Come Follow Me - New Testament
“The Lord Had Called Us for to Preach the Gospel”
- As members of the Church, we testify of Jesus Christ and
share His gospel.
- We are the offspring of God.
- Baptism must be followed by receiving the gift of the Holy
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the Scriptures at LDS.org.
Lesson Handout (PDF)
As Members of the Church, We Testify of Jesus Christ and
Share His Gospel
16:6-10. Paul directed by the Spirit.
- WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THESE VERSES?
- The missionary work is directed by the Spirit.
- HOW HAS THE SPIRIT DIRECTED YOUR EFFORTS TO SERVE THE LORD?
- During the two year period of my mission, I enjoyed many experiences
where the Spirit moved us in powerful ways. I recall one particular
afternoon out tracting. As often happened on Oklahoma summer afternoons, a
storm started brewing. The clouds were growing dark and it started to
sprinkle. I learned that one did not always have a lot of time before the
clouds broke loose and a downpour followed that might drench one caught in
the storm. On this afternoon we decided it was time to get back to the car
where we would be safe and dry from the storm. It was late enough that we
were ready to return to our apartment for dinner. Before returning to the
car, we felt compelled to visit one more house, though we knew we might get
caught in the storm.
We went ahead to the house, climbed the steps onto the porch, and
knocked on the door. A young lady opened. We gave her the usual greeting and
she invited us in. She was a single mother. We proceeded to give her the
first discussion. She listened intently, attempting to answer our questions,
but saying little else. As we neared the end of the discussion, she said to
us that she had been feeling the need to attend church and had been praying
to know which church to join. Over the next few weeks we continued our
discussions and had the privilege of baptizing her.
It has often amazed me since, how many times we were ready to end our
tracting for the morning or afternoon and were moved to go just a little
further. Time after time, in such circumstances, we found people that were
interested in hearing our message. Sometimes we only planted seeds. Other
times we yielded a harvest, as we did with the young woman we found on that
rainy summer afternoon.
- Orson Pratt: "No man can fill a mission
acceptably before the heavens, unless God should give to him revelation,
from time to time, to direct him in all his missionary labors. We have
abundant testimony in the New Testament concerning this matter. Even when
some of the very greatest revelators that we have any record of undertook to
do things of their own accord, they were led directly different from their
own judgments, in regard to their missionary labors. Paul had, at a certain
time, a great desire to visit a certain place; such desire arose from his
own natural judgment; but the Holy Ghost forbade him. Here it required a new
revelation to know whether his own inclinations should be followed or not.
Again, we find that the revelations of the Most High were very necessary in
the case of the travels of these missionaries among the inhabitants of the
earth. Philip had done a great work in the city of Samaria. He had succeeded
in convincing large numbers, concerning Jesus, and had baptized them, and
organized a great church in the city of Samaria. One would have thought that
after having performed labors of such magnitude, he would be required to
stay among that people, and administer to them; but no; the Lord gave a new
revelation to the man Philip. He said, 'Arise, and go toward the south unto
the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.' In other
words, 'Leave your present field of labor; you can do more good somewhere
else.' Now, a man left to his own judgment, without new revelation, would
not want to go somewhere else; his own inclinations would be to stay where
so many had received his testimony. But no; the Spirit of God thought
differently." (Journal of Discourses, 21:306)
- Preach My Gospel says the following about the importance of the
Holy Ghost in teaching the gospel (Preach My Gospel, p.3):
- Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is the “power
of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16), the
message of the Restoration of the gospel must be taught by divine power—the
power of the Holy Ghost, who is the third member of the Godhead. He is often
called the Spirit, and one of His roles is to teach and testify of the
truth. As you teach by that power, the Holy Ghost will:
- Teach you new truths and bring the doctrine you
have studied to your remembrance (see John 14:26).
- Give you words to speak in the very moment you need them (see Doctrine
and Covenants 84:85).
- Carry your message to the hearts of the people you teach (see 2 Nephi
- Testify of the truthfulness of your message and confirm your words
(see Doctrine and Covenants 100:5–8).
- Help you discern the needs of the people you are teaching (see Alma
16:14-15. Conversion of Lydia.
- HOW IS IT THAT THE LORD OPENS THE HEARTS OF SOME, BUT NOT OTHERS?
- HOW DOES HE DO THAT? HOW IS AGENCY INVOLVED?
16:16-24. Paul imprisoned.
