Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Saturday, September 21, 2019

“God Loveth a Cheerful Giver”




Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
and will open in a new window.
Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog


What would you do if you heard that a congregation of Saints in another area was struggling in poverty? Would you give, would you help in someway and if you did, what would be your attitude of giving? In our day, there are Saints throughout the world who are in need of help. Sometimes the most we can do for them is to fast and donate fast offerings. In other cases, our giving can be more direct and personal. Whatever forms our sacrifices take, it’s worth examining our motivations for giving. Are our sacrifices expressions of love? Are we cheerful givers?

As we come to understand all that the Savior has given us, we will be more willing to give of our substance to others. God wants us to be willing to give even when we may not have anything to give. if we do this, give to those in need with a cheerful heart, God will generously bless us, and recognizing God’s generosity in blessing us can help us feel gratitude toward Him. This is what Paul was trying to teach the Corinthians, and also now, trying to teach us in 2 Corinthians8–13

History and Background

Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians stands out for its themes of comfort in the midst of affliction, strength in the midst of weakness (as exemplified by Paul himself), and the discerning of true teachers from false ones. Paul’s example and teachings recorded in 2 Corinthians serve as a call for all Saints to remain true and faithful to the eternal covenants they have made with God, the Eternal Father, no matter the circumstances or the consequences.

Who wrote 2 Corinthians?  Even though the Second Epistle to the Corinthians states that it was written by the Apostle Paul and Timothy, it is likely that Paul wrote this epistle on behalf of himself and Timothy. The numerous references Paul makes to his own experiences suggest that he alone is the author of this book 

When and where was 2 Corinthians written?  Shortly after Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, a riot developed in Ephesus in opposition to his teachings Acts 19:23–41, and he departed to Macedonia Acts 20:1; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:5. It appears that while he was there he wrote 2 Corinthians, likely about A.D. 57. In addition to 1 Corinthians, it is believed that Paul wrote two other letters before writing 2 Corinthians. We know about these letters because Paul mentioned them 1 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Corinthians 2:3–4, 9; 7:8–12.

To whom was 2 Corinthians written and why?  While Paul was in Macedonia, Titus took him news from Corinth that an earlier letter he had sent had been well received by the Saints there.  But Paul also learned of false teachers who were corrupting the pure doctrines of Christ. Sometime after Paul’s initial visit to Corinth is when Paul seems to have chastised some of the Saints.  Preachers from the Jerusalem area had came to Corinth and began teaching the Saints that they must adopt Jewish practices, contrary to Paul’s teachings. Much of 2 Corinthians addresses the problems caused by these unwelcome teachers. Paul referred to them as “false apostles” and “deceitful workers,” who were “transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” 2 Corinthians 11:13. Some of these men accused Paul of dishonest actions and even challenged his authority as an Apostle.

Paul’s letter addressed both those who desired more of his words and those who had neither the desire to repent nor the inclination to accept his counsel; most obvious in 2 Corinthians 10–13. In general, the text of 2 Corinthians reveals several purposes of this letter: (1) to express gratitude to and strengthen those Saints who responded favorably to his previous letter; (2) to warn of false teachers who corrupted the pure doctrines of Christ; (3) to defend his personal character and authority as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 10–13; and (4) to encourage a generous financial offering from the Corinthian Saints to the impoverished Saints of Jerusalem 2 Corinthians 8–9.

What are some distinctive features of 2 Corinthians?  In response to critics who questioned his apostolic authority and his doctrine, Paul shared autobiographical details of his life and wrote of his “thorn in the flesh” 2 Corinthians 12:7.  While many of Paul’s letters focus on doctrine, much of this letter emphasizes Paul’s relationship with the Corinthian Saints and his love and concern for them. Though Paul was firm in his opposition to critics, throughout 2 Corinthians we see him as a tender priesthood leader caring for the happiness and well-being of the Saints.

In this letter Paul referred to what may have been the most sacred moment in his life. In 2 Corinthians 12:2–4, Paul described himself as “a man in Christ,” who was “caught up to the third heaven,” where he saw and heard unspeakable things. This vision, taken together with his previous doctrinal statement concerning the degrees of glory in the resurrection 1 Corinthians 15:35–44, can be seen as a biblical parallel to Joseph Smith’s vision recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76.

Chapter Summaries

In chapters 8–9, Paul continued his ongoing exhortation of the Saints to give donations to members of the Church in Jerusalem, emphasizing the principle of caring for the poor. In chapters 10–13, Paul defended his apostolic authority against some in Corinth who opposed him. Paul contrasted his own actions and teachings with those of men he labeled “false apostles,” and he encouraged the Saints in Corinth to prepare themselves for his upcoming visit so they could discern between true servants of God like himself and false teachers. In all of Paul’s counsel, we see his love for the Saints and his earnest desire for them to act righteously.

