Sharing Time: Special Witnesses

    “Sharing Time: Special Witnesses,” Friend, Aug. 1990, 12

    Sharing Time:

    Special Witnesses

    I have chosen you, and ordained you (John 15:16)

    When Jesus lived on the earth, he called twelve Apostles to help Him: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, another James, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas. These were faithful, humble men from all walks of life. Peter, James, John, and Andrew were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Jesus asked them to leave what they were doing and follow Him. He said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you” (John 15:16). Jesus told them that they would preach the gospel and be witnesses of His name to all the world.

    Just as Jesus called Apostles in His time, we have Apostles today who have been called as “Special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (D&C 107:23). They testify that they know that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was resurrected. You can hear them bear their special testimonies when they talk in general conference or when they visit your stake or regional conferences.

    There are actually fifteen men who hold apostolic authority. One is President Ezra Taft Benson. Two others, Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson, are his counselors. These three form the Quorum of the First Presidency. The others form the Quorum of the Twelve.

    The Apostles are very busy men. They are responsible for seeing that the gospel is preached everywhere in the world, so they travel often. Every Thursday they meet in the Salt Lake Temple to make important decisions in the directing of the Church. They work in love and unity and must agree on every decision that is made.


    1. Mount the picture cards and fact cards on heavy paper and cut them out.

    2. Mix up the picture cards, then match the facts with the pictures.

    3. Memorize the names of the Apostles. Can you say them in the order in which they were ordained?

    Ezra Taft Benson

    Ezra Taft Benson
    Ordained an Apostle—October 7, 1943
    Hobbies—sings, enjoys family activities
    Profession—agriculture specialist
    Interesting fact—served as Secretary of Agriculture in the United States government while an Apostle

    Gordon B. Hinckley

    Gordon B. Hinckley
    Ordained an Apostle—October 5, 1961
    Hobbies—builds things, plants trees
    Profession—public communications
    Interesting fact—has worked closely with seven Presidents of the Church

    Thomas S. Monson

    Thomas S. Monson
    Ordained an Apostle—October 4, 1963
    Hobbies—fishes, raises pigeons
    Profession—businessman: printing
    Interesting fact—often visits the elderly in rest homes

    Howard W. Hunter

    Howard W. Hunter
    Ordained an Apostle—October 15, 1959
    Hobbies—plays several musical instruments
    Interesting fact—can walk again after being confined to a wheelchair

    Boyd K. Packer

    Boyd K. Packer
    Ordained an Apostle—April 9, 1970
    Hobbies—does wood carvings of birds, paints pictures
    Interesting fact—flew a bomber during World War II

    Marvin J. Ashton

    Marvin J. Ashton
    Ordained an Apostle—December 2, 1971
    Hobbies—plays tennis and other sports
    Profession—businessman: lumber
    Interesting fact—helps people feel good about themselves

    L. Tom Perry

    L. Tom Perry
    Ordained an Apostle—April 11, 1974
    Hobbies—sports, physical fitness, repairing things, gardening
    Profession—business: finance, department store administration
    Interesting fact—walks to work and has a cheerful greeting for everyone

    David B. Haight

    David B. Haight
    Ordained an Apostle—January 8, 1976
    Hobbies—camps, fishes, hikes
    Profession—mayor; businessman
    Interesting fact—survived serious accidents and illnesses

    James E. Faust

    James E. Faust
    Ordained an Apostle—October 1, 1978
    Hobbies—gardens, reads the scriptures
    Profession—lawyer; state legislator
    Interesting fact—is especially good at remembering names and faces of people he meets

    Neal A. Maxwell

    Neal A. Maxwell
    Ordained an Apostle—July 23, 1981
    Hobbies—plays tennis, reads
    Profession—educator; political scientist
    Interesting fact—created the first stake in Nigeria, Africa

    Russell M. Nelson

    Russell M. Nelson
    Ordained an Apostle—April 12, 1984
    Hobbies—music, skiing
    Profession—heart surgeon
    Interesting fact—plays the organ for the weekly temple meeting

    Dallin H. Oaks

    Dallin H. Oaks
    Ordained an Apostle—May 3, 1984
    Hobbies—fishes, camps
    Profession—lawyer; judge; educator
    Interesting fact—was president of Brigham Young University, 1971–1980

    M. Russell Ballard

    M. Russell Ballard
    Ordained an Apostle—October 10, 1985
    Hobbies—repairs things, fishes, golfs
    Profession—businessman: automobiles, real estate, investments
    Interesting fact—both grandfathers were previous Apostles

    Joseph B. Wirthlin

    Joseph B. Wirthlin
    Ordained an Apostle—October 9, 1986
    Hobbies—walks, reads, loves his 44 grandchildren
    Profession—businessman: foods, cattle
    Interesting fact—speaks and reads German and loves spaghetti

    Richard G. Scott

    Richard G. Scott
    Ordained an Apostle—October 6, 1988
    Hobbies—music, painting, birding
    Profession—nuclear engineer
    Interesting fact—helped develop nuclear power plants for submarines and aircraft carriers

    Sharing Time Ideas

    1. Play a matching game with the names and pictures of the Apostles. Put the pictures of the Apostles in the order in which they were ordained.

    2. Devise a quiz about the Apostles from the information on the fact cards.

    3. Let the children pretend to be the ancient Apostles and give facts about themselves from the scriptures, such as “I am Peter. I am also known as Simon. I was a fisherman.”

    4. Make a word search using the names of the ancient Apostles and the last names of the current Apostles.

    5. Print the words from John 15:16 on the chalkboard or on a large piece of paper. Cover each word with separate pieces of paper that have been numbered in sequence. Let each child choose the number of a word to be uncovered. Continue this process until the scripture can be identified and recited.