Day 18 August 27 - John 20-Acts 4

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Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. - 1 John 5:13

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. - John 1:7

For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved. - 1 Nephi 6:4

And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant; - Mormon 5:14

Scripture Reference: John 20: 30,31

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


Son of God

It does not appear from the Gospels that our Lord frequently applied this title to himself (but see Matt. 27: 43; Luke 22: 70; John 5: 25; John 9: 35-37; John 10: 36; John 11: 4), though we often find it used by others in speaking to him (e.g., Matt. 14: 33; Matt. 16: 16; Luke 4: 41; John 1: 49; John 11: 27); and of him (Mark 1: 1; John 3: 18; John 20: 31). But there is ample proof that he claimed to be the Son of God in a sense that was true of him and of no one else (e.g., see Matt. 11: 27 [ = Luke 10: 22]; Mark 13: 32). He speaks of himself as Son of God, and of others as sons of God, but there is not a single passage in which the sonship of others is spoken of as being the same thing as his own. So too he speaks of "my Father" and "your Father," but never of "our Father." (The Lord’s Prayer is no exception, as it was intended for the disciples’ use.) There is a consistency in scripture, ancient and modern, that Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God the Father, being the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. See Jacob 4: 5; D&C 20: 21; Moses 6: 52, 54, 57.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Cornerstones of Our Faith," Ensign, Nov 1984, 50

We have basic cornerstones on which this great latter-day church has been established by the Lord and built, "fitly framed together." They are absolutely fundamental to this work, the very foundation, anchors on which it stands. I should like to speak briefly of these four essential cornerstones which anchor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I mention first the chief cornerstone, whom we recognize and honor as the Lord Jesus Christ. The second is the vision given the Prophet Joseph Smith when the Father and the Son appeared to him. The third is the Book of Mormon, which speaks as a voice from the dust with the words of ancient prophets declaring the divinity and reality of the Savior of mankind. The fourth is the priesthood with all of its powers and authority, whereby men act in the name of God in administering the affairs of his kingdom.

May I comment on each of these. Absolutely basic to our faith is our testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who under a divine plan was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He grew in Nazareth as the carpenter’s son, within him the elements of both mortality and immortality received, respectively, from his earthly mother and his Heavenly Father. In the course of his brief earthly ministry, he walked the dusty roads of Palestine healing the sick, causing the blind to see, raising the dead, teaching doctrines both transcendent and beautiful. He was, as Isaiah had prophesied, "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." (Isa. 53:3.) He reached out to those whose burdens were heavy and invited them to cast their burdens upon him, declaring, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:30.) He "went about doing good," and was hated for it. (Acts 10:38.) His enemies came against him. He was seized, tried on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy the cries of the mob, and condemned to die on Calvary’s cross.

The nails pierced his hands and feet, and he hung in agony and pain, giving himself a ransom for the sins of all men. He died crying, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34.)

He was buried in a borrowed tomb and on the third day rose from the grave. He came forth triumphant, in a victory over death, the firstfruits of all that slept. With his resurrection came the promise to all men that life is everlasting, that even as in Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive. (See 1 Cor. 15:20–22.) Nothing in all of human history equals the wonder, the splendor, the magnitude, or the fruits of the matchless life of the Son of God, who died for each of us. He is our Savior. He is our Redeemer. As Isaiah foretold, "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isa. 9:6.)

He is the chief cornerstone of the church which bears his name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is no other name given among men whereby we can be saved. (See Acts 4:12.) He is the author of our salvation, the giver of eternal life. (See Heb. 5:9.) There is none to equal him. There never has been. There never will be. Thanks be to God for the gift of his Beloved Son, who gave his life that we might live, and who is the chief, immovable cornerstone of our faith and his church.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Son of God," Ensign, Dec 1992, 2

Adapted from an address given at the new mission presidents’ seminar, 23 June 1992

He submitted Himself, and they took Him and in mockery crowned Him with a crown of platted thorns and placed a purple robe on His back. Without mercy, and with hatred vile and intemperate, they beat Him and scourged Him and cried out for His crucifixion. He had done no evil. He had done only good, and in greater measure than any man before Him had ever done. Yet they cried for His death.

