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Title1 Peter 1–4
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsWelch, John W., Rita Spencer, and Brent J. Schmidt
EditorHalverson, Taylor
Book TitleNew Testament Minute: 1 Peter
Volume21
Number of Volumes27
Chapter1
PublisherScripture Central
CitySpringville, UT
Keywords1 Peter; Bible; New Testament

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1 Peter 1

1 Peter 1:1

In the opening of this letter, Peter does not say that he is the leading Apostle, which he could have said. He simply referred to himself as “Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ.” When Christ gave authority to His first Twelve Apostles, he did not give up His own authority. The Apostles are His agents, responsible to their Master. The flock is not handed over to Peter but ultimately remains Christ’s—He speaks of them as “my lambs,” “my sheep” (John 21:15). John 13:6 seems to be warning against any presumption on the part of the apostles of any usurping of Christ’s rights.

In this letter, the word apostle is essentially a deliberately humble word, for it directs attention away from the Apostle’s person to Him whose Apostle he is. It serves to make it absolutely clear right from the start that the letter is about Jesus Christ and is written in His name and under His authority.1 Peter was humble and advised people at the end of this letter to follow the brethren in humility. He refers not only to the humility of followers but also to the humility of leaders. Peter had learned that lesson very quickly. He could not have been a good leader otherwise.

This epistle is written early enough that Peter is addressing Jewish converts to Christianity. In the Greek we read that he is speaking to eklektois parepidēmois diasporas, which means “to the chosen foreigners of the diaspora,” referring especially to the scattered Jewish people as well as to anyone else who has become chosen by God because they have accepted the gospel. The gospel was being preached not only to Gentiles but especially to Jewish communities in the newly colonized Roman provinces in modern-day Turkey—Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

The letter is noticeably addressed to followers of Jesus Christ in Asia—where John’s book of Revelation will later be addressed and where Paul spent much of his missionary time—but Peter writes to Church leaders in a wider array of locations. This tells us something about the importance of Asia Minor as a major cradle of early Christianity and about Peter’s general authority.

1 Peter 1:2

The King James text transfers the word “elect” in 1:1 into this verse, 1:2, obscuring its actual application to Peter’s whole audience. The Greek places this word before the “scattered strangers” back in 1:1. While some may think it modifies “Peter” in the verse, the Greek word for “elect” (eklektoi) is plural and clearly means “chosen ones.” Joseph Smith used the word chosen to describe all those who exercise proper priesthood authority; and Peter, as the senior Apostle, directs this letter primarily to local Church leaders.

Notice that Peter speaks here of “the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the holiness of the spirit [the Holy Ghost], unto obedience and purification of the blood of Jesus Christ” (emphasis added). Peter mentions here the three members of the Godhead and articulates the different roles, titles, and functions of each. This clearly expresses the original Christian understanding of the Godhead.

The phrase “according to the foreknowledge [prognosin] of God the Father” occurs in a similar context in Alma 13:3, which goes on to explain the manner in which ecclesiastical leaders are called and ordained to offices in the Church: “[They are] prepared from the foundation of the world . . . on account of their exceeding faith and good works,” referring to high priests generally.

In 1 Peter 1:20, a related passage below, the King James translators rendered that same word, proegnōsmenou, as “foreordained,” referring to Jesus Christ. That English word resonates more clearly with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than does foreknowledge. And, Peter says, just as Jesus Christ was chosen and foreordained in the premortal realms, so were His priesthood holders.

The phrase “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” may allude to the ritually symbolic act of sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice performed on the Day of Atonement by the high priest in the Israelite temple. When the high priest performed the prescribed atonement sacrifice, he would then dip his hands in the lamb’s blood and sprinkle the people with it. Those who repent and confess their sins were washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. Peter understood this as the way in which converts become chosen according to God’s will, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, and according to their covenantal promise to remember always the blood of Jesus Christ shed in Gethsemane. As Terry B. Ball has written, “Peter apparently realized that keeping a perspective of our divine heritage and eternal goals is especially important in the face of adversity and persecution. He reminded the Saints that because of their ‘obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,’ they are the ‘elect’ of God, and have enjoyed ‘sanctification’ through the Spirit.” 2

1 Peter 1:3

Normally, as Hebrews 7:7 records, greater characters bless lower ones, but here in the King James Version we have a lower person blessing God. The Greek term used (eulogētos) does not mean “blessed” as in “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Rather, it literally means “praised, or well-spoken of.” Faithful people strive to speak well of God the Father and of Jesus Christ, remembering Jesus’s manifold mercy and powers of regeneration.

The word anagennēsas means “to be literally regenerated or begotten again,” reflecting scriptures which emphasize that everyone must be born again and receive a mighty change of heart in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3–7; Alma 5:7–14). In this verse, Peter teaches that the faithful thereby have hope to live again through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ “from among the dead.” As is known by members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, people were begotten once in the spirit world, but they are now rebegotten, which answers a theological question about our premortal sonship and daughterhood under God. In being born again, we are born spiritually a second time. Peter’s use of this word shows he understood that.

Our Father has rebegotten us, with a hope to live. The King James Version calls this a “lively” hope, but the Greek word here is an infinitive, “to live,” not an adverb. This hope looks forward to a continuous and everlasting life.

Peter describes the Lord’s “abundant [poly] mercy” as the enabling force behind the miracle of the overflowing resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Alma 18:41, King Lamoni called upon the Lord’s “abundant mercy” to save his soul and his people. In both cases, this expansive expression refers to the manifold powers of Christ’s infinite Atonement. The Resurrection of Jesus was not only for Him; He was resurrected “out of the dead ones,” which includes all God’s children (1 Peter 1:3; emphasis added).

1 Peter 1:4

To define the unfathomable value of the eternal inheritance (klēronomian) we are promised as heirs of God, having been born and reborn of Him, Peter uses here a string of four unusual and big words, all of which have powerful meanings: (1) This inheritance is “incorruptible;” it is not going to degenerate over time. (2) It cannot be “defiled;” it will not be contaminated by outside forces. (3) It will not “fade away;” it will not wither or faint. (4) It is “reserved;” it is protected, guarded in trust, and laid up in the heavenly treasury, where it will be kept secure for us. Even though many others will share in the Father’s estate, each beneficiary’s share will not be diminished; indeed, all of the Father’s children can receive all that He has. This promise is secure, for Jesus has laid this treasure up. This inheritance is being protected from any evil spirits, devils, forces, or whatever may damage it. Peter’s words indicate that it is being guarded by people who are trustees, protecting this for the beneficiaries who truly want and are prepared to receive it.

1 Peter 1:5

Peter assures us that our inheritance is kept in heaven “by the power of God” for us (eis hymas), to be revealed openly. Peter’s words give us a sense of how ready we have to be in order to receive our inheritance with God. To be “ready or prepared” (phrouroumenous) denotes a conscious and deliberate set of actions on our part as we strive to keep God’s commandments.

The Greek word translated here as “revelation” (apokalypsthēnai) does not imply a quiet, private revelation. This salvation is “prepared” (hetoimēn) to be openly revealed in the “culminating, crucial day” (kairōi), which is a better translation than “in the last time.” The Greek word is not kronos, meaning “time”; it is kairos, which means “the critical moment of all history,” the Second Coming of Christ.

The phrase “through faith unto salvation” as used by Peter conveys a subtle meaning. Peter’s wording seems to describe those individuals who are kept and preserved by God through their faith unto, or faith in, their eventual salvation (compare Alma 25:16).

1 Peter 1:6

The King James Version says, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice,” but the Greek words literally say, “In this, shout hallelujah.” The sentence that runs from 1 Peter 1:3–5 begins, “Praised be the Father,” and sounds like a prayer. It is very powerful, even more so when read aloud. Considering that it is followed by a concluding hallelujah shout, this opening section of the epistle appears to be a liturgical text, a text that would have been read by the local bishop or recited by the Christians when they gathered for their worship services and the sacrament. At its conclusion, they would have shouted, “Hallelujah.” This opening text of greeting and blessing is not a philosophical, theological treatise, although it contains a number of elevated vocabulary words. It is rather a declaration of commitment, of testimony, and of recognition of the power of God. It certainly has an element of crescendo.

Key text: 1 Peter 1:7

Having introduced at the beginning of his letter the great promise of all that the chosen will have, Peter was sensitive to the fact that many faithful people were experiencing suffering, trials, temptations, and problems. Rather than simply following a very optimistic, theoretical, happy kind of theme, he was a realist. He knew that people had problems, trials, and afflictions. He himself had experienced the same, having suffered persecution. He had healed sick people, even raising one from the dead. So Peter had dealt with reality.

Andrew Skinner has written, “Because of hope in the resurrection and hope for exaltation, the Saints can rejoice, despite the fact that this life brings trials and afflictions. ‘Temptations’ in the sixteenth-century English of the King James Version of the Bible also means ‘trials, tests, and provings.’”3

The phrase “manifold temptations” in verse 6 is more accurately translated “various trials” or “various afflictions.” “Various” places the emphasis on variety or type, while “manifold” focuses mostly on a large quantity. Often for Latter-day Saints, it is the various types of trials rather than their quantity or size that is challenging in mortal life.

Peter begins, “But now for a little while” (1:6; emphasis added). In other words, God will only let us be tested as long as is necessary. “Be patient, it will pass. It will be a little while.” That is reminiscent of the Savior’s words to Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail explaining that the Prophet’s suffering “will be but a small moment.” The Lord added for Joseph the same concept Peter was teaching: “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–8). Skinner adds, “We should feel not bad or sad but glad when trials come; they are opportunities to grow in strength and demonstrate our faith, which is more precious than gold. Even the trial itself is to be prized, for if we endure it well it will bring to us a great reward. As Paul said to the Corinthian Saints, ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17).”4

Peter’s phrase in verse 7 regarding “the trial of your faith” has parallels in James 1:3, which states that these trials and afflictions develop patience: “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Peter furthermore assures the faithful that their faith is more precious even than gold that has been refined in the fire, for gold will perish but true faith will yield eternal praise, honor, and glory to God at Christ’s coming. This verse reflects Isaiah 48:10: “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”5

1 Peter 1:8

Peter commends his people who love (agapate) Christ even though they have not seen Him in his resurrected glory. Peter is remembering here the occasion when Jesus appeared to him and the other disciples after His Resurrection when he asked Peter, “Lovest thou [agapais] me?” Peter answered three times, “Yea Lord thou knowest that I love you” (John 21:15–17).

Peter’s description of joy is a distinctive phrase that occurs only here in Peter 1:8 and in Helaman 5:44: “Joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Peter ties this joy directly to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The joy of Nephi and Lehi gloriously grew as they endured persecution and imprisonment as missionaries for Christ’s sake.

1 Peter 1:9

Peter assured the faithful that they would receive salvation, which was “the end [telos] of your faith.” This does not imply that faith ends once salvation is given. Rather, receiving salvation is the purpose or goal of true faith. The Joseph Smith Translation replaces the term “end” with “object” of your faith. Ogden and Skinner wrote, “Salvation of our souls is the goal of our faith. Jesus is our exemplar in all things. His crown of thorns came first and then his crown of glory. There seems to be an eternal principle associated with suffering. The following scriptures illustrate the principle: Alma 7:5; Alma 17:11; Alma 26:27; Alma 28:8; Doctrine and Covenants 58:4; Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–8. In other words, after affliction, sorrow, long-suffering, tribulation, and adversity come joy, success, blessings, and exaltation (see 1 Peter 4:12–16).”6

1 Peter 1:10–12

Peter speaks next about how and what the prophets of old knew of Christ. The King James Version says, “They inquired and searched diligently,” in reference to salvation in Christ. The Greek implies that these prophets were like scouts, exploring the land; they were not only searching diligently but were also trying to bring back information just as a scout would report to those that came after.

