“July 8–14. Acts 6–9: ‘What Wilt Thou Have Me to Do?’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“July 8–14. Acts 6–9,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
On the board, write the names of some of the people mentioned in Acts 6–9, such as Stephen, Saul, Philip, Ananias, Peter, and Tabitha or Dorcas. Invite a few class members to share something they learned from one of these people in their study this week.
What truths did class members learn from reading the account of Stephen this week? Consider inviting class members to study the teachings of Stephen in Acts 7:37–53, looking for how the Jewish leaders were like the ancient Israelites who rejected the prophets. You might focus on Stephen’s statement about these leaders in Acts 7:51. How do 2 Nephi 28:3–6; 33:1–2; Mosiah 2:36–37; Alma 10:5–6; and Alma 34:37–38 help class members understand this statement? Why might we “resist the Holy Ghost”? What can we do to better recognize and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost?
Studying the account of Simon can help class members evaluate the reasons why they live the gospel. To study this account as a class, you could write on the board the questions Who was Simon? What did he want? and How did he try to get it? Assign each class member to read Acts 8:9–24, looking for answers to these questions. What do we learn from Simon’s experience?
To help your class members understand what it means to have their hearts “right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21), you could invite them to study Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–46, searching for words or phrases that describe what our hearts should be like as we strive to serve God and receive His gifts. Class members could compare these insights with the account of Simon, found in Acts 8:9–24. What truths did Simon not yet understand? How can we make our hearts “right in the sight of God”?
Did your class members compare Stephen and Philip with Simon during their personal study, as suggested in this week’s outline in Come Follow Me—For Individuals and Families? If so, what did they learn? You might invite them to find evidence in these chapters that the hearts of other people were right—people such as Philip and the man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:26–40) and Saul (Acts 9:1–22).
To help class members understand how they can guide others to Jesus Christ (see Acts 8:31), you might invite two class members to sit facing each other and read the dialogue of Philip and the man from Ethiopia in Acts 8:26–39. A third class member could read the parts that are not dialogue. What do we learn from Philip’s example about teaching the gospel to others?
To explore modern examples of the account in Acts 8:26–39, class members could share experiences they have had with sharing the gospel or with joining the Church. How did the Holy Ghost help them? How did someone act as their guide? Invite class members to ponder whom they might guide to the gospel.
Class members can learn powerful truths about their own conversion by studying Saul’s experience, including the truth that everyone can repent and change if they are willing. You might ask class members to compare Saul’s experience with the experiences of Alma (see Mosiah 17:1–4; 18; 26:15–21) and Laman and Lemuel (see 1 Nephi 3:28–31). What characteristics of Saul and Alma helped them repent and change? What characteristics kept Laman and Lemuel from changing? What influence did Saul and Alma have after they were converted? What messages do we find for our own lives from these accounts?
To help class members apply Saul’s experience to themselves, you might invite a few class members to come prepared to share what they learn from each of the sections in President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Waiting on the Road to Damascus” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 70–77). How do we sometimes wait on our own road to Damascus? According to President Uchtdorf, what can help us better hear God’s voice? You might also consider watching the video “The Road to Damascus” (LDS.org). To inspire class members to follow Saul’s example and ask the Lord, “What wilt thou have me to do?” consider discussing President Thomas S. Monson’s experience found in “Additional Resources.” Perhaps class members could share their experiences with seeking and following God’s will.
To encourage class members to read Acts 10–15 during the coming week, you could share some of the dramatic events in these chapters—a miraculous jailbreak, missionaries being mistaken for Roman gods, and an Apostle being stoned and left for dead—then reviving.
While President Thomas S. Monson was attending a stake conference, the stake president asked him if he would visit a 10-year-old girl named Christal Methvin, who was dying of cancer. The girl’s family lived 80 miles from the conference location. President Monson shared the following:
“I examined the schedule of meetings. … There simply was no available time. An alternative suggestion came to mind. Could we not remember the little one in our public prayers at conference? …
“… [During one of the meetings] I was sorting my notes, preparing to step to the pulpit, when I heard a voice speak to my spirit. The message was brief, the words familiar: ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14.) My notes became a blur. My thoughts turned to a tiny girl in need of a blessing. The decision was made. The meeting schedule was altered. …
“… [At the Methvin home,] I gazed down at a child who was too ill to rise—almost too weak to speak. Her illness had now rendered her sightless. So strong was the spirit that I fell to my knees, took her frail hand in mine, and said simply, ‘Christal, I am here.’ She parted her lips and whispered, ‘Brother Monson, I just knew you would come’” (“The Faith of a Child,” Ensign, Nov. 1975, 20–22).
Years later, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared this story, inviting us to “strive to be among those whom the Lord can rely on to hear His whisperings and respond, as Saul did on his road to Damascus, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’” (“Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 75).