He staggered under the weight of the cross on which He was to hang. They nailed His quivering flesh to the unyielding wood. They mocked Him as He hung in agony.
While suffering, He forgave them. He cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46.) And then He died for each of us.

In dying, He brought about the redemption of mankind. None can fully comprehend the extent and wonder and majesty of that sacrifice in our behalf. Suffice it to say, He became our Redeemer.

His body was dressed and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. The tomb was sealed, and the guards were set. But no force beneath the heavens could now hold back the power of the Son of God. It was as if His Almighty Father could stand no more. The earth trembled. The guards fled. The stone was moved. The Lord of heaven and earth arose from the bier, shook off the burial clothes, and stepped forth to become the firstfruits of them that slept. The empty tomb bore testimony of this greatest of all miracles. With the appearance of the risen Lord first to Mary and then to many others, even to upwards of five hundred, came the undeniable testimony of His everlasting power over life and death.

And now, in this dispensation, comes the added and wonderful testimony of the Book of Mormon. It portrays the tremendous events that occurred in the western hemisphere when the earth trembled at His dying. There was destruction and darkness and weeping and death.

And there gathered a multitude round about the temple in the land Bountiful who marveled at the great changes that had taken place and at the terrible destructions which they had witnessed. And "they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn." (3 Ne. 11:3.)
And the voice came again, and yet a third time, "and it said unto them:
"Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
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John 20:17 I am not yet ascended to my Father

Spencer W. Kimball

“…we as members of the Church also stand in jeopardy if we do not do our temple work. Much of our time is taken up with the mundane details of everyday living, which must be done, of course; but those who are members of His kingdom at this critical time should endeavor to give much time and effort to this important work.

“These things of eternity pertaining to the spirit world and the hereafter were on the mind of the Savior when he was crucified. This is reflected in his statement to the repentant thief, which has puzzled many people: ‘…To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.’

“You will remember also that when the woman came to the tomb of the buried Savior, the Savior was not in his tomb. When he met her in the garden, he said, ‘Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father [in heaven]: but … I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’ (John 20:17.) He had still not been to see his Heavenly Father, so he hadn’t gone directly to the heaven we think of. He had gone some other place.” (“The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?” Ensign, Jan. 1977, 5)

Theodore M. Burton

“If Jesus wasn’t with his Father in heaven during that time, where was he and what did he do?

“During that period between death and resurrection, Jesus went into the spirit world, as he had promised the thieves on the cross. There he organized the preaching of the gospel to the spirits in prison.” (“Neither Cryptic Nor Hidden,” Ensign, May 1977, 28)

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John 20:19-21 The Apostles see the resurrected Lord

Joseph Smith

“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.” (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 3:30)

Gordon B. Hinckley

“Can anyone doubt the veracity of that account? No event of history has been more certainly confirmed. There is the testimony of all who saw and felt and spoke with the risen Lord. He appeared on two continents in two hemispheres and taught the people before His final ascension. Two sacred volumes, two testaments speak of this most glorious of all events in all of human history. But these are only accounts, the faithless critic says. To which we reply that beyond these is the witness and the testimony, borne by the power of the Holy Ghost, of the truth and validity of this most remarkable event. Through the centuries untold numbers have paid with the sacrifice of their comforts, their fortunes, their very lives for the convictions they carried in their hearts of the reality of the risen, living Lord.” (“This Glorious Easter Morn,” Ensign, May 1996, 67)

Gordon B. Hinckley

’If a man die, shall he live again?’ (Job 14:14.) This is the great universal question framed by Job. He spoke what every other living man or woman has pondered. The Christ alone, of all the millions who up to that time had walked the earth, was the first to emerge from the grave triumphant, a living soul complete in spirit and body. He became ‘the firstfruits of them that slept.’ (1 Cor. 15:20.) Were greater words ever spoken than those of the angel that first resurrection morn—‘Why seek ye the living among the dead?’ (Luke 24:5.) ‘He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.’ (Matt. 28:6.)

“His death sealed the testimony of His love for all mankind. His resurrection opened the gates of salvation to the sons and daughters of God of all generations. . . .” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 552.)