Joseph Smith improved the reading of verse 10 to make it clear that Peter affirmed that those prophets of old, who indeed had prophesied of the binding gift (charis) that had been bestowed upon his people, had “inquired and searched diligently, searching what time and what manner of salvation the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when [that spirit] testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow” (Joseph Smith Translation, 1 Peter 1:10–11). Indeed, Peter would have known that in the decades before the birth of Jesus, people were combing through the words of the prophets, especially those of Daniel, to find what they could about when and where the Messiah would appear. Indeed, the prophets of old had searched and found out when the Savior would come and what “manner of salvation” the Messiah would bring, and that was visibly disclosed or signified to them.

Clear examples of what those prophets saw and wrote are given in the Book of Mormon. Judging by the translation given in the King James Version, it appears that the assigned committee did not want to attribute a great deal of foreknowledge to the early prophets. Indeed, one of the classic arguments against the Book of Mormon is that it portrayed the prophets as knowing so much about the Lord. Nevertheless, it is here in the Greek, and it supports the knowledge of the prophets as portrayed in the Book of Mormon. Peter acknowledged that there were prophets that knew and prophesied of Christ, about “what things [tina]” Jesus would do and at “which crucial time [poion kairon]” the Savior would come. Peter was able to identify with that revelatory process himself, as he gave revelations about coming trials and future preaching even to those who had died. For the prophets of old, for Peter and his fellow Apostles, and for the apostles and prophets today, prophecy is a reality.

Both 1 Peter 1:11 and the Doctrine and Covenants refer to “the glory that should follow” suffering or tribulation. Peter refers here specifically to the suffering of Christ and the glory that has followed for Him. Doctrine and Covenants 58:3, directed to the elders of the Church who were enduring tribulations, promises “glory which shall follow after much tribulation.” To a meaningful degree, any receipt of glory after righteous suffering is patterned after that of the Savior.

1 Peter 1:12

Having prophesied all that, Peter let his audience know that there are angels in heaven who would just love to be able to get a peek of things revealed—the Greek word parakypsai says exactly that, “to peek out through.” Jesus said that even the angels in heaven do not know the time of His Second Coming, and Peter affirms a lot is going on that they would love to know about.

1 Peter 1:13

Having assured his readers that God knows the future, Peter tells them to focus on the one thing they can do best as Church leaders and as followers of Christ—namely, to “be ye therefore holy” and to “love one another,” being born of God (1 Peter 1:13–25). According to Monte Nyman, Peter’s first admonition is that the Saint be “holy in all their conversations (or interactions) as was Christ.”7 Peter advises them not to slide back into their old ways. This recalls the Mosaic admonition in Leviticus 11:44: “For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.”

In an interesting piece of imagery, the words “gird up the loins of your minds” are rendered in the King James Version as “gird up the loins of your understanding.” To gird up literally meant “to get a girdle, cinch up your belt, or tie the sash around your outer garments so that you were ready to work,” or “roll up your sleeves” as we might say today. Just like a bathrobe or a toga, the clothing was very loose and had to be tied up if people were even going to walk about. However, it may also apply to girding up one’s minds, getting ready for priesthood functions by having your understanding all tightly in control, not being careless or sloppy in how one thinks or speaks.

Where the King James Version says, “Be sober,” in this verse, the Greek literally means, “Do not get drunk.” Further, it can also mean “be in control of yourself in all situations.” The problem with being drunk is, of course, that you lose control of your mind as well as your body, so the English word sober offers many points of meaning.

In referring to hope, Peter was now saying to his leaders, “Be prepared, get your clothes and your garments ready, be ready for action, be in control of the situation, and hope perfectly.” The word here translated “perfectly” is the same word found in the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “Be ye therefore perfect,” which may refer to being finished or fully initiated into the higher ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:48).

1 Peter 1:14

The Greek word for “fashioning yourself,” syschēmatizomenoi, is derived from the word schema and means “arranging, or organizing.” More than likely, Peter, as President of the Church, is referring to the need for orderly priesthood organization. In effect Peter is saying: “Do not organize yourself according to your former desires that were made in ignorance.” In other words, they should be organized not according to the way they acted before they joined the Church and when they did not know better but “according to the Holy One who has called you.” They should now use Christ as their example, evaluating what manner of people they should be as priesthood leaders, as Christians. That is the way Christians should arrange their behavior and lives.

1 Peter 1:15–16

The invitation to “be ye therefore holy” is similar to Jesus’s command to “be ye therefore perfect” and several other instances of “be ye therefore” (Matthew 5:48; see, for example, Joshua 23:6). The King James Version speaks of all manner of conversation, but the word “conversation” in this context is an archaic, Elizabethan word. Converse in this context meant “to interact or behave.” Joseph Smith correctly translated the archaic English “conversation” (anastrophē) in other parts of the New Testament as “conduct.” Being holy should be applied to all conversation: “Be holy in all your conduct, for it is written, ‘Be ye Holy inasmuch as I am holy,’” which is a quotation from the heart of the law of Moses.8 The Levitical law of holiness seems to be the background for this verse and the following verse.9

1 Peter 1:17

Peter’s second admonition is that the Saints “are to love one another fervently with pure hearts. Peter bases his counsel upon the love that the Father shows his children without respect of persons.”10 After commanding that they be holy, Peter explained how one might become holy. One should begin by calling upon the Father, just as Adam did when he was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Peter explained that they should “call upon God, who judges all people without prejudice according to their deeds.” If anybody wonders whether works matter to Peter, there is no question in Peter’s teaching here that God will judge people according to their actions.

This text indicates that Peter knew God will judge every person without prejudice, regardless of whoever they are. Using the word “respect” as the King James Version does may lead to a wrong impression; “without prejudice” would be a clearer term. One may become holy, Peter says, by “working in fear.” The Greek word phobos does not mean “fear” here; it means “reverence.” “If you will reverently conduct your time as a stranger” refers to “a stranger here in this world.”

1 Peter 1:18–19

Peter emphasized here the innocence and purity of Jesus Christ, who not only had no blemish but also was killed through no fault of His own. He was not blameworthy in any way. Moral, physical, and ritual elements are built into the purity of the blood of Christ. As such, Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice “without blemish” to accomplish the needed offering of redemption to all humankind.

At the beginning of 1 Peter 1:18, the King James Version added “forasmuch as,” which introduces the result of this condition archaically. The spiritually edifying results of keeping Heavenly Father’s commandments lead to further knowledge and further blessings. The Lord has made it clear that all blessings are predicated on obedience to the law for which that blessing is given (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21).

Elder David A. Bednar has stated, “Our sincere desire should be to have both clean hands and a pure heart—both a remission of sins from day to day and to walk guiltless before God. Clean hands alone will not be enough when we stand before Him who is pure and who, as ‘a lamb without blemish and without spot’ (1 Peter 1:19), freely spilled His precious blood for us.”11

The Church’s website explains the purpose of our lives as follows:

Your Heavenly Father knew that to learn and grow and become like Him, you’d need to come to earth, receive a physical body, and have an opportunity to make choices for yourself. If we choose to follow His plan, sometimes referred to as the plan of salvation or the plan of happiness, we and our families can return to live with Him as stronger, wiser, and more compassionate versions of ourselves.12

1 Peter 1:20–21

Peter’s doctrine in this brief verse aligns again clearly with the restored teachings of a pre-earth life, which implies a plan and preplanning. This time, the word prognosis is translated as “foreordained.” See the text and discussion of 1 Peter 1:2 above.

The word kosmos is translated “world” in the King James Version, but the word was used anciently to suggest an orderly and harmonious universe.13 For example, Pythagoras and other ancient Greek philosophers used the word kosmos in speaking of the design and orderliness of this earth and all things in, above, or below it. We get the English word cosmetics from this word, which also has reference to the beauty and organization of life on this earth.

Thus, it was God who planned this world, raised Jesus from the dead, and gave Him glory so that we might believe and hope in God, our Heavenly Father.

1 Peter 1:22

Our task as followers of Christ is thus to reciprocate God’s purifying love for us by purely loving one another. The word “purified” in the phrase “seeing that you have purified your souls” might give the impression that people can somehow purify their own souls, which, of course, is not the case. We cannot “purify our [own] souls.” The blood of Christ purifies us. More clearly, we “consecrate our souls by means of covenanting to live the law of obedience, obey the truth, and having consecrated our souls unto unfeigned brotherly love, we love one another from a pure heart.” The Greek words for “love one another” are the same Jesus used when He said, “As I have loved you, love one another” (John 13:34). We often think that it is only from the Apostle John that we learn that Jesus said, “Love one another,” but Peter was there too at the Last Supper. Peter wrote this maybe thirty years before the Apostle John wrote his Gospel, so early Christians generally knew what Jesus had said on that occasion from Peter before they knew it from John.

The Greek term philadelphian literally means “brotherly love,” whereas the King James Version’s “love of the brethren” may have given the seventeenth-century reader a reason to support the Anglican Church’s hierarchy. Brotherly love is synonymous with the spiritual gift of charity.

The phrase “from a pure heart,” as in “Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), is another temple image. Peter as the president of the Church was in charge of what the Saints knew about ordinances and temple rituals. “Who shall ascend unto the mountain, the temple, of the Lord? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3). Cleansing the outer vessel of the body is an important step in cleansing and consecrating the innermost reaches of the soul.

Moroni explained the effects of this purification as follows: “And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God” (Moroni 8:26).

1 Peter 1:23

In the literal phrase “through the word living God and enduring,” we can see Peter’s own confessional words reflected: Peter’s testimony, as given in Matthew 16:16, reads, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Here in 1 Peter 1:23, Peter is repeating the phrase he had used and for which Jesus had commended him. Jesus responded, “Blessed art thou Peter for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).

1 Peter 1:24–25

Here Peter then quotes Isaiah 40:6–8: “For all flesh is as grass and all the glory of the flesh is as a head of grass seed.” Both Isaiah and Peter refer to the flower of grass, but grass does not really produce a flower. It produces a head of seed that blows away. There is no kernel, and there is no value. Thus, one might offer the following as a better rendition: The grass dries up and its head of seed falls off, but the audible declaration (rhema) of the Lord endures into eternity. The same is true for the audible declaration (rhema) of the gospel delivered to you.

The word rhēma, in both Isaiah 40:25 and 1 Peter 1:25, is translated in the King James Version as “the word of the Lord endureth forever,” which might lead people to believe that the word of the Lord is the Bible itself. Rather than the Greek term for the written word (logos), the actual text uses the Greek term for “audible word” (rhēma, from which get our word rhetoric). Another example of this usage is in the Septuagint when the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, calling him. Jeremiah heard the audible word, or actual words—rhema, not logos (Jeremiah 1).