- WHY WERE PAUL AND HIS COMPANIONS ARRESTED IN THYATIA?
- They cast the evil spirit out of the damsel. By doing so she was no
longer able to continue the practice of divination. Her masters were upset
when they saw their ability to obtain money through her practice was
- WHAT IS DIVINATION?
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "False religions -- whose
ministers have no communion with Deity -- frequently imitate the true
practice by engaging in divination. This practice is an attempt to foretell
the future by augeries, omens, presages, or forebodings. Among primitive
peoples it frequently meant interpreting dreams or other signs or seeking
peculiarities in the entrails of sacrificial victims. A diviner is one who
attempts to foretell the future by divination. Soothsayers act by the
'spirit of divination.' (Acts 16:16-18.) The Lord's people are commanded not
to engage in divination of any sort. (Deut. 18:9-14.)" (Mormon
- DO WE SEE THIS HAPPENING TODAY? DO SOME WHO ATTEMPT TO DISRUPT THE WORK OF
THE LORD DO SO BECAUSE IT MAY AFFECT THEIR MEANS OF MAKING A LIVING?
- It is sometimes seen among ministers of other faiths who see their
congregations dwindle as members of their flock join the Church. This was
seen time after time during the early days of the great missionary work in
16:25-26. Paul and his companions freed.
16:27-34. Conversion of the prison guard.
- HOW DID PAUL AND SILAS USE THIS EXPERIENCE AS A MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITY?
- They could have let the keeper of the prison kill himself and walk out,
but they let him know that they were still present, thus opening the door to
his conversion. They were more concerned about the guard than their freedom
- We need to be looking for missionary opportunities everywhere. We never
know when they may come. It often happens in the course of adversity. If we
are led by the Spirit, we will be alert to such opportunities. We cannot let
challenges or adversity shade our eyes to opportunity.
- It has often been said, that when one encounters lemons, make lemonade.
Another favorite saying of mine reads, "Out of every
adversity grows an equal or greater opportunity."
- Harriet Beecher Stowe said, "When you get into a
tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you
could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the
place and time that the tide will turn."
When Elders Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Orson Hyde and others
opened the British mission they encountered a horrible vision of the legions
of the adversary. Heber said of this occasion, "By
this time the adversary of souls began to rage, and he felt determined to
destroy us before we had fully established the kingdom of God in that land,
and the next morning I witnessed a scene of satanic power and influence
which I shall never forget" (Life of Heber C. Kimball, p129). Isaac
Russell called out to Heber during this attack, "Brother
Kimball, I want you should get up and pray for me that I may be delivered
from the evil spirits that are tormenting me to such a degree that I feel I
cannot live long, unless I obtain relief" (Ibid., p129).
"Years later, narrating the experience of that
awful morning to the Prophet Joseph, Heber asked him what it all meant, and
whether there was anything wrong with him that he should have such a
"'No, Brother Heber,' he replied, 'at that time you were nigh unto the
Lord; there was only a veil between you and Him, but you could not see Him.
When I heard of it, it gave me great joy, for I then knew that the work of
God had taken root in that land. It was this that caused the devil to make a
struggle to kill you.'
"Joseph then related some of his own experience, in many contests he
had had with the evil one, and said: 'The nearer a person approaches the
Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the
accomplishment of His purposes'" (Ibid., pp131-132). Following this
incident, these missionaries taught and baptized 2000 new Saints prior to
Heber Kimball's return to the United States several months later.
- The Lord is involved in this work. It may not be easy or convenient, but
the Lord will guide those who serve him.
17:1-3. Paul testifies that Jesus is the Christ.
- Jesus Christ was the center of Paul's teaching .
- WHY SHOULD CHRIST BE AT THE HEART OF THE TESTIMONY WE BEAR?
- It is his church.
- He is the father of our salvation.
- Without him we have no hope.
See the next section, We Are the Offspring of God,
for Paul's discourse on Mars Hill in Athens found in Acts 17.
"After returning from his second mission, Paul spent some
time in Antioch and then departed on a third mission. He first went
through Galatia and Phyrgia, then spent three years in Ephesus. The work of God
grew mightily during this time, but opposition stiffened as Paul's preaching
against false gods threatened the lucrative business of silversmiths who sold
small silver shrines for Diana, pagan goddess of Asia Minor. Realizing the
bitterness of the hostility toward him, Paul decided to leave Ephesus. He called
together the disciples, embraced them, then left for Macedonia.
