The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 282–83


Introduction

When the 11 Apostles of Jesus’s day met to choose a man to replace Judas Iscariot, Peter stated that the new Apostle must be “a witness with us of [Christ’s] resurrection” (Acts 1:22). Later, the record states, the Apostles “with great power gave … witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 4:33). The prophets, seers, and revelators of our day are also “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (D&C 107:23). They publicly declared their testimony in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” on January 1, 2000. In a letter to priesthood leaders introducing this publication, Presidents Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and James E. Faust of the First Presidency wrote:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared: ‘The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.’ In that spirit, we add our witness to that of our predecessors.

“We encourage you to use this written testimony in helping to build the faith of our Heavenly Father’s children” (First Presidency letter, Dec. 10, 1999).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus the Christ: Our Master and More,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 4–17.

Suggestions for Teaching

Special Witnesses of Christ (65:00; item no. 53584) can be used in teaching “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.”

“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.” Jesus is the Living Christ. His prophets and apostles bear witness of His matchless life and atoning sacrifice.

(35–40 minutes)

Place pictures of Jesus Christ in various places around the room (see Gospel Art Picture Kit ). Have students tell which pictures they like and why. Bear your testimony of Jesus Christ. Ask students why it is important to have a testimony of Jesus Christ. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3–8; Ether 12:38–39; Doctrine and Covenants 76:22–23. Discuss the following questions:

  • What do each of these testimonies have in common? (Each of these individuals had seen the resurrected Christ.)

  • Why is it important to have prophets who can bear witness that the Savior lives?

  • Why is it important to know that the Savior lives?

Explain that the prophets and apostles today add their witness to the witnesses of those who lived before. Divide the class into three equal groups and have each group study “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” in the student study guide (p. 225). Have one group look for the Apostles’ witness of what the Savior did before His mortal ministry. Have another group look for what He did during His mortal ministry. Have the last group look for what He did and will do after His mortal ministry. Have students share what they learned, and write their responses on the board. The following chart may be helpful:

The Living Christ - comparison chart

Ask:

  • Why do you think the Apostles titled their testimony “The Living Christ”?

  • In what ways has the Savior affected all who have lived or will live on earth?

  • What has the Savior done, and what will He do, that can affect the way you live?

  • How can you obtain “happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come”?

  • How can you thank God for “the matchless gift of His divine Son”?

Bear your testimony of Jesus Christ and of the hope that the gospel can bring to all God’s children. Read or sing “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Hymns, no. 136). If time permits, invite students to share their own testimonies of the Living Christ.