Ephesians 5

Ephesians 5:2 Christ...hath given himself for us and offering...for a sweetsmelling savour

Bruce R. McConkie

"Even as each sacrifice offered anciently, as it prefigured the coming sacrifice of the Lamb of God, was 'a sweet savour . . . unto the Lord' (Ex. 29:18), so was Christ's offering of himself a pleasing thing to God. The sweet smell of the burning sacrifices in Israel symbolized the pleasing blessings flowing from our Lord's personal offering." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2:516)

Ephesians 5:5 no whoremonger, nor unclean person...hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ

Spencer W. Kimball

"Whoever else suffers, every sin is against God, for it tends to frustrate the program and purposes of the Almighty. Likewise, every sin is committed against the sinner, for it limits his progress and curtails his development.

"In our journey toward eternal life, purity must be our constant aim. To walk and talk with God, to serve with God, to follow his example and become as a god, we must attain perfection. In his presence there can be no guile, no wickedness, no transgression. In numerous scriptures he has made it clear that all worldliness, evil and weakness must be dropped before we can ascend unto 'the hill of the Lord.' The Psalmist asked:
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

"And he answered the question: 'He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.' (Ps. 24:3-4.)

"Writing of his vision of the celestial city, John said: 'And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.' (Rev. 21:27.)" (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 25-26)

Ephesians 5:15-16 walk circumspectly...Redeeming the time, because the days are evil

From the Fall of Adam until the Second Coming, Satan has had free reign in tempting and trying the children of men. His cry is, "now is the great day of my power!" Paul expresses this concept by saying 'the days are evil.' Indeed, Satan has more power to tempt us now than he did in the pre-mortal sphere. He has more power to tempt us now than he will after we die. These are the days when evil has its greatest influence. Hence, the Lord declared, 'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof' (Matt. 5:34), meaning that there is enough evil in every day that we must take life one day at a time to overcome it.

When we live out our lives in righteousness, it is as if we are taking something from Satan. The days he has designed for evil become days redeemed by righteousness. Hereby, we take power from Satan, even as Moroni did, 'if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men' (Alma 48:17). With help from the Lord, we can overcome Satan's power as expressed to the Nephites, 'Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof' (3 Ne. 13:34). Note the difference from the Matthew version. The Nephite version is more optimistic, stressing that there is enough daytime for us to overcome evil if we 'walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise [men and women], Redeeming the time' of our mortal probation.

Ephesians 5:19 hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

Brigham Young

"There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven. Sweet harmonious sounds give exquisite joy to human beings capable of appreciating music. I delight in hearing harmonious tones made by the human voice, by musical instruments, and by both combined. Every sweet musical sound that can be made belongs to the Saints and is for the Saints. Every flower, shrub and tree to beautify, and to gratify the taste and smell, and every sensation that gives to man joy and felicity are for the Saints who receive them from the Most High." (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 242.)

John Taylor

"Some people object to music. Why, music prevails in the heavens, and among the birds! God has filled them with it. There is nothing more pleasing and delightful than it is to go into the woods or among the bushes early in the morning and listen to the warbling and rich melody of the birds, and it is strictly in accordance with the sympathies of our nature. We have no idea of the excellence of the music we shall have in heaven. It may be said of that, as the apostle Paul has said in relation to something else-'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.' (I Corinthians 2:9.) We have no idea of the excellency, beauty, harmony and symphony of the music in the heavens." (The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, selected, arranged, and edited, with an introduction by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941], 62.)

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord

Spencer W. Kimball

"A woman need have no fear of being imposed upon or of any dictatorial measures or of any improper demands when the husband is self-sacrificing and worthy. Certainly no intelligent woman would hesitate to give submission to her own truly righteous husband in everything. We are sometimes shocked to see the wife take over the leadership, naming the one to pray, the place to be, the things to do.

"Husbands are commanded: '... love your wives, even as Christ also loveth the church, and gave himself for it.' (Eph. 5:25.)

"Christ loved the church and its people so much that he voluntarily endured persecution for them, suffered humiliating indignities for them, stoically withstood pain and physical abuse for them, and finally gave his precious life for them.

"When the husband is ready to treat his household in that manner, not only the wife but all the family will respond to his leadership.

"Certainly if fathers are to be respected, they must merit respect-if they are to be loved, they must be consistent, lovable, understanding, and kind, and they must honor their priesthood." ("Home: The Place to Save Society," Ensign, Jan. 1975, 5)

Spencer W. Kimball

"...when women forget their pettiness and selfishness and submit themselves to their own righteous husbands as unto the Lord, and when they are subject to their husbands as the Church is expected to be subject unto Christ, then will the divorce rate reduce, and families will grow, and children will be happy, laughing children. God created male and female with special talents, powers, responsibilities, and with the ability to perform their special tasks.