Spencer W. Kimball

“Only a God could bring about this miracle of resurrection. As a teacher of righteousness, Jesus could inspire souls to goodness; as a prophet, he could foreshadow the future; as an intelligent leader of men, he could organize a church; and as a possessor and magnifier of the priesthood, he could heal the sick, give sight to the blind, even raise other dead; but only as a God could he raise himself from the tomb, overcome death permanently, and bring incorruption in place of corruption, and replace mortality with immortality.

“... Ever since mortality came upon Adam, men had feared death, the one enemy which could never be conquered. Herbs and medicines, prayers and surgery, medicine-men and priests, sorcery and magic, all had been used for millenniums in an attempt to overcome or at least to postpone death—but, in spite of all the machinations and efforts of men in all the earth, up to this time they had failed; and the rich and poor, ignorant and educated, black, brown, red, or white, priest and people, all had gone down in death and gone back to mother earth.

“But now came the miracle-the revolution, the unbelievable marvel which none could explain and which none could deny. For the body which these hosts had seen persecuted, tortured, and drained of its life's blood, and left dead upon the cross; the body from which all life had ebbed; the body which lay entombed those long hours in a small, closed and sealed, oxygenless room into the third day; the person who had suffered the fate of death like hundreds of millions before him was calmly walking in the garden, animated, fresh, alive!

“…And so we bear testimony that the being who created the earth and its contents, who made numerous appearances upon the earth prior to his birth in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is resurrected and immortal, and that this great boon of resurrection and immortality becomes now, through our Redeemer, the heritage of mankind.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 17-18.)

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John 21:15 Feed my lambs

James E. Faust

Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated: ‘Anyone serving in any capacity in the Church in which he is responsible for the spiritual or temporal well-being of any of the Lord's children is a shepherd to those sheep. The Lord holds his shepherds accountable for the safety [meaning the salvation] of his sheep.’ The bearers of the priesthood have this great responsibility, whether they serve as father, grandfather, home teacher, elders quorum president, bishop, stake president, or in another Church calling.

“…When I was a very small boy, my father found a lamb all alone out in the desert. The herd of sheep to which its mother belonged had moved on, and somehow the lamb got separated from its mother, and the shepherd must not have known that the lamb was lost. Because it could not survive alone in the desert, my father picked it up and brought it home. To have left the lamb there would have meant certain death, either by falling prey to the coyotes or by starvation because it was so young that it still needed milk. Some sheepherders call these lambs ‘bummers.’ My father gave the lamb to me and I became its shepherd.

“For several weeks I warmed cow's milk in a baby's bottle and fed the lamb. We became fast friends. I called him Nigh (I don't remember where I got the name). It began to grow. My lamb and I would play on the lawn. Sometimes we would lie together on the grass and I would lay my head on its soft, woolly side and look up at the blue sky and the white, billowing clouds. I did not lock my lamb up during the day. It would not run away. It soon learned to eat grass. I could call my lamb from anywhere in the yard by just imitating as best I could the bleating sound of a sheep: Baa. Baa.

“One night there came a terrible storm. I forgot to put my lamb in the barn that night as I should have done. I went to bed. My little friend was frightened in the storm, and I could hear it bleating. I knew that I should help my pet, but I wanted to stay safe, warm, and dry in my bed. I didn't get up as I should have done. The next morning I went out to find my lamb dead. A dog had also heard its bleating cry and killed it. My heart was broken. I had not been a good shepherd or steward of that which my father had entrusted to me. My father said, ‘Son, couldn't I trust you to take care of just one lamb?’ My father's remark hurt me even more than losing my woolly friend. I resolved that day, as a little boy, that I would try never again to neglect my stewardship as a shepherd if I was ever placed in that position again.

“Not too many years thereafter I was called as a junior companion to a home teacher. There were times when it was so cold or stormy that I wanted to stay home and be comfortable, but in my mind's ear I could hear my little lamb bleating, and I knew I needed to be a good shepherd and go with my senior companion. In all the many intervening years, whenever I have had a desire to shirk my duties, there has come to me a remembrance of how sorry I was that night so many years ago when I had not been a good shepherd. I have not always done everything I should have, but I have tried.” (Finding Light in a Dark World [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 125-126.)

