Prophetic Use of the Pauline Epistles, 1970–2013

By Brad Farnsworth, John Hilton, Jaclyn Nielson and Jonathan Ogden

Brad Farnsworth, John Hilton III, Jaclyn Nielson, Jonathan Ogden, "Prophetic Use of the Pauline Epistles, 1970–2013," Religious Educator 16, no.1 (2015): 77–103

Prophetic Use of the Pauline Epistles, 1970–20​13

Brad Farnsworth, John Hilton III, Jaclyn Nielson, and Jonathan Ogden

Brad Farnsworth (brad_farnsworth@byu.edu) was an instructor of ancient scripture at BYU when this article was written

John Hilton III (john_hilton@byu.edu) was an assistant professor of ancient scripture at BYU when this article was written

Jaclyn Nielson (jaclyn.nielson@gmail.com) was a research assistant when this article was written

Jonathan Ogden (thefirstjonathando@gmail.com) was a research assistant when this article was written

The Apostle Paul communicated eternal principles that were important in the meridian of time and remain important in the restored Church today.

Jeff Ward, Paul the Apostle

Much can be gained in understanding scripture passages by learning how modern prophets have employed them. For example, Mary Jane Woodger and Michelle Vanegas Brodrick demonstrated how our perceptions of 1 Nephi 8 and 11–14 have been shaped by the manner in which Church leaders have utilized these verses.[1] The purpose of this paper is to examine how members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have used the writings of Paul between 1970 and 2013.[2] Paul’s writings are clearly of great importance; biblical scholar F. F. Bruce referred to Paul as one of “the great letter-writers in world literature,”[3] and James D. G. Dunn writes that “Paul was the first and greatest Christian theologian.”[4]

In order to determine which Pauline passages (including Hebrews)[5] have been most frequently quoted by modern prophets, we utilized the database located at scriptures.byu.edu.[6] This database links scriptures to general conference talks and other quoted writings of Church leaders.[7] A screenshot from scriptures.byu.edu is displayed in figure 1.

Figure 1. Screenshot of scriptures.byu.edu.

[image unable to be replicated]

Figure 1 shows that Romans has been quoted 1,421 times; 1 Corinthians, 2,459 times; and so forth.[8] Figure 1 focuses on 2 Thessalonians 2 (quoted 86 times), and one can see a breakdown (by chapter) of how many times each chapter has been utilized. By exploring further, one can see which verses in 2 Thessalonians 2 have been used. For example, next to 2 Thessalonians 2:1–2, we see “(61-O, 66, LR).” This indicates that in the October 1961 general conference, Elder LeGrand Richards utilized these verses on page 66 of that conference’s report.

Because scriptures.byu.edu includes references to talks given by people outside the scope of this study (e.g., members of the Seventy or Apostles speaking prior to 1970), the first step in analyzing how the Pauline epistles were quoted was to identify instances in which modern Apostles (members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, referred to as “Apostles”)[9] have quoted any verse of the Pauline epistles. Table 1 illustrates the number of times the Pauline epistles have been cited by Apostles during the period 1970–2013.

Table 1. Frequency count of Pauline citations (by book)

Pauline Epistle Number of Times Used
Romans 203
1 Corinthians 488
2 Corinthians 88
Galatians 84
Ephesians 269
Philippians 70
Colossians 38
1 Thessalonians 22
2 Thessalonians 21
1 Timothy 112
2 Timothy 141
Titus 18
Philemon 0
Hebrews 222

Our specific purpose in this article is to focus on the most frequently cited Pauline passages and identify how they have been utilized. After tabulating how frequently individual Pauline verses were employed, we found that many verses had multiple references in which a single verse was used. For example, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was quoted seven times within the parameters of this study, but 2:1–4 was quoted twice, 2:1–10 once, 2:2–7 once, and 2:3, 7 twice. Because 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was a part of multiple sets of verses, we counted it as being quoted thirteen times instead of seven. Because this situation arose with many other verses, we consistently used the accumulated count (often resulting in a passage of multiple verses) in order to determine which passage was most frequently utilized. A list of the ten single verses that were most frequently utilized is found in appendix B.

The Top Ten Most Frequently Quoted Pauline Passages

The ten Pauline passages that have been most frequently utilized by modern Apostles are outlined in table 2.

Table 2. The ten most frequently quoted Pauline passages

Reference Key Phrase Number of Times Used
1 Corinthians 15:19–23 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 70
Ephesians 4:11–16 “Carried about with every wind of doctrine” 62
Ephesians 2:18–22  “Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” 50
1 Corinthians 2:9–14 “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 53
2 Timothy 3:1–7 “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 43
1 Corinthians 3:16–17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God . . . ?” 33
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth” 32
Ephesians 6:10–18 “Put on the whole armour of God” 31
1 Corinthians 10:13 “But will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 27
Philippians 4:6–7 “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding” 22

In the following sections we describe how these ten passages have been utilized by Apostles over the past forty-four years.

1 Corinthians 15:19–23. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. . . . For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Three major themes emerged from an analysis of the Apostles’ use of 1 Corinthians 15:19–23. First, these verses were employed to teach that our divine inheritance of immortality can provide hope and can aid in our quest to live gospel principles.[10] For example, Elder Neal A. Maxwell emphasized this point when he said, “Viewing life without the prospect of immortality can diminish not only hope but also the sense of personal accountability.”[11]

A second theme in which these verses were used was to explain relationships between the Fall, the Atonement (including the Resurrection of Christ), and the resurrection of all mankind. For example, President James E. Faust said, in conjunction with these verses, “through the Atonement and those singular events surrounding it, all of the terrible individual and collective sins of all mankind were taken upon the Lord’s shoulders. The marvelous result of this great suffering was that He was able to redeem from physical death the believers and the obedient as well as the unbelieving and disobedient. Every person ever born or yet to be born is the beneficiary of both the mediation and the atonement of the Savior.”[12]

A third theme in which these verses were used was to bear simple yet profound apostolic testimony of the Savior of the world, even Jesus Christ, who overcame death that we might live again. Just prior to quoting 1 Corinthians 15:22, President Gordon B. Hinckley, who utilized 1 Corinthians 15:20–22 more than any other Pauline passage (see appendix A), said, “Thanks be to the Almighty. His glorified Son broke the bonds of death, the greatest of all victories.”[13]

Ephesians 4:11–16. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints. . . . That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.”