Doctrine


Part 1: 2 Corinthians 8:1–15; 9:6–15 Saints cheerfully share what they have to bless the poor and needy.

Paul wrote to the Saints in Corinth, explaining that the members in Macedonia had given freely to those in need. He encouraged the Corinthian Saints to also follow the Savior’s example by giving to the poor. Paul taught about the blessings that come to those who cheerfully give to the poor. God has commanded His Saints to help take care of those in need, and passages in 2 Corinthians 8–9 can inspire each of us in our efforts.

1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.



6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

What is the missing word from the following quotation?

“Down through history, _____________has been one of humankind’s greatest and most widespread challenges. Its obvious toll is usually physical, but the spiritual and emotional damage it can bring may be even more debilitating.” (Jeffery R Holland)

Poverty is the missing word. So what is Poverty can you define it? An official definition is "The condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support."

Then in your words, why can poverty be such a difficult challenge?


As stated, Paul told the Corinthian Saints that Church members in Macedonia had given generously to help the poor in their temporal needs.  He did so stating that they desired to do the will of God. He then encouraged the Saints of Corinth to follow this example of providing for the needs of others out of sincere love.

One of Paul’s ongoing efforts during his missions was to gather a collection for the poor in Jerusalem (see Acts 24:17; Romans 15:25–32; 1 Corinthians 16:1–4). Paul wrote about this collection in 2 Corinthians 8–9. The churches in Macedonia had given generously to the cause, and Paul encouraged the Saints in Corinth to do likewise (see 2 Corinthians 8:1–7). Paul later wrote that the Corinthians had responded favorably to his request (see Romans 15:26).

Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 8:12 that the willingness to give what one can is more important than being able to give in great abundance (see also Mosiah 4:24). In 2 Corinthians 8:14, Paul may have implied that the Corinthian Saints enjoyed great temporal abundance, which they should have been willing to donate in gratitude for the generous spiritual supply they received from Jerusalem (see Romans 15:27). When Paul spoke of “equality” among the Saints (2 Corinthians 8:14) he was not speaking of complete sameness. Latter-day revelation clarifies that in matters of temporal welfare, equality is determined in consideration of each person’s needs, wants, and circumstances (see D&C 51:3; 82:17). 
(New Testament Student Manual)

What did Paul teach that Jesus Christ does for the Saints in 2 Corinthians 8:9
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

In what ways was Jesus Christ rich in the premortal life?  Jesus Christ was the Firstborn of the Father in the spirit and even before He was born in mortality. He was a God who stood next to Heavenly Father in authority, power, and glory and created many worlds under the direction of the Father.

In what ways might He have been considered poor during His time in mortality?  He left His position of glory to be born in and live among lowly circumstances on earth.

What do you think it means in verse 9 when it says “through the Savior’s poverty might be rich”?  Because Jesus Christ condescended from His premortal throne and came to earth to minister, set an example for us, and perform the Atonement, we can gain the riches of eternal life.


About a year earlier, the Corinthian Saints had committed to take up a collection of goods for the poor Saints in Judea. 2 Corinthians 8:10–11

10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

What did Paul advise the Saints in Corinth to do? The phrases “to do” and “perform the doing of it” mean that Paul admonished the Saints to fulfill their previous commitment to give what they could to the poor Saints, just as the Savior had given eternal riches to them.

What happens to each of us as we come to understand all that the Savior has given us?  As we come to understand all the Savior has given us, we will be more willing to give of our substance to others.

How can reflecting upon the Savior’s gifts to us motivate us to give to those in need?
What specific gifts has the Savior given you that might inspire you to give to others?

What additional truths do you find in 2 Corinthians 8:12–15 that Paul taught the people about the importance of supporting one another in temporal ways?

12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.


What truth can we learn from verses 12–13God wants us to be willing to give even when we may not have anything to give.

What can we do for others if we don’t have anything physical to give them?   Elder Jeffery R Holland taught: “I don’t know exactly how each of you should fulfill your obligation to those who do not or cannot always help themselves. But I know that God knows, and He will help you and guide you in compassionate acts of discipleship if you are conscientiously wanting and praying and looking for ways to keep a commandment He has given us again and again” (“Are We Not All Beggars?” 41). 

According to verses 14–15, who benefits when all the Saints consistently give to those in need? Whoever may be in need at any given time.

What are some ways in which everyone benefits when we are all willing to give cheerfully? 
Paul taught that individuals who give cheerfully will receive greater blessings than those who give grudgingly. The Book of Mormon prophet Mormon understood this: “God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness” Moroni 7:6–7.