Joanne B. Doxey

“Would we respond as Peter did when he was questioned about his priorities?

“My beloved sisters, my message to you this hour is one of love and encouragement, that we, as women, can demonstrate our love of the Lord through fulfilling our God-given responsibility to “feed his lambs” by bringing souls unto him and by strengthening the family both here and hereafter.

“It is a glorious thing to be a woman in these latter days. We, together with the priesthood, are to prepare a righteous generation for the second coming of Christ. We are led by a living prophet who counsels us to feed the lambs, enrich and protect the home, and strengthen the family.

“Why do you think the prophets are reminding us of our sacred duty to feed the lambs and protect the home and family? Because it is against the home and family that Satan has aimed his greatest efforts to destroy, and far too many sheep are wandering or being enticed away out of the sheep fold, and wolves lie in wait to devour the flock.

“How can we help prepare children for their significant role if we, their mentors, are absent or uncaring? It is an awesome task, but one filled with hope and happiness, if we make it so.” (“Strengthening the Family,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 90)

David O. McKay

’Feed my lambs.’ Such was the divine injunction given by the Risen Lord to Peter, his chief Apostle, emphasizing the fact that the proper training of childhood is man's most important and sacred duty.

“Children at birth are the most dependent and helpless of all creatures, yet they are the sweetest and greatest of all things in the world. They come, or should come, from the Father pure and undefiled, without inherent taints or weakness. This is the responsibility of the parents. Their souls are as stainless white paper on which are to be written the aspirations or achievements of a lifetime. Whether that life's scroll shall become a biography of a noble, Christlike soul, or a series of blots and blemishes depends largely, if not entirely, upon guiding influences of parents, playmates, and teachers.” (Improvement Era, 1949, Vol. Lii. December, 1949. No. 12)

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Acts1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus

‘The former treatise’ is the gospel of Luke. Referred to by Paul as ‘the beloved physician’ (Col. 4:14), Luke began his gospel with the following introduction, ‘It seemed good to me…to write unto thee…most excellent Theophilus’ (Lu 1:3). It is because of this introduction that the book of Acts is attributed to Luke. We know almost nothing of Theophilus, but we can surmise that he did not fully appreciate how important—indeed how priceless—were the letters he received from his friend Luke.

Doctrinally, the book of Acts is priceless. Christ did little to set up his church until after the resurrection. Therefore, the ordinances, sacraments, practices, and their administration would be anyone’s best guess without this one-of-a-kind document. Even with it, there has been vast confusion within Christianity, but clearly Acts teaches us of crucial doctrines: Apostolic authority and continuity of the Quorum, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, the offices of the priesthood, the necessity of being properly called of God, worship on Sunday as the Sabbath, the law of consecration, the relationship between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ, etc.

“The compilation known as the book of Acts presents our first glimpse of the Church after the departure of Jesus. It is generally understood to have been written by Luke, and is in reality a sequel to the book of Luke…Acts picks up the story where Luke and the other Testimonies end, and is in fact a testimony of Christ in and of itself. It is more than a simple recitation of historical information, for it is a presentation of facts so arranged as to tell a dramatic and moving story. It makes use of particular events in the early Church that effectively illustrate how the outreach of the Church (which was at first almost exclusively offered to none but Jews) was extended to include active missionary work among the Gentiles.”

“The complete title of the book of Acts is The Acts of the Apostles, and while it is true that all of the twelve Apostles are mentioned at least once, it is not a record of the ‘acts’ of all of the apostles, but of only a few: a little of James and John, somewhat more of Peter, and a great amount of Paul.” (Robert J. Matthews, Behold the Messiah [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 310.)

“Acts is a dramatic and moving story about how the early church taught the gospel of Jesus Christ first to the Jews, next to the Samaritans, and then to the Gentiles. Considerable preparation, conditioning, and struggling were required of many Jewish members of the church before they were willing to accept Gentiles by virtue of the gospel without the law of Moses. Many Jewish Christians vigorously insisted that a Gentile had to become a Jew before he could become a Christian. The whole matter of gentile converts had to be dealt with not only in terms of doctrine but also in terms of culture and emotion.