Peter ends this first chapter of his letter by saying, “And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (emphasis added). But the meaning of euaggelisthen is not to “preach” but “to deliver a wholesome message.” Eu means “good or wholesome,” and aggelisthen, meaning “to deliver a message,” has as its root the word for “angel.” In Greek, an angel is a messenger. Usually messengers deliver a message instead of preaching one. Their messages can be bad warnings or good, wholesome instructions. The use of angelic messengers in early Christianity was also instrumental in the Restoration of the gospel in this dispensation, in which angels delivered important instructions and keys.

Wonderful lessons can be learned from Peter. We have not yet extracted all the practical lessons on how priesthood leaders can follow these instructions or how people who have been to the temple to consecrate their souls can benefit from the way in which he has testified of these eternal things. Many things can be found in this opening chapter of Peter’s magisterial letter of advice and testimony that will help all readers improve their lives. There is no question that when Jesus first saw Peter and called him to be a fisher of men, Peter had no idea what was about to hit him. However, Jesus knew that this man would be able to take Christianity into its first, second, and third generations. His influence still today is without comparison in power and effect. It is no wonder that when the priesthood keys were restored to Joseph Smith, Peter, James, and John came to do that or why even from the foundation of the world Peter was promised to come to us all.

1 Peter 2

Overview

As mentioned, Peter’s epistle contains much that reinforces the restored gospel. Conversely, the framework of the restored gospel helps illuminate what Peter said. These principles had been taught previously; in this letter, Peter was just hitting some of the high points. He was reminding the Saints of things they already knew, which makes the letter harder to follow for those who do not have that background information.

It was not hard to understand for Joseph Smith, who had seen the plan of salvation and knew what the Apostle Peter was referring to. In May 1843, Joseph Smith spoke in Ramus, Illinois, an area with a very strong settlement of faithful Saints, and several things taught at those meetings are enlightening background to Peter’s epistles and vice versa. Joseph spoke for two days, and although not everything Joseph said was recorded, some important revelations were (some are included in the Doctrine and Covenants; see in particular section 131. He gave instructions on eternal marriage, the Holy Spirit of Promise, knowledge, spirit, and matter. This was at the same time that the Prophet Joseph called Peter’s words the most sublime language of any of the Apostles’.14

1 Peter 2:1–3

Peter admonished his audience to become as newborn babies, “setting aside every evil.” The Greek uses a stronger term than “laying aside” that means “to set it aside consciously and thoroughly, to cast it out of your life.” Peter did not expect his audience to set aside only “all malice”; he wanted them to purify their lives completely, to set aside every evil including all guile, deceit, falsehood, hypocrisies, envies, evil speaking, and so on.

If they did so, Peter said, they would taste that the Lord is “good,” “useful,” “worthy,” “kind,” or “benevolent.” The Greek here is translated “gracious” in the King James Version because the Latin reads thus, but that is not quite accurate. Psalm 34:8 also says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

In this verse, “sincere” milk does not make linguistic sense. “Pure” or “genuine” milk is much more precise. Peter encouraged Christians to hunger or yearn after pure spiritual milk just as newborn babies instinctively seek milk (1 Peter 2:2). Understanding the first principles of the gospel is essential for new converts. They have a spiritual need of milk and not meat (Hebrews 5:12). The details in the Greek suggest that Jesus’s Apostles had raised children and encouraged family life. Through this metaphor, Peter stresses the importance that the gospel be kept free from the effects of the Apostasy.

Note the contrast between getting rid of “deceitfulness” and “falsehood” and “yearning after the pure, unadulterated milk” of the gospel. Peter formed a deliberate contrast, another opposite that he used well. The contrast is much clearer in the Greek than it is in English, but it is powerful. The Greek word dolon means “guile, deceit, or falsehood,” and adolon is the opposite, meaning “truth, purity, or sincerity.”

Using another contrast point, Peter explained that this desire for the sincere milk of the word is instinctive and happens naturally when we strip aside all the complications that obstruct our natural instincts. Peter always pointed out the enemy that would drive away the blessings. Joseph Smith explains in his King Follett sermon that good doctrine tastes good. However, it is much more meaningful to say that one has experienced the Lord’s graciousness.

When the prophets speak in general conference, do the faithful instinctively recognize that it is good and want to drink it up as much as possible because they know that it will help them grow? Notice that the King James Version here says only “they may grow thereby.” The Greek includes the phrase eis sōtēria, “unto salvation,” which must have been lost in the Latin. This milk will help people to grow unto salvation. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may particularly enjoy that concept, because for them salvation is a progression, not an instantaneous switch that is turned. Peter is right on point there.

Key text: 1 Peter 2:4–6

Peter had given instructions about how to become righteous individually in verses 1–3, but in verses 4–6 he addresses being righteous collectively as a people—another contrast.

In verse 6, Peter quotes Isaiah 28:16 with, “A chosen cornerstone, precious, honored and of highest rank and he who believes and trusts in him shall not be confounded.” The word the King James Version translates as “confounded” means “dishonored, put to shame, or disappointed.” Many passages of Restoration scripture note that God honored His Son because of His righteousness and obedience. Indeed, Christ’s Atonement made Heavenly Father’s plan possible, in contrast to Satan’s plan that demanded God’s honor in the pre-existence.

In ancient buildings, the cornerstone was cut very carefully and was very specifically positioned so that everything could be measured from it. If a cornerstone were not accurately placed or were not perfectly square, none of the rest of the building would fit together. The cornerstone does not function alone, however. Paul said, “The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). In fact, Peter referred to the entire Christian group as stones in this building (2:5). What a powerful image that is! Just as Jesus is a living cornerstone, we are all living stones without which the structure of the Church and our households would not be complete and would not hold together. This cornerstone metaphor is given as a message to be strict in turning straight corners with the Lord, obeying all the laws and commandments. The cornerstone provides both rectitude and orientation.

Some of the most exciting archaeological finds are the cornerstones of buildings from the ancient world because they commonly contain inscriptions, stone tablets, and artifacts, normally dedicating the building to a certain deity. Similarly, Jesus becoming the cornerstone of our lives tells us to whom we are dedicated.

While this building technique was the standard in latter-day temple building until fairly recently, today we have a new system of building temples, and the First Presidency has issued the following statement: “Construction techniques have advanced to the point that cornerstones are no longer included in large buildings. Therefore, temple cornerstone ceremonies will no longer be part of temple dedications.”15 However, the imagery is not diminished, no more than the image equating missionary work to the fishing industry has now that fishing and missionary practices have changed (see Matthew 4:4). It is still a powerful image. Peter’s audience, then and now, would see Jesus as this powerful, justifying framework. Today, we align ourselves to the Savior through our covenants and obedience and by coming closer through prayer and scripture study in the home.

1 Peter 2:7–8

In 1 Peter 2:7, the King James Version says, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious,” but the Greek says, “Honor, therefore, is to you, to those who believe and are faithful.” The word “faithful” here means “trusting.” They are loyal or faithful to the cornerstone of the building with which they are aligned; in other words, they are in alignment with the Savior.

In verse 8, following quotations from Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14 about the stone that has been rejected, Peter provided another contrast. Obedience leads to honor; unfaithfulness, “particularly if one stumble at the divine word, being disobedient, even to the position to which you have been appointed,” leads to the cornerstone becoming “a rock of offense and a rock of stumbling,” which says something very important about the necessity of fulfilling callings.

Every component in this building has some responsibility, and if each does not fulfill its role, if one stone is weak or removed, the whole building will be weakened. Peter was the priesthood leader looking over the Church—a young, fledgling church—and he knew the importance of every single person doing his or her part, whatever he or she had been called to do. He pointed out that “if you are not faithful to that to which you have been appointed, the cornerstone will become a stone of stumbling.” We can do nothing better to keep ourselves in harmony with the design of the Lord than to be faithful in discharging our stewardships and responsibilities. Some people have said such things as, “I am not going to take care of the nursery. That is beneath my dignity.” That may be the first step in the wrong direction.

1 Peter 2:9–10

The four expressions “chosen generation,” “royal priesthood,” “holy nation,” and as the King James Version says, “a peculiar people” all come from the Old Testament. The phrases “chosen generation” and “peculiar people” (or “personal purchased treasure”) are both from Isaiah 43:20–21, the first part of Isaiah’s prophecies about God restoring and redeeming Israel even though they will be taken captive. The phrases “royal priesthood” and “holy nation” are from Exodus 19:5–6, the chapter appearing immediately before the Ten Commandments.

The prophet Hosea chastised Israel using phrases such as lo-ruhamah, “show no mercy,” and lo-ammi, “not my people,” and he faithfully anticipated that they would be renamed ruhamah, meaning “shown mercy,” and ammi, “my people” (Hosea 1:6; 2:1, 23). Joel Green explained, “Borrowing these categories from Hosea, Peter deploys language used of the judgment and restoration of Israel to designate the significance of the conversion of the now-Christian audience—thus highlighting further the embeddedness of Christians in Israel’s story with the result that the Scriptures of Israel are seen more and more as the account of their heritage.”16

When Moses came down from Sinai after the golden calf episode, the people entered into a covenant (Exodus 24:7–8). By entering into a covenant with God, they became God’s people. These phrases “chosen generation,” “royal priesthood,” “holy nation,” and “peculiar people” all relate to covenant making. The Israelites became a chosen race not by birth but by covenant. And according to Peter, it is the obligation of such covenant people “that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). According to Monte Nyman, Peter’s third admonishment is “to avoid the lusts of the flesh that war against the soul, and be good examples among the Gentiles.”17

1 Peter 2:11

The covenant forms a holy nation, a group that has internal loyalties and cohesion. Because the group is in a bigger society, tensions form, as they did for the Saints in Missouri. Such tensions also happen to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. There is a tension with the outside community, especially in democratic societies where people are supposedly equal but where bonding between separate groups does not occur. These tensions were problems in Peter’s era, too, so he turned his attention to saying how one should deal with the problems of being a minority religious group.

The King James Version mentions being strangers and pilgrims, meaning that the people were estranged somewhat from the rest of the world. Thus, the translation is, “Dearly beloved, I call upon you”—he was not just beseeching them. This is a priesthood call to a minority religious group to “keep away from the desires of the flesh, namely the ones that war against the soul.” The Greek is very clear. Of course, some desires of the flesh like eating and drinking are normal, but this text has been misused by some to say that Peter wanted everyone to be ascetic, to live in a monastery, wear hair shirts, and such, but that is not what Peter actually says.

1 Peter 2:12

Peter wanted to keep the Christians away from worldly sins—“I want you to keep away from all of these things”—so that they could keep their conduct among the Gentiles beyond reproach. The rendition of the King James Version term “conversation” in the Joseph Smith Translation is “conduct.” This is good advice even today.

The Greek term kakopoios, translated by the King James Version as “evildoers,” may also be translated “superstitious magicians.” Jesus was accused of being a magician. So was Joseph Smith. All the prophets experienced this misunderstanding of where their power came from. The early Christians were accused of being magicians involved in superstitious magical workings. Among the greatest enemies of the Roman Empire were soothsayers, diviners, prophets, and people who walked around and prophesied things against the emperor in particular. They could prophesy good things, but prophesying evil was a capital crime.

