"This is possibly the last epistle Paul wrote. As a prisoner in Rome, his martyrdom seems imminent (2 Tim. 4:6-7), but he rejoices in his testimony of Christ and in the privilege of suffering for Christ's sake. He faces his final hours with the sure knowledge that he has 'fought a good fight, and kept the faith,' for which a 'crown of righteousness' is laid up for him (2 Tim. 4:7-8). His concerns are not alone, nor even primarily, for himself. He is deeply concerned over the growing threat of corruption and apostasy in the Church. To Timothy he gives solid encouragement and further counsel concerning both his personal life and his leadership role in the Church." (J. Lewis Taylor, "New Testament Backgrounds: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus," Ensign, Apr. 1976, 57)
2 Timothy 1:5 thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice
"The word 'grandmother' appears in the Bible but once-in connection with Lois, the grandmother of Timothy. Paul addressed this same Timothy as 'my dearly beloved son.' (2 Tim. 1:2.) The one verse in the Bible that mentions Lois and her daughter Eunice, Timothy's mother, is surpassingly beautiful, illuminating not only the faith of Timothy but eloquently painting a picture of family fidelity for three generations. Paul writes, 'When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. ...' (2 Tim. 1:5.)
"The hope of every mother and grandmother is underscored in these few words. As a woman seeks to increase in faith and good works she does so not to her own glory, but to fashion a legacy for her children and her children's children to inherit. Lois and Eunice lived in a generation when the gospel was a fresh, bright gift, newly restored from God in the person of his son Jesus Christ. How they must have rejoiced as they received its truth into their lives. Their home was Lystra, a city in the Roman province of Galatia. Eunice was a Jewess married to a Greek, whose name is not given. We may infer that she was a widow much of her life. Ties of kinship strengthened the family in that day where a grandmother and mother joined forces and faith to train their choice son.
"Paul gives evidence of the teachings of Timothy's youth when he says to him, 'from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.' (2 Tim. 3:15.) He also suggests, 'continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.' (2 Tim. 3:14.)
"Timothy was converted by Paul in Lystra at a young age and may have been as young as 15. How difficult it must have been for his mother and grandmother to send him away with Paul at such a tender age. His further training was completed by Paul, who loved him as his own son and spoke of him always with great pride. Although only one verse tells of Timothy's grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, we see their likenesses reflected in the man he became. His loyalty and devotion, his willingness to consecrate his all to the cause of Christ, his capacity for selflessness, gentleness, and love-all were qualities present in this youth who left his home to become a champion for Christ. These same qualities allowed his mother and grandmother to send him away with their confidence and trust. Paul planted gospel seeds in fertile ground that had been prepared by two loving women. (Ann N. Madsen, "Cameos: The Women of the New Testament," Ensign, Sept. 1975, 43)
Jeffrey R. Holland
We give thanks for all the mothers and grandmothers from whom such truths have been learned at such early ages. ("Because She Is a Mother," Ensign, May 1997, 35)
2 Timothy 1:6 stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands
David B. Haight
In 2 Timothy in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul is jailed in a dark, dreary dungeon awaiting execution for his belief in Jesus Christ and teaching His gospel. Pouring out his troubled soul and firm conviction, he pleads in a letter written to his dear young friend, Timothy, to be faithful to the truths that have been taught to him and to remember "the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." (2 Tim. 1:6.) Paul had personally blessed and ordained Timothy and now urged him to be strong and not ashamed of his testimony of our Lord, come what may.
The Apostle Paul was fearless and never wavered in his testimony of Jesus. His faith and determination lifted him from being a tentmaker to become a teacher, a missionary, leader, and organizer of Christian branches. He most certainly wasn't a "sissy" nor weak. People of great faith know what is right and do it. They have uncompromised determination and commitment and are capable of enduring pressure or hardship. Paul knew what was right, and you know what is right. When you take courage like Paul and do what you know is right, nothing will stop your progress but yourself. ("A Time for Preparation," Ensign, Nov. 1991, 36-37)
David A. Smith
It is my opinion that if we want to succeed, if we want to bring peace in the earth we should stir up the spirit, the gift which is in us, by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, being not afraid. Let us go into the homes of these our brethren who are wayward, and who because of inactivity have been blinded and see not the light, and pray with them and plead with them, that God may give them again the spirit of the work, that they may return into the spiritual light, and praise him for his goodness and his mercy. That will bring peace. That will put love into the hearts of men, and is the only way in the world in which peace and happiness and prosperity can come to the children of God in the earth. (Conference Report, April 1934, Second Day-Morning Meeting 61.)