“Acts and the writings of Paul are firsthand accounts of how this was done gradually, a half step at a time, within the framework of the established authority of the priesthood and the administration of the church. We also get an insight into the cultural and emotional resistance that had to be overcome within the church in order for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be extended to the Gentiles, specifically to the Greeks and the Romans.” (Robert J. Matthews in Studies in Scripture, Vol. 6: Acts to Revelation, ed. by Robert L. Millet, [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 24 - 25.)

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Acts 1:21-22 Wherefore of these men…must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection

‘By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?’ (Matt. 21:23) was the question asked in derision by the chief priests and elders. However, the underlying principle is true—one cannot presume to teach and preach religion unless he has received authority by one who is recognized as God’s representative. Therefore, all of today’s religious leaders should be able to answer this crucial question. If they have decided of themselves to preach religion, if they ‘preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world’ (2 Ne. 26:29), we declare ‘no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron’ (Heb. 5:4).

Peter, an ordained apostle, understood immediately that his quorum of 11 Apostles was incomplete. As his first administrative duty, he took immediate action to restore the quorum according to the pattern set by the Master. His actions in filling this vacancy declare this universal truth to all of Christianity—that 12 ordained apostles are necessary to lead Christ’s church. Mark E. Petersen stated, “There was a great significance in this action. It demonstrated beyond all doubt the fact that it was the plan and purpose of the Lord that the Quorum of Twelve should continue to be a Quorum of Twelve and not a Quorum of Eleven, or a Quorum of Ten, or Nine, finally to disappear…It gave encouragement to the Saints. It proved to them and to all men that the Church organization as provided by the Savior was to go on without change as long as men were willing to hear and accept the true gospel.” (“Which Church is Right,” Latter-day Tracts [Pamphlets], 6.)

Where in all the world can one find a church established according to this pattern? Where are there 12 apostles, organized in a quorum, which is replenished upon the death of one of its members? Where is there a religious organization whose leaders can unabashedly answer the question, ‘By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?’

A Roman Catholic thinker once said:

“You 'Mormons' are all ignoramuses. You don't even know the strength of your own position. It is so strong that there is only one other position tenable in the whole Christian world, and that is the position of the Roman Catholic church. The issue is between 'Mormonism' and Catholicism. If you are right, we are wrong. If we are right, you are wrong, and that's all there is to it. These Protestant sects haven't a leg to stand on; for if we are right, we cut them off long ago, as apostates; and if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, for they were a part of us and came out of us. If we have the apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we claim, there was no need of Joseph Smith and 'Mormonism;' but if we have not that apostolic succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and 'Mormonism's position is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the Gospel from ancient times or the restoration of the Gospel in latter days." (LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 3)

George Q. Cannon

“Nothing more clearly sustains the position that the Latter-day Saints take and the testimony that they bear concerning the establishment of the Lord's Church in these last days than the diversity of sects and of doctrines that are taught in the so-called Christian world. What possible hope could any earnest seeker after truth receive from these different denominations when the lack of authority is so apparent? It is not to be wondered at that sincere Protestants turn their eyes toward Rome and many of them take refuge in that church because there is a consistency in the claims of the Church of Rome to Apostolic succession. But those claims are not supported by the facts of history. That church lost the authority of the Priesthood through transgression. The Priesthood was undoubtedly taken back to God. The men who bore it were slain and none were left to continue its succession.

“Hence, the position that our Church occupies is the only logical position…We are relieved, therefore, as a people, from the necessity of discussing Apostolic succession and from contentions whether it is necessary for men to be ordained by proper authority in order to become ministers of Jesus Christ. All doubt and uncertainty concerning these points were swept away by the knowledge that the Apostleship has been restored to the earth from a source which leaves its validity without question. The position of this Church on these points is impregnable.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, selected, arranged, and edited by Jerreld L. Newquist [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 172.)

LeGrand Richards

“Since apostles were essential in the church that Jesus Christ established in the meridian of time, why should they not continue to be necessary wherever his recognized church is upon the earth? To a thinking person it should be obvious that as the church grows, the need for apostles to direct the work would be even more essential.

