Matt 10:1 when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power
We presume that the Twelve were ordained to the office of Apostle in the Melchizedek priesthood. The significance of this event cannot be overstated. How many years had it been since the Lord had given the higher Priesthood to an Old World prophet? It had been hundreds of years-probably since the days of Malachi (c. 432 BC) who we presume was given the Melchizedek priesthood according to the teachings of Joseph Smith, "All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself." (Teachings, 181)
Matt 10:3 Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus
Luke refers to Lebbaeus as 'Judas the brother of James' (Lu 6:16), while John refers to him as Judas, not Iscariot (Jn 14:22). Both Matthew and Mark leave off the name of Judas altogether, referring to him as Lebbaeus Thaddaeus or just Thaddaeus. They may have left off the name of Judas so that he would not be confused with the betrayer. Edersheim noted, "Judas is designated by St. Matthew as Lebbaeus, from the Hebrew Lebh, a heart...[pointing] to the heartiness and the Thanks-giving of the Apostle, and hence to his character...his real name would have been Judas Lebbaeus, and his surname Thaddaeus." (Edersheim, Alfred, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 361)
Matt 10:6 go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel
Prior to the Crucifixion, the gospel was specifically sent to the house of Israel. There may be several reasons for this injunction. That the gospel was first preached to the Jews may have been a privilege earned in the pre-mortal sphere. Furthermore, the times of the Gentiles had not yet been ushered in. The house of Israel had rejected the Lord since the days of Samuel and before. It seems, they would be given one more opportunity to accept his teachings. If they were to reject Him (which the Lord knew they would) then the cup of their iniquity would be full. They would deserve all the cursings promised them for rejecting the Messiah (see Deut 27 & 28). Jesus was their Messiah. He was theirs to accept or reject, and so the gospel was preached to them first.
Matt 10:8 freely ye have received, freely give
Bruce R. McConkie
"In the true Church we neither preach for hire nor divine for money (Micah 3; 1 Pet. 5:2; 2 Ne. 26:29, 31). We follow the pattern of Paul and make the gospel of Christ available without charge, lest we abuse or misuse the power the Lord has given us. Freely we have received and freely we give (Matt. 10:8), for salvation is free. All who thirst are invited to come and drink of the waters of life (John 6), to buy corn and wine without money and without price.
"All our service in God's kingdom is predicated on his eternal law which states: 'The laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish' (2 Ne. 26:31)." (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, 385.)
Matt 10:9-10 Provide neither gold...in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey
Initially, the apostles and seventy were to preach without money in their purse or food in their scrip. Such an arrangement would leave them totally dependant upon the Lord. They were about to receive a crash course in faith and trust which would serve them for the rest of their ministries. Later, the Lord asked them, 'When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing' (Luke 22:35). The directive was then changed by the Lord (Luke 22:36).
In the latter-days, the missionaries were initially instructed to travel without purse or scrip (DC 24:18; 84:78-86).
Charles W. Penrose
"When I went out first as a boy I took nothing with me but the clothes I had on, except a bundle of tracts and a pair of pants and a shirt to use in baptizing. I had faith I could bring people into the Church, and I wanted something I could put on to baptize them in. . . . Indeed, all my ministry among the people of the world was literally 'without purse or scrip.' Now I do not say that this should be done now. I believe that as circumstances change, the Lord changes his commandments, to correspond therewith. As Jesus taught, a great many of you who went out in the world took 'neither brass nor gold nor silver in your purses nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats' [Matt. 10:9-10], 'for the labourer is worthy of his hire,' but afterwards he said: 'When I sent you out without purse or scrip, did you lack anything?' And they said, Nay, Lord-but now he said, 'He that has no purse let him get one and he that hath no sword let him buy one.' [Luke 22:36] Circumstances had changed and so the word was changed. He didn't change, but the circumstances being changed the word of the Lord was different. So in these times conditions have changed very much from those times." (Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the New Testament: The Four Gospels, 222 - 223.)
Matt 10:11 enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide
"The apostles were not to spend time with those who were not worthy. (Matt. 10:11-15.) Elder McConkie explained: 'Jesus is not sending his disciples out to find harlots and whoremongers and thieves and robbers-although any of these may repent and be saved-but he is sending them to find the honest in heart, the upright among men, those whose prior living has made them worthy to hear an apostolic voice. Such are the ones in whose homes the Twelve shall abide and where they shall leave their blessings.'" (Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels 234.)