An overarching theme illustrated by the use of these verses is that of the Apostasy and the Restoration.[14] They talk not only of the Restoration in a proselytizing context but also of the blessings of having apostles and prophets on the earth today.[15] One such blessing is that of being warned against false doctrine, as when Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “Those who view every calamity and measure every new assertion of discovery against the standard of revealed truth need not be ‘tossed to and fro’ but can be steady and at peace.”[16] Another warning against false doctrine is when President Spencer W. Kimball said, “We cannot expect to live in times of turbulence without experiencing some of that turbulence ourselves. But we do not need to be ‘tossed to and fro, and carried about [by] every wind of doctrine’ without anchor. . . . We have present-day prophets to guide us.”[17] Other blessings mentioned by the Apostles in connection with this passage include correcting the Saints as needed and helping the Church strive in unity[18] to achieve perfection.[19]

Ephesians 2:18–22. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

President Harold B. Lee, who quoted this passage more than any other Pauline verses (see appendix A), utilized Ephesians 2:20 to establish the principle that the true Church of Jesus Christ “could not be accomplished as set forth by a man-made formula; it could only be accomplished when the fullness of the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are taught and practiced.”[20] Spencer W. Kimball and Gordon B. Hinckley, each speaking as President of the Church, referenced this passage in a similar fashion, in order to state that Christ established a divine church that continues into the present day.[21]

Another prevalent theme illustrated by Apostles in the use of these verses is that members of the Church, especially new converts, are now part of the “household of God.” As members of God’s household, we have both privileges[22] and responsibilities[23] regarding this matter. For instance, repentance is a prerequisite to full enjoyment of fellowship with the Saints.[24] On six different occasions between 1970 and 2013, President Thomas S. Monson used these verses to invite members of the Church to reach out and include others in the household of God. Most recently, he said, “With this thought in mind, let us reach out to those for whom we are responsible and bring them to the table of the Lord to feast on His word and to enjoy the companionship of His Spirit and be ‘no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.’”[25]

A third theme is the metaphor of the Church as a building with a foundation of prophets and apostles and the Savior as the chief cornerstone.[26] The Apostles illustrate the need for prophets and apostles in the lives of Latter-day Saints and of all people. Most frequently, they used the metaphor when testifying of the restored Church,[27] as when President Harold B. Lee said, “When the revelations of the Lord are clearly understood, there is set forth the only basis of a united and universal church.[28]

1 Corinthians 2:9–14. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. . . . But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Many Apostles relate these verses to the acquiring of spiritual knowledge. Some provide suggestions about how to know things that are spiritually discerned—for example, “[evaluating] our experiences in terms of the enlarged perspective of eternity,”[29] keeping a humble attitude,[30] relying on the Spirit,[31] and putting off “the things of the flesh.”[32]

Others gave insight into ways spiritual knowledge is not acquired. Elder Oaks said, “Scientific methods will not yield spiritual knowledge.”[33] President Boyd K. Packer taught that “the witness is not communicated through the intellect alone, however bright the intellect may be.”[34] President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that “spiritual light cannot be discerned by carnal eyes.”[35]

The phrase “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” has been consistently quoted in each decade from 1970 to 2013. When this verse is quoted, Apostles consistently focus on the power that can come as we keep an eternal perspective. For example, President Kimball, who referenced 1 Corinthians 2:9 more than any other Pauline verse (see appendix A), encouraged Latter-day Saints to pay tithing, assuring them that rich blessings are promised to those who do so.[36] Other areas highlighted in connection with this verse include how an eternal perspective can help us overcome trials,[37] handle grief,[38] and recognize our divine potential.[39] One unique way in which this passage was used was by Elder Maxwell, who said, “We are not now ready for all things the Lord has prepared in the City of God for them that love Him. Our present eyes are unready for things which they have not yet seen, and our ears are not prepared for the transcending sounds and music of that city. The trek will be proving and trying. Faith, patience, and obedience are essential, but he who completes the journey successfully will be immeasurably added upon.”[40] Thus Elder Maxwell illustrates that there is still much work for each of us to do.

2 Timothy 3:1–7. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be . . . ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Apostles have consistently cited 2 Timothy 3:1 to state that we are living in the perilous times foretold by Paul.[41] It is interesting to note that this claim has been continually made throughout the decades from 1970 to 2013. For example, in 1971, President N. Eldon Tanner stated, “We must remember that Satan is always on the job, determined to destroy the work of the Lord and to destroy mankind, and as soon as we deviate from the path of righteousness, we are in great danger of being destroyed. . . . Conditions in the world today cause us to reflect on the prophecy made by Paul to Timothy, wherein he said: ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.’”[42] In addition to stating that we are living in perilous times, Apostles also specify the signs of the perilous times by continuing to list the signs of the times outlined by Paul.[43] Others focused specifically on the condition of the human family during these perilous times[44] as well as the strength of the adversary during these times.[45]

In 2 Timothy 3:7, Paul speaks of those who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” For example, Elder Oaks used this verse to point out that we need to be selective with the information we choose to consume and allow significant prayer and contemplation as we seek to transform our knowledge into wisdom.[46] Elder Maxwell taught that we need to accumulate knowledge but have a purpose with it.[47] President Marion G. Romney stated that man’s divine nature is a portion of “the knowledge of the truth” that intellect alone cannot grasp.[48] Thus intellectual knowledge alone is not sufficient to withstand the perilous times in which we live.

