August 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering – 1 Corinthians – Unity and Contention

August 2023 Come Follow Me MinisteringFor the August 2023 Come, Follow Me Ministering Printable I decided to do something a little different. I am focusing on this August’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson on “The members of Christ’s Church strive to be united” in 1 Corinthians 1:10–17; 3:1–11. But I couldn’t pick only one talk from the April 2023 General Conference session to focus on. I was surprised how many of them addressed contention and the need to build unity. So I decided to include quotes from several of the talks.

The gospel net is the largest net in the world. God has invited all to come unto Him, “black and white, bond and free, male and female.” There is room for everyone. However, there is no room for prejudice, condemnation, or contention of any kind. President Nelson

Download August 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)

You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drugstore prints them for just pennies. They are also a higher resolution if you want to enlarge them.

August 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Message

1 Corinthians 1:10–17; 3:1–11 –
The members of Christ’s Church strive to be united.

One of the adversary’s signature moves is to take something good and tweak it just enough to knock us off course. A good example of this is our need to feel connected. It is a core part of our divine nature. Elder Christofferson shared, “Becoming one is a recurring theme in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in God’s dealings with His children.”

It is so foundational that even eternal life is not a solitary pursuit. Instead, it involves building covenant relationships that seal us to God and our families for eternity. The Lord commands us to minister to others and help all God’s children receive these covenants. We are not exalted by ourselves, it is all about community.

This part of our divine nature is even evident in our physical and mental health. Studies consistently show that people with strong relationships live longer, have fewer health problems, and are at a lower risk of depression. According to Harvard Health, not having strong relationships has the same impact on our mortality risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Connection is key to our happiness, but Satan has found a way to take this need and point it in the wrong direction. He distracts us from becoming one with Christ by focusing our attention on belonging in the world. He even uses it to separate us from others. This happens when we become so intent on belonging to a subgroup that we forget our connection to others outside that group and God.

After Christ’s Visit to the Americas

When Christ visited His people in the Americas after His resurrection, He helped them form a righteous society where there “neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God” (4 Nephi 1:17). But after a few generations, things fell apart when the people started to identify again as Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites. They were no longer one in Christ. Instead, they found belonging by identifying with subgroups. Unfortunately, this type of belonging separated them from others instead of bringing them together.

After Christ’s Ministry in Jerusalem

During Christ’s ministry, He worked hard to tear down barriers between classes and social groups. He preached to the Samaritans, ministered to women, and ate with sinners. After Christ’s earthly ministry, we watch the church struggle as it adapts to preaching to both Jews and Gentiles. We also see contentions arise as the saints start to identify themselves according to who baptized them – as being of Paul or Apollos or Cephas.

Paul was concerned about this contention when we wrote his epistle to the Corinthians. He reminds them that they are all one in Christ. He says, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment….Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)

In fact, their division prevents them from being ready for the “meat” of the gospel. By identifying with men rather than with Christ, they are building off the wrong foundation. Eternal salvation is only possible when we build off the foundation of Christ.

Preparing for Christ’s Return in the Latter Days

In the latter days, we don’t struggle with distinctions between Nephites and Lamanites. And we don’t divide ourselves according to who baptized us or which apostle we are willing to listen to. But contention and division also threaten our discipleship. During the April 2023 General Conference, President Eyring warned that, “Satan’s efforts to sow hatred and contention all around us seem to be increasing. We see evidence of it happening among nations and cities, in neighborhoods, in electronic media, and all across the world.”

Much like Paul’s epistle, our latter-day prophets and apostles are also warning us of the dangers of contention. As we review the talks given in General Conference, we can receive divine counsel on what to watch for and how to fortify ourselves. Here are a few quotes that stood out to me.

Contention never solves anything

Anger never persuades. Hostility builds no one. Contention never leads to inspired solutions.
Peacemakers Needed – President Russell M. Nelson

Contention is not of God

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to be examples of how to interact with others—especially when we have differences of opinion. One of the easiest ways to identify a true follower of Jesus Christ is how compassionately that person treats other people.
Peacemakers Needed – President Russell M. Nelson

Those who foster contention are taking a page out of Satan’s playbook, whether they realize it or not. “No man can serve two masters.” We cannot support Satan with our verbal assaults and then think that we can still serve God.
Peacemakers Needed – President Russell M. Nelson

The gospel net is the largest net in the world. God has invited all to come unto Him, “black and white, bond and free, male and female.” There is room for everyone. However, there is no room for prejudice, condemnation, or contention of any kind.
Peacemakers Needed – President Russell M. Nelson

How to thwart contention

The temple can help us in our quest. There we are endowed with God’s power, giving us the ability to overcome Satan, the instigator of all contention.
Peacemakers Needed – President Russell M. Nelson

[We] rebuke the adversary every time we heal a misunderstanding or refuse to take offense.
Peacemakers Needed – President Russell M. Nelson

Unity does not require sameness, but it does require harmony. We can have our hearts knit together in love, be one in faith and doctrine, and still cheer for different teams, disagree on various political issues, debate about goals and the right way to achieve them, and many other such things.
One in Christ – Elder D. Todd Christofferson

How to foster peace and unity

Members across the Church have felt the Lord’s gift of personal peace. He is encouraging everyone to help others have opportunities to come unto Him and qualify for that same peace themselves. They, in turn, will choose to seek inspiration to know how they can pass that gift along to others. The rising generation will become the nurturers of the generation to follow. The multiplier effect will produce a miracle. It will spread and grow over time, and the Lord’s kingdom on earth will be prepared and ready to greet Him with shouts of hosanna. There will be peace on earth.
Finding Personal Peace – President Henry B. Eyring

The Lord gave specific instructions to the pioneer Saints, who needed peace to remain calm and united as they faced unexpected difficulties on their westward journey. Among other things, the Lord instructed the Saints to “cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another.” The scriptures affirm that those who practice works of righteousness and strive to walk in the meekness of the Spirit of the Lord are promised the peace they need to survive the days of commotion in which we live today.
Followers of the Prince of Peace – Elder Ulisses Soares

The enabling power of Christ, made possible by His atoning sacrifice, gives us the strength to endure and prevail. Because of Jesus Christ we can covenant with God and be strengthened in keeping that covenant. We can be bound to the Savior in joy and calm, regardless of our temporal circumstances.
Christlike Poise – Elder Mark A. Bragg

August 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout

I love Swedish fish and they paired perfectly with “the gospel net.”

Gospel Net is the largest net in the world, Nelson Quote Handout with Swedish Fist

August 2023 Come Follow Me Printable

Did you like this August 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering message? Find more Relief Society Ministering Printables for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society, Sunday School, or Family Home Evening. I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to.

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