Acts 2: A Day of Testimony

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 95–96

Is there a holiday that brings back special memories for you? For the Apostles, the Jewish Feast of Pentecost (see Bible Dictionary, “feasts,” p. 673) became a memorable one. During the Feast of Pentecost following the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Apostles experienced a marvelous manifestation of the Holy Ghost. Those watching “were all amazed and marvelled” (Acts 2:7) at what they saw. Through the Spirit, the Apostles were able to preach the gospel to the Jews who had come to Jerusalem from many different countries, even though the people spoke many different languages. Peter explained that it fulfilled the prophecy in Joel 2:28–32 regarding the Spirit coming as a blessing to all. That day he testified to the people that Jesus is the Christ and invited those listening to accept baptism. About three thousand accepted the invitation and were baptized into the Church.
missionaries teaching a family

Understanding the Scriptures

Acts 2

Pentecost (v. 1)Summer feast of harvest 
Cloven (v. 3)Split, forked 
Utterance (v. 4)Ability to speak 
Confounded (v. 6)Puzzled, confused 
Proselytes (v. 10)Converts 
Determinate counsel (v. 23)Appointed purpose 
Corruption (v. 27)Decay, decomposition of the body 
Pricked (v. 37)Touched, felt guilty 

Acts 2:1–4—What Happened on the Day of Pentecost?

The Feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover, celebrated the harvest of early summer. This holiday attracted large crowds to Jerusalem for a time of feasting and celebration. When the believers gathered together on this day, the Lord sent the power of the Holy Ghost as He had promised before He ascended into heaven (see Acts 1:4–8).

After receiving this power, the Apostles did not hesitate to speak to the crowds about Jesus Christ. The miracle of Pentecost was that the Holy Ghost gave the Apostles the gift of tongues (see D&C 46:11, 24). All who listened were able to understand what was being preached because the Spirit helped them hear it in their native tongue. This great event brought about three thousand new members into the Church.

Acts 2:44—“All Things Common”

To have all things common is to have such love and unity in the Church that all Saints share what they have with the poor among them. This is a principle of the gospel called “consecration” (see D&C 42:30–39). Elder Bruce R. McConkie described consecration: “The law of consecration is that we consecrate [set apart or devote] our time, our talents, and our money and property to the cause of the Church; such are to be available to the extent they are needed to further the Lord’s interests on earth” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 74; or Ensign, May 1975, 50).

Consecration is one of the principles the Saints must learn to live in order to be worthy of the celestial kingdom (see D&C 105:3–5). Today we are preparing to live the law of consecration as we willingly pay tithing and make other offerings that help people in need.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study Acts 2.

Activity A iconBe a News Reporter

The events of that day of Pentecost were remarkable. Imagine you are watching the events described in Acts 2:1–16 as a news reporter. Write an article for the evening paper describing who was involved and what happened.

Activity B iconA Fulfillment of Prophecy

Review Acts 2:6–21 and answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    Why do you think some who heard the Apostles thought they were drunk?

  2. 2.

    What explanation did Peter give about their behavior?

  3. 3.

    What did the Apostles do that fulfilled the prophecy in Joel 2:28–32?

  4. 4.

    When will Joel’s prophecy again be fulfilled? (see Joseph Smith–History 1:41).

Write about a time when you felt an outpouring of the Spirit in your life.

Activity C iconA Change in Peter

  1. 1.

    Compare Peter’s actions in Acts 2:22–36 with those in John 18:25–27. Describe how he changed and tell what you think caused the change.

  2. Peter denying Christ

    a mature Peter

  3. 2.

    How did the events of that Pentecost begin to fulfill the Lord’s promise in Acts 1:4–5, 8?

  4. 3.

    Read Peter’s bold testimony of Jesus Christ. Choose two ideas from his testimony that are most important to you and explain why.

Activity D icon“What Should We Do?”

Many who heard Peter believed his testimony of Christ and asked what they should do. Peter told them to repent and be baptized. About three thousand people joined the Church that day.

Suppose you had a friend who expressed an interest in the Church. Write a letter to your friend to help him or her understand how and why we should follow Jesus Christ and how we become a member of His Church. In it use what Peter said in Acts 2:37–40 and put it into your own words.