1 Corinthians 3:16–17. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Of the thirty-three times this verse has been quoted, 40 percent (thirteen) have been by President Monson. When he employed these verses, he frequently emphasized the personal choice involved in choosing to treat our bodies as temples.[49] He also listed things that are physically harmful to our bodies as temples and those things that are physically helpful to our bodies as temples. He emphasized that pornography, drugs, certain music, alcohol, immodesty, coffee, and tea all hinder the building of ourselves as temples. However, he emphasized that physically building our bodies as temples includes “nutritious meals, regular exercise, and appropriate sleep.”[50]

President Lee used these verses in connection with “the sacredness of our individual bodies.”[51] In 1971, prior to his call as Church President, President Kimball used these verses as a contrasting point with contemporary voices calling for more sexual permissiveness.[52] In October 2000, President Hinckley used these verses in two separate conference talks (Relief Society and priesthood sessions) to emphasize that the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve “have taken the position . . . that ‘the Church discourages tattoos. It also discourages the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes, although it takes no position on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings.’”[53]

1 Timothy 4:12. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

This verse has been quoted thirty-two times since 1970, and it is particularly noteworthy to examine in which general meetings this verse was used. Among the four general sessions of general conference, this verse was quoted thirteen times. In contrast, it was used nineteen times in the priesthood and Young Women sessions. In the historical context of this verse, Paul is speaking to young Timothy and, appropriately, it has been used in conference to address the young men and young women of the Church.

A recurring theme emphasized by multiple Apostles centers on the phrase “Let no man despise thy youth.” In 2009, President Packer outlined scriptural accounts of great prophets accomplishing great tasks at young ages to reiterate this point.[54] Likewise, in 1997, President Hinckley shared a story in which he answered the BBC Radio Worldwide Service reporter’s claim of missionary callowness with these words: “Callow youth? It is with these missionaries today as it was with Timothy in the days of Paul. It was Paul who wrote to his young companion, saying, ‘. . . Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’”[55] In addition to addressing the youth, some Apostles referenced 1 Timothy 4:12 as they spoke to youth leaders. For example, President Monson, who used 1 Timothy 4:12 more than he used any other verse in the Pauline epistles (see appendix A), stated, “Leaders of youth, remember the Apostle Paul’s counsel to Timothy. . . . Bishops, place worthy, righteous men as leaders of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the same requirement should be expected concerning Scoutmasters.”[56]

Ephesians 6:10–18. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

An enduring theme through almost all quotations of these verses is putting on “the whole armour of God.” Many of the Apostles who quoted these verses focused on personal preparation,[57] as when President Howard W. Hunter said, “May I say once more to the youth of the Church—prepare, believe, be ready, have faith. Do not say or do or be that which would limit your service or render you ineffective in the kingdom of God. Be ready when your call comes, for surely it will come. Keep your gospel shoes on.”[58]

The warning that “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” has been proclaimed by President Lee[59] and others. For example, after quoting Ephesians 6:12, President Hinckley said, “We must stand firm. We must hold back the world. If we do so, the Almighty will be our strength and our protector, our guide and our revelator. . . . We will not be left alone. There are many not of our faith but who feel as we do. They will support us. They will sustain us in our efforts.”[60] Presidents Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, and Howard W. Hunter also spoke of the wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places.[61] President Henry B. Eyring personalized the idea of this battle, stating, “[The Master] faced opposition, and He said that facing opposition would be the lot of those He called. The forces arrayed against you will try not only to frustrate your work but to bring you down.”[62] Many references to these verses included a discussion on elements of the armor of God, with a focused importance of living the gospel in order to survive these troubled times.[63]

1 Corinthians 10:13. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

"Those who view every calamity and measure every new assertion of discovery against the standard of revealed truth need not be 'tossed to and fro' but can be steady and at peace."

Elder Dallin H Oaks © Intellectual Reserve, Inc

In analyzing the use of 1 Corinthians 10:13 by the Apostles, it is first interesting to note some basic patterns. Since 1998, it has been quoted eleven times, but only by three Apostles—Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, and Robert D. Hales. Since 1989, President Monson has used this scripture eight times, five of which have been during the priesthood sessions of general conference.

Prior to the October 2002 general conference, the language of 1 Corinthians 10:13 was used to refer to the general topic of resisting temptation. However, since that time, six of the nine instances in which 1 Corinthians 10:13 was used had a specific connection with immorality.[64] For example, in the April 2006 general conference, just prior to quoting from 1 Corinthians 10:13, President Monson referred to “the maka-feke of immorality.”[65]

A pattern in which 1 Corinthians 10:13 has been frequently employed is as a source of hope to encourage members in overcoming temptations and other difficult trials. Apostles refer to this verse as a source of assurance,[66] promise,[67] and wise counsel.[68] In some instances, prophets expanded on the idea of temptation to state that God would not allow us to undergo any situation that we could not handle. For example, Elder Maxwell taught, “The Lord knows our bearing capacity, both as to coping and to comprehending, and He will not give us more to bear than we can manage at the moment, though to us it may seem otherwise. Just as no temptations will come to us from which we cannot escape or which we cannot bear, we will not be given more trials than we can sustain.”[69] Similarly, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin stated, immediately after quoting 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The Lord does not expect anything of you that you cannot do.”[70]

Philippians 4:6–7. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Almost all references to Philippians 4:6–7 focus on the phrase “peace . . . which passeth all understanding.” Multiple prophets discussed how to obtain this peace. For example, Elder M. Russell Ballard stated, “That peace for our troubled hearts only comes to us as we follow the Light of Christ.”[71] Other principles that were mentioned as leading to the peace which “passeth all understanding” were obedience,[72] repentance,[73] and keeping an eternal perspective.[74]

Frequently Quoted Verses from the Remaining Pauline Epistles

The top ten quoted Pauline passages include references from just five of the fourteen Pauline epistles: 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, and 1 and 2 Timothy. In the following section of this paper we focus on the most frequently quoted verses from each of the remaining Pauline epistles. This information is summarized in table 3.

