“July 3–9. Acts 1–5: ‘Ye Shall Be Witnesses unto Me,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“July 3–9. Acts 1–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
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 in Peter’s care. The task of leading the effort to “teach all nations” now rested on him (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. This was still the Savior’s Church, still led by Him. In fact, the book Acts of the Apostles could also be called the Acts of Jesus Christ through His Apostles. Guided by an outpouring of the Spirit, 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.
As members of Christ’s Church today, we each have a responsibility to participate in the work of salvation and exaltation—to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, care for those in need, invite others to come unto Christ, and unite families for eternity (see General Handbook, 1.2). What do you learn from these early Apostles about how you can rely on the Holy Ghost to guide your efforts?
See also Bible Dictionary, “Holy Ghost.”
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, which prepares the world for the Millennium.
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 these people:
The lame man
Peter and John
The witnesses at the temple
The high priests and rulers
Reading Acts 1:21–26 can help your family discuss the blessings that come from having Apostles on the earth today. Family members could share how they have gained a witness that today’s apostles and prophets are called by God. Why is having this witness important?
What could the phrase “pricked in their heart” mean? When have we felt something similar? Why is it important to say “What shall we do?” when we have such feelings?
Your family might enjoy acting out the account in these verses. Or you could watch the video “Peter and John Heal a Man Crippled Since Birth” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). 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?
Acts 3:12–26; 4:1–21; 5:12–42.
What impresses you about the faithfulness of Peter and John? (see also the video “Peter Preaches and Is Arrested” on ChurchofJesusChrist.org). How can we be bold in our testimonies of Jesus Christ? Consider helping younger children practice sharing their testimonies.
Acts 4:31–37; 5:1–4.
How can we help our family, ward, or community become more like what is described in Acts 4:31–37? What does it mean to be “of one heart and of one soul”? In what ways do we sometimes “[keep] back part” of our contribution? Why is doing that like “[lying] unto God”? (Acts 5:2, 4). How does dishonesty affect us spiritually?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested hymn: “Let the Holy Spirit Guide,” Hymns, no. 143.