"When men come home to their families and women devote themselves to their children, the concept will return, that to be a mother is her greatest vocation in life. She is a partner with God. No being has a position of such power and influence. She holds in her hands the destiny of nations, for to her comes the responsibility and opportunity of molding the nation's citizens.

"In a California stake I heard a mother give this sermon: 'I am grateful that I am a woman. I am grateful that I am a wife. I am grateful that I am a mother. I am grateful that I am a Latter-day Saint.' This I thought was a powerful sermon. Motherhood is the greatest vocation." ("Why Call Me Lord, Lord, and Do Not the Things Which I Say?" Ensign, May 1975, 7)

Joseph Smith

"Let this [Relief] Society teach women how to behave towards their husbands, to treat them with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a murmur-if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings; when the mind is going to despair, it needs a solace of affection and kindness. . . .

"When you go home, never give a cross or unkind word to your husbands, but let kindness, charity and love crown your works henceforward." (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 208.)

Ephesians 5:23 the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church

Joseph F. Smith

"There is no higher authority in matters relating to the family organization, and especially when that organization is presided over by one holding the higher Priesthood, than that of the father. The authority is time honored, and among the people of God in all dispensations it has been highly respected and often emphasized by the teachings of the prophets who were inspired of God. The patriarchal order is of divine origin and will continue throughout time and eternity. There is, then, a particular reason why men, women and children should understand this order and this authority in the households of the people of God, and seek to make it what God intended it to be, a qualification and preparation for the highest exaltation of his children. In the home the presiding authority is always vested in the father, and in all home affairs and family matters there is no other authority paramount." (Brent A. Barlow, "Strengthening the Patriarchal Order in the Home," Ensign, Feb. 1973, 30)

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church

James E. Faust

"Holding the priesthood does not mean that a man is a power-broker, or that he sits on a throne, dictating in macho terms, or that he is superior in any way. Rather, he is a leader by authority of example. Paul's counsel to the Ephesians included, 'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it' (Eph. 5:25). As Christ lifts us all, so must we, rather than put down women or anyone.

"Nowhere does the doctrine of this Church declare that men are superior to women. Paul said to the Corinthians, 'Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord' (1 Cor. 11:11). Each brings his or her own separate and unique strengths to the family and the Church. Women are not just cooks, stewards of our homes, or servants. They are much more. They are the enrichment of humanity." ("The Highest Place of Honor," Ensign, May 1988, 36)

Ezra Taft Benson

"The Apostle Paul points out that 'the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church' (Eph. 5:23; italics added). That is the model we are to follow in our role of presiding in the home. We do not find the Savior leading the Church with a harsh or unkind hand. We do not find the Savior treating His Church with disrespect or neglect. We do not find the Savior using force or coercion to accomplish His purposes. Nowhere do we find the Savior doing anything but that which edifies, uplifts, comforts, and exalts the Church. Brethren, I say to you with all soberness, He is the model we must follow as we take the spiritual lead in our families.

"Particularly is this true in your relationship with your wife." ("To the Fathers in Israel," Ensign, Nov. 1987, 50)

H. Burke Peterson

"Many women carry heavy burdens raising children and attending to household responsibilities. They often accomplish near-miracles in balancing all the demands made upon them. A husband who is critical of his wife and communicates censure for what hasn't been done rather than thanks for what has been done fosters discouragement. But if he will give a word of praise or offer a little help, he will see his wife try ever harder to do her part. Criticism has a negative influence on the feelings of love for and interest in one's spouse. Women need love, affection, and emotional support from their husbands.

"Paul has counseled, 'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.' (Eph. 5:25.) In commenting on this counsel, President Kimball provided this important insight:

'Can you think of how [Christ] loved the church? Its every breath was important to him. Its every growth, its every individual, was precious to him. He gave to those people all his energy, all his power, all his interest. He gave his life-and what more could one give? ... When the husband is ready to treat his household in that manner, not only his wife but also his children will respond to his loving and exemplary leadership. It will be automatic. He won't need to demand it. ...