"After giving 'much exhortation' in the cities of Macedonia (Acts 20:2),
Paul went to Greece for three months. He then started the long journey back to
Jerusalem, traveling again through Macedonia. He had hoped to arrive in
Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost, but threats against his life caused him to
take a slower route. When he reached Miletus, he sent a messenger to Ephesus to
ask the Church leaders there to come and meet him. He delivered a stirring
farewell address, then resumed his journey, stopping frequently to strengthen
the churches along the way.
"During his third mission Paul wrote a letter to the Saints in Galatia,
warning them against false teachings and stressing the central role of Christ's
atonement."(Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual 1989/1995 , p31)
See second section below, Baptism Must Be Followed
By Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, for discussion of this account
found in Acts 19.
19:8-9. Paul leaves the synagogue to preach in the school of Tyrannus.
- WHY DID PAUL LEAVE THE SYNAGOGUE IN EPHESUS?
- Some of his listeners became "hardened, and
believed not, but spake evil of that way" (v9).
- HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND WHEN WE MEET PEOPLE WHO OPENLY OPPOSE THE GOSPEL?
- As a young student in high school, I belonged to the debate club for two
years. I enjoyed crafting an argument and winning a debate. I carried some
of that spirit of debate with me as I began my mission. I was thrilled,
because the Lord had provided such incredible evidence. How could I lose?
I quickly learned that clever arguments did not win souls. I came to
learn that we wanted to present the gospel in a logical way, but then allow
the Spirit to touch hearts and change minds. I also learned that when debate
and contention entered the room, the Spirit left.
A few months into my mission, my companion and I were tracting through
a rural town in eastern Oklahoma. We came to a house and introduced
ourselves. The lady said that she, her family, and some of her friends would
be interested in hearing our message. We set an appointment for an evening
A few days later my companion and I returned to the home, only to
discover that we had been set up. Not only did the woman have her family and
friends present, but her minister was there and a tape recorder had been set
up to record our discussion.
We began to present our message and the minister argued with us on
every point. We could see that the others enjoyed seeing us squirm and
struggle. Then I felt prompted to ask the minister where he obtained his
authority to teach the gospel. He did a poor job of explaining how he had
been ordained. For the benefit of those present, I then traced my line of
authority back to Jesus Christ. I bore solemn testimony of the restoration
of this priesthood authority. After bearing this testimony, we felt prompted
to end our visit.
Like Paul's departure from the synagogue, we left this home. Debate and
contention was not right. We did not feel right about being in that
situation. We were prompted to leave after bearing testimony.
Since that night, I have often wondered if one of the young people
present in that home on that night, heard our honest, sincere testimonies
and were touched. Did they go back and listen to the recording and hear two
young missionaries pour out their hearts? Did they wonder what prompted such
- "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath
the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the
father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with
anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the
hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that
such things should be done away." (3 Nephi 11:29-30)
- Elder Marvin J. Ashton: "When others disagree with
our stand we should not argue, retaliate in kind, or contend with them....
Ours is to explain our position through reason, friendly persuasion, and
accurate facts. Ours is to stand firm and unyielding on the moral issues of
the day and the eternal principles of the gospel, but to contend with no man
or organization. Contention builds walls and puts up barriers. Love opens
doors.... Contention never was and never will be an ally of progress." (General
Conference, April 1978)
19:23-28. Silversmith's craft threatened.
- WHY WERE DEMETRIUS AND THE EPHESIAN SILVERSMITHS SO UPSET WITH PAUL?
- People are motivated by economics. The Ephesian silversmiths were
dependent on their sale of shrines for their income. It had become a
lucrative venture. When Paul came into town and started preaching against
false gods, these men became concerned about their income.
- HOW CAN WORLDLY INTERESTS LEAD PEOPLE TO OPPOSE THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
- The Ephesian silversmiths are a great example as their livelihood would
be affected by the decreased sale of shrines as people joined the church and
began to live the gospel.
- Consider the case of W.F. Magraw. Magraw held a lucrative contract from
the government to carry the mail from Independence to Salt Lake City. He
lost his bid to retain the contract when Hyrum Kimball and the Y. X. Company
(a Mormon firm) underbid Magraw.