Table 3. Most frequently used passages from the eight Pauline epistles not referred to in table 2

Reference Key Phrase Number of Times Used
Romans 8:13–17 “Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” 21
2 Corinthians 12:7–10 “A thorn in the flesh” 14
Galatians 6:7–9 “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” 20
Colossians 1:21–23 “Be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” 8
1 Thessalonians[75] 5:18 “In every thing give thanks” 3
2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 “For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” 13
Titus[76] 1:7–9 “For a bishop must be blameless” 4
Philemon Philemon was not quoted by any Apostles in general conference from 1970 102013
Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 19


Romans 8:1317. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”

Most of the references to these verses focus on the fact that we are God’s heirs and therefore have the potential to become like him. Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated, “As the sons of God, we also have power to advance and progress until we become ‘joint-heirs with Christ.’”[77] In some instances, prophets emphasized that our status as heirs of God comes with the condition of obedience. For example, after quoting verses 16 and 17, Elder Oaks said, “We take these Bible teachings literally. We believe that the purpose of mortal life is to acquire a physical body and, through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, to qualify for the glorified, resurrected celestial state that is called exaltation or eternal life.”[78]

2 Corinthians 12:710. “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

While various segments of this passage have been employed, the most frequently emphasized portion of scripture was the phrase “a thorn in the flesh.” This phrase has been utilized in a variety of ways. For example, President Lee likened the thorns to persecution received by Church members,[79] while President Faust likened them to physical appetites.[80] President Monson cautioned that while we may find “thorns in the flesh” of our Church leaders, we must remember that “The Redeemer chose imperfect men to teach the way of perfection. He did so then. He does so now.”[81]

Apostles have also taught what to do with the thorns in the flesh with which we are faced. Elder D. Todd Christofferson outlines the importance of covenant keeping in helping to foster the faith necessary to face such thorns.[82] Elder Maxwell indicated that we should have patience with our trials, stating that “when we are given thorns in the flesh, let us not demand to see the rose garden.”[83]

Galatians 6:7–9. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. . . . And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Half of the references to these verses focused on the law of the harvest: “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Many of the prophets who quoted them did so to illustrate the positive consequences of righteous living[84] as well as the inevitable suffering which results from wicked choices.[85] President N. Eldon Tanner illustrated this point when he shared, “Punishment and remorse, one way or another, will come to all who wander from the path of truth and righteousness, while obedience to God’s laws brings blessings and happiness. It is that simple: as we sow, so shall we reap.”[86]

Colossians 1:21–23. “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.”

This passage has been most frequently cited by Elder Maxwell (seven of the eight references to this scripture within the parameters of this paper were made by Elder Maxwell). In one instance, Elder Maxwell referred to this passage to encourage members: “being blessed with hope ourselves, let us, as disciples, rather than being contracted, reach out, including to those who, for whatever reason, have ‘moved away from the hope of the gospel.’”[87] This verse was also applied for the purpose of encouraging members to build on a sure foundation to avoid falling away from the Church.[88]

1 Thessalonians 5:18. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Of the three times 1 Thessalonians 5:18 has been quoted by Apostles since 1970, it has been used twice by President Monson. In each of the three instances in which it was used, the speaker indicated the importance of rendering our gratitude to God, even during trying circumstances.

2 Thessalonians 2:1–4. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

Second Thessalonians 2:3 has been quoted eleven times by various Apostles since 1970, with one consistent pattern: it has always been quoted in relation to the Apostasy, and the speaker in each instance has followed up by talking about the Restoration. In the words of Elder Ballard, “Do you see how naturally and easily one principle of the Restoration leads to the next?”[89] While others go on to highlight other topics, such as the nature of dispensations, ordinances, specific doctrine, and historical settings of the given time period, all include the coupling between the Apostasy and the Restoration.

Titus 1:7–9. “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.”

Since 1970 this passage has only been employed in conference by President Hinckley. Rather than apply the scripture to the general populace of the Church, he specifically applied these verses to the bishops of the Church. In a span of twenty-five years, his use of this verse and the outline of the message that follows it are nearly identical. In each talk, President Hinckley begins by quoting the verse. Then he expressly states that “those words aptly describe a bishop today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Following, he specifically expresses his love for the bishops and asserts his confidence in them.

Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

The Apostles refer to this verse in reference to faith in several different contexts, each of which can be categorized into four groups. Most frequently they speak of faith in its relationship to testimony, as when Elder Wirthlin said, “If we study, ponder, and pray, our faith in the unseen but true things of God will grow. . . . [W]ith nurturing attention, a tiny seed of faith can grow into a vibrant, strong, fruitful tree of testimony.”[90] Faith is also referred to in the context of righteous Saints facing their doubts,[91] its relationship to hope and charity,[92] and its role as the first principle of the gospel.[93]

Therefore, What?

Although it is interesting to see which passages the Apostles use when speaking in general conference, perhaps of greater value is seeing how we may use these findings in our personal scholarship or in the classroom. For instance, these findings illustrate how the Brethren use the teachings of Paul to explain, clarify, or support their teachings. Canonized scripture has been and will continue to be a major source for validating doctrine taught to the Saints, and should be in our classrooms as well.