Matt 10:14 whosoever shall not receive you...shake off the dust of your feet
The priesthood of God was given to bless the lives of God's children, but it also encompasses the power to curse (DC 124:93). The ordinance of dusting one's feet is a Priesthood curse which brings judgment upon the recipient. It is still appropriate for missionaries to perform when inspired to do so, but it has been generally discouraged. In effect, the ordinance declares, "you had your chance to receive the gospel while in the flesh. You were taught by an authorized servant of the Lord and rejected his message. Therefore, you will be punished for your unbelief." The punishment of God is thereby sealed on their heads until the Day of Judgment. As a priesthood holder, that is a heavy responsibility to curse someone in such a manner, and should not be done lightly.
"If the people refused to hear their message, the apostles were to leave that home or city and shake off the dust of their feet. This dusting of feet would be 'against them as a testimony.' (D&C 24:15.) The servants of the Lord would have power 'to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious; yea, verily to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure.' (D&C 1:8-9.) They would know 'that in the day of judgment [they] shall be judges of that house, and condemn them.' (D&C 75:21.) As Elder McConkie observed: 'It is as though those who reject the message are not worthy to receive even the dust that cleaves to an apostolic sandal.'" (Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels, 234.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"The elders were to seek out from among the people the honest in heart and leave their warning testimony with all others, thus they would become clean from their blood. The cleansing of their feet, either by washing or wiping off the dust, would be recorded in heaven as a testimony against the wicked. This act, however, was not to be performed in the presence of the offenders, 'lest thou provoke them, but in secret, and wash thy feet, as a testimony against them in the day of judgment.'" (Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia, 514.)
Matt 10:16 be ye therefore wise as serpents
Elder Delbert L. Stapley
"The Lord foresaw the evils of our day and the designs of cunning and deceiving men who operate under the influence of Satan and his satanic hosts. Satan's power to deceive and to lead astray the children of men is unquestioned...We, the people of the Lord, cannot afford to be lulled into peaceful security and complacency. The dangers of our day are real and knocking constantly and unrelentingly at our doors. How ably will we meet the challenge of these evil influences and designs of wicked men? The test of true Church membership is here. Can we stand firm and true to the principles, ideals and standards of the gospel, or will we be so naive and unsuspecting as to fall into the traps of evil so cunningly planned and promoted by designing and conspiring men? Those of a religious nature are so often classified naive and innocently unsuspecting. The Savior knowing of this attribute counseled his disciples, 'Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' And he added: '. . . beware of men...' (Matt. 10:16-17.)
"Possessing, as we do, the endowment of the Holy Ghost, if worthy, we are entitled to the gift of discernment to guide and help us avoid the pitfalls of scheming and designing men to trap and ensnare us into the meshes of worldly lusts, influences, and pleasures." (Conference Report, October 1961, Afternoon Meeting 21.)
Matt 10:17 they will scourge you in their synagogues
Bruce R. McConkie
"In process of time the synagogues became houses of hate and persecution rather than houses of learning and true worship. Jesus told the Twelve and other true believers: 'Beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues.' (Matt. 10:17; 23:34; Mark 13:9.) In those sacred spots where sermons had attested to the saving power of the Promised Messiah, cries of anguish would now be heard from the lips of true believers as the scourgers' lash cut their flesh. Paul himself, 'breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord,' took letters from the high priest addressed to the rulers of the synagogues in Damascus, reciting 'that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.' (Acts 9:1-2.) In an open confession of his sins, Paul later said, 'Lord . . . I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee.' (Acts 22:19; 26:11.) By rejecting Jesus and opposing the truth, the congregation of Israel became the congregation of unbelief, of hatred, of evil, of Lucifer. They became, as the scripture recites, 'the synagogue of Satan.' (Rev. 2:9)" (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 1: 199.)
Matt 10:19 take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you
Marion G. Romney
"I always know when I am speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I've said." (Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently, 357.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"...instructions the Lord gave the early leaders of The Church...have special relevance for parents...they should 'take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.' (Matthew 10:17-20.) This was like a promise the Lord made centuries earlier to Moses, who said, 'I am not eloquent.' But the Lord reminded him that he, the Lord, would 'teach thee what thou shalt say.' (Exodus 4:10, 12.) This same promise was made to Jeremiah.