In 2 Corinthians 9:6–7 what is the comparison Paul used to teach the members in Corinth about giving freely? 

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

What does it mean to sow? To plant seeds.
To what did Paul compare sowing? Giving to others. 
Read the following statement: If we give to those in need with a cheerful heart, God will generously bless us.

Keeping this statement in mind: How is giving to others like sowing seeds in a field?  What happens if we only sow sparingly?  What happens if we sow bountifully?

Paul noted that those who sowed (donated to the needy) bountifully would also reap (receive) bountifully from the Lord. On the other hand, “he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly” (2 Corinthians 9:6).  (New Testament Student Manual) 

How can giving to others with a cheerful attitude actually lead to our receiving more than we began with?

What are some phrases Paul used in 2 Corinthians 9:8–10  to describe blessings the Lord gives to those who give with a cheerful heart? “all grace abound toward you” “all sufficiency in all things” “his righteousness remaineth for ever”...These verses that we will receive the Lord’s grace, which may include temporal blessings, sufficient for our needs.

According to verse 10, who is “he that ministereth seed to the sower”?  The Lord.  We are only able to give to others because the Lord has provided for us in the first place.

In 2 Corinthians 9:9, Paul quoted Psalm 112:9, referring to “a good man” who “hath given to the poor” (Psalm 112:5, 9). In verse 10, Paul referred to God’s abundant blessings to those who give generously. In verses 12–13, Paul said that two good things would result from the Corinthians’ unselfish giving—the needs of the Jerusalem Saints would be met, and those Saints would in turn give generous thanks to God.  (New Testament Student Manual)

How can remembering where everything we have comes from help us to give cheerfully?

According to verses 11–15, how do Saints who freely give and receive of one another’s substance feel toward God?  Recognizing God’s generosity in blessing us can help us feel gratitude toward Him.

In a general priesthood session, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared the following statement, which applies equally to both men and women:

“This very hour there are many members of the Church who are suffering. They are hungry, stretched financially, and struggling with all manner of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. They pray with all the energy of their souls for succor, for relief.

“Brethren, please do not think that this is someone else’s responsibility. It is mine, and it is yours. We are all enlisted. ‘All’ means all—every Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holder, rich and poor, in every nation. In the Lord’s plan, there is something everyone can contribute”
(“Providing in the Lord’s Way,” Ensign Nov. 2011, 54).

When have you felt gratitude toward God after recognizing the blessings He sent to you for serving and giving to others in a cheerful manner?




Part 2: 2 Corinthians 11:13–33 False prophets seek to deceive.


Because we, like the Corinthian Saints, are all susceptible to false teachings, we can benefit from reviewing Paul’s warnings to the Corinthians about “false apostles.”  The Apostle Paul taught about the spiritual war that the children of God are engaged in. He defended himself against those who opposed him. He recounted how he was caught up into the third heaven and described how his weaknesses proved to be a blessing. Before ending his epistle, Paul exhorted the Saints in Corinth to examine themselves and prove their faithfulness.

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

In 2 Corinthians 11–12 Paul issued a warning about false teachers among the Corinthian Saints who were not the righteous ministers they appeared to be. He used strong terms as he compared them to the “serpent” who “beguiled Eve through his subtilty” Paul reasoned that just as Satan himself can appear as an angel of light, the “false apostles” in Corinth had the appearance of “ministers of righteousness”  These individuals preached “another” Christ. Although it is unclear what specific doctrines these false apostles were teaching about Jesus Christ, we know that on another occasion Paul had to refute claims in Corinth that Christ had not risen from the dead
.

In contrast to the false apostles in Corinth, Paul testified that he was an authentic Apostle, who was in no way inferior to “the very chiefest apostles”
In 2 Corinthians 12:12, Paul invited the Corinthian members to consider if his works among them were signs of a true Apostle that authenticated his ministry (see also Mark 16:17–18).  (New Testament Student Manual)

What are some false teachings that influence us today?  

Elder Bruce R. McConkie described some differences between true and false apostles in our day: “In the general sense, a true apostle is an especial witness of the Lord’s name, one who knows by revelation that Jesus is the Lord. A false apostle is one who pretends to be a teacher and witness of true doctrine without having the requisite personal revelation. In the specific sense, a true apostle is one who has been ordained to that office in the Melchizedek Priesthood and who normally serves as a member of the Council of the Twelve, and who therefore has power and authority to govern the Church. A false apostle is one who professes to have power to govern the affairs of the Church on earth, but does not in fact have the requisite endowment of divine authority” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:440)

When you hear the words stumbling block what comes to mind?  A stumbling block is “an impediment to belief or understanding” or “an obstacle to progress.” To stumble spiritually is “to fall into sin or waywardness.” A stumbling block can be anything that distracts us from achieving righteous goals.  (Quentin L Cook “Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus” Ensign Nov. 2016).  