These findings also show how Paul’s teachings may be applied in today’s circumstances and spiritual environment. For example, BYU Religious Education typically offers this learning outcome in its New Testament curriculum: “Students who successfully complete the requirements for this course will be able to demonstrate that they have acquired an understanding of how selected New Testament passages can be applied to daily living.” The verses we have described in this study could be focal points of classroom discussion at appropriate times so that students can clearly see how to apply the passages in their lives.

We believe that the words of Paul, similar to those of other ancient prophets, were meant not only for those in his time but also for us in the latter days. Through teaching eternal truths in his epistles, Paul reached out to future generations while instructing early Christians. Perhaps Paul offered these truths to prepare Latter-day Saints for the prophesied Second Coming of the Son of God. Paul’s perspective transcends the major dispensations of mortality as well as the veil between mortality and life after death.

These findings will help instructors of religious education enhance their teaching by (1) using quotes from the Brethren to understand Paul’s teachings, (2) helping students appreciate the value of Paul’s teachings for modern-day challenges and personal application, and (3) identifying passages and general conference quotes not previously utilized that will strengthen students’ understanding of the Pauline epistles.

This paper raises additional questions for further research and analysis. For example, consider the following questions:

1.      When teaching certain topics, do the Apostles refer equally to other scriptures, such as the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants? How do the passages from Paul’s epistles uniquely contribute to their teachings?

2.      Have leaders from other Christian religions used Paul’s passages in a similar way? How have truths revealed through the Restoration influenced our understanding of these same passages?

Conclusion

Paul’s teachings have reverberated throughout the centuries. Elder Delbert L. Stapley stated, “I have a great respect for the apostle Paul. I admire his courage, honesty, strength of faith, and deep testimony. I love his teachings and find them equally applicable to the people of today. He was specially chosen, a true witness of the resurrected Christ.”[94] Quotes from modern Apostles help us understand Paul’s teachings and see their relevance to contemporary conditions in the world.

The Apostle Paul communicated eternal principles that were important in the meridian of time and now remain important in the restored Church nearly two thousand years later. Continual use of Paul’s teachings by modern Apostles further validate the value of Paul’s teachings for Latter-day Saints. In the same way that today’s Church leaders enhance their understanding of gospel doctrine using the Pauline epistles, Latter-day Saints should seek their own understanding by pondering Paul’s teachings.

Appendix A

Table 4 illustrates which Pauline passage has been most frequently utilized by each Apostle since 1970. Because some of these individuals spoke infrequently after 1970, we included all quotes given by these individuals in general conference, including years prior to 1970.

Table 4. Most frequently Quoted Pauline Passages by Each Individual Apostle, 1970–2013

Apostle

Year-Conference

Reference

Text

Number of times Quoted

Joseph Fielding Smith

65-A, 61-A, 61-A, 59-A, 48-O

Ephesians 3:15

“Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named”

5

Harold B. Lee[95]

73-A, 70-O, 68-A, 63-O, 55-A, 55-A

Ephesians 2:20

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

6

Spencer W. Kimball

80-O, 77-A 68-A, 52-A, 49-O, 45-A

1 Corinthians 2:9

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

6

Ezra Taft Benson[96]

89-O, 87-O, 67-A

1 Timothy 5:8

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

3

Mark E. Petersen

81-O, 81-O, 81-O, 81-O, 79-A, 79-A, 79-A, 78-A, 78-A, 73-A, 72-O, 72-O, 70-A, 69-O, 62-O, 62-O, 58-A 50-A, 49-O, 45-O, 45-O

Ephesians 4:11–14

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. . . . ”

21

Delbert L. Stapley

76-O, 73-A, 70-A, 66-A, 64-O

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

5

Marion G. Romney

81-O, 77-A, 65-O, 49-O, 49-O, 49-O

2 Timothy 4:6–8

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

6

LeGrand Richards

81-A, 77-A, 75-O, 75-A, 75-A, 74-A, 72-A, 70-A, 69-O, 66-O, 58-O

Ephesians 1:10

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

11

Richard L. Evans

58-A, 58-A, 58-A, 58-A,

Romans 8:6

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

4

Hugh B. Brown

69-A, 67-A, 64-A, 63-O, 60-O, 59-A, 55-A

Hebrews 11:1–3

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

7

Howard W. Hunter

88-A, 69-A, 69-A, 63-A, 63-A, 63-A

1 Corinthians 15:5–8

“And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. . . . And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

6

Gordon B. Hinckley

99-O, 99-A, 99-A, 96-A, 94-A, 91-O, 86-A, 85-A, 84-O, 84-A, 83-A, 83-A, 82-O, 82-A, 80-A, 75-A

1 Corinthians 15:20–22

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

16

N. Eldon Tanner

75-O, 67-O, 64-O, 64-A, 63-A, 63-A

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

6

Thomas S. Monson

09-A, 08-O, 05-A, 05-A, 04-A, 02-A, 01-O, 00-A, 00-A, 99-A, 99-A, 98-A, 96-O, 95-A, 95-A, 94-O, 93-O, 92-O, 92-O, 92-A

1 Timothy 4:12

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

20

Marvin J. Ashton[97]

76-A, 71-O

Hebrews 13:16

“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

2

Boyd K. Packer

08-O, 05-O, 04-A, 95-A, 94-O, 90-A, 85-A, 70-O

2 Timothy 3:1–2

“In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

8

Bruce R. McConkie

81-O, 64-O, 64-O, 64-O, 51-O

Romans 10:14

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

5

David B. Haight

81-A, 73-O

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

2

L. Tom Perry

07-A, 06-O, 05-A, 78- O

Ephesians 4:14

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

4

James E. Faust

04-O, 04-O, 98-A, 95-A

Galatians 3:29

“And if ye be Christ’s, then ye are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

4

Neal A. Maxwell

03-O, 01-O, 00-O, 99-A, 95-A, 93-A, 90-O, 95-A

Ephesians 4:19

“Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

8

Russell M. Nelson

13-A, 96-O, 96-O, 93-O, 90-O, 87-A, 93-O

1 Corinthians 15:22

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

7

Dallin H. Oaks[98]

09-O, 00-A, 98-A, 87-O

1 Corinthians 15:22

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

4

M. Russell Ballard

00-A, 94-O, 99-O, 93-O

Ephesians 4:11

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”

4

Joseph B. Wirthlin

94-A, 92-A, 89-O, 88-O

1 Corinthians 10:13

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.”

