“Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith the Lord”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 65–66


Theme

Every member of the Church has made covenants to be a modern-day witness for Christ.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The early apostles were especially prepared for the work assigned to them.

    1. 1.

      They were called, ordained, and personally tutored by the Savior.

    2. 2.

      They received a witness of the Lord’s divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    3. 3.

      Because of this preparation and witness, they were called to preach the gospel.

  • B.

    Through divine power and their personal witness, the apostles of Jesus’ day had great missionary success.

    1. 1.

      The day of Pentecost is an example of this.

    2. 2.

      Further power was manifest in the many conversions and healings that were performed.

  • C.

    Modern apostles and prophets possess a witness similar, to that which the ancient apostles possessed, and similar results follow.

    1. 1.

      Joseph Smith and other prophets and apostles of this dispensation are special witnesses.

    2. 2.

      Under the direction of modern prophets, the witness is being spread throughout the world.

  • D.

    We can have personal testimonies of Christ and become witnesses for him.

    1. 1.

      A testimony comes through sincere study, prayer, and service.

    2. 2.

      Those who receive a testimony and are baptized covenant with the Lord to be witnesses for him.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Acts 1-8

Course Manual

Chapter 29, “Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith the Lord”

Standard Works

Acts 2:32. Of what were the Apostles witnesses?

2 Peter 1:13-18. Of what special thing did Peter bear witness, and how could he do so?

Acts 10:39-43. Of what special thing were the apostles to bear witness, and why?

1 Corinthians 15:3-8. What was Paul’s testimony to the Corinthians?

Joseph Smith 2:14-19, 25; D&C 76:11-24; 110:1-10. How did Joseph Smith bear witness of Christ?

John 15:26. 14:26; Moroni 10:3-5. What has the Lord promised those who honestly desire a witness of him?

John 6:63; D&C 18:33-36; 76:51-53. By what means may we receive a personal witness of the Savior?

Mosiah 18:8-13; D&C 88:81. Once we have received that witness, what is our responsibility?

Basic Library

DS, 1:228. Will the world be judged for how they accept the witness God sends?

Spencer W. Kimball in CR, Oct. 1972, pp. 30-31. How does a modern prophet bear his witness?

Boyd K. Packer in CR, Apr. 1971, pp. 122-25. How does a witness come?

DS, 1:307-15. What are the two great responsibilities of members of the Church?

Teachings, pp. 47-48. What conditions make the bearing of personal witness so urgently needed?

DS, 2:28-29. What are the consequences to those who fail to be witnesses?

DS, 1:42-48, 201-2. How can we gain a testimony of the Lord?

Additional Sources

Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Oct. 1974, pp. 3-14. What is our commission today in bearing witness of Christ?

David O. McKay in CR, Apr. 1939, p. 112. How did the early apostles receive a witness of the Lord?

David 0. McKay in CR, Apr. 1968, p. 6. What is the value of the “apostolic witness”?

Media Suggestions

Filmstrip (The Life of Paul, 1), Fulfillment of the Promise (14:43)

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Note to the Teacher

As you are aware, this is the first lesson for the 212 course “Ye Are My Witnesses.” The major objective of this lesson is to help each student understand his personal responsibility to be a living witness for the Savior. It is further hoped that this lesson will inspire the students to undertake a diligent study of Acts to Revelation, that they might gain insights into how the early saints fulfilled the challenge of being witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Overview of the Course

The teacher may wish to discuss with the students a brief overview of Acts to Revelation. This discussion could briefly cover the highlights of what the students will study throughout this course. This could include the following:

  1. 1.

    Peter’s courageous efforts to share his testimony.

  2. 2.

    The opening of the gospel to the gentiles.

  3. 3.

    Paul’s conversion and life of service

  4. 4.

    John’s witness from Patmos.

  5. 5.

    An overview of the political history of the times. (See New Testament chronological history in map section.)

“Unto the Uttermost Parts of the Earth” (A Discussion)

The teacher could discuss the meaning of Acts 1:8, using the interpretation given by President Spencer W. Kimball in the Ensign for October 1974, pp. 4-6. (See the last interaction box under Points to Ponder in the course manual; see also the introduction to 212.)

Witnesses for the Lord (Chalkboard Discussion)

  1. 1.

    What witnesses are there today for the gospel? The following diagram could be used:

    witnesses for the Lord
  2. 2

    The teacher may wish to use the scripture references under the study sources to answer:

    1. a.

      How can all of the above bear witness of the Lord?

    2. b.

      What is our responsibility to be a witness for the gospel? (Mosiah 18:8-10; 3 Nephi 18:24; DS, 1:307.)

    3. c.

      How can we receive a personal testimony?

The Lord Can Open the Way (A Discussion)

The teacher could discuss with the students the general effects of the apostolic witness by inviting students to name as many specific results as they can recall. For example, Acts 1:15; 2:41, 47; 4:4.

What is President Kimball’s faith about the spreading of the gospel today? (See course Manual 29-24.)

What can each of us do to help fulfill this charge to spread the gospel to the world? How could this course help us?

Acts 3:1-10 (Scripture Analysis)

Is there a modern-day application for this story? Consider the following:

  1. 1.

    Verses 1, 2. Are there people today who live close to those who have the gospel but are unaware of how to be healed?

  2. 2.

    Verses 3-6. Like Peter, though we may not be able to give “silver and gold,” what can we give? What did Peter mean by “such as I have give I thee”? How does this relate to testimony?

  3. 3.

    Verse 7. Besides simply encouraging this man with words, what did Peter do to lift him?

  4. 4.

    Verses 8-10. What spiritual blessing can we bring to our friends and neighbors?