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.
Paul’s mission to teach the gospel wasn’t easy. He was imprisoned, beaten, chained, and went through trials including a ship wreck and a snake bite. But Jesus “stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul” (Acts 23:11). Although he had many trials to face, he had faith and endured to the end. He continued to boldly bear testimony of Jesus Christ.
Even from prison, he wrote letters to the church, teaching them important gospel truths and encouraging them. In one letter, he admonished the people to be true, honest, just and pure, and to seek out good, virtuous things.
Joseph Smith, in the 13th Article of Faith said that we should follow the admonition of Paul: “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 we 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.”
“As we look forward to the future, we ‘hope to be able to endure all things.’ … How will we endure all things? The answer is amazingly simple: We shall do so by faith, by unity, and by following the prophets of God.”
President James E. Faust
What are some of the similarities in the 13th Article of Faith, that Joseph Smith wrote and the scripture (Philippians 4:8), that the Apostle Paul wrote? (Read both scriptures again to help refresh children’s memories, then discuss ideas.)
What does “admonition” mean? (The word, admonition, means to give advice or warn somebody to do or not to do something.)
How will following the “Admonition of Paul” and the 13th Article of Faith, help us? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that these things will help us “endure to the end.”)
Why is it important for us to endure to the end? (Discuss ideas.)
Do you think that Paul endured to the end? (Discuss ideas.)
Entangled in Satan’s Chains of Deception
Tyler tiptoed into his room and quietly shut the door and pulled the model car out from under his shirt. “I’m going to get a real car, just like this one, when I turn sixteen,” he said to himself, as he excitedly examined the die-cast replica of the silver Ferrari 612, with its detailed interior and dashboard. Tyler carefully opened the doors, then the hood and then the trunk. “This is so awesome!” he exclaimed, just before he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Tyler quickly hid the car in his dresser drawer, under his jeans. Mother opened the door and entered the room. She was carrying a pile of folded clothes in her arms. “Oh, Tyler. You scared me!” she exclaimed. “I didn’t know you were home yet.”
“Sorry, Mom. I just got home,” Tyler apologized, as Mother moved towards his dresser. Tyler’s face turned red, and panic wrenched his stomach. “Um, I, can put those, um, away Mom,” he stammered.
“Thanks, Ty!” Mother said, after handing him the neatly folded clothes. After turning to leave the room, she stopped at the door. “You can go play as soon as your homework’s done,” she added.
Tyler thought about the math assignment he was dreading before answering. “I don’t have any homework,” he lied.
“Well, then you can go play until dinner.”
After Mother left the room, Tyler took the car from his dresser, slid it back under his shirt and ran down the stairs. “I’m going to go play in my tree house,” he shouted to Mother, before slipping out the door.
Tyler played in his tree house, with the toy car, until Father call him to come in for dinner. With the key that hung from a chain around his neck, Tyler opened the old cash box Father had given him to keep his treasures in. After wrapping the car in an old cloth, he placed it in the box and locked it back up.
That night, Tyler tried to say his prayers, but a lump formed in his throat and his face flushed. He closed his eyes tighter and tried to erase the image from his mind, but it wouldn’t go away. With his prayers unsaid, Tyler climbed into bed.
Tyler tossed and turned, before a voice in his mind said, “Don’t worry about it. What does an old man need all those toy cars for anyway? Besides he has so many, he’ll never even know it’s gone.”
“That’s right,” thought Tyler. “He’ll never even miss it!”
The next morning, when Mrs. Hunter told the class to turn in their math assignments, Tyler crumbled the page of un-solved problems and shoved it in his desk. A lump formed in his throat and his face flushed as he remembered his mother asking if he had homework.
“Just tell Mrs. Hunter your little sister tore it up and she’ll give you a new one and you can do it tonight,” he heard a voice in his head say.
Over the next few weeks Tyler struggled with telling the truth. Which was causing him to have trouble sleeping and eating.
“Is that all you’re going to eat?” Mother asked. “I thought lasagna was your favorite!”
“I guess I’m just not feeling very well,” he quietly answered.
Mother reached across the table to feel Tyler’s forehead. “You don’t seem to have a fever,” she said. “Does your throat hurt?”
Tyler shook his head before whispering, “It’s my stomach. It feels like I’ve been riding a roller coaster!”
The next day, Mother took Tyler to see Dr. Hendricks. After a thorough examination, Dr. Hendricks couldn’t find any thing wrong. “It could just be stress,” he said. “Is there anything bothering you, Tyler?”
Tyler felt the flush rushing up his face and a shooting pain stabbed at his stomach. Tears ran down his cheeks. “The only thing bothering me is this pain!” he cried.
“Well if you don’t feel better in a few days, I’ll send you over to the hospital for some tests.”
Tyler curled up in his bed when he got home. Once again images and voices raced through his mind and tears streamed down his face. Tyler clenched his arms around his aching stomach. “What’s wrong Tyler?” he sarcastically repeated his mother’s question. “What’s wrong with me is that I’m a liar and a thief!” Tyler whimpered.
“That’s right, Tyler! You’re a thief and a liar and there’s no way out. You can’t tell anyone now or they’ll put you in prison,” a voice in Tyler’s head snickered.
Suddenly Tyler’s tears stopped. “I don’t care!” he thought. “Anything has got to be better than being tied up in Satan’s chains.”
With a strength that he hadn’t felt in a long time, Tyler crawled out of bed and knelt down beside his bed and told Heavenly Father what he had done and pleaded for a long time for forgiveness. The lump in Tyler’s throat and the pain in his stomach seemed to melt away as he resolved what he needed to do. After retrieving the car from the cash box, Tyler rang Mr. Porter’s doorbell.
After taking care of that problem, Tyler hurried back home. He found Mother sitting on the couch
reading her scriptures. She motioned for him to come and sit by her and once again the tears streamed down his face as he told Mother everything he had done and about the struggles he had been having.
“Tyler, it’s easy to get entangled in Satan’s lies, especially if you stop praying,” Mother counseled. “I am so proud of you for finally listening to the Holy Ghost. He gave you the strength to seek out our Heavenly Father, and now, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can, once again, be free.”
by Margie Nauta Lee
These lessons are perfect for Family Home Evening at the beginning of the week, or to recap the following Sunday. Or use portions of the lesson throughout the week to enhance your family scripture study.
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