“July 1–7. Acts 1–5: ‘Ye Shall Be Witnesses unto Me’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“July 1–7. Acts 1–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Have you ever wondered what Peter might have been thinking and feeling when he, with the other Apostles, “looked steadfastly toward heaven” as Jesus ascended to His Father? (Acts 1:10). The Church that was founded by the Son of God was now being led by Jesus through Peter, God’s prophet. The task of leading the effort to “teach all nations” now rested on Peter (Matthew 28:19). But if he felt inadequate or afraid, we don’t find any evidence of that in the book of Acts. What we do find are examples of fearless testimony and conversion, miraculous healings, spiritual manifestations, and significant growth for the Church. Now, with the gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter was no longer the unlearned fisherman Jesus found on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Nor was he the distraught man who only weeks earlier was weeping bitterly because he had denied that he even knew Jesus of Nazareth.
In the book of Acts, you will read powerful declarations about Jesus Christ and His gospel. You will also see how that gospel can change people—including you—into the valiant disciples God knows they can be.
The book of Acts records the Apostles’ efforts to establish the Church of Jesus Christ after the Savior’s Ascension. Although Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth, He directed the Church by revelation through the Holy Ghost. Consider how the Holy Ghost guided the new leaders of Christ’s Church as you review the following passages: Acts 1:1–8, 15–26; 2:1–42; 4:1–13, 31–33.
What are some of the assignments, callings, or responsibilities the Lord has given you? What do you learn from the experiences of these early Apostles about how you can rely on the Holy Ghost to guide you?
See also Bible Dictionary, “Holy Ghost.”
The gift of tongues is sometimes characterized as speaking in a language no one understands. However, the Prophet Joseph Smith referred to the events in Acts 2 to clarify that this gift of the Spirit is “given for the purpose of preaching [the gospel] among those whose language is not understood; as on the day of Pentecost. … The ultimate design of [the gift of] tongues is to speak to foreigners” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 383–84). The Feast of Pentecost, a major Jewish holiday, brought Jews from many nations to Jerusalem. The gift of tongues allowed these visitors to understand the Apostles’ words in their native languages.
Have you ever felt “pricked in [your] heart,” like the Jews on the day of Pentecost? (Acts 2:37). Maybe you did something you regret, or maybe you simply want to change your life. What should you do when you have these feelings? Peter’s counsel to the Jews is found in Acts 2:38. Note how the first principles and ordinances of the gospel (including faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost—or what is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of Christ) affected these converts, as recorded in Acts 2:37–47.
You may already have been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, so how do you continue to apply the doctrine of Christ? Consider these words from Elder Dale G. Renlund: “We may be perfected by repeatedly … exercising faith in [Christ], repenting, partaking of the sacrament to renew the covenants and blessings of baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost as a constant companion to a greater degree. As we do so, we become more like Christ and are able to endure to the end, with all that that entails” (“Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 56).
“The times of refreshing” refers to the Millennium, when Jesus Christ will return to the earth. “The times of restitution of all things” refers to the Restoration of the gospel.
The lame man was hoping to receive money from those who came to the temple. But the Lord’s servants offered him much more. As you read Acts 3; 4:1–31; and 5:12–42, consider how the miracle that followed affected:
The lame man
Peter and John
The witnesses at the temple
The high priests and rulers
See also the videos “Peter and John Heal a Man Crippled Since Birth,” “Peter Preaches and Is Arrested” (LDS.org).
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
When have we felt “pricked in [our] heart” when someone was teaching the gospel? What does this feeling mean? Why is it important to say, “What shall we do?” when we have such feelings?
How was the man at the temple blessed differently than he was expecting? How have we seen Heavenly Father’s blessings come to us in unexpected ways?
What impresses you about the faithfulness of Peter and John? How can we be bold in our testimony of Jesus Christ?
Your family might enjoy acting out the account of Ananias and Sapphira with simple costumes and some coins. What lessons do we learn from this story? Depending on the needs of your family, you might discuss honesty, sustaining Church leaders, or consecration.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.