliefs, particularly the Jews who had a totally different view of women’s role in worship. That is why we often find Paul referring first to the Law, meaning the law of Moses or the Torah, and then stating a Christian principle to support or refute it. As the Church spread throughout the Roman Empire, Paul also had to deal with influences of Roman and Greek traditions which often stood in contrast to Jewish law.

“And fourth, other evidence in the book of Acts and elsewhere in the New Testament clearly indicates that, in general, women were fully participating in the gospel of Christ. There are references to women praying, prophesying, speaking in tongues, and exercising all manner of spiritual gifts along with the men. (1 Corinthians 11:512:8-10.) All (both men and women) were filled with the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-411.) “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings” of any member, male or female, the Saints are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20. The four daughters of Philip the evangelist “did prophesy.” (Acts 21:9.) Priscilla and her husband, Aquila, are Paul’s companions whom he refers to as “my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks.” (Romans 16:3-4.) They taught Apollos, “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures . . . whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:24-26.)

Maurine

“Paul’s missionary efforts in Thessalonica included a great multitude of devout Greeks, including “of the chief women not a few.”… Tabitha (or Dorcas), a leading member of the Church in Joppa and a woman filled with good works, died and was raised from the dead by Peter. (Acts 9:36.) In his letter to the Romans, Paul commends Phebe, “our sister” who is a “servant of the church” … and asks that they receive her and assist her in her business. (Romans 16:1-2.) Many commentators have speculated that because of Phebe’s official business, she may have held the office of Deaconess. 21 He also greets “Mary, who bestowed much labour on us,” and many other men and women of the local church. (Romans 16:6.) When the Sanhedrin gives Saul letters authorizing the arrests of Christian Jews in Damascus, he states that he is seeking men and women. (Acts 9:12.) He subsequently notes “binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” (Acts 22:4.) It seems very clear that women are playing an important and esteemed role in the gospel in the early Church.

Scot

“Then, in chapter 14, Paul interrupts his lengthy discourse on unity and gifts of the Spirit with a startling and uncharacteristic exclamation: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (Vv. 34-35.) These two verses are omitted from official Church lesson manuals, never quoted in Church meetings, and left unexplained in commentaries. These verses are problematic because we know from latter-day revelation that this doctrine is not part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Women learn, as do the men, in church. They teach as do the men, they participate fully in the gospel…Second, these verses disagree with and reverse other doctrinal statements appearing in Paul’s writings, such as 1 Corinthians 11, where he states that women could pray and prophesy as long as they had their heads covered (vv. 5-15), or 1 Corinthians 14, where he affirms that all[women and men] should speak in tongues, all should prophesy, and all should let the gifts of the Spirit flow freely (vv. 5, 24, 31, 39). It also contradicts his earlier pleas for unity and equality among the members of the “body” of the Church. (1 Corinthians 12.) Has Paul completely reversed his stand? Was all his talk about unity and equality in the previous chapters to be undone in two verses?… Once again, the Joseph Smith Translation clarifies things, for it changes the word speak to rule, thus putting the issue into the realm of priesthood authority. The question then becomes one of who will preside in the Church. (JST 1 Corinthians 14:34.) Jolene Edmunds Rockwood, “Choosing the Good Part, Women from Christ to Paul from Women Steadfast in Christ, http://www.gospelink.com/library/document/36715?highlight=1

Maurine

Resurrection

Some of the Corinthian Saints were preaching that there would be no resurrection of the dead. Paul answered, “then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). This truth, that Christ suffered for our sins and then was resurrected is the very center of the gospel.

Paul said,

19 If in this alife only we have bhope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is aChrist brisen from the dead, and become thecfirstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came adeath, by man came also thebresurrection of the dead.

22 For as in aAdam all bdie, even so in cChrist shall all be madedalive.

Scot

All would be vanity without resurrection. How well I remember Truman Madsen arising to speak in the chapel of the BYU Jerusalem Center one Easter Sunday years ago. The Jerusalem Center stands on Mt. Scopus which is an extension of the Mount of Olives where Jesus paid such a mighty price as he wrought the atonement. Behind him were the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the city. What a powerful place to partake of the sacrament and hear an Easter talk. Truman told the story of his brother, who was a pilot and was shot down during the Korean War, his body instantly consumed by fire and no trace left behind. He asked will his brother be resurrected? Will it be any trouble for God to perform this resurrection? Of course not. And he added that Joseph Smith had said, “All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it.”