In using the words “when they consider your good works,” Peter was reflecting the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light so shine so . . . they see your good works” (Matthew 5:16). He used exactly the same words he had heard Jesus give, exhorting all his followers to be a good example by letting their light shine “in such a way” that when people see your good works, they will not glorify you but will glorify God.

The reference next to the mysteries comes from the word epopteuō, translated “to behold” in the King James Version. This Greek term was unusual and meant more than “to behold” but is also “to see into something very sacred.” Its full meaning is impossible to convey in one word. Thus, we may translate this, “Someday these people will see your good works and maybe even before, they will catch a vision of what you understand as the mysteries of God.

The King James Version phrase “in the day of visitation” sounds as though this understanding of the mysteries is not going to occur until the Second Coming. Peter says, “In a day when he will abide with them and shepherd them.” But that need not be so far off if they will look and see the good works and take them to heart. This concept also has temple allusions, but some biblical scholars have argued against that interpretation, and people debate whether the intent is for knowledge to come individually through the Spirit or physically at the Second Coming. One other idea is that the people may see the good works and will recognize and glorify the Lord when He appears. Peter clearly expects that in many ways, many people will go beyond just seeing the good works.

1 Peter 2:13–15

“Peter’s fourth admonition is for the saints to submit to the ordinances of man or, as the following verses disclose, to the laws of the land.” 18 Ordinances, especially from a Latter-day Saint perspective, are closely associated with God’s laws and requirements for entrance into His kingdom. This verse is speaking about submission to laws of mortals, which do not necessarily originate from God, although it is pleasing to Him when humankind follows His laws (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21; 134:1). The difference here between “supreme” and “superior” is a distinction between the divine and an elevated status of humankind. A king is considered superior to his subjects and may be the supreme authority on earth, but the superlative supreme describes the status of Heavenly Father, whether compared to humans or kings.

Peter continues, “Therefore, because of the Lord,” or in other words, they are to do this because of their faith in the Lord. They were not compromising their principles; they were doing it because they loved the Lord.

Peter was saying, “Stay in line with every political authority established by man, whether it be the king as a supreme authority or governors in the capacity of those who were sent by him to punish evil-doers [kakopoios, the same word used in verse 12].” We know that the emperor was sending out his governors and charging them with rounding up and putting to death people who were accused of being kakopoios, which we have seen means “evildoers.” It means much more here than people who are rude or offensive. They are doing something seemingly worthy of death.

Thus, Peter advises his people to “be sure you give praise to those who do well.” In other words, if the governors and political people are doing good things, praise and honor them, “for it is the will of God that with well-doing you may put to silence the ignorance of imprudent men” (1 Peter 2:14, 17).

1 Peter 2:16

The Greek epikalymma has many meanings: “cloak” reflects a material covering, but “cover-up” accurately expresses its metaphorical meanings. Christians should act well and freely among society but should not “use liberty as a cloak or as a cover up of evil but as servants of God.” It is acceptable to do sacred things in private settings as servants of God, but the secrecy should not be used as a way to cover up bad things.

The Romans worried about secrecy. A surviving letter from Pliny the Younger, the governor of the Roman province of Pontus-with-Bithynia—one of the locations to which Peter was writing (see 1 Peter 1:1–2)—asks his superiors for advice in dealing with Christians that were meeting before dawn, singing hymns, meeting for meals, and other “suspicious” activities. We do not know exactly when Pliny was assigned to be the governor, but we know it was during the time that Trajan was the emperor, and his letter’s footnote indicates that it was written between AD 98 and AD 117. Pliny claimed that he was not bothering the emperor with a minor detail: “The matter seemed to me well worth referring to you especially considering the numbers involved.” There were many Christians in that area! “People of all ranks and ages, of both sexes are, and will be, involved in the prosecution for this contagious superstition.” Pliny continued, “Let me tell you this, our temples have been almost deserted.”19 This would certainly have drawn Trajan’s attention. The Roman cult was actually being threatened by what the Christians were doing. This is reminiscent of what happened in Ephesus. Christianity became so successful there that the silversmiths who made statues of Artemis brought legal action against Paul and wanted him kicked out of town (Acts 19:20–41). In hindsight, we can see how many of these problems were brought upon Christians because of their own behavior. They were doing things right and properly but were forgetting to be vigilant and careful, forgetting to avoid offending others, and failing to be understanding and considerate.

Testimonies have been strengthened by the wise and righteous counsel that Peter gave to the sheep he had been entrusted to feed. Jesus said, “Peter if thou lovest me, feed my sheep,” and he did just that throughout his life. There is so much to learn from this great Apostle. Similarly, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may remember President Hinckley’s Bs, a list of things they ought to try to be. It is fun to go through this epistle and identify Peter’s Bs. They might include the following: be holy, be pure, be aligned with Christ, be faithful, be trusting, be beyond reproach, be positive, be loving, be up-front, be patient in sufferings, be confident, be organized, and be hopeful. Peter was indeed the Apostle of the Lord chosen to lead not only in his world. The world is blessed to have his words today as wonderful examples of priesthood guidance to faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:18–25

The next set of admonitions given by Peter was addressed to specific groups of people rather than to the whole congregation. This fifth admonition is addressed to household workers, advising them to respect their masters and patiently endure the difficulties this may bring. “To comfort them, he refers to the suffering that Christ endured, as was prophesied by Isaiah 53:4–11.”20

A more accurate rendition of the King James Version’s term “servants” is “workers in the household.” Peter is referring not just to servants or slaves, though they may be included, but to anyone who is in an ordinary daily relationship with other people. In this context, a more modern translation of the verb phobeō, “to fear,” than the one given King James Version is “respectful.” Being respectful toward a master implies that the ancient master is somehow deserving of respect. Fearing a master in antiquity did not necessarily indicate elements of an abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship between master and servant. In those settings, a Christian should be submissive and respectful to those who are in charge, to the good and gentle, and to the crooked and dishonest. Note that in 1 Peter 2:17 Peter adds that the Saints should “honor the king” as well as all people.

The word here for “froward” (skolios) literally means “crooked.” It is the root of the word scoliosis, denoting a crookedness in the spine. It referred to being morally crooked as well as to being crooked in a physical sense. Froward in the King James Version just means “aggressive”—someone who is overbearing, which is not quite the same as crooked. It is better read as “crooked and dishonest” because the sense is that morally, these leaders were dishonest.21

Christian slaves may have wondered whether or perhaps even wishfully hoped that their new birth into a living hope would relieve them from the oppressive social expectations of their situation. Peter affirms that they are now indeed free people but also that this freedom does not entitle them to rebel against their masters, whether those masters be good and considerate or harsh. Apparently harsh treatment of slaves was socially acceptable and perhaps even expected by the Romans. Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher writing around the same time the books of the New Testament were being composed, criticizes those in power for being “excessively haughty, cruel, and insulting” toward their slaves, whom they should instead view as fully human and to be treated as friends.22

1 Peter 2:19–20

How should one respond when something unjust happens? Sometimes one must realize that life is not always going to be fair, and the question then is, What was Peter’s advice on how to respond? Recompense is to be left in the hands of God, and by doing that we are following the example of Christ. Peter went on to say, “If you endure suffering and it is your fault, what honor and great repute is that? But if you do good things and then endure sufferings, God will see this as praiseworthy, and for this, you were called.” This was the calling of members of the Church.

Based on this statement, one may ask about revolutionaries. Should revolutionaries follow monarchs just because they are their leader? In the translation of verse 19 we read, “For in such a relationship.” In the ancient world, people in a lower position socially—slaves or indentured servants, or even free people who had aligned themselves with powerful people—were in what was called a patron-client relationship. The patron was obligated to return favors to the client. The client was obligated to be at the disposal and the service of the patron in a voluntary relationship in most cases. If they stayed in such a relationship, they had a duty to follow the patron even if the patron did things they did not approve of. As long as they accepted the benefits in that relationship, they had an obligation to continue to do their duty. However, these relationships were terminable; one could get out of that kind of relationship.

Joseph Smith was commanded to bear the suffering he faced in Liberty Jail. Modern revelation provides more details about the reasons for suffering in this life (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7–8). This is a good model for how we relate to Christ. As long as we remain His followers and claim the benefits that He will give to us daily and eternally, we are obligated to do what He wants and follow His example.

1 Peter 2:21–25. Quoting Old Testament prophecies

In 1 Peter 1, Peter talked about how the prophets of old had seen that Jesus would suffer. Peter does not quote any scriptures there; he was getting into the general introduction to the letter. Here, however, he quotes the best-known scripture of that kind: Isaiah 53. Thirty phrases in Isaiah 53 are clear prophecies about the suffering of the Savior. Early Christians were known to cite this Isaiah chapter from a very early time in the Church’s history. They saw the Passion, Crucifixion, and suffering of Jesus as a direct fulfillment of the prophecies in Isaiah 53. Peter cites several pieces in this section: “By whose stripes we are healed,” “he himself has borne our sins,” “he did nothing wrong, neither was guile found in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:4–5, 9). Suffering in this life is only a small-scale replica of what Christ has suffered for us. We follow His suffering by example to a small degree each time we endure pain because of sin or mortal conditions. We do not, however, replicate Christ’s death when we die. His was voluntary and prerequisite to the Resurrection, whereas all others do not control the limits of their mortality and are beneficiaries of the Resurrection through no actions of their own.

Jesus Himself had quoted from Isaiah when He was reading in the in the synagogue. He read, “He will liberate the captives,” and that phrase from Isaiah 61 was fulfilled when Jesus went into spirit prison to liberate the captives. He announced, “I am here, I am going to fulfill these prophecies.” Many are being prepared for this as covenants are being performed on behalf of the dead.

The early Nephite Christians used these scriptures too. Abinadi in particular quoted Isaiah 53 and a little bit of chapter 52 to answer the questions posed to him by the priests of Noah. Then he gave a thorough explanation of Isaiah 53, providing some very interesting commentary (Mosiah 14).

In Acts 8, a eunuch was reading while riding a chariot and Philip asked what he was reading. The eunuch replied that he was reading from the book of Isaiah but did not understand to whom the prophecies were referring. Philip taught the eunuch about Jesus, whereupon the eunuch immediately asked if there was any hindrance to his being baptized, and there was not. Thus, we see that from an early stage, Christians recognized these Isaiah prophecies as messianic prophecy.

1 Peter 2:21

The theological point Peter made here is that if a person in such a relationship is doing the right thing and is not at fault, he is, in a way, like Christ who was not at fault, but who was also asked to suffer. This kind of suffering is not pointless; Jesus suffered, and He suffered for all. It is not clear whether our unjust suffering initiates some derivative benefit that flows to other people. However, Peter mentioned, in reference to the wives, that others might see the good works and benefit from them (3:1).

Peter said, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example.” The word “example” is interesting in this context. The Greek term hypogrammon means “a master copy.” This term comes from the ancient scribal profession. When people wanted a book, they could not just buy one. Only scrolls were available. If they wanted a scroll, they would find a shop that had a master copy of that text. Once they agreed to buy it, the shop would then set a scribe—usually a slave—to work copying the master. The scribes had to be precise, but above all, they had to have a correct master copy. Peter was using another metaphor to describe Christ: Jesus is the master copy, and the Christians were scribes whose lives were to be as close as possible to becoming copies of the master.

