Understanding the Scriptures
|Centurion (v. 1)||Roman military commander|
|Ninth hour (v. 3)||About 3:00 P.M.|
|Alms (v. 4)||Donations to the poor|
|Sixth hour (v. 9)||About noon|
|Fell into a trance (v. 10)||The Holy Spirit came upon him|
|Common or unclean (v. 14)||Forbidden by Mosaic law|
|Accompanied (v. 23)||Went with|
|Gainsaying (v. 29)||Objecting|
|Perceive (v. 34)||Understand|
|They of the circumcision (v. 45)||Jewish converts to Christianity|
Acts 10—A Modern Parallel
Peter’s vision, teaching him that God is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), brought a major change in the Church. For the first time, Gentiles were baptized into the Church without regard to the requirements of the law of Moses. This helped the Church grow rapidly among all people, not only among Jews.
A similar situation existed in the Church in our day. Since Old Testament times, Heavenly Father had restricted the right to hold the priesthood. At the time of Abraham the right to the priesthood was patriarchal, meaning that it was passed from father to son (see D&C 107:40; Abraham 1:2–4, 26–27). In the days of Moses the Melchizedek Priesthood was taken from Israel and the Aaronic Priesthood was held only by the tribe of Levi (see Numbers 18:6–8). When the gospel was restored in the latter days, the Melchizedek Priesthood was also restored and the right to bear that priesthood was given to many outside of the house of Israel.
In June of 1978 the Lord revealed to President Spencer W. Kimball that the time had come that “all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color” (Official Declaration 2). Again the Lord acted to help the Church take the gospel to all of Heavenly Father’s children throughout the world.
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A or B as you study Acts 10.
A Thousand Years of Law and Tradition Ended by Revelation
After reading Acts 10, write a diary entry about Peter’s experience as if you were he. Imagine what it would have been like to receive a revelation that ended a practice of the law of Moses that was observed for many generations. Be sure to tell about the following events and how Peter might have felt about them:
Peter’s vision on the housetop (see vv. 9–16)
Cornelius’s vision (see vv. 1–8)
Peter’s meeting with the Gentiles (see vv. 17–48)
Explain why this was such an amazing event (see the introduction for Acts 10).
Peter’s Vision of a Great Sheet
Draw a picture of Peter’s vision of the great sheet or list the unclean animals Peter may have seen. See Leviticus 11 for a list of unclean animals.