Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Ask the children what they remember about Paul from previous lessons. (Remind them that his name was changed from Saul.) Remind the children that Paul was called by the Lord to be a missionary and a special witness of
Jesus Christ (see Acts 13:2; 20:24). He spent the rest of his life in missionary service.
If you have an LDS edition of the Bible, have the children turn to maps 18–22 and trace Paul’s missionary travels with their fingers. (Help the children pronounce the names of the places.) Explain that when Paul was converted, only some of the Jews in Jerusalem and surrounding areas had heard about Jesus Christ. Paul’s four missionary journeys took him to Jewish people and also to Gentiles (those who were not of the Jewish nationality) in many countries. These Gentiles did not know about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They worshiped false gods and idols. Everywhere Paul went he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Draw a diagram similar to the following on the chalkboard or a chart:
Write the children’s responses on the steps leading from
Paul to Missionary. Be sure to include ideas such as repented, believed in Jesus Christ, was baptized, received the gift of the Holy Ghost, learned the gospel, and lived the gospel.
Discussion and Application Questions
Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.
Why were the Jews angry with Paul? (
Acts 22:17–21.) Help the children understand that Paul was testifying of a vision from Jesus Christ to people who did not believe in Jesus. Why wasn’t Paul harmed? ( Acts 22:24, 29.)
The chief captain allowed Paul to go again before the Jews to explain himself, and once again the Jews tried to kill him because of his testimony. (
Acts 23:10.) How did Paul show courage and faith during this time of persecution? How would you have felt if you had been in Paul’s situation?
How did the Lord comfort Paul? (
Acts 23:11.) How do you think Paul felt when he knew he would not be killed? How does the Lord comfort and bless missionaries today?
How did the Jews plot to kill Paul? ( Acts 23:14–15.) Who saved Paul from this plot? ( Acts 23:16.) How did the chief captain help Paul escape from the Jews? ( Acts 23:22–24.) Why do you think the Lord was protecting Paul?
Explain that Felix, the Roman governor, kept Paul a prisoner in Caesarea for two years until Festus became the new governor. Paul requested a trial in Rome, but before leaving for Rome he told Festus and King Agrippa the story of his conversion and testified of Jesus Christ.
How did Paul feel about talking to King Agrippa? Why? (
Acts 26:1–3.) What did he teach the king and Festus? ( Acts 26:22–23.)
How did Festus react to Paul’s testimony? (
Acts 26:24.) How did King Agrippa react? ( Acts 26:28.) What reasons might King Agrippa have had to not fully accept Paul’s testimony and become a Christian? What are some things that keep people from accepting the gospel today?
What gave Paul the courage to preach to the king and the governor? Remind the children that Paul was called to be a special witness for Jesus Christ and took every opportunity to testify of him. When can you share your testimony of Jesus with others? How can you prepare now to be a missionary?
Discuss the following quotations from President Ezra Taft Benson:
“Primary boys, plan and look forward to serving a full-time mission for the Lord. Young girls, be prepared for missionary service if you are called” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, p. 104; or
Ensign, May 1989, p. 82).
“Yes … prepare now [when you are nine, ten, or eleven]. Prepare yourselves physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Always be obedient to authority. Start a savings account for your mission if you haven’t done so already. Pay your
tithing, and seek a testimony of the gospel through study and prayer” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1985, p. 49; or Ensign, May 1985, p. 37).
Draw another diagram on the chalkboard or a chart similar to the one used in the attention activity, writing the word
You where Paul is. Write the children’s responses on the steps leading from You to Missionary. Be sure to include ideas such as believe in Jesus, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, receive the priesthood (boys), learn the gospel, study the scriptures, pray, go to church, and live the gospel at home, at school, or wherever you may be.
Share examples of how being prepared helped you or someone you know share the gospel. Encourage the children to share experiences when they or their families have had opportunities to teach others about the gospel. If there are people in your class who are converts, you may want to have them share how the missionaries or others helped them learn the gospel and gain a testimony.