Andrew Skinner wrote:

In a very touching and uplifting section of his first letter, Peter teaches us about the Savior’s basic nature. Though ‘he was reviled, [he] reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not’ (1 Peter 2:23). Because of the Savior’s meekness and patience in bearing His sufferings and ‘stripes’ without revenge, by ‘His stripes are we healed’ (see 1 Peter 2:24). One has little doubt that Peter saw in his Master the desirable pattern and much-to-be-sought-after ideal for his own life.23

The King James Version says, “Ye should follow his steps.” Peter is using another metaphor here. The Greek word ichnos is “footprint or track” and is the same word used to describe the tracks of an animal. Peter said that Jesus has left tracks or footprints that we can follow. That is a wonderful image to remember.

1 Peter 2:24–25

Notice the words “shepherd” and “bishop” used here. Saints are brought back to the Shepherd, who is Christ, but they are also brought back to the bishop. Was Peter talking here about himself or other Church officials, perhaps suggesting that Peter was Bishop of that area?

With respect to earthly bishops, the Greek word episkopos literally means “overseer.” A bishop now also functions as a guardian, especially of the purity of the temples through the issuance of temple recommends. The temple recommend function of our modern bishops’ role is defined in Doctrine and Covenants 94:8: “And ye shall not suffer any unclean thing to come in unto it.”

Marion G. Romney taught:

You know, brethren, it seems to me that after we have gone into the waters of baptism and thereby witnessed unto God our Eternal Father that we “are willing to take upon [ourselves] the name of [His] Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments” (D&C 20:77), and then have entered into the “oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood” (D&C 84:39), we ought to diligently strive with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength to be “dead to sins” (1 Pet. 2:24) and, as Peter says, “no longer . . . live the rest of [our lives] . . . to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Pet. 4:2).24

1 Peter 3

Overview

In the second chapter of this epistle, Peter had offered guidance for Christian behavior to servants, even those with “froward” masters (1 Peter 2:18–25). In this chapter, he continued to offer counsel, encouragement, and prophetic guidance to wives (3:1–6), to husbands (3:7), and to all Church members in general (3:8–22). We can learn and apply many things from Peter’s inspired words in our lives today.

1 Peter 3:1

In Joseph Smith’s translation, he replaced the word “conversation” with “conduct,” as he also did in 1 Peter 3:2. Here Peter is teaching that if women act with holy, God-fearing conduct, they will be good examples to husbands that are not behaving as they ought. They will be an instrument for their husbands’ spiritual eyes to be opened, and their husbands will be blessed to see the truth. This is a similar principle to the one illustrated in 1 Peter 2:21–22, explaining that household members should respect their patrons.

The Greek word hypotassō, translated in the King James Version as “be in subjection to,” is a word of military strategy that means “to be arranged in the back rank in support of.” It clarifies how Peter wanted people to see themselves, probably because he recognized that a war for good and evil is being waged. The wives were certainly in the same battle as their husbands. Often, especially today, being in subjection to or standing behind another carry negative connotations, but Peter was implying the importance of supporting or fortifying husbands.

1 Peter 3:2

This is the second spot in which the Prophet Joseph replaced “conversation” with “conduct.” Fear is reverence or respect. For example, God-fearing is a common term meaning not that they are afraid of God, but that they respect him deeply.

1 Peter 3:3–6

Peter’s sixth admonition in this set of advice is to wives, encouraging them to be good examples in a spiritual sense rather than through worldly or physical enticements (Joseph Smith Translation, 1 Peter 3:1–4). Peter points out that their example will “win to the Lord others who might tend to go astray.”25 He advises that the ornament that women should focus on is “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (3:4). “Plaiting the hair” (emplekō tricha) is a way of saying “braiding the hair.”

In the King James Version, we read that the wives should adorn themselves “in that which is not corruptible.” The term aphthartos, “not corruptible,” is the same one in 1 Peter 1:4, 23 and has many shades of meaning, such as “incorruptible, immutable, and eternal.” Jesus had said, “What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9). Peter had become aware, or had been reminded, of the eternal nature of covenant marriages. He was not referring to ordinary earthly marriage; he was talking about the higher level of marriage taught in Matthew 19:3–11. Members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ also recognize that what God puts together, He seals in an eternal priesthood covenant. The eternal covenant in this relationship is indestructible.

1 Peter 3:7

Here Monte Nyman’s designation of Peter’s seventh—and last—admonition is directed to the husbands, “reminding them that they are to honor their wives, for they are heirs together of the grace of life. This appears to be a reference to the eternal marriage covenant.”26 Peter was married. He had a mother-in-law, and as late as the 50s AD, Peter was traveling with his wife in Greece, so Peter was not giving guidance to husbands in the abstract (Matthew 8:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5).

The Greeks had as many as ten different words meaning “knowledge,” and gnosis is the word for spiritual knowledge. When Peter, Paul, and other writers in the New Testament used the word gnosis, any early Christian would have recognized they were talking about revealed, sacred knowledge that comes from God. It does not suggest that the husband should get a good education so he can provide for his family. Men are responsible for following the Lord and knowing the revealed truth. As priesthood leaders in the home, they are the ones who have the primary responsibility for “dwelling according to revealed knowledge”—in other words, for making the gospel happen in their family relationships.

The Greek advice is a little more public than just “giving honor to your wives.” They are to award honor, which is a much stronger term. They may give honor privately, but the word here indicates that they should award honor to their wives outwardly. The King James Version says, “As unto the weaker vessel,” which seems demeaning. The word asthenēs, “vessel,” is quite clearly a carefully chosen word. Paul and the book of Acts use this word as a euphemism for the body based on the concept that the body was regarded as the vessel of the spirit. Translating Peter’s phrase as “respecting her delicate feminine body” is still difficult to swallow. The word that the King James Version translates as “wife” (tō gunaikeiō) is actually not a noun but is an adjective meaning “feminine.” The feminine body needs to be given honor, respect, or both.

The Greek word for “joint heir” (synklēronomos, literally “co-heirs”) is a technical, legal term that does not mean simply that a couple will be “heirs together,” as in the King James Version: “heirs together” are not necessarily treated equally. But “joint heirs” means that the couple “jointly own together” equally—as the proclamation on the family says, they are “equal partners.”27 Peter said that they could not inherit these blessings except as a couple. The husband is told to do these things so as not to hinder their prayers with resentment. If one partner in the couple did not feel equality, their effectiveness in praying with each other and for each other may be hindered. Joseph Smith and Emma had a squabble while they lived in Harmony. During this time, Joseph was trying to translate the Book of Mormon and was unable to translate. He was hindered because of a lack of harmony with Emma. When they had reconciled, he could go forward with the work. It is wonderful that our leaders today are still teaching the same doctrine that the President of the Church taught only twenty years after the death of Jesus.

Key text: 1 Peter 3:8

In 1 Peter 3:8–18, Peter’s eighth admonition is in support of the Savior’s golden rule: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). The Saints’ good conduct will lead to missionary work.

When Peter said that the people should be of one mind, it not obvious whether he was talking to men and women together as in the previous sentence or only to the to the husbands. In the doctrine of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, the same teaching is presented in Doctrine and Covenants 38:27: “If ye are not one ye are not mine.” Be united.

The lesson here is not only to “have compassion one to another” but also to “share one another’s loads.” Be loving friends. The word in the Greek is a combination of philos and adelphos, as in the city name Philadelphia, referring to brotherly love or loving the brotherhood. Be loving friends. Be deeply, deeply compassionate. This is great advice for priesthood leaders.

The King James Version’s “pitiful” is better rendered as “deeply compassionate.” The word is literally “well-gutted,” just as other texts say, “Let your bowels be full of mercy.” The splanchnos are the intestines, so when Jesus says, “My bowels were moved with compassion,” He means, “I was so moved by the suffering that I felt it in my gut, deep down.” This word for compassion is used on only a few occasions in the New Testament, and it typically describes the compassion that God has for His people. Thus, Peter said that we should have that same deep compassion for one another that God has. This term is also used to describe the feeling that the good Samaritan had when he saw the wounded man on the side of the road (Luke 10: 33). He had compassion for him. Another way of translating that is, “He had divine compassion. He felt the way God would toward him.”

1 Peter 3:9

Railing is an archaic way of describing verbal abuse. Both Peter and 3 Nephi 6:13 refer to those the Lord considers evil and prideful because instead of forgiving, they render “railing for railing.” Both scriptures teach the reader that a truly humble person will not return abuse or evil when it is received. It is an old principle; a few Old Testament passages teach that vengeance belongs only to the Lord and warn humankind against exacting it.28 As Terry Ball wrote, “moreover, when the Saints were being persecuted, Peter wanted them to know that they should not strike back, ‘not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing’ (1 Peter 3:9). Certainly, striking back at persecutors would only give those persecutors more justification to continue their attacks.”29

The Christians, especially the priesthood holders, were called to behave in this compassionate, God-like manner. This advice is important for priesthood leaders in the restored Church, too. Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–45 similarly says:

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

That is how authority is to be carried out. Peter fully understood these principles of the priesthood.

1 Peter 3:10–12

These verses are quoted from the Old Testament, illustrating that choosing the kind and good part so that one could be blessed by God was not a new principle. Psalm 34:12–16 says, “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

Like David, Peter encourages his reader to seek and pursue peace (see also Psalm 33:18). A personal or family motto for our day could be Psalm 8:10: “For he who wants to love life and to see good days, let him hold his tongue from evil and his lips that they speak no guile.”

First Peter 3:12 contains three anthropomorphisms (from Greek, meaning “God in the shape of a man”) that are magnified by equivalent supplied verbs: “The eyes of the Lord; his ears; and the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” These expressions literally confirm what has been revealed to modern prophets: that God has a glorified body of flesh and bone.

Marion G. Romney stated, “‘For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers’ (1 Pet. 3:12). Isn’t that just what we desire, brethren—for the Lord’s ears to be open to our prayers?”30

1 Peter 3:13–14

The Greek word translated as “followers” is zēlōtēs and literally means “zealous,” not simply “followers,” which is a little too passive. A zealot may be a covenant-sworn person, a person under an oath to consecrate and dedicate their life to doing good. The term “good” here does not simply mean “being nice”; it refers to the the divine good. In 1 Peter 3:13, the Greek word translated as “happy” (makarios) carries more of a sense of “blessed,” the same word that begins each of the Beatitudes. That word does not just mean “happy” in the jolly sense; it means “exalted” and “glorified,” with a subtle emphasis on making and keeping covenants in a temple context.31

In 3:14, the King James Version reads, “for righteousness’ sake,” but a more literal translation of that phrase in context is, “But if you even suffer on account of righteousness, you will be blessed.” It is an echo of the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:10–12).

1 Peter 3:15

Peter then quoted from Isaiah 8:12–13, clarifying the nature of the Godhead as he did so. “Neither fear their terror nor be troubled, but sanctify the Lord, the Christ in your hearts.” The King James Version says, “But sanctify the Lord God,” which seems rather ambiguous—is it referring to the Father or the Son?—but the Greek says clearly, “Sanctify the Lord, the Christ.” Ancient manuscripts read “Christ,” while others read “God,” “God himself” or “our God.” “Christ” is well supported by the earliest manuscripts and diversified external evidence as well as transcriptional probability.32 Members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ are glad to know that when Peter spoke here about God, he referred to Jesus Christ as a member of the Godhead.

