“July 17–23. Acts 10–15: ‘The Word of God Grew and Multiplied,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“July 17–23. Acts 10–15,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
During His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ often challenged people’s long-held traditions and beliefs. This didn’t stop after He ascended into heaven, as He continued to guide His Church by revelation. For example, during Jesus’s life His disciples preached the gospel only to fellow Jews. But soon after the Savior died and Peter became the leader of the Church on earth, Jesus Christ revealed to Peter that the time was right for the gospel to be preached to non-Jews. The idea of sharing the gospel with Gentiles doesn’t seem surprising today, so what’s the lesson in this account for us? Perhaps one lesson is that in both the ancient and modern Church, a loving Savior guides His chosen leaders (see Amos 3:7; Doctrine and Covenants 1:38). Continuing revelation is a vital sign of the true and living Church of Jesus Christ. Like Peter, we must be willing to accept continuing revelation and live “by every word of God” (Luke 4:4), including “all that [He] has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” He will yet reveal “pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Articles of Faith 1:9).
For generations, the Jews had believed that being of “the seed of Abraham,” or a literal descendant of Abraham, meant that a person was accepted and chosen by God (see Luke 3:8). They considered anyone else an “unclean” Gentile who was not accepted by God. In Acts 10, what did the Lord teach Peter about who “is accepted with him”? (Acts 10:35). What evidence do you find in this chapter that Cornelius’s life was acceptable to the Lord? Ponder what is meant by the statement “God is no respecter of persons” (verse 34; see also 1 Nephi 17:35). Why is it important to you to know this truth?
Like the Jews who looked down on those who were not of the seed of Abraham, do you ever catch yourself making unkind or uninformed assumptions about someone who is different from you? How can you overcome this tendency? It might be interesting to try a simple activity for the next few days: Whenever you interact with someone, try to think to yourself, “This person is a child of God.” As you do this, what changes do you notice in the way you think about and interact with others?
See also 1 Samuel 16:7; 2 Nephi 26:13, 33; Russell M. Nelson, “Let God Prevail,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2020, 92–95; “Peter’s Revelation to Take the Gospel to the Gentiles” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
When Peter saw the vision described in Acts 10, he struggled at first to understand it and “doubted in himself what [it] should mean” (verse 17). Yet the Lord gave Peter greater understanding as Peter sought it. As you read Acts 10, 11, and 15, notice how Peter’s understanding of his vision deepened over time. How have you sought and received greater understanding from God when you had questions?
Acts 10, 11, and 15 recount instances in which the Lord directed His servants through revelation. It might help to record what you learn about revelation as you read these chapters. In what ways does the Spirit speak to you?
See also Gospel Topics, “Revelation,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org; Quentin L. Cook, “The Blessing of Continuing Revelation to Prophets and Personal Revelation to Guide Our Lives,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 96–100; “The Jerusalem Conference” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
What is significant about a person being called a Christian? (see Acts 11:26). What does it mean to you to be known as a Christian? Consider the significance of names. For instance, what does your family name mean to you? Why is the name of the Church important to you? (see Doctrine and Covenants 115:4). What does it mean to you to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ by covenant? (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:77).
Acts 10:17, 20.
Have we ever had spiritual experiences and later doubted what we felt or learned? What advice can we give each other that might help us overcome our doubts? (See Neil L. Andersen, “Spiritually Defining Memories,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 18–22.)
How can you teach your family that “God is no respecter of persons”? (Acts 10:34). Perhaps you could display pictures of people from different backgrounds and cultures while your family reads these verses. How should the truths in these verses influence our actions? (see, for example, “I’ll Walk with You” [Children’s Songbook, 140–41]).
Your family could act out the account of Peter being cast into prison and members of the Church gathering together and praying for him. When have we been blessed by prayer? Is there someone we feel inspired to pray for, such as a Church leader or loved one? What does it mean to pray “without ceasing”? (Acts 12:5; see also Alma 34:27).
As you read this chapter together, some family members could make note of blessings that came to the disciples and the Church. Other family members could note opposition or trials disciples experienced. Why does God allow difficult things to happen to righteous people?
These verses describe a disagreement in the Church about whether converts needed to keep the law of Moses, including circumcision. What did the Apostles do about this disagreement? What can we learn from this example about how Church leaders direct the work of the Church?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “I’ll Walk with You,” Children’s Songbook, 140–41.