"In the latter days we read, 'Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say: but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man ' (D&C 84:85.)
"As is so often the case, there is a significant addition or clarification in the latter-day revelation. Clearly we are not to run around with lazy, blank minds, but we are to 'treasure up in [our] minds continually the words of life,' so that we can draw upon 'that portion' that will be needed.
"In yet another latter-day revelation, the Lord promises Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon that 'it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.' (D&C 100:6.)
"The point of rehearsing these important scriptures and episodes involving promises to the Lord's leaders is that surely God, who has told us how important succeeding in our families is, will not leave us without parallel blessings and inspiration in terms of what we should say in our families, especially in those moments when what we say really matters. He will, if we treasure up proper things in our parental minds, give us that portion we need to respond to our children. It is, of course, necessary for us to have the Holy Ghost operating in our lives to enjoy this blessing.
"Since nothing is more important than succeeding in our families, God will not leave us alone in terms of those promptings that we need in terms of our vital communications within our families." (That My Family Should Partake, 119-20.)
Matt 10:21 The brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child
Harold B. Lee
"Prophecy may well be defined as history in reverse. Before our very eyes we are witnessing the fulfillment of prophecies made by inspired prophets in ages past. In the very beginning of this dispensation we were plainly told in a revelation from the Lord that the time was nigh at hand when peace would be taken from the earth and the devil would have power over his own dominion. (See D&C 1:35.) The prophets of our day also foretold that there should be wars and rumors of wars, and 'the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men's hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth. And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.' (D&C 45:26-27.)
"When the disciples asked the Master, prior to his crucifixion, as to signs that should immediately precede his coming again to the earth...The Master undoubtedly spoke of times such as these when he foretold that a man would be 'at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.' (Matt. 10:35-36.)" (Conference Report, October 1970, General Priesthood Meeting 114.)
"The time is soon coming when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes. I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolations, fire, and so forth. The Son of Man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors." (Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible, ed. Kent P. Jackson, 86)
Matt 10:22 ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake
Joseph F. Smith
"It is not so very different now than it was in the days of the Son of God. And if the world hated him and put him to death and his disciples, so will they hate us, for we are on the self same mission and business that they were on-the redemption and salvation of mankind. But the world loves pleasure more than God, and sin more than self-denial and righteousness." (From Prophet to Son: Advice of Joseph F. Smith to His Missionary Sons, 98.)
Matt 10:23 Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come
Bruce R. McConkie
"So extensive is the labor of preaching the pure gospel that the Lord will come again to usher in the millennial reign before his servants have gone over the cities where the remnants of scattered Israel abide. When he comes, to complete the work, then 'he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.' (Jos. Smith 1:37)" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:332)
Matt 10:25 If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub...
The Master's disciples could not expect any better treatment than he would receive. He has warned them that they will be delivered up to councils, scourged, brought before governors and kings for his name's sake. All of these persecutions were suffered by the Master, then why should they not happen to his disciples? If they martyr the Master, they will martyr the disciple. If they call the Master a devil, they will call the disciple a devil. "If they have called the Master 'the devil', how much more shall they call the master's disciples devils as well?"
Matt 10:26 there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed
Elder Joseph Young
"'There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.' The Lord has said that His works are continually before His face; that is, they never pass from his knowledge: so likewise, man's works will be continually before him, either to his eternal happiness or eternal sorrow. The veil that now covers the secrets of the heart, at the touch of God's finger, will be drawn aside and we will behold ourselves as we are. As it is in substance written, 'We shall see as we are seen, and know as we are known.' Or as the Prophet Nephi describes it, 'We shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt and uncleanness, and our nakedness, and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.' How careful then we should all be not to commit anything we would be ashamed of; 'For,' said Alma, 'our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; and we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts also will condemn us: and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us, to hide us from His presence.'
"So then, we are to be held accountable for every thought, word or deed; and it is by this attribute of the Infinite in us, that our deeds are known at any time to the Great Judge, ourselves being the silent recorders of them." (Contributor, vol. 2 (October 1880-September 1881), Vol. Ii. September, 1881. No. 12. 384.)