The end of the King James Version reads, “A reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (emphasis added). However, the words “with meekness and fear” do not modify the phrase “hope that is in you” but define how the answer should be offered. Joseph Smith moved the words “meekness and fear” from the end of the verse to the middle, so that the verse reads, “Be ready always to give an answer with meekness and fear for the hope.” This is a useful missionary scripture encouraging the believers to teach the gospel and giving wise instruction for when a believer tries to give someone such an answer. One cannot act belligerently or argumentatively. The missionary book Preach My Gospel contains the same advice to today’s missionaries, guiding them to preach by the Spirit and with meekness, showing respect for the people that they are talking with.

Although the King James Version says the Saints should respond “to every man,” the modern text, following the Greek more accurately, is gender neutral. Whether it is a man or a woman asking, we must be ready to respond.

1 Peter 3:16–17

Peter wanted to be sure the Saints had a clear conscience so that when they were maligned—“maligned” is a little stronger than what is in the King James Version, which is “speak evil”—they were beyond reproach in the things they were criticized for. “Even if you suffer on account of righteousness, you will be blessed” (1 Peter 3:13). Suffering in this context does not refer only to the physical suffering associated with pain or illness; the context applies to the kind of suffering caused when they were reviled and rejected.

This is rendered not simply as “it is the will of God” but as “it is the plan willed by God.” In the Greek, there two words: a noun, “will” (thelēma), and a verb, “willed” (thelō). Greek writers, like other ancient writers, often used a noun and a verb with exactly the same root. Thus, the text here (ei theloi to thelēma tou theou) literally means “if it is the will that is willed by God.” It is a little clearer to follow if the noun is translated as “plan.” According to Latter-day Saint doctrine, an overall plan was laid down in the council in heaven, known as the plan of salvation, the plan of redemption, or the plan of happiness. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ have sensitivity for this great plan in which we all have a part. In addition to the great master plan, there is a plan for each of us. In light of that plan and if this suffering happens to be according to that plan, it is better that we be innocent when it occurs.

1 Peter 3:18

Peter then responded to his own suggestion. He stood ready to tell people what made him hopeful. His hope was in the Atonement, in Jesus Christ, and the fact that Christ’s Atonement applies to absolutely everyone—the living and the dead. That was where Peter’s hope was seated. Peter held the keys, the sealing keys to bind on earth and in heaven. He was showing here that he was powerfully moved by his knowledge of the sealing power of the priesthood that affects not only the living but also the dead. He mentioned it twice: here and in 1 Peter 4:6.

Peter demonstrates that first of all, Christ suffered for sins “on your behalf,” as some manuscripts say. The King James Version manuscripts omitted that, but the Greek adverb hapax is used temporally to mean “once for all.” The fact that Jesus’s suffering was for each individual person in Peter’s audience is a very powerful point.

Joseph Smith changed the emphasis by putting the purpose at the end of the sentence. The King James Version says,

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. (Emphasis added)

But Joseph Smith’s inspired version says,

For Christ also once suffered for Sins, the just for the unjust, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit, that he might bring us to God. (Emphasis added)

It is notable that Joseph Smith stressed the importance of both the suffering and death of the Savior to bring about the Atonement. The theological ramifications of the nature of God had been debated for centuries through concepts of His suffering and death. Joseph clarified this controversy by including both. Also, Joseph’s simple word order change emphasizes that humankind will first die in the flesh and later be quickened by the Spirit or resurrected before being brought to God.

Peter and Doctrine and Covenants 18:11 and 138:7 all use the phrase “death in the flesh” to describe Christ’s mortal or physical death. The usage is similar, except that Peter and Doctrine and Covenants 138 say that Christ was simply “put to death in the flesh,” while Doctrine and Covenants 18 says that He “suffered death in the flesh” and suffered for our sins. In this case, the earlier Doctrine and Covenants reference is more explicit in emphasizing that Christ’s sufferings encompassed the physical as well as the spiritual.

1 Peter 3:19–21

One may ask how Peter knew that Christ went and preached to the spirits. When the resurrected Jesus visited the Apostles and others in the upper room, did they ask what it had been like, what He did, where He had been? It is unimaginable to think that as the resurrected Jesus spent forty days with them, the question did not come up. When Peter raised this point about Christ going to preach to the spirits, he used it as an illustration to make a point. However, one cannot use a reference to make a point unless the audience knows and accepts the reference. This tells us, then, that Peter’s audience had probably heard him preach about what is known today as the descensus—Jesus’s going down into the world of spirits to deliver the message of overcoming death to those who had lived and died.

“By which,” used in the King James Version, is not particularly clear. This is the only place in the Bible in which Jesus went somewhere during the time that His body was in the tomb while He was still a spirit. Some biblical scholars, however, argue that Jesus went to the underworld only after His resurrection. This is an important point, but it is very clear in the Greek that He was still in the spirit. The word “still” is there in the emphatic word kai. The King James Version also says that He “preached unto the spirits in prison.”

Modern revelation provides more detail about those who were awaiting the Savior in spirit prison and then received His visitation: “While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:18). The “spirits in prison” referred to by Peter are also mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 76:73 and Moses 7:57. This verse inspired Joseph F. Smith to seek revelation about the spirit world, which is now contained in Doctrine and Covenants 138.

David O. McKay taught, “It is easy for me to accept as a divine truth the fact that Christ preached to the spirits in prison while his body lay in the tomb (1 Peter 3:18–19). It is true. And it is just as easy for me to realize that one may so live that he may receive impressions and direct messages through the Holy Ghost. The veil is thin between those who hold the priesthood and those on the other side of the veil.”33

The verb kēryssō in Greek says that Jesus “heralded” or “proclaimed” the good news. In Doctrine and Covenants 138:29–30, we see that He did not actually go to the unrighteous spirits but organized a system among the righteous spirits to teach the others. In effect, rather than preaching to the whole group, He “heralded,” or “announced through heralds,” as the Greek indicates.

1 Peter 3:20–22

Some of the disobedient spirits were being taught were from the time of Noah. Peter focused on the people at that time in order to use the rescue from the Flood as a reflection or image of baptism. Thus, he taught that Jesus was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit and that people are going to be made alive in the spirit by Jesus’s Resurrection and by baptism. He has suffered on behalf of all that all might be resurrected through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The imagery of these eight souls being rescued from the water to parallel baptism is called a type or a shadow (Greek antitypos, literally a “representative counterpart”). The King James Version says they were “saved by water,” but that is a poor reading of the Greek word diasōzō. It means “rescued”; they were “rescued from” the water. That is a type, a foreshadowing of how baptism saves the believers. It is not the same word as “saved” in the next sentence: “And now we see this as a type of how baptism saves you.” In Greek, they are two slightly different words—related but not the same.

Peter was teaching that baptism is not simply a removal of filth from the body, is not just a cleansing. The water is not what is most important. He wrote that baptism is a covenantal promise to God to choose the good part, and this is all made possible by the Resurrection of Christ. In the King James Version, “the putting away of the filth of the flesh” is a poor translation. “The filth of the flesh” makes it sound like flesh is somehow filthy in itself, which is an Augustinian philosophy.

The King James Version says, “Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God.” First, “conscientiously” is the proper translation of syneidēsis, not “conscience.” More importantly, however, the word “answer” is not the same as the normal word for a response to a question. There is a very ordinary word for “answer,” but here the word is eperōtēma, which used to be very difficult to translate because it is only used one time in the New Testament (here) and it is a technical term of some significance. The meaning of the word was clarified by papyrus copies of ancient contracts that used the word frequently. For example, John H. Elliott wrote,

Some contracts preserved on papyrus, on the other hand, indicate the use of both the verb and the noun as part of the stipulatory legal formula involving a formal question followed by an acknowledgment of consent. It can also identify the transaction as a whole. In this latter case it denotes a contract involving a pledge or assisted answer given to specific questions similar to the Latin stipulatio or odstipulatio—on this analogy (term he just used) denotes a pledge to God in which the occasion of baptism, assent is given to certain behavioral requirements such as moral commitment, obedience to God’s will and doing that what is right.34

The contracts preserved on papyrus and cited above were found in Egypt at the beginning of the twentieth century in a garbage dump outside of a little village called Oxyrynchus. It has taken scholars a hundred years to piece the papyri together. A small portion of the text is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, in bound, oversized volumes stretching for about fifteen feet of shelf space. Scholars look at every word, determining how each was used. This unusual word (eperōtēma) in 1 Peter was used in these papyri in the context of someone asking a higher authority a question. The answer was given in the form of a stipulation or requirement, and then a contract was entered. The entire contractual process is described by this particular legal term, eperōtēma.

Peter, analogizing the relationship between God and the person being baptized, used this word to describe baptism. He taught, then, “Using this answer or this contract denotes a pledge to God in which, at baptism, assent is given to certain behavioral requirements.” Clearly, Peter sees baptism as a covenant-making ritual or ordinance. He was not defining infant baptism; an adult, consensual, contractual baptism is clearly what Peter is propounding.

Members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, unlike most other Christian groups, emphasize the covenantal nature of baptism, renewing the covenant every Sunday when partaking the sacrament. They are conscious of the obligation taken at baptism. They are interviewed and taught the nature of the obligations. They covenant with God so that as they do their part, He can bless them through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The similarity of Peter’s teaching to the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this subject is surprising and has not been evident in previous translations.

The Apostles carried an enormous burden of responsibility—Jesus turned over to such a small group the responsibility for the message of the gospel of eternal life to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people (Revelation 14:6; 1 Nephi 19:17). However, as Peter said, there is no need to fear choosing what is right or being zealous for the cause. God is with us.

1 Peter 4

Overview

This chapter appears to be addressed to the body of Church members, giving guidance on how lives should be conducted after receiving the gospel. Peter had the same assurance and confidence as the ancient and modern prophets, which is entirely appropriate for his role as the leader of the Church. He knew the words of the ancient prophets and presented the guidance in a sophisticated manner, as is also seen in his trial before the Sanhedrin: “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). In 1 Peter 4, Peter encourages people to sin no more but do the will of God (4:1–6), to have fervent charity, so that God may be glorified (4:7–11), and to consecrate themselves to live as Christians even in the face of adversity (4:12–19).

Several things make Peter’s prophetic guidance here compelling. In the first part of this chapter, Peter contrasted opposing options and results. For example, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (4:2), and “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part, he is glorified” (4:14). This teaching and preaching technique allows little room for ambiguity; the parting of the ways between the way of truth or the way of the spirit and the way of the flesh and the ways of the world do not leave a lot of middle ground for gray areas. Prophets provided and still provide a voice of warning, as they know the consequences of choosing various options and have a broader vision of the ending. In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:16–17 says that in their role as seers, things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.

Peter, a great leader and prophet, also made extensive use of the messages he learned in person from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He does not announce when he is quoting the sermon; it just blends seamlessly into his writing. In 3 Nephi, Jesus gave the text of the Sermon on the Mount to the people at the temple in Bountiful, and then He put the people under covenant to keep the commandments that He had just given them. The next day, baptisms were performed. It appears that the Sermon on the Mount, likewise, was the instruction given in early Christianity before people were baptized. The people took upon themselves as Christians a commitment to live righteously to obtain the promises of inheriting the celestial kingdom, of receiving mercy, and of seeing God. The blessings at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount are all part of what one might call the covenant and promise of eternal life. It is important to note that Peter was teaching as the leader and prophet of the early Church; hence, 1 Peter 4 addresses how we should live since we are going to be judged. That Final Judgment is always present in the minds of the prophets because ultimately, it is what they would like the people to be prepared for.

