“I Have Set Thee to Be a Light of the Gentiles”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 71–72


Through his servants the Lord extends an invitation to all men to become his chosen people.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The Lord uses witnesses to declare his word.

  • B.

    Paul’s preparation made him an effective witness.

    1. 1.

      This included study, fasting, and prayer.

    2. 2.

      It included a commission from the prophet.

    3. 3.

      It included a deep sense of personal commitment.

  • C.

    Modern disciples have been called to be witnesses for the Lord and a light to the world.

    1. 1.

      This requires effort, sacrifice, commitment, and dedication.

    2. 2.

      They assume the responsibility of answering for the way in which they fulfill their teaching stewardships.

  • D.

    Those who respond to the witness become the chosen people of the Lord and receive his covenants and blessings.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Acts 13:6 to Acts 18:23

Course Manual

Chapter 32, “I Have Set Thee to Be a Light of the Gentiles”

Standard Works

2 Corinthians 13:1. How has God designed to establish his word?

2 Corinthians 13:1. What is the divine law of witnesses?

Alma 12:28-30. Why does the Lord call witnesses?

John 8:12-19. What was the Lord’s rebuff when accused of breaking the divine law of witnesses?

1 Corinthians 9:16-24. What is the responsibility of the witness?

Jacob 1:17-19; Ezekiel 3:17-21; D&C 88:81, 82. What are the consequences if a witness does not show forth the light?

D&C 1:38, 39. How does the voice of the witness carry the authority of God’s own?

2 Nephi 27:14; D&C 84:94. What responsibility do people have to hear the word of the witness?

Mosiah 18:8-10. At what point does one covenant to be a witness?

Abraham 2:10. How does a person become one of the chosen?

Deuteronomy 26:17. What are the obligations of the chosen?

Basic Library

DS, 1:203-28. What is the divine law of witnesses?

Teachings, pp. 262-64. What does the Holy Ghost have to do with witnesses?

Teachings, p. 123. A prophecy that should give courage to missionaries.

Teachings, p. 311. What happens to those who do not use their knowledge to teach others?

Discourses, p. 432. Does the Lord leave his children without a witness?

DS, 3:244-46. How does one become chosen?

DS, 3:252-54. What obligation does Ephraimhave?

DS, 3:3-5. What must happen before the Second Coming?

DS, 1:307-24. Treatise on teachings and warning.

A of F, pp. 339-40. What is the house of Israel today?

Discourses, pp. 437-38. What is the effect of the Holy Ghost on a pure gentile?

Media Suggestions


(The Life of Paul, 4) A Missionary Plan Developed (17:33)

(The Life of Paul, 5) The Heart of the Gospel (17:20)


First Missionary Journey of Paul

Second Missionary Journey of Paul

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

The Need for Light to the Gentiles (Discussion Questions)

  1. 1.

    Could men know of God if the idea was never presented to them?

  2. 2.

    What is the original source of those remnants of truth still retained by primitive people?

  3. 3.

    How important are witnesses who not only know God but also know how others might come to know him?

These questions or others may be helpful in starting a discussion which could culminate in the reading of the following statement generally accredited to Joseph Smith:

“What testimony had the immediate descendents of Adam, in proof of the existence of God? The testimony of their father. And after they were made acquainted with his existence, by the testimony of their father, they were dependent upon the exercise of their own faith, for a knowledge of his character, perfections, and attributes.

“Had any other of the human family, besides Adam, a knowledge of the existence of God, in the first instance, by any other means than human testimony? They had not. For previous to the time that they could have power to obtain a manifestation for themselves, the all-important fact had been communicated to them by their common father; and so from father to child the knowledge was communicated as extensively as the knowledge of his existence was known; for it was by this means, in the first instance, that men had a knowledge of his existence.” (N. B. Lundwall, comp., A Compilation Containing the Lectures on Faith, Lecture Second, p. 25.)

Do not all have to be left without excuse? Is this not done by witnesses?

Chalkboard Presentation of Witnessing

What is the major responsibility of one who is to be a light, that others might find their way to the true and living God?

In the following illustration of the importance of the teaching and testimony of witnesses, the numbers indicate the order in which the teacher would draw and explain the parts. For instance, he would write The Lord on the chalkboard and explain that God is the possessor of all truth, wisdom, and power of redemption. Then he would draw an arrow and write Holy Ghost and explain the function of the Holy Ghost in conveying knowledge and bearing witness to it. And so on. The numbers indicate the suggested order in which the diagram is placed on the board.

the importance of teaching and testimony of witnesses

How does the testimony of the living prophet coupled with that of a modern disciple of Christ fulfill the divine law of witnesses to individuals in the world?

Paul Fulfilled His Role as a light to the Gentiles (An Analysis)

What was unique about Paul’s missionary approach? Can the following points be compared to modern teachers and missionaries?

  1. 1.

    He was able to adapt himself to whatever circumstances in which he found himself (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

  2. 2.

    He put his Jewish background to excellent use in preaching first to Jew then to gentile (Acts 13:5, 15; 14:1; 17:1, 17).

  3. 3.

    He did not give up when Jews rejected him; he then went to gentiles.

  4. 4.

    He skillfully took advantage of local conditions, even when they appeared adverse (Acts 17:22-31).

  5. 5.

    He honored those who set him apart (Galatians 2:2).

  6. 6.

    He used his Roman citizenship to serve the kingdom of God (Acts 22:25-28).