A line of people walking up the mountain, following Jesus to hear Him.
What does it mean to be a special witness of Jesus Christ?
Imagine that you and a friend are eating lunch at school. Your friend is just about to open a candy bar when someone walks up and accuses her of stealing the candy and demands it be returned. You were with your friend when she bought it, so even though you might be nervous, you tell the accuser that your friend is not a thief.
Standing up for the truth like this can be called “being a witness.” In the example, you would be a witness of your friend’s good character. Just like you can be a witness for your friend, God has called prophets and apostles to be special witnesses of His Son, Jesus Christ. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) taught that Apostles are “sent forth with certain authority and responsibility” to teach, testify, and serve as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:23).
Not long after Christ was resurrected, the Apostles were called to be His witnesses (see Acts 1:8). As you study Acts in the New Testament, you can read of many instances when the Apostles testified that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (see Acts 2:36; 5:27–32; 10:36–44). The Apostles today continue in this call as special witnesses—just listen to any general conference, and you will see how they testify of Christ.
The Holy Ghost Testifies of Christ
Some Apostles in the New Testament were with Christ when He was on the earth and saw Him ascend into heaven (see Acts 1:9–11), and Apostles today may have seen Christ (see President Boyd K. Packer [1924–2015] and President Lorenzo Snow [1814–1901]), but it is not physically seeing Jesus that makes someone a witness of Him. Revelation from the Holy Ghost is the only way to gain a testimony of the Savior. This means that even though Apostles may have seen Christ, they know He’s the Savior because the Holy Ghost has told them!
You Can Be a Witness
What’s even more amazing is that you are also promised that you can know through the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ is your Savior (see Doctrine and Covenants 46:13). It’s not something that only Apostles can know! Even though you’re not called to be a special witness of Christ, you can seek out a testimony of Christ and be His witness to the people in your life. You can follow the Savior’s command to Peter: “When thou art converted, strengthen thy [brothers and sisters]” (Luke 22:32).
How to Become a Witness of Jesus Christ
- Have a “desire to believe” (Alma 32:27; see also Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 93–95).
- Study about the Savior in the scriptures.
- Pray and ask for the Holy Ghost to confirm that Christ is your Savior.
- Study the New Testament, and mark when the Apostles were witnesses.
How have you been a witness of Christ? Share your experience below.