Maurine

Joseph continued, “More painful to me are the thoughts of annihilation than death. If I have no expectation of seeing my father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends again, my heart would burst in a moment, and I should go down to my grave.

“The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils of life. It is like their taking a long journey, and on their return we meet them with increased joy.” Joseph Smith on the Resurrection, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/1988/05/joseph-smith-on-the-resurrection?lang=eng

Scot

This is all made possible through Christ’s resurrection, which Paul taught. But it wasn’t his own witness alone that he wanted people to count on. In a gospel that relies on the law of witnesses, Paul teaches that many saw the resurrected Christ.

1 Corinthians 15

And that he was aseen of bCephas, then of the twelve:

After that, he was aseen of babove five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And last of all he was aseen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Maurine

We can add to that the 2500 witnesses that saw Him when he first appeared in the New World after His resurrection. Then, they ran to bring their friends and family, and the next day there may be have been as many as ten times that number. Joseph Smith the Savior saw the resurrected Lord and apostles and prophets in this dispensation have recorded several instances. Witnesses abound that Christ was resurrected and because of Him, we will be as well.

What will we be like as resurrected beings?

Scot

Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry describe this based on scripture:

“Resurrected beings have perfect, “superhuman” bodies of flesh and bones. They cannot be injured, harmed, or destroyed. They cannot become sick, diseased, or contaminated with the viruses that plague mortals. These immortal bodies will never expire and will never see corruption of any kind, throughout all the eternities.

Maurine

“Resurrected beings have the power to perform all the noble and elevated functions of mortals (though the powers of procreation are reserved to the exalted). They can speak, converse, reason with and enjoy the company of others, walk, and partake of mortal food. Similar to those of mortals, their bodies are tangible and corporeal, having hands that can touch and feel and perform various functions. They have arms, legs, eyes, a mouth, hair, and other features that they possessed in mortality. Unlike mortals, however, resurrected personages have spirit matter in their bodies in the place of blood. As John Taylor made clear, ‘When the resurrection and exaltation of man shall be consummated, although more pure, refined and glorious, yet will he still be in the same image, and have the same likeness, without variation or change in any of his parts or faculties, except the substitution of spirit for blood.’

Scot

“In addition, exalted resurrected souls possess powers of various sorts that make them formidable. They have the ability to mingle undetected with mortals. They can hide their glory and resurrected nature while administering to those in mortality. These immortal beings can appear out of nowhere and vanish in an instant. They have the ability to stand in the air and to pass through walls, closed doors, and ceilings (see Joseph Smith—History 1:30, 43).

“The appearance of those with exalted resurrected bodies is heavenly because they have been clothed upon with glory from God himself—theirs is a tabernacle made to last forever. They have beautiful skin and a countenance that is lovely, brighter than the noonday sun, and “glorious beyond description” (Joseph Smith–History 1:32). As Brigham Young said, ‘We bear the image of our earthly parents in their fallen state, but by obedience to the Gospel of salvation and the renovating influences of the Holy Ghost, and the holy resurrection, we shall put on the image of the heavenly, in beauty, glory, power and goodness.’” Donald W. Parry, Jay A. Parry, Understanding Death and the Resurrection, http://www.gospelink.com/library/document/132023

Maurine

No wonder, as Paul tells us, that “Jesus Christ takes away the sting of death.” We have something glorious to which we can look forward.

Lastly, in 1 Corinthians 15, we have the verse that every seminary student and missionary memorizes and that nobody else in the Christian world can understand.

29 Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for theddead?

30 And why stand we in ajeopardy every hour?

It is clear that the early-day Saints practiced baptism for the dead and that this practice in our temples harks back to earlier times and is an eternal principle.

Scot

We’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and we’ve loved being with you today. Don’t forget that the Joseph Smith First Vision calendars are still available for pre-order at $15 at latterdaysaintmag.com/calendar. Thanks to Paul Cardall for the beautiful music that begins and ends this podcast.

Next week’s lesson is 2 Corinthians 1-7, “Be Ye Reconciled to God”. See you then.