Matt 10:28 fear not them which kill the body
"I do not regard my own life. I am ready to be offered a sacrifice for this people; for what can our enemies do? Only kill the body, and their power is then at an end. Stand firm, my friends; never flinch. Do not seek to save your lives, for he that is afraid to die for the truth, will lose eternal life." (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6: 503.)
"...those who have sought by unbelief and wickedness and by the principle of mobocracy to destroy us and the people of God, by killing and scattering them abroad, and wilfully and maliciously delivering us into the hands of murderers, desiring us to be put to death, [have had] us dragged about in chains and cast into prison. And for what cause? It is because we were honest men, and were determined to defend the lives of the Saints at the expense of our own...
"Dear brethren, do not think that our hearts faint, as though some strange thing had happened unto us, for we have seen and been assured of all these things beforehand, and have an assurance of a better hope than that of our persecutors. Therefore God hath made broad our shoulders for the burden. We glory in our tribulation, because we know that God is with us, that He is our friend, and that He will save our souls. We do not care for them that can kill the body; they cannot harm our souls. We ask no favors at the hands of mobs, nor of the world, nor of the devil, nor of his emissaries the dissenters, and those who love, and make, and swear falsehoods, to take away our lives. We have never dissembled, nor will we for the sake of our lives." (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3: 227.)
Spencer W. Kimball
"In our own Society, the murderer who kills the body is hunted, imprisoned, and executed, but the character who kills the soul by implanting doubt and shattering faith is permitted not only to go free but also is often retained in high places. The body which is killed will rise again in the resurrection with little damage to its eternal welfare, but he whose faith has been shattered may suffer long ages before complete restoration of spiritual stature can be had, if at all." (Conference Report, April 1948, Afternoon Meeting 110.)
Ezra Taft Benson
"There are those, however, who act as though they do not believe in eternity or a resurrection. They cower at the thought of nuclear war, and to save their own bodies they would have peace at any price. Yet the best assurance of peace and life is to be strong morally and militarily. But they want life at the sacrifice of principles. Rather than choose liberty or death, they prefer life with slavery. But they overlook a crucial scripture '. . . fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.' (Matt. 10:28.) The Lord could, I suppose, have avoided the war in heaven over free agency. All he needed to do was to compromise with the devil, but had he done so he would have ceased to be God." (Conference Report, April 1964, Afternoon Meeting 122.)
Matt 10:30 the very hairs of your head are all numbered
Neal A. Maxwell
"We are living on a small planet that is part of a very modest solar system, which, in turn, is located at the outer edge of the awesome Milky Way galaxy. If we were sufficiently distant from the Milky Way, it would be but another bright dot among countless other bright dots in space, all of which could cause us to conclude comparatively, 'that man is nothing.' (Moses 1:10.) Yet we are rescued by reassuring realities such as that God knows and loves each of us, personally and perfectly. Hence, there is incredible intimacy in the vastness of it all. Are not the very hairs of one's head numbered? Is not the fall of each sparrow noticed? (Matt. 10:29-30.) Has Jesus not borne, and therefore knows, our individual sins, sicknesses, and infirmities? (Alma 7:11-12.) (We Will Prove Them Herewith, pp. 1-2.)
Matt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father
On behalf of the righteous, Christ as Advocate and Mediator, will stand before the Father to plead for mercy on our behalf. The words he will use are recorded as follows, 'Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.' (DC 45:4-5)
Matt 10:33 whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my father
Bruce R. McConkie
"...amid the religious contention aroused by Jesus' ministry, there were some of his disciples who had begun to fear and who, under the pressure of public opinion, had spoken against him.
"As Luke records, Jesus said: 'Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.' Then comes this explanation as to why these words had been forthcoming: 'Now his disciples knew that he said this, because they had spoken evil against him before the people; for they were afraid to confess him before men. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, He knoweth our hearts, and he speaketh to our condemnation, and we shall not be forgiven.' (JST Lu 12:10)
"We can envision somewhat the anxiety and anguish that engulfed their souls. They had known and still knew of his divine Sonship, and yet-fearing men, unable to withstand the social and religious pressures of the day-they had joined with the dominant religious groups and spoken evilly of this Man of whom Moses wrote." (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 2: 227.)