4

Richard G. Scott

No references quoted more than once

Robert D. Hales

13-A, 04-A, 95-O

Ephesians 6:17

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

3

Jeffrey R. Holland[99]

98-O, 95-O

 

1 Corinthians 6:20

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

2

Henry B. Eyring

98-A, 98-O

1 Corinthians 13:4

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.”

2

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

13-A, 12-A, 10-A, 09-A, 08-A, 07-A

 

Romans 3:23

 

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

6

David A. Bednar[100]

07-O, 07-A

Romans 6:4

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

2

Quentin L. Cook

No references quoted more than once

D. Todd Christofferson

No references quoted more than once

Neil L. Neil Andersen

No references quoted more than once


Appendix B

As described in the body of the paper, we utilized accumulated counts to determine the most frequently cited Pauline passages. Table 5, lists the most frequently quoted single verses from Paul.

Table 5: The ten most frequently quoted Pauline verses[101]

Reference

Key Phrase

Number of Times Used

1 Corinthians 15:22

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

35

1 Timothy 4:12

“Be thou an example of the believers.”

35

1 Corinthians 10:13

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.”

27

Ephesians 2:20

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

25

Philippians 4:7

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

22

1 Corinthians 11:11

“Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”

21

1 Timothy 5:8

“But if any provide not for his own, and special for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

21

Ephesians 2:19

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

19

Ephesians 1:10

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

18

1 Corinthians 2:14

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.”

18

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

18

 

 

Notes:


[1]Mary Jane Woodger and Michelle Vanegas Brodrick, “Lehi’s Dream and Nephi’s Vision as Used by Church Leaders,” in The Things Which My Father Saw: Approaches to Lehi’s Dream and Nephi’s Vision, ed. Daniel L. Belnap, Gaye Strathearn, and Stanley A. Johnson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 374–92.

[2]We chose 1970 as the starting point of our study because the death of David O. McKay in January of 1970 seemed like an appropriate point with which to begin our focus.

[3]F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), 15.

[4]J. D. G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle (New York: Eerdmans, 1998), 2.

[5]For the purposes of this paper we included Hebrews as one of the Pauline epistles. For a discussion of the authorship of Hebrews, see Terrence L. Szink, “Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews,” in How the New Testament Came to Be: The Thirty-fifth Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, ed. Kent P. Jackson and Frank F. Judd Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006), 243–59. 

[6]This database has been used by others to uncover instances in which prophets have utilized various scriptures. For example, see Ben Spackman, “The Story of Judah and Tamar,” Religious Educator 11, no. 1 (2010): 64–74.

[7]“About this site,” http://scriptures.byu.edu.

[8]These quotation counts include general conference addresses as well as teachings found in Journal of Discourses and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

[9]The prophets, seers, and revelators between April 1970 to December 2013 include the following: Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Petersen, Delbert L. Stapley, Marion G. Romney, LeGrand Richards, Richard L. Evans, Hugh B. Brown, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, N. Eldon Tanner, Thomas S. Monson, Marvin J. Ashton, Boyd K. Packer, Bruce R. McConkie, L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight, James E. Faust, Neal A. Maxwell, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales, Jeffrey R. Holland, Henry B. Eyring, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, David A. Bednar, Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson, and Neil L. Andersen. In some instances these individuals spoke in conference prior to being ordained as an Apostle. For example, Elder David B. Haight was an Assistant to the Twelve prior to his call to the Twelve. Quotations prior to an individual being called to the Twelve were not included in our count.

[10]Boyd K. Packer, “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them,” Ensign, May 2012, 8; Neal A. Maxwell, “Hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, November 1998, 61; Robert D. Hales, “In Remembrance of Jesus,” Ensign, November 1997, 26; Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, November 1991, 16; Spencer W. Kimball, “An Eternal Hope in Christ,” Ensign, November 1978, 72; and Thomas S. Monson, “Hopeless Dawn—Joyful Morning,” Ensign, May 1976, 10.

[11]Neal A. Maxwell, “Hope through the Atonement,” 61.

[12]James E. Faust, “The Supernal Gift of the Atonement,” Ensign, November 1988, 32.

[13]Gordon B. Hinckley, “He Is Not Here, but Is Risen,” Ensign, May 1999, 72.

[14]For example, see Mark E. Petersen, “The Role of a Prophet,” Ensign, April 1970, 83; Russell M. Nelson, “Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!,” Ensign, November 2012, 21; and M. Russell Ballard, “‘How Is It with Us?,’” Ensign, May 2000, 33.

[15]See Russell M. Nelson, “Salvation and Exaltation,” Ensign, May 2008, 10; and Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Shield of Faith,’” Ensign, May 1995, 8.

[16]Dallin H. Oaks, “Give Thanks in All Things,” Ensign, May 2003, 95.

[17]Spencer W. Kimball, “‘Do Not Weary by the Way,’” Ensign, November 1980, 76.

[18]See N. Eldon Tanner, “New Emphasis on Church Councils,” Ensign, May 1979, 86; and Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Shield of Faith,’” 8.

