Understanding the Scriptures
|Consenting (v. 1)||Agreeing to|
|Made havock (v. 3)||Caused disorder or ruin|
|Bewitched (v. 9)||Amazed|
|Gall of bitterness (v. 23)||Extreme wickedness|
|Bond of iniquity (v. 23)||Slavery of sin|
|Eunuch (v. 27)||Trusted servant|
Acts 8:14–17—The Power to Give the Gift of the Holy Ghost
We learn from modern revelation that there is a difference in authority between the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood holds the authority to baptize (see D&C 20:46), but additional authority is needed to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Melchizedek Priesthood is this higher authority. With it, one can confer all the spiritual blessings of the Church, including the gift of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20:38–41). Philip’s missionary work in Samaria illustrated this difference in authority. Because he held the Aaronic Priesthood he had the authority to teach and baptize the people, but the Apostles had to come to give the new members the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Studying the Scriptures
Do activities A–C as you study Acts 8–9.
Simon the Sorcerer
The Church members faced great persecution because of persecutors like Saul and had to flee from Jerusalem. Phillip fled to Samaria where he met Simon, a sorcerer. Review Acts 8:1–24 and answer the following questions:
What did the people think of Simon before Philip came?
Where did they think Simon’s power came from?
What did Simon think of Philip’s message?
Why did Peter and John go to Samaria? (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Acts 8:14–17).
What did Simon want from Peter?
What did Peter teach Simon about the priesthood?
Philip and the Ethiopian
Philip took many opportunities to use his priesthood as he traveled. When he saw an Ethiopian man struggling to understand the scriptures, he ran and preached the gospel of repentance to him. In Doctrine and Covenants 13 we learn that the Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys, or power, to (1) receive the ministering of angels, (2) teach the gospel of repentance, and (3) baptize by immersion for the remission of sins. Read Acts 8:26–40 and describe in your notebook how Philip used each of those powers.
“Saul, Why Persecutest Thou Me?”
Acts 9:1–31 contains an account of Saul’s miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus and the beginning of his missionary career. Several events help us understand why Saul (who became known as Paul) was so dedicated to the gospel after this experience.
From your reading of Acts 9, write an explanation of each event illustrated.
Write a paragraph summarizing what this chapter teaches about Saul and about the Lord’s patience with His children, especially those who want to do what is right.
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