Peter taught next that suffering could be applied as an aid to approaching the outlook that Jesus has. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind” (4:1). Perhaps by accepting the same point of view as the Savior, one may move a step closer to becoming like Him. It is impossible to see things the way He sees them without first experiencing, in a very small measure, some of the suffering, injustice, and difficulties that He had to endure. Grieving and suffering, supplemented with a connection to the Savior, allow the development of faith, leading to more Christlike understanding and behavior. However, not all suffering produces that result. The process demands that the sufferer, wanting to have faith in Christ, must turn to Christ for the desired result. We see this in Lehi’s family, who were sent into the wilderness, were caused to travel across deserts, and lost everything that gave them any stature, status, or clear meaning to their life. The family became divided over their suffering based on whether or not they turned to the Lord.

One may ask for divine help in appreciating what the Savior went through. Joseph Smith was given the key to understanding the suffering when he was reminded that “the son of man hath descended below all things” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:8). The sufferer must view the trial in terms of how it relates to the Savior’s suffering.

Peter’s writing on the role of suffering in spiritual progress is then followed by a wonderful description of the conversion process. He states that the converts’ worldly behaviors were only acceptable until they learned the gospel and became Christians. Suffering appropriately will cause investment in spiritual capital that will both keep the conversion bright and provide strength to avoid the ways of the world. By worldly behaviors, Peter was referring to cultic activities in which people participated not only in wine drunkenness but also in Bacchic or Dionysian orgies, supposedly in the honor of a god. Nowadays, Christian people are not likely to follow the world’s ways in overt idolatry, but what about many more subtle ways of becoming worldly? What about not honoring the Sabbath? Many things tempt modern people to be like the world. The follower of Jesus must be sure to shun those things, even if friends are disappointed when we will not hang out with them (1 Peter 4:4). A well-known Latter-day Saint hymn contains the following lines: “We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few. . . . We will heed not what the wicked may say, but the Lord alone we will obey.”35 That is exactly what Peter is encouraging, bearing in mind that all will stand before God to be judged.

Peter follows this with some of the works that the Saints can do both to maintain their faith and to fulfill their covenants in preparation for the Judgment. His first advice is to be “sober and watch unto prayer.” Then he encourages them “above all” to have fervent charity (agapē) and constant love among themselves. He cited Proverbs 10:1–12: “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Agapē does not so much cover sins as it helps prevent them. Joseph Smith rendered it as “prevents” a multitude of sins and mistakes. Is there any sin that does not harm other people in some way? Being filled with charity toward all people would prevent sin that would harm and injure others.

King Benjamin taught much the same as does Peter on this issue: “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. . . . And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish” (Mosiah 4:15).

Peter added the importance of hospitality as a manifestation of charity—hospitality not only to friends and neighbors but also to strangers, travelers, and new arrivals. This is very like the messages that members of the restored gospel receive from our leaders. In October 1984, President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was at the time the First Counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball, taught, “Live the gospel. That is the greatest challenge we face. It is a simple declaration, but encompassed in those few words is a mandate applicable to each of us. It concerns our home and family life. It concerns our daily work. It concerns our activities and responsibilities as men and women, brothers and sisters, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”36

Peter’s previous statements bring to mind responsibility for material sustenance and shelter. However, in 1 Peter 4:1, suffering with Christ and becoming like Christ indicates a particular theme: In 4:10, we read that each person has freely received generosity from God, the greatest gift of which is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, overcoming the sin of Adam, and the opportunity to be exalted. The Christian’s sacred duty, then, is to stand in His stead and freely give that same gift to all, to share freely the gift that is even more important than food and shelter. Believers of the restored gospel understand the principle of receiving a gift or blessing from God in order to generate a stewardship, an ownership that will require a reporting of how the gift was managed. Peter advised, or rather taught bluntly, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. The word translated “steward” can also be translated as the more modern term “trustee.” Increased understanding of benefits and obligations occurs in thinking about this in trust language.

Peter’s final warning is that if the Saints suffer “a fiery trial” for their faith, “happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.”

The last verse introduces the doctrine of consecration (4:19). The King James Version says, “Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” It is difficult to translate this commitment concept with one word, and the three words dedicate, consecrate, and entrust seem to provide the full sense. The Greek word paratithēmi actually describes the legal process of putting something into the hands of a trustee. Thus, Peter ends with a powerful covenantal conclusion, one that is in full agreement with latter-day doctrine and understanding.

1 Peter 4:1

Suffering (pathos). The word used here for suffering (pathos) does not just refer to physical suffering. It can mean social rejection; it can mean agony, cares and worry, financial trouble, or any kind of sorrow. The Greek word is the root from which pathetic and pathology are developed. Any pain or trial is an opportunity to be humbled and turn to the Lord.

Arm yourself with the same point of view. In the King James Version’s “arm yourselves likewise with the same mind,” the word for “mind” (ennoian) can be translated as “intent,” “idea,” or “thought.” The underlying meaning is essentially the same, but “mind” is slightly unusual and can be misleading. If one arms oneself with the same intent, idea, or thought as Christ, one tries to emulate His actions. The phrase “point of view” captures all the appropriate and pertinent nuances of ennoian and also reflects the admonition often heard among Latter-day Saints as they strive to see things as God sees them.

For he who suffers in the flesh has hindered and impaired sin. The King James Version says, “He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” The idea of impairing or hindering is a better translation of the Greek because the word for “sin” here (hamartias) is in the genitive case, the genitive direct object of pepautai. The Latin Vulgate renders this phrase as desiit a peccato (“has ceased from sin”), which the King James Version followed instead of the Greek. Thus, Peter should not be understood as saying that everyone who suffers, however much or little, has completely “ceased from sin” or totally put an end to all sins. Rather Peter’s assurance is that the Savior’s Atonement and example has hindered the power of the adversary. In his translation, Joseph Smith changed the word “ceased” to “prevent.”

1 Peter 4:2–3

“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles” refers to the time before one joined the Church. The implied meaning here is that their worldly behaviors were acceptable until they learned the gospel and became Christians.

To go along with the ways of the world. The sense here includes walking in outrageously lewd and abusive conduct: lust, wine drunkenness, boisterous merrymaking, and processions in honor of the gods. The latter two, “boisterous merry-making” and “in processions in honor of the gods,” are the translation of one word, kōmoi, given in the King James Version as “banquetings.” A kōmos is a great festive party at which the statues of the gods are usually displayed. Peter was referring not just to having a party, not just to reveling or banqueting, but also to pagan rites in which people participated not only in wine drunkenness but also in Bacchic or Dionysian orgies, supposedly in the honor of a god. Through worshipping a creature instead of the Creator, sinners do not keep the first commandment to not have any other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7). Peter, in concert with all prophets, ancient and modern, is focused on the Final Judgment and its effect on our eternal lives.

Marion G. Romney taught:

You know, brethren, it seems to me that after we have gone into the waters of baptism and thereby witnessed unto God our Eternal Father that we “are willing to take upon [ourselves] the name of [His] Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments” (D&C 20:77), and then have entered into the “oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood” (D&C 84:39), we ought to diligently strive with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength to be “dead to sins” (1 Pet. 2:24) and, as Peter says, “no longer . . . live the rest of [our lives] . . . to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Pet. 4:2).37

1 Peter 4:4

The phrase “For it was alright for you, before you joined the Church to go along with the ways of the world” idiomatically renders arketos gar ho parelēluthōs chromos to boulēma tōn ethnōn kateirgasthai, which the King James Version translates more literally. In the two-word term used in the King James Version, “excess of riot” (anachysis, asōtia), the latter, asōtia, is the same term that describes the behavior of the prodigal son (Luke 15:13). Thus, it does not mean simply “excess,” but it means “thorough profligacy, being a spendthrift, and wasting everything.” Combined with the word anachysis (“effusion, great excess”), the strength of the expression is multiplied.

The word kōmois (used in King James Version as “banqueting”) cannot be translated with any single English word. It is used to mean carousals, or “boisterous merry-making,” especially in bands, festivals, or processions in honor of the gods or in celebrating the victor of athletic games.

Your former friends may speak evil of you. The Joseph Smith Translation reads, “Wherein they speak evil of you, thinking it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot,” which more clearly shows why the nonbelievers speak evil of those who believe.

Key text: 1 Peter 4:6

In this verse, Peter repeats a significant doctrine about preaching to the dead that had been previously mentioned in 1 Peter 3:19. This text follows a comment that God judges both “the quick and the dead” (4:5). The doctrine was important enough for Peter to repeat and expand on the subject as well as add an explanation for teaching those who died without the gospel,

According to Recognitions—writings purported to be written by Clement, a very early Christian who by Catholic tradition was regarded as the bishop of Rome after Peter’s death—there was a discussion between Clement and Peter in Caesarea about the premortal existence and the council in heaven, including the Fall and redemption. Clement, who was concerned about his deceased parents, asked whether those who died before Christ’s ministry would be excluded from the kingdom. Peter’s response allayed his fears and gave him hope that all people, no matter how bad they had been, would have the opportunity to repent and gain eternal blessings. Either Peter himself or, at the very least, an early Christian writer knew about the importance of the redemption of the dead.

There appears to be nothing in this text that favors predestination or the Calvinistic teachings that would have excluded prodigals. In fact, there is a clear connection to what Jesus taught in the parable of the prodigal son. Even the prodigal can change, amend his ways, and return. Though they judge and have been judged wrongly according to mortals, there will be an eternal and a righteous judgment so that they may all live in the spirit according to the will of God through Christ’s Atonement.

This is the same key doctrine held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Doctrine and Covenants 88:99 teaches that those who accepted the gospel in the spirit world will be redeemed. Peter taught a great deal of doctrine that was re-established in the Restoration.

Tad Callister stated: “Through Joseph Smith was restored the doctrine of the gospel being preached to the dead in the spirit world to those who did not have a fair chance on earth to hear it (see D&C 128:5–22; see also D&C 138:30–34). This was not the invention of a creative mind; it was the restoration of a biblical truth. Peter had long ago taught, ‘For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit’ (1 Peter 4:6).”38

1 Peter 4:7–8

Indeed, the end of all draws near for you. The Greek word engizō, translated in the King James Version as “being at hand,” does not mean “already here” but means “drawing near to someone” or “approaching a person.” The rendering here adds a personal focus. Peter is telling each one of the Saints that the end is drawing near for them, not that the Savior is returning immediately. Joseph Smith clarified its meaning: “But to you, the end of all things is at hand” (Joseph Smith Translation, 1 Peter 4:7).

Have fervent charity and constant love. The word that translates as “fervent” (ektenēs) in the King James Version can be also mean “constant” or “without ceasing.” “Charity” (agapē), of course, is often interpreted as “reciprocal love.”