[19]For example, see Neal A. Maxwell, “Repentance,” Ensign, November 1991, 30.

[20]Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, April 1973, 8.

[21]Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, April 1978, 8; and Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith,” Ensign, November 2002, 81.

[22]See Henry B. Eyring, “Our Hearts Knit as One,” Ensign, November 2008, 71; and Neil L. Andersen, “Trial of Your Faith,” Ensign, November 2012, 42.

[23]For example, see Thomas S. Monson, “True Shepherds,” Ensign, November 2013, 68; and Russell M. Nelson, “‘Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods,” Ensign, April 1996, 16.

[24]See Dallin H. Oaks, “Repentance and Change,” Ensign, November 2003, 40; and Boyd K. Packer, “The Saints Securely Dwell,” Ensign, November 1972, 88.

[25]Thomas S. Monson, “True Shepherds,” Ensign, November 2013, 68.

[26]For example, see Russell M. Nelson, “Salvation and Exaltation,” 10; and Mark E. Petersen, “Signs of the True Church,” Ensign, May 1979, 23.

[27]See James E. Faust, “The Restoration of All Things,” Ensign, May 2006, 68; and Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith,” 81.

[28] Harold B. Lee, “Strengthen the Stakes of Zion,” Ensign, May 1973, 5.

[29]Dallin H. Oaks, “Spirituality,” Ensign, November 1985, 61.

[30]Richard G. Scott, “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” Ensign, November 1993, 87.

[31]Boyd K. Packer, “Prayers and Promptings,” Ensign, November 2009, 44; Robert D. Hales, “Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets,” Ensign, November 2007, 87; David A. Bednar, “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign, November 2007, 81; Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Unspeakable Gift,” Ensign, May 2003, 27; and Marion G. Romney, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign, May 1974, 91.

[32]Neal A. Maxwell, “Willing to Submit,” Ensign, May 1985, 70.

[33]Dallin H. Oaks, “Testimony,” Ensign, May 2008, 26.

[34]Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, November 1991, 21.

[35]Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Hope of God’s Light,” Ensign, May 2013, 75.

[36]Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, October 1980, 113.

[37]Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “You Matter to Him,” Ensign, November 2011, 22.

[38]Quentin L. Cook, “The Songs They Could Not Sing,” Ensign, November 2011, 107.

[39]Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Abundant Life,” Ensign, May 2006, 101; and Neal A. Maxwell, “Put Your Shoulder To the Wheel,” Ensign, May 1998, 39.

[40]Neal A. Maxwell, “Called and Prepared From the Foundation of the World,” Ensign, May 1986, 36.

[41]Boyd K. Packer, “The Test,” Ensign, November 2008, 88; Dallin H. Oaks, “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” Ensign, November 2008, 17; Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Dawning of a Brighter Day,” Ensign, May 2004, 81; Robert D. Hales, “Faith through Tribulation Brings Peace and Joy,” Ensign, May 2003, 15; M. Russell Ballard, “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” Ensign, November 2003, 17; M. Russell Ballard, “The Greatest Generation of Missionaries,” Ensign, November 2002, 46; Russell M. Nelson, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers,” Ensign, November 2002, 39; Boyd K. Packer, “The Shield of Faith,” 8–9; Russell M. Nelson, “Where Is Wisdom?,” Ensign, November 1992, 8; Ezra Taft Benson, “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 80; Delbert L. Stapley, “Teachings of the Apostle Paul,” Ensign, November 1976, 94; Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, April 1971, 7; and Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, April 1971, 90.

[42]N. Eldon Tanner, in Conference Report, October 1971, 137.

[43]Dallin H. Oaks, “Be Not Deceived,” Ensign, November 2004, 45; and Gordon B. Hinckley, “Living in the Fulness of Times,” Ensign, November 2001, 6.

[44]Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Dawning of a Brighter Day,” 81; and Robert D. Hales, “With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families,” Ensign, May 2004, 88.

[45]Robert D. Hales, “Stand Strong in Holy Places,” Ensign, May 2013, 48; and Dallin H. Oaks, “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” 17.

[46]Dallin H. Oaks, “Focus and Priorities,” Ensign, May 2001, 83.

[47]Neal A. Maxwell, “Shine As Lights in the World,” Ensign, May 1983, 10.

[48]Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, April 1973, 136. See also Neal A. Maxwell, “From Whom All Blessings Flow,” Ensign, May 1997, 12.

[49]Thomas S. Monson, “Dedication Day,” Ensign, November 2000, 64.

[50]Thomas S. Monson, “That We May Touch Heaven,” Ensign, November 1990, 46.

[51]Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, October 1973, 8. 

[52]Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, April 1971, 10–11.

[53]Gordon B. Hinckley, “Your Greatest Challenge, Mother,” Ensign, November 2000, 99; see also Gordon B. Hinckley, “Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, November 2000, 52.

[54]Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Young Men,” Ensign, May 2009, 49.

[55]Gordon B. Hinckley, “Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship,” Ensign, November 1995, 48.

[56]Thomas S. Monson, “In Harm’s Way,” Ensign, May 1998, 48.

[57]For example, see James E. Faust, “The Shield of Faith,” 19; Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Be of Good Cheer,’” Ensign, November 1982, 67; and Robert D. Hales, “Feeling of a Tender Parent,” 91.

[58]Howard W. Hunter, “‘Bind on Thy Sandals,’” Ensign, May 1978, 35.

[59]Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, April 1973, 5.

[60]Gordon B. Hinckley, “An Ensign to the Nation, a Light to the World,” Ensign, November 2003, 83.

[61]See Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, April 1967, 64; Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, April 1967, 61; and Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, April 1979, 35. Note that while the time period for the quotations from Presidents Kimball and Benson is outside the scope of our study, and while these citations were not included in our citation count (which began at 1970), we mention them here to indicate that five of the seven Apostles who later became Presidents of the Church have utilized Ephesians 6:12 in general conference. 