Like the Ephesian silversmiths, he began to cry out against the Church
and sent the following communication to President Buchanan in October 1856: "There
is no disguising the fact that there is left no vestige of law and order, no
protection for life or property; the civil laws of the territory are
overshadowed and neutralized by a so-styled ecclesiastical organization, as
despotic, dangerous, and damnable, as has ever been known to exist in any
country, and which is ruining, not only those who do not subscribe to their
religious code, but is driving the moderate and more orderly of the Mormon
community to desperation" (Comprehensive History of the Church,
4:210). This letter, along with other accusations against the Mormons, led
to the Utah War.
- HOW CAN OUR OWN MATERIAL INTERESTS AFFECT OUR LOYALTY TO THE LORD?
- Do we engage in an occupation that is dependent on a product or service
that would cause others to violate laws of God?
- What will be the result of business dealings with good members of the
Church? What happens if the venture turns bad?
- Are we responsible for a business that leads ourselves or others to
violate the Sabbath day?
- Do we have material interests that take precedence over the payment of
tithes and offerings?
- Indeed, we must be careful. Our first loyalty must be to the Lord. If we
are living a Christ centered life, then we will do our best to make the
proper choices in regards to our material interests.
- We read in Acts of those who had practiced magic arts: "And
many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them
also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them
before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty
thousand pieces of silver" (Acts 19:18-19).
- These people would not let their material possessions or interests stand
in the way of their conversion. They gave up their craft and sacrificed
their valuable books.
As he was returning to Jerusalem, Paul sent a messenger to Ephesus to ask the
Church leaders to meet with in in Miletus. There he delivered a farewell
20:28-31. Paul warns against apostasy.
- WHAT IS PAUL WARNING THE ELDERS OF EPHESUS ABOUT?
- FROM WHAT SOURCES WOULD APOSTASY COME? WHO WERE THESE GRIEVOUS WOLVES?
- Members of the Church who would apostatize and try to lead other members
- HOW CAN WE GUARD AGAINST APOSTASY IN OUR LIVES?
20:35-38. Paul's final comments to the people at Ephesus.
- "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
- Great love was shown to Paul, he who brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to
At the conclusion of Paul's third mission (about A.D. 58), he returned to
Jerusalem for his fifth and last visit.
- "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren
received us gladly." (v17)
After reporting on his mission, the Jerusalem brethren, lead by James (the
Lord's brother), was presented with a grave problem that was increased by his
presence in the city.
- The problem: Many of the Jewish Christians were upset by Paul's teaching
that salvation came through Christ alone, not through the Law of Moses.
- Twenty-five years after the death of Jesus Christ and thousands of
Jewish Christians were still adhering to the Law of Moses.
- It still was not clear to these Jerusalem Jews that the Law of Moses was
no longer necessary after the death and resurrection of the Master.
- Paul did not impose the requirements of the Law of Moses, such as
circumcision, upon the Gentiles. Neither did he forbid the Jews from their
practice of the Law, though they needed to understand that salvation came
through Christ alone.
In an attempt to placate the Jewish Christians, and hold the church together,
Paul agreed to place himself under a vow, go to the temple, and undergo the full
ritual cleansing as required by the Law of Moses.
- This included seven days of purification and sacrifice.
- Paul knew that these practices were no longer necessary and yet he agreed
to this Mosaic ritual. He was filled with the spirit of Christ and had a great
desire for peace within the church. By not complying with the request, he may
have alienated many of the Jewish Christians. Possibly, he hoped to eventually
bring them to an understanding that the duties under the Law of Moses were no
- As we read of Paul's conciliatory spirit, I am reminded of an incident
during the early days of the British mission led by Heber C. Kimball. The
following is from Heber's journal: "The effect of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ now began to be apparent, not only in the hearts of
believers, but likewise in the hearts of those who rejected it. Our meeting in
Preston being disturbed by the Methodist ministers, we got our hall licensed,
and two gentlemen named Joseph Brown and Arthur Burrows, who were policemen,
proffered their services to preserve the peace, and protect us from any
further disturbance; which they continued to do as long as we stayed in that
land. Many began to persecute us for preaching without a license from the
authority of the nation. This idea of obtaining a license from the secular
authority was somewhat novel to us; but after consulting our friends ... we
found it was according to the laws of England. Brothers Hyde and I therefore
made application to the Quarter Sessions and obtained licenses....