2 Timothy 1:7 God hath not given us the spirit of fear...
Gordon B. Hinckley
As I have traveled throughout the world, and through the years of my life, I have met many people who have had problems and anxious concerns. In response to these challenges and concerns, I have often recalled some words that were written long ago by Paul the Apostle. At the time he was probably a prisoner in Rome, "ready to be offered," as he said. (2 Tim. 4:6.) He had been a great missionary, unflagging in his testimony, zealous in his desire to bear testimony of the risen Lord. He knew his days were now numbered, and with great feeling he wrote to a junior companion, Timothy, whom he described as "my dearly beloved son":
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee. ...
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:6-7.)
Who among us can say that he or she has not felt fear? I know of no one who has been entirely spared. Some, of course, experience fear to a greater degree than do others. Some are able to rise above it quickly, but others are trapped and pulled down by it and even driven to defeat. We suffer from the fear of ridicule, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, the fear of ignorance. Some fear the present, some the future. Some carry the burden of sin and would give almost anything to unshackle themselves from those burdens but fear to change their lives. Let us recognize that fear comes not of God, but rather that this gnawing, destructive element comes from the adversary of truth and righteousness. Fear is the antithesis of faith. It is corrosive in its effects, even deadly.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
These principles are the great antidotes to the fears that rob us of our strength and sometimes knock us down to defeat. They give us power.
What power? The power of the gospel, the power of truth, the power of faith, the power of the priesthood...
Let us encourage the divinity within us to come to the surface. For example, we need not fear ridicule because of our faith. We all occasionally have felt a little of such ridicule. But there is a power within us that can rise above ridicule, that can, in fact, even turn it to good. ("God Hath Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear," Ensign, Oct. 1984, 2)
H. Burke Peterson
As we read the newspapers, we become justifiably concerned over what is happening around us. There is a growing concern among our people as we see the prophecies of times past being unfolded before our very eyes. Some have a feeling of frustration, anxiety, anger, and yes, even fear. But remember that Paul, in his letters to Timothy, counseled: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7.) ("Help for Parents," Ensign, May 1975, 52)
Neal A. Maxwell
Members of the Church need not and should not be alarmists. They need not be deflected from quietly and righteously pursuing their daily lives, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7). ("For I Will Lead You Along," Ensign, May 1988, 9)
2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord
Gordon B. Hinckley
I wish that every member of this church would put those words where he might see them every morning as he begins his day. They would give us the courage to speak up, they would give us the faith to try, they would strengthen our conviction of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that more miracles would happen over the earth. ("Be Not Afraid, Only Believe," Ensign, Feb. 1996, 5)
Gordon B. Hinckley
It is not God who has given us the spirit of fear; this comes from the adversary. So many of us are fearful of what our peers will say, that we will be looked upon with disdain and criticized if we stand for what is right. But I remind you that "wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10). Evil never was happiness. Sin never was happiness. Happiness lies in the power and the love and the sweet simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We need not be prudish. We need not slink off in a corner, as it were. We need not be ashamed. We have the greatest thing in the world, the gospel of the risen Lord. Paul gives us a mandate: "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord" (2 Tim. 1:8).
As deacons, teachers, and priests ordained to the holy priesthood, we can stand tall and, without equivocation or fear, declare our testimony of Jesus Christ.
Further from Paul, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" (2 Tim. 2:15).
If we were called upon to stand before God and give an accounting of ourselves, could we do it without embarrassment? This is Paul's great plea to his young friend. It is his plea to each of you. ("Converts and Young Men," Ensign, May 1997, 49)
2 Timothy 1:9 called us with an holy calling, not according to our works
Monte J. Brough
As Kami and I read this scripture together, I could see that she very much wanted to understand... It was obvious, however, that I was still short of my objective when she asked, "But, Daddy, why did we 'get choosed' and not someone else?" Now that is a much more difficult question. Why do these callings and responsibilities come to some and not to others? I was reminded of the charge President Hinckley gave me upon my ordination as a Seventy. He said: "Brother Brough, now a lot of people are going to say a lot of nice things about you. Don't believe them!"
It is very dangerous for any of us to think we have earned the right to a Church calling. However, every member must come to know the sacred nature of his or her own service in the Church. I remember my Primary teacher, Sister Mildred Jacobson, who I believe was divinely called to her position of responsibility. Two bishops, Bishop Lynn McKinnon and Bishop Ross Jackson, who served during my youth, played significant roles in the lives of many. I believe they were called of God in the same process of revelation as were Paul and Timothy.
We must each prepare ourselves for every good work that might come to us and then accept the principle that revelation, not aspiration, is the basis for our respective callings. ("A Holy Calling," Ensign, May 1997, 27)
2 Timothy 1:10 Jesus Christ... hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality
Bruce R. McConkie
We bear record that he is the only mediator between man and God; that through his atoning sacrifice fallen man may be reconciled with God; and that he "hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).