Charity prevents a multitude of mistakes. The King James Version’s “for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” implies that one with charitable behavior could perhaps somehow negate his or her own sins and also evade the true process of repentance and hence the power of Christ’s Atonement. Joseph Smith’s change here from “cover” to “preventeth” clarifies that only Christ’s Atonement can wash away sin. When Joseph Smith changed the term “covers” to “prevents,” he caught exactly the sense expressed in the following quotation. D. A. Carson says the following:

The community that is suffering abuse from outsiders, which the Christian community was, may become a little frayed internally as well. But if they display hatred toward one another, they will merely stir up dissension. By contrast, loving one another will cover over the many wrongs that inevitably take place in any community. And this is the stance that they must adopt in light of the eminence at the end, and also because they are Christ’s holy nation. . . . Peter is not making a theological statement about sins being forgiven—covered in that sense—still less he is saying it is alright to cover up sins by refusal to deal with offenses that must be on occasion confronted. Rather this is the love that breaks the downward spiral of wounded sensibilities, hard feelings, nurtured bitterness, dissention, and vendetta.39

Carson points out that “at the end of the first century, Clement of Rome (1 Clement 49:5) already rightly understood 1 Peter 4:8 this way. The love that Peter has in view is far more than warm sentimentality; indeed, its relational mandate is a point that he repeatedly underscored (examples in 1:22; 2:1; and 3:9), entirely in line with the wisdom of the quoted proverb.”40

1 Peter 4:9

Be hospitable. The King James Version says, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” The Greek word for being hospitable in this context is philozenos, “a lover of, or a friend of, strangers.” This teaching is from the Sermon on the Mount, which says, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?” (Matthew 5:46–47). People that are suffering and seeking, looking for a place of refuge, can depend on the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the great refuge. He is the pattern of learning to love others, and Peter asked the Christians to emulate Jesus and accept this doctrine from the great sermon.

1 Peter 4:10

Elder Marvin J. Ashton’s definition of charity is as follows:

Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself, and when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other—when we do not judge or categorize someone else. When we simply give each other the benefit of a doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings, having patience with someone who has let us down or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone does not handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who could hurt us. Charity is expecting the best in each other.41

1 Peter 4:11

Let him speak using the sayings and reasoning of God. This verse says, in the King James Version, “Let him speak as the oracles of God.” It reiterates the principle discussed in 4:10: that one should speak or minister according to the reasoning of God, or according to the agreement with God. One must follow the instructions. A trustee is a kind of agent that must work within the scope of the authority that has been given. Here the Christians are being reminded of the rules of their agency. They must speak what the principal wants them to. Those who speak at general conference speak the mind and the will of the Lord. They strive to use the words, phrases, and reasoning of the Lord. That is what Peter expected of the early Saints. Latter-day Saints should be following Peter’s counsel that whenever they speak (officially, that is), they should use the words of the scriptures and of the prophets.

“Oracles” has been changed to “an oracle,” but this change does not affect meaning significantly. The King James Version seems to imply that people should be imitating the prophets when they speak. Joseph Smith seems to imply that if someone is going to speak, they should speak as a messenger of God. Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “Peter said, ‘If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God’ (1 Peter 4:11), which means he must be guided by the power of the Holy Ghost; and this is the thing, above all else, that I desire at this time.”42

1 Peter 4:12–18

Beloved friends. Peter referred to the first verse, advising the Saints not to look at even severe anti-Christian “fiery trials” as strange. He summarized and crystalized chapter 4 in these verses using the Old Testament to emphasize his point: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord,” and “If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”43 The King James Version says, “Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.”

1 Peter 4:17

The judgment. The King James Version says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God,” which is more accurately translated as, “For the commencement of the judgment will begin with the house of God.” In Doctrine and Covenants 112:25–26 we read, “And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord, first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.”

Elder Henry D. Moyle—former Apostle and member of the First Presidency of the restored Church—said,

Peter thus characterizes the church as the house of God and classifies the occupants of his house as those who obey the gospel of God, which is the gospel of Christ. In this prophetic declaration by Peter there is no ambiguity. “Obey the gospel of God” must be our ensign. There is no other real approach to the fulfillment of life’s highest purpose. It is satisfying to know that we need not wander through life aimlessly with insecurity, uncertainty; finding doubt, fear, and apprehension on every side. We have a certain definite plan given us. We need only understand, accept, and obey.44

1 Peter 4:19

Paul Achtemeier noted, “This verse indicates the conclusion to be drawn from the discussion beginning with verse 12. Christian suffering that occurs as part of God’s plan of universal judgment is to lead Christians to continue to entrust themselves to the creator God, who is faithful to his creatures who trust him, and who show that trust by doing what he wants, despite the suffering that may entail.”45

Dedicate, consecrate, and entrust their souls to God. The word consecrate means so much more than the word commit, which the King James Version uses. A commitment may simply be assent or a verbal agreement and does not carry the weight of action. Consecration is a stronger word that suggests temple vocabulary, covenant making, and the resulting stewardship mentioned earlier in the chapter. In addition, since the KJV uses “commit” transitively—meaning that it carries a direct object, the keeping of their souls or whole beings—the verb should be an action verb. One is taking something and putting into a different state of being. It was difficult to translate this concept of commitment with one word, and the three words dedicate, consecrate, and entrust seemed to provide the full sense. Peter ends here with a powerful covenantal conclusion.

How did Christianity lose the sense of covenanting and consecrating? Jewish law had a very strong legal component relating to agency and the use of agents. It was present in the very early days with the concept of God sending prophets like Moses to be His agents (shaliach) in performing miracles and the like. The actual Greek word for apostle (apostolos) referred to a person that was sent out (from apo and stellō) and literally means one that was sent on behalf of another. Thus, in the Christian era, the Greek word apostolos and Jewish concept of an agent were combined to describe the office of an Apostle.

However, in Roman law, the concept of agency did not even exist. They had no law of agency at all. A senator in Rome that wanted to buy a piece of land in Sicily would have to sign the documents in person. He could not send an agent, an officer, or anyone else to sign. Romans had an enormous amount of concern that people without proper authority might purport to act for others, so Roman law simply shunned this whole idea of agency.

That Roman viewpoint probably had a detrimental effect on the idea of a priesthood in which people could act, heal, and administer covenants in the name of Christ. Jesus sent His Apostles out and asked them to do in His name the things that He had done. They were to perform miracles and act and speak in His name and by his authority. By so doing, they would bind in heaven what they had done on earth and commit Jesus to what they had done, as in a standard agency relationship. However, that principle melted away, likely because of the Roman influence and Roman lack of understanding of agency. One of the greatest problems in the second and third centuries of Christianity was that no one was authorized or able to pronounce things with the endorsement “Thus saith the Lord.” The whole idea of what it meant to be righteous and to carry out stewardships changed. The priesthood came to be seen mainly as a life of pious reflection. Members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ understand the principles of dedicating and consecrating their whole lives to God and of their stewardship obligations to apply the principles taught by Peter and by modern prophets in service of others.

  • 1. C. E. B. Cranfield, I & II Peter and Jude: Introduction and Commentary (London: SCM Press, 1960), 26.
  • 2. Terry B. Ball, “Peter’s Principles: An Approach to the First Epistle of Peter,” in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles, ed. Ray L. Huntington, Patty Smith, Thomas A. Wayment, and Jerome M. Perkins (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2002), 222–223.
  • 3. D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The New Testament, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1998), 2:278.
  • 4. Ogden and Skinner, Verse by Verse, 2:278.
  • 5. Justin Langford, Defending Hope: Semiotics and Intertextuality in 1 Peter (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2013), 125.
  • 6. D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The New Testament, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1998), 2:278–279.
  • 7. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 227.
  • 8. For example, Leviticus 20:7: “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.”
  • 9. Bo Reicke, The Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1964), 84. The Levitical law of holiness is found in Leviticus 11:44; 19:2.
  • 10. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 227.
  • 11. David A. Bednar, “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” October 2007 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 12. “Life Has a Purpose,” ComeUntoChrist, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/believe/overview-series/l....
  • 13.Kosmos,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible,available online at https://biblehub.com/greek/2889.htm.
  • 14. “JS’s Instruction in Ramus,” The Joseph Smith Papers, https://josephsmithpapers.org/event/jss-instruction-in-ramus; “Discourse, 17 May 1843–A, as Reported by William Clayton,” p. 16, The Joseph Smith Papers, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-17-may-1843-a-as-r....
  • 15. “Temple Cornerstone Ceremonies Discontinued,” Newsroom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, June 17, 2023, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/temple-cornerstone-cere....
  • 16. Joel Green, 1 Peter (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 63.
  • 17. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 228–229.
  • 18. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 229.
  • 19. Pliny, Letters, 10.96–97.
  • 20. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 229.
  • 21. The word froward was first used in the thirteenth century and came from the Middle English froward (the opposite of toward), meaning “turned away.” The word is still used in England to mean “disposed to disobedience and opposition, contrary, or misbehaving.” See Proverbs 8:8: “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.”
  • 22. Seneca, Ad Lucilium epistolae morales,47.10–12; Karen H. Jobes, 1 Peter (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005), 188.
  • 23. Andrew C. Skinner, “Peter: The Chief Apostle,” in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles, ed. Ray L. Huntington, Patty Smith, Thomas A. Wayment, and Jerome M. Perkins (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2002), 216–217.
  • 24. Marion G. Romney, “Your Gift from God,” October 1976 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 25. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 229.
  • 26. Monte S. Nyman, “The Sublime Epistle of Peter,” in Studies in Scripture,vol. 6, Acts to Revelation, ed. Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 229.
  • 27. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 28. Deuteronomy 32:35; Leviticus 19:18; Proverbs 20:22; 24:29.
  • 29. Terry B. Ball, “Peter’s Principles: An Approach to the First Epistle of Peter,” in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles, ed. Ray L. Huntington, Patty Smith, Thomas A. Wayment, and Jerome M. Perkins (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2002), 226–227.
  • 30. Marion G. Romney, “Your Gift from God,” October 1976 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 31. John W. Welch, The Sermon on the Mount in the Light of the Temple (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2009), 41–45.
  • 32. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London, UK: Bible Societies, 1971), 691.
  • 33. David O. McKay, in Conference Report, October 1964, 91–93.
  • 34. John H. Elliott, 1 Peter: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2000), 608.
  • 35. Evan Stephens, “Let Us All Press On,” Hymns (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985), no. 243.
  • 36. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Live the Gospel,” October 1984 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 37. Marion G. Romney, “Your Gift from God,” October 1976 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 38. Tad R. Callister, “Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration,” October 2009 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 39. D. A. Carson, “1 Peter,” in Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament, ed. D. A. Beale and D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 1 Peter 4:8.
  • 40. Carson, “1 Peter,” 1 Peter 4:8.
  • 41. Marvin J. Ashton, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,”April 1992 general conference, online at churchofjesuschrist.org.
  • 42. Bruce R. McConkie, “Upon Judea’s Plains,” Ensign, July 1973, 27.
  • 43. Isaiah 11:2; Proverbs 11:31 LXX. LXX refers to the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures produced between 300 and 200 BC. It was a primary source of the Old Testament for early Christians during the early years, especially for converts that had little knowledge of Hebrew, and many of the Old Testament quotations used by New Testament writers are direct quotations from the Septuagint.
  • 44. Henry D. Moyle, in Conference Report, October 1962, 88–92.
  • 45. Paul J. Achtemeier, A Commentary on 1 Peter (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996), 318–319.

Scripture Reference

1 Peter 1:1