"Having now obeyed the requisitions of the law, we
felt ourselves tolerably secure, knowing that our enemies could not lawfully
harm us. I wrote to Brother Richards that I had taken the oath to be true to
Her Majesty and see that the laws were executed, also the abjurgation oath
provided for foreigners who were not naturalized, and obtained a license as a
preacher of the Gospel; and recommended him to do the same at Bedford: but
they made him take the oath of allegiance before they granted him his license
to preach. After we had obtained our licenses, to our surprise we found there
were only a few licensed preachers in Preston; and when they abused me I told
them if they did not cease their abuse I would see the laws put in force
according to the oaths I had taken; and this generally silenced them." (quoted
in Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp159-160)
- Though Elder Kimball and his brethren saw no need to obtain the license,
they went ahead and did so, including an oath to be true to Queen Victoria, in
an effort to stay on the good side of the law so that they might further the
work of the ministry. To keep harmony in the church and further the work, Paul
made a gesture he did not feel was necessary. As long as we remain true to the
principles of the gospel, there is no reason why we cannot have flexibility in
order to build the kingdom.
Perhaps the greatest cause of internal conflict in the early church was the
issue as to whether Jewish Christians should continue to abide by the Law of
Moses or embrace the higher law that Jesus taught.
- WHY DO YOU THINK THE PEOPLE SO STRONGLY RESISTED GIVING UP THE LESSER LAW
FOR THE GREATER ONE?
- People naturally resist change.
- There was a certain comfort and security in the Law which they would
- There is greater responsibility within the gospel framework to live a
righteous life. Which is easier to comply with: Paying 10% or loving your
neighbor? Tithing is a specific law fulfilled by doing a specific thing,
paying 10% of one's income to the Lord. It is easy to write on my To Do List
"pay tithing" and then check it off. It is much more difficult to do the
same with loving one's neighbor. What do you do? When do you get to check it
off? Many of the Jews were spiritual children. It was easier for them to
understand the specifics of the Law than to love one's neighbor or let their
- DO WE TEND TO HOLD ON TO THE OLD AND RESIST CHANGES THE LORD HAS ASKED US
TO MAKE? IF SO, HOW IS THIS MANIFEST?
- HOW IS THIS AFFECTING US?
- HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THIS?
Paul seized by a Jewish mob.
- Near the end of the seven days of purification, certain Jews from Asia who
had come to the Feast of Pentecost recognized Paul in the Temple.
- Earlier they had seen Paul in the streets of Jerusalem with Trophimus, an
- Not being supporters of Paul, they imagined (jumped to the conclusion)
that they saw Paul in the Temple with Trophimus. Bringing a Gentile into the
Temple was an offense worthy of death.
- These Asian Jews seized him and raised a cry against him.
- "And all the city was moved, and the people ran
together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith
the doors were shut.And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto
the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar." (v30-31)
- Paul was rescued by Roman soldiers under Claudius Lysias, the Tribune in
command. The sight of the troops caused the mob to stop beating Paul.
- Paul requested the privilege of speaking to the mob (v39). Lysias
gave his consent.
Paul was a bold and fearless missionary that spread the gospel of Jesus
Christ. WHAT IS OUR REPSONSIBILITY? WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?
- President Joseph Fielding Smith: "Every member of
the Church should be a missionary; not necessarily to go forth into the world,
but to preach the gospel to our neighbors and friends who are not in the
Church. Moreover, by our example and our faithfulness to every commandment the
Lord has given us to show our friends and the strangers within our gates the
way to eternal life through our actions as well as through our words, that is,
to be humble missionaries and advocates of the truth in our daily acts and
conversations." (Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:55)
- We need to be as enthusiastic and diligent in the fulfillment of this duty
as Paul was in fulfilling his duty as a missionary following his conversion.
One thing I know, I need to be a better member missionary, both in example and
testimony. If we all "lengthen our stride" in this regard, I believe we would
see a profound difference in membership growth.
We Are the Offspring of God
- Notes on Athens:
- Areopagus, also known as Mars' Hill.
- A rocky eminence in Athens, separated from the west of the Acropolis
by a raised valley.
- Mythology made it the scene of the god Mars' trial before the gods, at
Poseidon's accusation, for murdering the son of the latter.
- Here judges sat, in criminal and religious cases, in the open air.
- Nearby was the temple of Mars, the Parthenon of Minerva, and the
sanctuary of Eumenides, and the temple of Theseus.
- WHO WERE THESE EPICUREANS AND STOICS?