Matt 10:34 I came not to send peace, but a sword
Harold B. Lee
"The Master said this: 'I have not come to bring peace but I have come with a sword to set the son against the father, the daughter against the mother, and the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law' (Matthew 10:34-36).
"Those sound like strange words coming from the Master, after the angels had heralded his coming in the words, 'Peace on earth, good will to men' (see Luke 2:14). What did he mean?" (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 393.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"Do you find in this a conflict with the message delivered by the angel thirty-odd years before? There is no conflict. The coming of the Son of God was the message of good tidings of peace and it has been the blessing of peace to all those who sincerely have followed his teachings; but among the wicked, those who have rejected his teachings, even though with their lips they have professed to believe in him, there has come the sword. The preaching of the gospel has brought strife, hatred, bloodshed among those who have failed to grasp the significance of his mission and among those who have opposed it. Moreover, this strife and bloodshed has not been confined to those who have not professed belief in his name. The greatest number of wars and the greatest misery through wars, during the past 1,000 years, have been between those who have professed to be his followers." (The Restoration of All Things, 281.)
J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
"Christ did proclaim a peace-the peace of everlasting righteousness, which is the eternal and mortal enemy of sin. Between righteousness and sin, in whatever form, there can only be unceasing war, whether in one man, among the people, or between nations in armed conflict. This war is the sword of Christ; whatever its form this war cannot end until sin is crushed and Christ brings all flesh under his dominion. Righteousness is peace wherever it abides; sin in itself is war wherever it is found." (Conference Report, April 1939, Third Day-Morning Meeting 105.)
David O. McKay
"The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of peace. War is its antithesis, and produces hate. It is vain to attempt to reconcile war with true Christianity....They who would quote this saying (Matt 10:34) as indicating that Jesus approves of war surely put a strained interpretation on its true meaning, which refers most clearly to the incompatibility between truth and error. It refers to the necessity of a choice, which has been made by thousands, between accepting the gospel or continuing in ease and comfort with relatives. There is not in that quotation any justification for one Christian nation's declaring war upon another." (Pathways to Happiness, 364.)
Matt 10:35 I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother
"There is a pathetic irony in the Savior's words. Surely no one wants families to be forever, joined and united, more than Jesus. No one wants father and mother, brother and sister, parents and children-families-to be close and at peace more than the Christ. And yet the Lord here highlights a less than pleasant point-that gospel living costs something, even occasionally the loss of family and friends. It may well result in division and variance." (Robert L. Millet, An Eye Single to the Glory of God: Reflections on the Cost of Discipleship, 87.)
Marvin J. Ashton
"In the mission field I once met a young woman who had been a member of the Church for three years and who had been serving as a full-time missionary for three months. 'How is your missionary life going?' I asked. 'Quite well,' she said. I could tell by her tone that perhaps she wanted to say more, so I said, 'Share with me. Why do you report 'quite well' instead of 'very well'?' She replied, 'Sometimes my heart aches when I look back and realize what a decisive choice I had to make.' When I probed further, she told me this story:
I had to make a choice between membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my mother's continuing love. My testimony and the conviction of my heart and mind told me the Church was true and that I must accept it. When I went to my mother and shared with her my desires and feelings, she told me, 'If you join the Mormon Church, just remember you don't have a mother anymore.' Elder Ashton, it wasn't easy for me to say to my mother, 'I must join the Church. It is true, and I cannot deny it. I hope, Mother, that this will not be your decision, but if I must choose, I must choose the Church.' Then she concluded, 'It is not a pleasant and happy situation to be without a mother, but I know that with God's help I will win her back.'
"Not many of us must choose between church and parents. We have to admire a person who not only has joined the Church, accepted it fully, and is now sharing with others, but who also has the courage, after having made this important choice, to say, 'I know that with God's help I will win my mother back.'
"...In today's society it often takes extreme courage to choose Jesus Christ to be our best friend and Savior when others would try to convince us that He doesn't even exist, that He doesn't know us, that He doesn't care. It takes courage to share His life, His ways, and His peace when others about us would cause confusion." (Be of Good Cheer, 96.)
"In the restoration of his gospel in these latter days, the above statement of the Savior is equally true, as many Latter-day Saints can attest. Many have been turned out of their own homes by their own parents for no other reason than the fact that they have joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Without understanding how Satan works upon the minds of men to achieve his purposes and destroy the work of the Lord, such actions cannot be understood. Parents will follow their children even to the gallows, and yet turn their backs upon them when they accept the truth. One mother was so terribly perturbed because her daughter wanted to join the Church that she remarked to the author, 'I cannot understand it-she has always been the best child we have.'" (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 402.)
Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me
"It seems clear the Lord is teaching that seeking the kingdom of God is the first priority, even if it must be that we choose it above friends, mentors, or family members. This is reminiscent of the Savior's earlier teaching that 'he that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.' (Matt. 10:37; see vv. 32-39.) The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that to ensure exaltation, we must be 'thoroughly proved' and demonstrate that we are 'determined to serve [God] at all hazards.' He also taught the apostles in Nauvoo that to be thoroughly proved may require the wrenching of the heartstrings. President John Taylor recalled: 'I speak of these things to show how men are to be tried. I heard Joseph Smith say-and I presume Brother Snow heard him also-in preaching to the Twelve in Nauvoo, that the Lord would get hold of their heart strings and wrench them, and that they would have to be tried as Abraham was tried. Well, some of the Twelve could not stand it. They faltered and fell by the way. It was not everybody that could stand what Abraham stood. And Joseph said that if God had known any other way whereby he could have touched Abraham's feelings more acutely and more keenly he would have done so.'
"What would wrench heartstrings more than to be torn between the kingdom of heaven and a dearly loved family member, friend, or leader? Yet the possibility exists, and if we are faced with such a difficult situation, the right choice is clearly given for us." (Larry E. Dahl, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels, ed. by Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, 362.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"...the meaning is that anyone who loves his father, mother, wife, and all that is dear to him, even his own life, more than he loves Christ, is not worthy of him and cannot be his disciple. The thought is very clear in this instruction that all who seek eternal life are required to come to Christ willing to give up all that they possess, if necessary. Should they be unwilling to do so, even to the laying down of life in his cause, then they are not worthy of his kingdom. This is reasonable; no unjust demand is made by our Savior, for he came and laid down his life for us that we might have life everlasting. He suffered for us; should we not love him more than we love our own lives?" (The Way to Perfection, 277.)
Matt 10:38 he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me
This has always been a curious reference. Christ refers to taking up one's cross prior to his own crucifixion. Was he making a reference to his manner of death or was this a common expression of the time? Traditional interpretations imply that we are to take upon us the cross of Christ. But Christ is not referring to His cross in this verse but the cross of the individual. They are, conceptually and doctrinally, different crosses. (The cross of the individual is referenced in Matt 10:38; 16:24, Mark 8:34; 10:21, Luke 9:23; 14:27, Alma 39:9, 3 Ne 12:28-30, DC 23:6; 56:2; and 112:14. The cross of Christ is referenced in Gal 6:12, Philip 3:18, Heb 12:2, 2 Ne 9:18, and Jacob 1:8)
One of the initial steps in becoming a disciple is to put away the natural man. Hence Joseph Smith explained, 'And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments' (JST Matt 16:26). Speaking of the sin of lust, the Savior taught, 'Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart; For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.' (3 Ne 12:29-30) Thus we learn that to take up one's individual cross by putting off the natural man is a necessary prerequisite to true discipleship. Then later, we will be worthy to bear the cross of Christ-which is to suffer the shame of the world (Heb 12:2, 2 Ne 9:18, Jacob 1:8).
JST Matt 10:39 He who seeketh to save his life shall lose it
"It is the natural man that seeks acclaim, that requires attention, that elicits compliments, that feasts upon praise. It is the man or woman who is 'without God in the world,' who is 'in a state of nature,' who has 'gone contrary to the nature of God' and thus the nature of happiness-it is this person who is so busy taking the emotional temperature, so anxious to be fulfilled. 'The natural life in each of us,' C. S. Lewis wrote, 'is some-thing self-centered, something that wants to be petted and admired. And especially it wants to be left to itself: to keep well away from anything better or stronger or higher than it, anything that might make it feel small. It is afraid of the light and air of the spiritual world, just as people who have been brought up to be dirty are afraid of a bath. And in a sense it is quite right. It knows that if the spiritual life gets hold of it, all its self-centeredness and self-will are going to be killed and it is ready to fight tooth and nail to avoid that.'" (Robert L. Millet, An Eye Single to the Glory of God: Reflections on the Cost of Discipleship, 26.)
