Here are some ideas for learning and teaching a few of the great principles in 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon. And while you’re here, I recommend you check out my free online course, “Seeking Jesus.”
Videos for 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon
Ideas for Learning More About 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon
***Lessons from Lois and Eunice***
There is a lot to cover in this week’s chapters, but whatever you do, please don’t miss the opportunity to highlight two powerful women in scripture: Lois and Eunice. I recently surveyed people on Instagram and found that fewer than 10% of people knew who Eunice was…so if you’re part of the 90%, that’s okay, but let’s take the opportunity learn about her.
When Paul’s missionary companion Timothy needed encouragement, Paul reminded him of the faith of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. He wrote, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded is in thee also” (2 Timothy 1:5). Timothy’s father was a Greek which may imply he had not converted to Christianity, suggesting that his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were the main gospel teachers in his home (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
We often talk about the mothers of the stripling warrior, and Lois and Eunice stand with them as incredible gospel teachers. We don’t know a lot about them, but we do knew that they had “unfeigned faith” in Jesus Christ and were willing to take the time and effort to transmit that to a child.
Thinking about Lois and Eunice reminded me of Louisa Emeline Bingham Lee, the mother of President Harold B. Lee. President Lee once told the following story: “I say to you mothers, if you ever have sons and daughters who amount to what they should in the world, it will be in no small degree due to the fact that your children have a mother who spends many nights on her knees in prayer, praying God that her son, her daughter, will not fail. I remember at the foolish years of my teenage life, my mother came to me with an intuitive impression and warning which I brushed off as foolish teenagers do. “Oh, mother, that’s silly,” I said, then within only a month, to stand face to face with the temptation about which mother had warned. I never had the courage to go back and tell her how right she was, but I was on guard because someone warned—my mother.”
Let’s spent some time this week honoring and promoting mothers and motherhood, and the importance of mothers in the transmission of faith.
Note: If you’re interested in learning more about other faithful early Christian women, check out this LDS Living article by Lani Hilton.
***Improving Scripture Study***
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the [followers] of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” We all know that the scriptures have the answers and that we need to study them, but I wonder if we could sometimes spend more time discussing and teaching how to study the scriptures. Perhaps 2 Timothy 3:16-17 could provide a springboard for such a study. Take a look at this scripture toolkit and let me know what you think.
***Should Women Keep Silent in Church?***
What did Paul mean when he wrote, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12). This can be a very confusing verse. Taylor Halvorson wrote an article for LDS Living that helps put this passage in a broader context. You might want to refer to it this week.
***Be An Example***
Here’s a fun way to teach 1 Timothy 4:12 to younger learners. Have them play “the mirror game” where two partners face each other. Person A makes slow motions with her arms and hands, and Person B tries to match those actions, as though s/he were Person A’s reflection in the mirror. Then invite learners to read 1 Timothy 4:12: “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.” Just like you tried follow your partner in “the mirror game” so too will those around us follow our examples…so let’s make sure we set good ones!
***Don’t Neglect Philemon***
I showed my kids the Bible Project’s video on Philemon and none of them had heard of the story of Onesimus. The video breaks it down really well and shows how Paul acts as Jesus Christ. A key Greek word in this letter is koinonia (see verse 6). If you want to learn more about koinonia, try using the Blue Letter Bible (if you don’t know how to use it, here’s a video tutorial).
1 and 2 Timothy each contain one of the top ten most frequently quoted Pauline passages by leaders in General Conference. Learn more in this article I co-wrote: “Prophetic Use of the Pauline Epistles, 1970–2013.”
I hope these resources are helpful to you in your learning and teaching this week!