- Epicurean philosophy: The world came into existence by chance and was
without either purpose or design. The highest good to which man could
attain was that which brought him the greatest pleasure or the greatest
absence of pain. It did not advocate wholesale licentiousness, but rather
those enjoyments which gave to man the longest and fullest personal
satisfactions. (Life & Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles, p265)
- Stoic philosophy: It recognized a supreme governing power in the
universe. The true stoic is he who accepts conditions as he finds them
rather than changes them to be as he wishes them to be. (Ibid., p265)
- WHY DID THE PHILOSOPHERS IN ATHENS GRANT PAUL AN AUDIENCE?
- They were curious.
- "For all the Athenians and strangers which were
there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some
new thing." (v21)
- HOW DO YOU THINK THEIR MOTIVES FOR HEARING PAUL AFFECTED THEIR RESPONSE TO
- Many times on my mission I encountered those who "spent their time in
nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing." Early in my
mission I was assigned to the hill country of eastern Oklahoma. It was a
rural, wooded area dotted with towns of only a few hundred each. Mission
resources were such, that we began our service in that area without a car.
The members were wonderful about giving us rides, but not always available.
Our residence was about ten miles out of town.
One fall afternoon, we had been into town and decided to tract our way
back to our residence. The homes were few and far between. We stopped at a
humble home, a little better than a log cabin, and were pleased when we were
invited to sit on the porch and visit with the man of the house. His
hospitality was such, that he set his wife to cooking dinner for us. Though
he was a pleasant fellow, like the Athenians, he just wanted to talk,
debate, and "hear some new thing." His mind was not open. He lived a simple
life in the woods and he didn't want anything to change it. He loved to talk
and that seemed to be his preferred entertainment.
17:22-31. Paul's discourse on Mars' Hill.
- WHAT DID PAUL TEACH THE CURIOUS ATHENIANS ABOUT GOD?
- God is the creator of the world and all things therein.
- President David O. McKay: "Inseparable
with the idea of a Divine Personal Being is the acceptance of Him as the
Creator of the world. True Christianity does not look upon the universe as
the result of mere interaction of matter and motion, of law and force,
but, on the contrary, it regards all creation as the product of a Divine
Intelligence 'who made the world and all things therein.' As one writer
puts it: 'This is what Christianity means by a personal God. It believes
that all existence has its roots in a conscious and intelligent purpose
and that this purpose is good'." (General Conference, April 1944)
- He gives life to all things.
- He is not worshipped with men's hands - graven images.
- We are the offspring of God.
- President Marion G. Romney: "The Almighty
is not alone in his eternal glory. Myriads of saved souls enjoy his
society. Family relationships prevail there; spirit offspring are born
there; our spirits were born there. Modern revelation affirms the fact
that all the inhabitants of the worlds are the begotten sons and
daughters unto God. God our Heavenly Father is in fact and reality the
father of our spirits. We are 'his offspring' as Paul declared in his
great speech on Mars’ hill." (General Conference, October 1974)
- The world will be judged by his Son who has been raised from the dead.
- Joseph Smith: "God has appointed a day in
which He will judge the world, and this He has given an assurance of in
that He raised up His Son Jesus Christ from the dead—the point on which
the hope of all who believe the inspired record is found for their future
happiness and enjoyment; because, 'If Christ be not raised,' said Paul to
the Corinthians, 'your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins'." (TPJS,
- HOW DOES AN UNDERSTANDING OF GOD'S TRUE NATURE HELP US WORSHIP AND LOVE
HIM? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT UNDERSTANDING MAKE IN YOUR LIFE?
- If we are his offspring, that means that we are created in his image. It
implies that we can become like him. We love God as our Father and honor and
worship him for his goodness.
- How can we love a graven image or some nebulous being?
17:32-34. Reaction of the Athenians.
- After delivering his discourse, there were some who mocked.
- HOW CAN WE HELP PEOPLE WHO REJECT THE GOSPEL BECAUSE THEY DO NOT THINK
THAT THE ATONEMENT, RESURRECTION, FIRST VISION, OR SOME OTHER DOCTRINE IS
- There are many things that we can do. We need to learn to love in an
unselfish way. We should become their friends, not because we hope to gain a
convert, but because they are our eternal brothers and sisters. We may
prepare the way for the Spirit to influence them.
- Shortly after arriving in a new area in eastern Oklahoma, I had the
privilege of seeing several members of a family baptized into the Church.
