“July 1–7. Acts 1–5: ‘Ye Shall Be Witnesses unto Me’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“July 1–7. Acts 1–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
There are many meaningful passages and principles in Acts 1–5. One great way to discover which are the most valuable and relevant to members of your class is to let them tell you what stood out to them in their study. How will you invite this kind of sharing? It could be as simple as giving them a few minutes to find and share a verse from Acts 1–5 in which they felt the voice of the Lord speaking to them.
Reading about the experiences of the Apostles can help your class members see how they can receive power and guidance from the Holy Ghost in their Church callings. One way to review the experiences in Acts 1–5 would be to write on the board The Holy Ghost can help me in my calling by: and then invite class members to search Acts 1:1–8; 2:36–39; and 4:1–16, 31–33, looking for ways to finish the sentence. Why did the Apostles need the Holy Ghost?
As a class, you can also explore how Jesus Christ directs His Church in our day through the Holy Ghost. To do this, you could contact several class members beforehand and ask them to review the accounts in Acts 1:1–8; 2:37–39; 4:1–16, 31–33 and come prepared to share personal experiences that are similar to those of the Apostles. For example, they could share about a time when the Holy Ghost helped them to testify of a gospel principle or answer someone’s question. What had they done to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost?
It might help your class to note that new members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the ancient Church were called by revelation, just as they are today. Consider inviting class members to explain how a business might go about choosing a replacement for an executive position, such as looking at educational background, experience, and so on. Ask them to contrast this with how the Apostle Matthias was called in Acts 1:15–26 (see also 1 Samuel 16:1–13). How might the quotation by President Gordon B. Hinckley in “Additional Resources” add to the understanding of class members? (see also Russell M. Nelson, “Sustaining the Prophets,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 74–77). How does this knowledge affect our faith in the leaders the Lord has called? How have you gained your witness of modern apostles and prophets?
How can those you teach find power and meaning in the simple truths Peter and John taught (faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end)? One way might be to explore the importance of these principles and ordinances, sometimes referred to as the doctrine of Christ (see 2 Nephi 31). You could bring five posters to class and write at the top of each poster one of the following aspects of the doctrine of Christ: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, Endure to the End. Divide the class into five groups, and give each group one of the posters. Invite the groups to review the definition of the topic on their poster in Guide to the Scriptures or Preach My Gospel. Then they could review Peter’s teachings in Acts 2:22–47; 3:13–26; and 4:5–12 and write on their poster examples of their assigned topic from the scriptures. How do these principles and ordinances of the gospel help us obtain the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement? What roles do these principles and ordinances play in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation?
You could ask some full-time, recently returned, or ward missionaries to take a few minutes to explain how they have taught others about the doctrine of Christ using lesson 3 in Preach My Gospel. Why is the doctrine of Christ the main message of our missionaries? How does someone who has already been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost continue to apply the doctrine of Christ?
As class members study the scriptures at home and together in class each week, they may often feel “pricked in their heart” (Acts 2:37). You may feel inspired to help them go a step further by asking, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Read Acts 2:37–47 together, inviting class members to search for things this group of 3,000 people did as a result of Peter’s invitation. Maybe they could also share ways they have acted on inspiration from their study of the word of God. Then you might reserve time at the end of class for each person to ask themselves the question “What shall I do?” and record their impressions.
The account of Peter and John boldly testifying of Jesus can inspire your class to not fear what others think as they share their witness of the gospel. What impresses class members about the boldness of Peter and John in Acts 3; 4:1–21; and 5:12–42? What is the relationship between receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and our ability to testify boldly? The accounts of these chapters are dramatized in the videos “Peter Preaches and Is Arrested,” “Peter and John Are Judged,” and “Peter and John Continue Preaching the Gospel” (LDS.org). Class members might also have experiences to share in which they, or someone they know, boldly defended or testified of the gospel.
Ask class members to think about how they would react if they knew that living the gospel could result in losing their lives. Tell them that in Acts 6–9 they will read about someone who was willing to die for his faith.
Gordon B. Hinckley shared the following insights about the process of calling a new Apostle: “The procedure is peculiar to the Lord’s church. There is no seeking for office, no jockeying for position, no campaigning to promote one’s virtues. Contrast the Lord’s way with the way of the world. The Lord’s way is quiet, it is a way of peace, it is without fanfare or monetary costs. It is without egotism or vanity or ambition. Under the Lord’s plan, those who have responsibility to select officers are governed by one overriding question: ‘Whom would the Lord have?’ There is quiet and thoughtful deliberation. And there is much of prayer to receive the confirmation of the Holy Spirit that the choice is correct” (“God Is at the Helm,” Ensign, May 1994, 53).