...There is no salvation in worshiping false gods; there is no salvation in false religion; there is no salvation in error in any form.
Man alone cannot save himself. No man can call forth his own crumbling dust from the grave and cause it to live again in immortal glory. No man can create a celestial heaven whose inhabitants shall dwell in eternal splendor forever.
All the idols and icons and images combined, since the world began until the end of time, will never have power to cleanse and perfect a single human soul.
...But those who turn to Christ, who believe his gospel, and join his church, and live his laws, and who thereby worship the Father in his holy name-such shall find peace and safety and salvation. In the world men shall have tribulation; in Christ they shall find peace (see John 16:33). ("The Lord God of the Restoration," Ensign, Nov. 1980, 51)
2 Timothy 1:15 all they which are in Asia be turned away from me
Neal A. Maxwell
New Testament epistles clearly indicate that serious and widespread apostasy-not just sporadic dissent-began soon. James decried "wars and fightings among" the Church (James 4:1). Paul lamented "divisions" in the Church and how "grievous wolves" would not spare "the flock" (1 Cor. 11:18; Acts 20:29-31). He knew an apostasy was coming and wrote to the Thessalonians that Jesus' second coming would not occur "except there come a falling away first," further advising that "iniquity doth already work" (2 Thes. 2:3, 7).
Near the end, Paul acknowledged how very extensive the falling away was: "All they which are in Asia be turned away from me" (2 Tim. 1:15).
Paul was even wrongly accused of teaching "Let us do evil, that good may come" (Rom. 3:8). Slandering Paul may have reflected some Nicolaitan nonsense by suggesting that since God provides a way for us to be saved from our sins, we should sin in order to allow Him to do that great good! No wonder the Lord in the book of Revelation denounced the pernicious doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans (see Rev. 2:6, 15; LDS Bible Dictionary, "Nicolaitans").
Widespread fornication and idolatry brought apostolic alarm (see 1 Cor. 5:9; Eph. 5:3; Jude 1:7). John and Paul both bemoaned the rise of false Apostles (see 2 Cor. 11:13; Rev. 2:2). The Church was clearly under siege. Some not only fell away but then openly opposed. In one circumstance, Paul stood alone and lamented that "all men forsook me" (2 Tim. 4:16). He also decried those who "subvert[ed] whole houses" (Titus 1:11).
Some local leaders rebelled, as when one, who loved his preeminence, refused to receive the brethren (see 3 Jn. 1:9-10).
No wonder President Brigham Young observed: "It is said the Priesthood was taken from the Church, but it is not so, the Church went from the Priesthood" (in Journal of Discourses, 12:69). ("From the Beginning," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 18-19)
2 Timothy 1:16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus
"Another Ephesian friend of the Apostle was the noble-minded and warm-hearted Onesiphorus, who was probably one of his numerous converts. How touchingly St. Paul speaks of him to Timothy when comparing his devotedness with the defection of the cowardly Asiatics, among whom he singles out the two men Phygellus and Hermogenes! Onesiphorus had come to Rome for some purpose of which we have no knowledge, but being aware that Paul was somewhere in that city as a prisoner, he diligently searched for him, and did not cease to do so till he had found him in his prison cell (II Tim. 1:15-17). During the Apostle's first Roman imprisonment it would have been always easy to trace him, for he dwelt then in his own hired house, or preached as publicly as a prisoner could do, and was doubtless known by name not only to all Christians but also to very many of the Pagan residents of the city. It was, however, quite another thing during his second and final imprisonment in A. D. 66. There he had no liberty whatever, and it is just possible that his actual whereabouts was not known even to many of the Roman Christians. He had comparatively few friends who visited him at that time while confined in the dreaded Mamertine dungeon, for, as Dr. Farrar puts it,-'in a city thronged with prisoners and under a government rife with suspicions, upon which it acted with the most cynical unscrupulousness, it was by no means a safe or pleasant task to find an obscure, aged, and deeply implicated victim.' Onesiphorus was, however, above such base timidity, and his search for his friend was eventually rewarded, and when he had found him, this staunch and bold fellow-Christian was not satisfied with a single visit, but readily faced the dangers which attended such interviews and went again and again. The Apostle told Timothy that Onesiphorus 'oft refreshed him' by his loving visits and companionship... This servant of the Lord proved himself to be in very truth to the aged Apostle in his time of calamity and desertion, what his Greek name (Onesiphorus) implies, namely a 'Profit Bringer.'" (St. Paul's Companions in Rome. by Col. R. M. Bryce-Thomas., Improvement Era, 1909, Vol. Xii. August, 1909. No. 10)