What are some exampels of stumbling blocks? The Philosophies of Men, Refusing to See Sin in Its True Light, Looking beyond the Mark 

While there are many examples of looking beyond the mark, a significant one in our day is extremism. Gospel extremism is when one elevates any gospel principle above other equally important principles and takes a position that is beyond or contrary to the teachings of Church leaders. One example is when one advocates for additions, changes, or primary emphasis to one part of the Word of Wisdom. Another is expensive preparation for end-of-days scenarios. In both examples, others are encouraged to accept private interpretations. “If we turn a health law or any other principle into a form of religious fanaticism, we are looking beyond the mark.”  “Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me.” When we elevate any principle in a way that lessens our commitment to other equally important principles or take a position contrary to or which exceeds teachings of Church leaders, we are looking beyond the mark.   (Quentin L Cook “Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus” Ensign Nov. 2016).

How can we can avoid “stumbling blocks” that lead us away from the gospel?  Let us determine to always be in His service. While seeking knowledge, we need to avoid the philosophies of men that lessen our commitment to the Savior. We must see sin in its true light and accept the Savior’s Atonement through repentance. We need to avoid looking beyond the mark and focus on Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, and follow His doctrine.   (Quentin L Cook “Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus” Ensign Nov. 2016). 

In 2 Corinthians 11:21–33 what do you learn from about true “ministers of Christ?"


Part 3: 2 Corinthians 11:3; 13:5–8 We should “examine” our faithfulness in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes Church members feel overwhelmed with the demands of life, including what they might see as the demands of being a Latter-day Saint. Paul’s counsel to “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” can help us focus on “the simplicity that is in Christ” 

3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

In 2 Corinthians 11:3 what does the phrase “simplicity that is in Christ” mean?  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught:  “Brothers and sisters, living the gospel doesn’t need to be complicated.  “It is really straightforward. It could be described like this:  “Hearing the word of God with earnest intent leads us to believe in God and to trust His promises.  “The more we trust God, the more our hearts are filled with love for Him and for each other.  “Because of our love for God, we desire to follow Him and bring our actions in alignment with His word.  “Because we love God, we want to serve Him; we want to bless the lives of others and help the poor and the needy.  “The more we walk in this path of discipleship, the more we desire to learn the word of God.  “And so it goes, each step leading to the next and filling us with ever-increasing faith, hope, and charity.  “It is beautifully simple, and it works beautifully.

“Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you”
(“It Works Wonderfully,” Ensign Nov. 2015, 22).

How can we apply President Uchtdorf’s invitation to “focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel?”

What other ideas might you have about how we can examine ourselves to ensure that we remain true to the faith?  Record your thoughts in your journal!

Part 4: 2 Corinthians 12:5–10 The Savior’s grace is sufficient to help us find strength in our weakness.


What would you say to a friend who has prayed for relief from a physical infirmity but feels that this prayer is not being answered? Are there insights from the following verses that might help the situation? 

5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

In spite of Paul’s prayers, it seems that the Lord chose not to remove Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.”


What can we learn from Paul about why the Lord may allow us to experience weaknesses and trials?  The Lord may allow us to experience weaknesses and trials so we can learn to be humble. 


What truths did Paul learn that helped him endure his weaknesses? The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient to strengthen us in our weaknesses. The Lord does not always remove our challenges, but He will strengthen us as we endure them faithfully.

Grace is the “divine means of help or strength” made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

What does it mean that the Savior’s grace is sufficient to strengthen us in our weaknesses? Through the strength we receive from the Savior, we can do all that He asks us to do.

“The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ; whether it removes our burdens or strengthens us to endure and live with them like the Apostle Paul, is available for every affliction in mortality” (“He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Dallin H Oaks).

When, through Jesus Christ’s grace, have you found strength in weakness?

How did that experience influence you life?


Conclusion
As we come to an end of Corinthians we have much to learn and gain from the teachings of such a great man as Paul. I personally have become more connected to him through this study. He has so much to give in learning gospel doctrine and how Christ loves us more than we can comprehend. Let us take note of his example and admonitions in the ways of Christ. Let us be cheerful givers, let us not be deceived by false prophets or concepts, let us examine ourselves and our faithfulness finding ways to be comfortable with the simplicity of Christ, and remember that the Savior's Grace is sufficient. In doing so we can only can the promised peace, joy and happiness in this life and the life to come.
Resources 
New Testament Student Manual 
Ensign
Conference Reports


The Fall of Adam and Eve

  Scriptures are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end...