[62]Henry B. Eyring, “Rise to Your Call,” Ensign, November 2002, 78.

[63]For example, see Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Plow in Hope,’” Ensign, May 2001, 60; and Robert D. Hales, “Blessings of the Priesthood,” Ensign, November 1995, 32.

[64]Thomas S. Monson, “The Three Rs of Choice,” Ensign, November 2010, 69; Thomas S. Monson, “Preparation Brings Blessings,” Ensign, May 2010, 66; Robert D. Hales, “Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” Ensign, May 2009, 7; Thomas S. Monson, “True to the Faith,” Ensign, May 2006, 18; Boyd K. Packer, “The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected,” Ensign, November 2003, 25; and Thomas S. Monson, “Peace, Be Still,” Ensign, November 2001, 54.

[65]Thomas S. Monson, “True to the Faith,” 18.

[66]Thomas S. Monson, “The Three Rs of Choice,” 69; and Robert D. Hales, “Becoming Provident Providers,” 7.

[67]Boyd K. Packer, “Cleaning the Inner Vessel,” Ensign, November 2010, 75; and Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer and Promptings,” 46.

[68]Thomas S. Monson, “That We May Touch Heaven,” 47; Thomas S. Monson, “The Lighthouse of the Lord,” Ensign, November 1990, 98; and Thomas S. Monson, “Go For It!,” Ensign, May 1989, 44.

[69]Neal A. Maxwell, “Be of Good Cheer,” 67.

[70]Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Live in Obedience,” Ensign, May 1994, 40.

[71]M. Russell Ballard, “The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom,” Ensign, May 2002, 88.

[72]For example, see Gordon B. Hinckley, “To Men of the Priesthood,” Ensign, November 2002, 59; and Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Peace Within,” Ensign, May 1991, 38.

[73]For example, see Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand,’” Ensign, May 2001, 24; and Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom,’” Ensign, November 1996, 84.

[74]See Russell M. Nelson, “Doors of Death,” Ensign, May 1992, 72; and Russell M. Nelson, “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001, 35.

[75]1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 5:22 were also quoted three times. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 was chosen because it included the most quotations from a President of the Church.

[76]Titus 2:1–7 has been quoted four times.

[77]Bruce R. McConkie, “The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood,” Ensign, November 1977, 34.

[78]Dallin H. Oaks, “Apostasy and Restoration,” Ensign, May 1995, 86; see also Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Four Titles,” Ensign, May 2013, 61; and Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, November 2005, 30.

[79]Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, April 1970, 56.

[80]James E. Faust, “The Power of Self-Mastery,” Ensign, May 2000, 44.

[81]Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, April 1973, 64.

[82]D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Ensign, May 2009, 21.

[83]Neal A. Maxwell, “The Net Gathers of Every Kind,” Ensign, November 1980, 15.

[84]For example, see Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?,” Ensign, November 2007, 20; and James E. Faust, “Of Seeds and Soils,” Ensign, November 1999, 48.

[85]See Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Morality,” Ensign, November 1980, 95; and Dallin H. Oaks, “Be Not Deceived,” Ensign, November 2004, 45.

[86]  N. Eldon Tanner, “Why is My Boy Wandering Tonight?,” Ensign, November 1974, 87.

[87]Neal A. Maxwell, “Hope through the Atonement,” 63.

[88]See Neal A. Maxwell, “Answer Me,” Ensign, November 1988, 32; and Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Overcome . . . Even As I Also Overcame,’” Ensign, May 1987, 70.

[89]M. Russell Ballard, “How Is It with Us?,” 33.

[90]Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Cultivating Divine Attributes,” Ensign, November 1998, 28; see also Richard G. Scott, “The Power of a Strong Testimony,” Ensign, November 2001, 89.

[91]For example, see Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Come, Join with Us,” Ensign, November 2013, 24; and Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Shall He Find Faith on the Earth?,” Ensign, November 2002, 85.

[92]See Neal A. Maxwell, “Hope through the Atonement,” 61; and Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Plow in Hope,’” 60.

[93]For example, see Howard W. Hunter, “Faith—The First Step,” Ensign, May 1975, 38; and Robert D. Hales, “Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, November 2004, 73.

[94]Delbert L. Stapley, “Teachings of the Apostle Paul,” Ensign, November 1976, 136.

[95]Harold B. Lee also quoted Ephesians 4:12 six times (accumulated count). The reason for including Ephesians 2:20 was that it had the most recent use.

[96]According to scriptures.byu.edu, Ezra Taft Benson also quoted Galatians 3:27 three times. Upon further investigation, it was seen that two of the counts were for the same reference in the same talk, thus resulting in only two quotations of Galatians 3:27.

[97]Marvin J. Ashton also quoted Galatians 6:7, Ephesians 4:31–32, and Romans 1:16 two times each. Reference chosen to be included in the table was based on elimination of accumulated count prevalence, the use of multiple verses, and time reference was used—most recent being preferred (in this order of elimination). 

[98]Dallin H. Oaks also quoted 1 Corinthians 15:40 four times, but they were not included in the table because it was an accumulated count.

[99]Jeffrey R. Holland has also quoted 1 Corinthians 6:18 and Hebrews 1:3 two times each. We chose 1 Corinthians 6:20 because Hebrews 1:3 And 1 Corinthians 6:18 both had one instance in which the text was not directly quoted in the talk.

[100]David A. Bednar quoted 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 4:13 twice. Ephesians 4:13 was an accumulated count, so it was eliminated from the table. 2 Corinthians 5:17 was not an explicit quotation.

[101]Of the verses here, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Ephesians 2:20, Ephesians 2:19, and 1 Corinthians 2:14 were included in the accumulated count for the top ten passages.