Acts 6-7: The Death of Stephen

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 98–99

In Acts 5 you read about the disciples “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [Jesus’] name” (Acts 5:41). In Acts 6–7 you will read about one of those early disciples who was not afraid to die for his faith. Stephen testified of the truth so boldly that wicked men stoned him to death. As you read these chapters, look for who Stephen was and what he said that angered the people enough to kill him.
stoning Stephen
You may not be called upon to die for your testimony as Stephen did. However, you may be called upon to face other challenges as you strive to do what you know is right. Are you ready?

Understanding the Scriptures

Acts 6

Daily ministration (v. 1)Daily caring for the poor and needy 
Suborned (v. 11)Bribed to lie 
Blasphemous (v. 11)Disrespectful of God, abusive 

Acts 6:1–6—Seven New Leaders Chosen

When the Church grew from a handful of people to thousands of members, the Apostles needed more leaders to help them do their work. They called and set apart seven men who lived by the Spirit. Today seven men also assist the Apostles. They are the seven Presidents of the Seventy. These men direct the work of the Seventy and help oversee the work of the kingdom of God throughout the world. The organization and assignments of the Seventy have undergone numerous changes as the Church organization has developed.

Acts 7

Sojourn (v. 6)Live 
Host of heaven (v. 42)Sun, moon, stars 
Drave out (v. 45)Drove out, forced out 
Uncircumcised in heart (v. 51)Wicked 
Moses as a boy in Egypt

Acts 7:19–25—Did Moses Know Who He Was?

The first chapters of the book of Exodus tell us that Moses knew he was a Hebrew, not an Egyptian. Exodus does not tell us, however, that Moses knew anything of his calling and destiny. Stephen must have had more information than we currently have in our Old Testament, however, because he testified that Moses knew and “supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them” from Egyptian bondage (Acts 7:25). Likewise, the Apostle Paul said that Moses “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God” (Hebrews 11:24–25).

If Moses knew of his calling, how might he have learned about it? Perhaps he learned about it from a prophecy. The Joseph Smith Translation contains a speech given by Joseph (who was sold into Egypt) to his people just before he died. In that speech he prophesied that the Lord would send a deliverer to take Israel out of Egypt and that his name would be Moses (see JST, Genesis 50:24–38). The prophet Lehi also quoted parts of that speech in 2 Nephi 3:6–10.

Studying the Scriptures

Do either activity A or activities B and C as you study Acts 7.

Activity A iconStephen, Role Model for Faithful Servants

In Acts 6:3–8 Stephen, one of the seven men chosen to help the Apostles, is described as being honest and full of the Holy Ghost, wisdom, faith, and the power of prayer. Review the story of Stephen in Acts 6–7 and give examples of how Stephen demonstrated each of those qualities.

Activity B iconMoses, Man of Prophecy and Destiny

Review Stephen’s description of Moses in Acts 7:19–29 and Paul’s description in Hebrews 11:24–25. Write in your notebook what you learned about Moses that you did not know before.

Activity C Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Acts 7:55–56

Before Stephen was stoned to death for his testimony of the Savior, he testified that he saw Him in a wonderful vision. Read Acts 7:55–60 and mark his words in your scriptures. Write a summary of his last words and what impressed you about them.