'Certainly if fathers are to be respected, they must merit respect: If they are to be loved, they must be consistent, lovable, understanding, and kind-and they must honor their priesthood.' (Men of Example, pamphlet, Salt Lake City: Church Educational System, 1973, p. 5.)" ("Unrighteous Dominion," Ensign, July 1989, 9)


Russell M. Nelson

"You fathers can help with the dishes, care for a crying baby, and change a diaper. And perhaps some Sunday you could get the children ready for Church, and your wife could sit in the car and honk.

"'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.' With that kind of love, brethren, we will be better husbands and fathers, more loving and spiritual leaders." ("Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women," Ensign, May 1999, 39-40)

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies

Ezra Taft Benson

"In latter-day revelation the Lord speaks again of this obligation. He said, 'Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.' (D&C 42:22.) To my knowledge there is only one other thing in all scripture that we are commanded to love with all our hearts, and that is God Himself. Think what that means!

"This kind of love can be shown for your wives in so many ways. First and foremost, nothing except God Himself takes priority over your wife in your life-not work, not recreation, not hobbies. Your wife is your precious, eternal helpmate-your companion.

"What does it mean to love someone with all your heart? It means to love with all your emotional feelings and with all your devotion. Surely, when you love your wife with all your heart, you cannot demean her, criticize her, find fault with her, or abuse her by words, sullen behavior, or actions.

"What does it mean to 'cleave unto her'? It means to stay close to her, to be loyal and faithful to her, to communicate with her, and to express your love for her.

"Love means being sensitive to her feelings and needs. She wants to be noticed and treasured. She wants to be told that you view her as lovely and attractive and important to you. Love means putting her welfare and self-esteem as a high priority in your life.

"You should be grateful that she is the mother of your children and the queen of your home, grateful that she has chosen homemaking and motherhood-to bear, to nourish, to love, and to train your children-as the noblest calling of all." (Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 44.)

James E. Faust

"The most sacred, intimate, and blessed relationship of life is between husband and wife. I do not love anybody like I love my wife. My mother has father, and my children have their companions, but Ruth is me. Our wives become part of us, and they become like our own flesh-and as Paul counseled, we should love them as such. (See Eph. 5:28-33.) The simple truth is that it is not good for man to be alone. The greatest sustaining influence in my mature life has been the constant supporting, unqualified, unreserved love I have felt for my wife. The sacred relationship with my wife has been the supreme benediction of my life. I just can't imagine what my life would have been like without having had that blessing.

"Without our wives we would never be privileged to be fathers and grandfathers, and enjoy all the blessings that that entails. This relation has to come first in all of our relationships with other people. It is the glue that brings together all of the parts of the jigsaw puzzle of eternal joy and fulfillment and happiness." ("Brethren, Love Your Wives," Ensign, July 1981, 35)

Ephesians 5:29 no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it

Howard W. Hunter

"Keep yourselves above any domineering or unworthy behavior in the tender, intimate relationship between husband and wife. Because marriage is ordained of God, the intimate relationship between husbands and wives is good and honorable in the eyes of God. He has commanded that they be one flesh and that they multiply and replenish the earth (see Moses 2:28; Moses 3:24). You are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it (see Eph. 5:25-31).

"Tenderness and respect-never selfishness-must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Each partner must be considerate and sensitive to the other's needs and desires. Any domineering, indecent, or uncontrolled behavior in the intimate relationship between husband and wife is condemned by the Lord.

"Any man who abuses or demeans his wife physically or spiritually is guilty of grievous sin and in need of sincere and serious repentance. Differences should be worked out in love and kindness and with a spirit of mutual reconciliation. A man should always speak to his wife lovingly and kindly, treating her with the utmost respect. Marriage is like a tender flower, brethren, and must be nourished constantly with expressions of love and affection." ("Being a Righteous Husband and Father," Ensign, Nov. 1994, 51)

Ephesians 5:31 they two shall be one flesh

"The phrase 'one flesh' has meanings on at least two levels, physical and spiritual. President Spencer W. Kimball noted this when he said, 'The Bible celebrates sex and its proper use, presenting it as God-created, God-ordained, God-blessed. It makes plain that God himself implanted the physical magnetism between the sexes for two reasons: for the propagation of the human race, and for the expression of that kind of love between man and wife that makes for true oneness. His commandment to the first man and woman to be one flesh was as important as his command to be fruitful and multiply.' (Ensign, May, 1974, pp. 7-8; italics added.)" (R. Lanier Britsch and Terrance D. Olson, eds., Counseling: A Guide to Helping Others, 2 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983-1985], 2: 137.)

Joseph F. Smith

"The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only as the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure." (Editor's Table, Improvement Era, 1917, Vol. Xx. June, 1917. No. 8)