Lesson 40

Peter and Cornelius

“Lesson 40: Peter and Cornelius,” Primary 7: New Testament (1997), 139–142


To help each child understand that Heavenly Father loves all his children and wants all of them to have the opportunity to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ.


  1. Prayerfully study Acts 10:1–11:18. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

  2. Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  3. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible or a New Testament for each child.

    2. Picture 7-41, Go Ye Therefore (Gospel Art Picture Kit 235; 62494).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Write the following names on the chalkboard: Cornelius, Angel, Peter.

Have three children each read one of the following descriptions of these three people. Ask the rest of the children to raise their hands when they think they know which person is being described.

I am a messenger. Besides delivering God’s messages, I teach, bless, and do whatever I am commanded to do to build the kingdom of God. Today you will learn about a special message I brought. I am (an angel).

I was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus called me to follow him. I received a vision, which you will learn about today, that opened the way for everyone to be taught the gospel. I am (Peter).

I am a centurion in the Roman legion and command from 50 to 100 men. I was the first Gentile (someone who was not a Jew) to come into the Church. You will learn about my baptism in today’s lesson. I am (Cornelius).

Scripture Account

Teach the story of Peter and Cornelius from Acts 10:1–11:18. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Show the picture at an appropriate time.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • Why was Cornelius worthy to receive a vision from the Lord and be baptized? (Acts 10:2.) How can you be a devout (faithful) member of the Church?

  • What was the angel’s message to Cornelius? (Acts 10:3–6.)

  • What did Peter see in a vision? (Acts 10:11–16.) Why was the vision disturbing to him? (The Lord had commanded Israel not to eat certain meats, which were considered to be unclean [see Leviticus 11].) How did Peter accept this vision at first? (Acts 10:14.) What changed his mind? (Acts 10:15.)

  • Why was it so unusual for Peter to teach Cornelius the gospel? (Acts 10:28.) Explain that up to this time the Apostles had been teaching the gospel to the Jewish people, and most of the people in the Church thought that only the Jewish people should be taught the gospel. But Cornelius was not a Jew. What did Peter finally realize that his vision meant? (Acts 10:34–35.) Who should be taught the gospel today? (All people.)

  • Why do you think Cornelius gathered all his friends and relatives to hear Peter? (Acts 10:24–27.) What are some of the gospel principles you want to share with your family and friends?

  • What did Cornelius do to find an answer to his problem? (Acts 10:30.) What experiences have you or your family had with fasting and prayer? How has the Lord helped you find an answer to a problem?

  • How did the people know that Peter spoke the truth? (Acts 10:44–45.) What do we need to do to have the Holy Ghost witness the truth to us? (Moroni 10:4–5.)

  • What did the disciples and the other Apostles think when they heard that Peter had been teaching Gentiles? (Acts 11:2–3.) How did Peter explain his actions? (Acts 11:4, 17.) How did the disciples and Apostles accept Peter’s vision? (Acts 11:18.) What does this teach us about Heavenly Father’s love for his children? (See enrichment activity 5.)

  • How can you teach the gospel to some of Heavenly Father’s children? Help the children think of ways they can be missionaries now and how they can prepare to serve full-time missions.

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. Have the children read Acts 10:36–43 in small groups and make a list of the things Peter taught Cornelius and his family and friends. Have each group read its list while you write the items on the chalkboard or a large piece of paper. Fill in any of the following items the children may have missed:

    • Jesus Christ is Lord of all (verse 36).

    • Jesus Christ was baptized (verse 37).

    • Jesus Christ was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power (verse 38).

    • Jesus Christ did good (verse 38).

    • Jesus Christ healed (verse 38).

    • Jesus Christ was killed (verse 39).

    • Jesus Christ rose on the third day (verse 40).

    • Jesus Christ commanded Peter to testify that Jesus was ordained of God (verse 42).

    • All the prophets witnessed of Jesus Christ (verse 43).

    • Those who believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized will obtain a remission of their sins (verse 43).

  2. With the approval of your Primary president, invite a returned missionary to come to class and share experiences that illustrate the importance of teaching all of Heavenly Father’s children.

  3. Discuss the following statement adapted from a quotation by Elder Howard W. Hunter:

    Little children are precious to our Father in Heaven. He loves them and looks after them with the same tender care no matter where they live or how they dress or look. He loves the dark, curly-haired Fijian, and the kind, brightly dressed children in Samoa. He loves the little English boys and girls who all dress alike at school. He loves the children in Japan. He loves the suntanned children in South America and the Lamanites. Our Father loves his children everywhere. When it is bedtime, loving parents in all lands kneel with their children to say prayers. It may be by a high, fluffy featherbed in the Alps or a little mat on the floor of a hut. But our Heavenly Father hears and understands them all. (See Friend, Oct. 1971, p. 10.)

  4. Help the children understand that although people in different countries have different traditions and practices, we are all similar in that Heavenly Father loves us all and wants us all to return to him.

    Play a matching game with the following or similar categories to acquaint the children with some of the things done or seen in other countries.

    Match which place you would most likely be serving your mission in if you were to:

    See people wearing



    Wooden shoes








    United States



    Apple pie




    Pickled herring





    Big Ben


    Leaning Tower of Pisa




  5. Explain that something similar to Peter’s vision happened in 1978 when President Spencer W. Kimball received a revelation from the Lord that all worthy men and boys could receive the priesthood and their families could receive the blessings of the temple (see Official Declaration—2 in the Doctrine and Covenants).

  6. Sing or read the words to “Children All over the World” (Children’s Songbook,p. 16) or “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (Children’s Songbook, p. 172).



Bear your testimony that God loves all his children and wants all of us to be taught the gospel, be baptized, and keep our covenants so we can live with him again. Express gratitude for your knowledge of the gospel and your baptism.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Acts 10:36–43 and Acts 11:15–18 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.