The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.
Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.
Complete assignment 5 and any two of the other assignments:
1. Acts 9. Saul’s Conversion
- What happened that caused Saul to change from being a persecutor of the Saints to a follower of Jesus Christ?
- What does the phrase “kick against the pricks” mean? (see Bible Dictionary, “Goads,” 681; institute student manual commentary for “Acts 9:5, “It Is Hard for Thee to Kick Against the Pricks”
- (pp. 258–59).
- What evidences are there that Saul was immediately responsive to the Lord’s message?
- Describe how regularly asking Saul’s question in Acts 9:6 could be a blessing to you.
Read Acts 9:13–16 and write responses to the following items:
- What is meant by the phrase “chosen vessel”?
- Read Alma 13:3 and explain when Paul was “chosen.”
- According to Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–36, 41–42 how can we live to make ourselves more available so the Lord could choose us if He wanted?
2. Acts 13–14. Paul’s First Mission
Using the map “Paul’s 1st Journey” found in the map section of the student manual (p. 218), list the name of the place Paul started this mission and four other cities he taught in.
Read Acts 13:1–5 and outline in writing three points that could help a missionary who is discouraged.
Read the Bible Dictionary entry for “Barnabas” and the student manual commentary for Acts 9:27, “Who Was Barnabas?” (p. 259). Write a paragraph describing Barnabas. What blessings and advantages do you see for the Lord sending missionaries out two by two?
Read Acts 14:8–18. Explain in writing what happened to Paul and Barnabas. How did Paul and Barnabas respond to this praise and attention?
Read Acts 14:19–22 and compare in writing the way the people treated Paul in these verses with how he and Barnabas were treated in Acts 14:8–13. How did Paul say we would enter the kingdom of God? How are both these experiences examples of the principle Paul taught in verse 22?
3. Acts 15. Looking to and Following Church Leaders
Read Acts 15:1–35; Bible Dictionary, “Circumcision” (p. 646); student manual commentary for Acts 15:1, “Certain Men Which Came Down from Judea” (p. 264); commentary for Acts 15:1, “Except Ye Be Circumcised After the Manner of Moses, Ye Cannot Be Saved” (pp. 264–65). Then write your answers to the following questions:
- In Acts 15 what was the issue that led to the council in Jerusalem?
- Whom did Church members look to for leadership regarding this issue?
- Who stood up first to answer the question?
- What was his calling in the Church? (see Matthew 16:16–19).
- Why is it important to allow the prophet to resolve doctrinal matters? (see D&C 28:2, 6–7).
- How did the rest of the Church learn the answer to the dispute?
- What was their reaction?
- What is necessary for people to willingly accept direction from Church leaders?
Trace Paul’s second missionary journey from Bible Map 13. List the names of four cities he visited, to whom he later wrote epistles. Read Acts 16:6–10; 18:9–11. Write a paragraph explaining the different ways the Holy Ghost directed Paul and his companions during their journey. Write a second paragraph describing how the Spirit has directed your missionary efforts, and one way you could be more directed by the Spirit in your life.
Read Acts 16:9–33. Make a list of the reasons Paul was able to preach the gospel so effectively. Then in writing answer the following questions:
- In what ways did Paul turn his experiences into missionary opportunities?
- What can you learn from Paul’s missionary experiences?
- How is the jailor an example of a true convert?
- How does Mosiah 4:9–10 expand your understanding of Acts 17:30–31?
- What can you do now to better prepare yourself to share the gospel, whether as a full-time missionary or a member?
5. Acts 17. Paul’s Visit to Athens
Read Acts 17:1–5, 10–15. Write a description of the different ways in which people responded to the message of the gospel. What phrase in these verses describes what the people of Berea did that the people of Thessalonica did not do that helped them more readily accept the gospel? Read 2 Nephi 32:3; 33:10; Alma 31:5 and explain in writing how our daily study of scripture affects so much else of what we think and do.
Read Acts 17:16–28 and the student manual commentary for Acts 17:18, “What Are Epicureans and Stoics?” (p. 266). Briefly summarize the beliefs of the Epicureans and Stoics. Read the student manual commentary for Acts 17:15–34, “What Was the Significance of Paul’s Visit to Athens?” (p. 266). Then write your answers to the following questions:
- What gods did the Athenians know and not know?
- How do 2 Nephi 9:28–29 and Colossians 2:8 relate to the practices of the Athenians?
- What false gods do people worship today that cause them to forget the true and living God?
Study Acts 17:26–27; Deuteronomy 32:8; student manual commentary for Acts 17:26, “Was Paul Teaching About the Premortal Existence When He Spoke of the ‘Times Before Appointed’?” (p. 266). Most of the Christian world does not believe in a premortal life. Write a paragraph supporting the principle of a premortal life as taught in these verses and the words of President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973).
Read Acts 17:28–29; Romans 8:16–17. Write two or three paragraphs about the doctrine taught in these verses and how it helps us better understand the true nature of God. Include in your writing an explanation of what difference it makes to understand that we are God’s offspring and not just His creation.
According to Acts 17:32 record how the people responded to Paul’s teachings of the Resurrection. Write a paragraph using other scriptures from the Topical Guide that support the doctrine of the Resurrection.