The oldest daughter of the family (I will refer to her as Jackie), a
teenager in high school, refused to accept the message and was antagonistic
towards us and the gospel. We continued to fellowship and work with the
family, but we could not change the mind of this young lady.
As the family began to attend the local branch, Jackie became
acquainted with a teenage girl from a member family. They became good
friends and began to do things together. This member girl became a friend to
Jackie and in the process softened her heart towards the Church, the
missionaries, and the gospel message. One evening, we went over to the home
of this member family and found Jackie visiting. Her heart had been changed.
She began to ask honest questions for which she truly wanted answers. She
asked how she could know if she had faith. It gave us an opportunity to
discuss the 32nd
chapter of Alma and this incredible discourse on faith. Jackie, her
heart now open to hearing the message, tried an experiment upon the word and
within weeks we had the privilege of seeing her baptized.
- We don't always have the same results, but if we truly love our
neighbors as brothers and sisters, we will continue to be their friends. We
will help them when the need arises. They won't just be a missionary
project, but we will grow to love them as our own families. We don't reject
family members just because they cease to be active in the Church. We
continue to love them with all our heart. Why should it be any different
with our spiritual brothers and sisters?
- Shortly after returning from my mission, I had the opportunity of going
to Temple Square with a good friend, his girlfriend (a recent convert), and
his girlfriend's sister. We walked around Temple Square and went through the
Visitor's Center. As we were riding home, the non-member sister said to me
that she liked a lot of things about the Church. The thing that bothered her
was Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I attempted to explain to her, that
all the great things that she saw in the Church were the results of what
happened to Joseph Smith. Intellectually I could not convince her that the
Church is true. The only way that one can come to know the validity of the
gospel is through the manifestation of the Spirit. We can become instruments
of the Lord in softening hearts and preparing minds to accept the
ministrations of the Holy Ghost.
- "And my speech and my preaching was not with
enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the
power of God....
"But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit
searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which
is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged
of no man.
"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But
we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, 10-16)
Baptism Must Be Followed By Receiving
the Gift of the Holy Ghost
Paul goes to Ephesus and finds disciples of John who had not yet received the
- READ ACTS
19:1-7. Paul confers the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- This verse provides Biblical evidence that the gift of the Holy Ghost is
given by the laying on of hands.
- Elder Russell M. Nelson: "That doctrine is
clarified by another scriptural witness, conveyed through the Lord's prophet
of the Restoration. He taught us to 'believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost
by the laying on of hands.' That precious and powerful gift is again
available to children of God." (General Conference, October 2007)
- Elder Boyd K. Packer: "The pattern was set,
as it had been from the beginning. Entrance into the Church of Jesus Christ
is through 'baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.' Then, in a
separate ordinance, the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred 'by
the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel
and administer in the ordinances'." (General Conference, April 2000)
- WHAT SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATIONS OCCURRED WHEN SOME OF THE EPHESIANS RECEIVED
THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST?
- "They spake with tongues, and prophesied" (v6).
- WHAT MANIFESTATIONS OF THE HOLY GHOST ARE EXPERIENCED TODAY?
- As we live worthy, we are entitled to the manifestations of the Spirit
as they are needed. In the 10th chapter of Moroni, that great ancient
prophet gives a list of the gifts of God that are administered through the
manifestations of the Spirit to which we may be entitled. The quiet
promptings we receive, that guide us in our daily lives, are the most
frequent gifts of the Spirit to be found in the modern Church. Other gifts
are manifest when needed.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
We are blessed and privileged to live in the latter days and partake of the
restored gospel. We know that the Second Coming is drawing near. What will we do
with the knowledge we possess? When Paul learned the truth, he became an
enthusiastic missionary. If we truly love the Lord and his gospel, we will
endeavor to spread the truth and support the missionary effort, even when we
sometimes grow weary.
Record your thoughts on Paul's missionary labors and his teachings. How can you better follow in the footsteps of Paul?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Answers to Gospel Questions, Volume 4, by Joseph Fielding Smith
Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H. Roberts
Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual (1989/1995)
Journal of Discourses
Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie
Preach My Gospel
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding
The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (Religion 211-212 Student
This outline is provided as supplementary material and is not
intended to replace the official lesson manual. It is not endorsed by The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am wholly responsible for the content.
I do my best to see that the content is in
harmony with the teachings and doctrine of the Church.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
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