Gordon B. Hinckley
"In 1933 when I left for my mission, I traveled through Chicago. The Great Depression was on. As we passed what I think was the Chicago Board of Trade Building, a woman said to the bus driver, 'What building is that?' He replied, 'That's the Board of Trade Building. Nearly every day, some man whose stock has gone down jumps out of one of those windows.'
"The bus driver may have exaggerated, but some people were jumping from windows in those days as they saw their fortunes dwindle. Their lives were wrapped up in themselves and their money, and they felt there was nothing worth living for when their money was gone.
"I think it was Phillips Brooks who said, 'How carefully most men creep into nameless graves, while now and again one or two forget themselves into immortality.'" ("Pillars of Truth," Ensign, Jan. 1994, 2)
Matt 10:39 he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it
Ezra Taft Benson
"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life (see Matt. 10:39)." (Andrew C. Skinner and Robert L. Millet, C. S. Lewis, the Man and His Message: An LDS Perspective, 67 - 68.)
Spencer W. Kimball
"When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves. In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus, that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves. (See Matt. 10:39.)
"...The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls...Indeed, it is easier to 'find' ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!" ("Small Acts of Service," Ensign, December 1974, p. 2.)
David O. McKay
"'He that findeth his life shall lose it....' [that is the selfish part] 'and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.' (Matt. 10:39.) A paradoxical statement, but oh, how true. You have had an evidence of it here today when Elder Hunter said, 'I give my life now for the service,' the same with these other apostles, the same with all the General Authorities of the Church, with all the congregation, with thousands and hundreds of thousands throughout the world who have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are willing to lose your life-that is, to devote your time and your talents and your strength for his sake; and in so doing you will find your life.
"I often quote a man who was impressed with that great principle, who wrote-'Supposing today were your last day on earth, The last mile of the journey you've trod; After all of your efforts, how much are you worth? How much can you take home to God?' Don't count as possessions your silver and gold; Tomorrow you leave these behind; And all that is yours to have and to hold is the service you've given mankind.'" (Conference Report, October 1959, Afternoon Meeting 125.)
Matthew 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me
Marion G. Romney
"This statement is worth emphasizing. 'He that receiveth my servants receiveth me.' Who are his servants? They are his representatives in the offices of the Priesthood-the General, Stake, Priesthood Quorum, and Ward officers. It behooves us to keep this in mind when we are tempted to disregard our presiding authorities, bishops, quorum and stake presidents, etc., when, within the jurisdiction of their callings, they give us counsel and advice. Remember that the Lord Jesus said: 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' (Matthew 25:40.) 'He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward.' (Matthew 10:41.)
"But back to the covenant of the Priesthood:
"Now, I am tempted to comment on this covenant at length, but since it is not the heart of my message, I will say only that, as I understand it, all of us who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood enter into an agreement with our Heavenly Father to magnify it. On condition that we magnify it, the Father undertakes to make us equal with him in the sense that 'all that my Father hath shall be given unto him ....But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.' (D&C 84:38, 41)
"When I first began to seriously think about this statement, I wondered if it would not have been better for me never to have received the priesthood, if failing to magnify it would mean I would never receive forgiveness in this world or the world to come. Then I got to thinking about this next verse, which says: 'And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood.' (D&C 84:42.)
"I finally came to the conclusion that I was between the horns of a dilemma and that my only hope was to receive and magnify the Priesthood." (Conference Report, October 1960, General Priesthood Meeting 73 - 74.)
Matthew 10:42 give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water
"...remember, brethren, he that offends one of the least of the Saints, would be better off with a millstone tied to his neck and he and the stone plunged into the depth of the sea! Remember that he that gives a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, to one of the saints in prison, or secluded from friends by reason of vexatious law suites, intended for persecution, shall in no wise lose his reward." (Teachings, 261)
"The Savior is not asking us to wipe out poverty or eradicate disease. He's just asking us to 'give . . . unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple,' as he says in Matthew 10:42, to speak gently instead of harshly when our patience is tried, to pray for someone who makes a mistake rather than gossip about that someone, to smile and say hello instead of walking on by, to ask 'How are you?' and then really listen to the answer. He's just asking us to do what we can in very little ways." (Aloha! 46.)