“Even with the limited information the Bible gives on this subject, it is very apparent that had the church that Jesus organized in person continued among men, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would have been kept complete to direct it.” (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1950], 164.)

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Acts 3:6 In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk

Jeffrey R. Holland

“Peter and John were about to enter the temple to worship and seek strength for the tasks that lay before them. A forty-year-old man, ‘lame from his mother's womb,’ asked alms of them as they passed. There was nothing unique about his plea; the man had been begging every day for years in this same place. But Peter did not brush by. What would his petition mean, offered up in this holy house at the hour of prayer, if he suffered this man to offer up a similar petition in vain?

“He turned to the invalid, ‘fastening his eyes on him’ with a gaze that probed the deepest recesses of his soul. Finding faith there, Peter said deliberately and clear: ‘Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’ (Acts 3:1-6.) Peter had no money but he had riches. ‘Such as he had’ included every key of the kingdom of God on earth, priesthood power to raise the dead, faith to strengthen bones and sinews, a strong right hand of Christian fellowship. He could not give silver or gold, but he could give that which is always purchased ‘without money and without price’ (Isaiah 55:1)—and he gave it.

“…Who was this man among men, admired by modern prophets and anointed of God? What manner of man is chosen from among the host of heaven to become the first ordained apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and lead His church in perilous times? How high was the ground he stood on? How bright was the fire in his soul? For answers, we open the scriptures and find ‘a man who had grown perfect through his experiences and sufferings—a man with vision, a man of revelations, a man fully trusted by his Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Kimball, op. cit.) We find there a mighty stone in Israel.” (However Long and Hard the Road [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 90-91.)

M. Russell Ballard

“(Quoting Acts 3:6-8.) Such great and powerful miracles of healing, restoration, and revelation righteously enacted through the authority of the priesthood occur in our day as well. May I share one experience of my own?

“Some years ago I heard a young woman talk about the physical struggle her older sister was having with her health during a difficult pregnancy. I was touched by the story and concerned about the girl's sister and her unborn child, and I wished there was something I could do for her. But it wasn't until later that evening while I was reading the scriptures that the unmistakable impression came that I needed to visit this sick member of the Church. Having received similar promptings from time to time, I have learned not to question them but to simply respond. So I asked my wife to go with me to visit this young wife and mother.

“’I don't know for sure why I'm here,’ I said when her husband answered our knock at their door, ‘except that I have had a strong prompting that I need to see your wife.’

“…While waiting we browsed through some of the family photographs on display in the living room. There was a picture of one of their children, who was seriously disabled…My wife reminded me of the stillborn child that had been born to the couple, as well as the unusual physical toll each pregnancy had taken on this young mother. The decision to have another child must have been difficult for the couple. They had likely made the matter a subject of the most careful, prayerful consideration, and had received spiritual assurance that all would be well—which doubtless made the current crisis all the more disconcerting.

“At last the woman joined us in the living room. She was obviously weak and in considerable pain, suffering with a severe case of shingles that covered the left side of her face and neck with huge, blistered lesions. According to the husband, her blood platelet level was so low that her life—as well as the life of her baby—was at risk.

“I took her hand in mine and told her the simple truth: ‘The Lord has sent me here to give you a blessing.’ Her husband, his father, and I placed our hands on her head, and I felt spiritually impressed to give her a blessing of complete and total healing.

“’At that moment,’ she later wrote of the experience, ‘I felt a force move through my body and out through my toes. . . . I know the Spirit of the Lord was there, Brother Ballard. I felt it. I heard it speak through you. . . . It gave me the strength to faithfully endure and accomplish a task that seemed impossible. After the blessing I knew in my heart that we would be blessed with a healthy baby.’

“And they were.

“…Wondrous miracles do happen through the authority of the priesthood. In most instances, however, priesthood authority works quietly and simply in the lives of those who respect and live worthy of it.” (Our Search for Happiness: An Invitation to Understand The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1993], 61-63)

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Acts 4:32 them that believed were of one heart and of one soul

Cheiko N. Okazaki

“Both the New Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants talk about the importance for members of the Church to be ‘of one heart and of one soul’ or of ‘one mind.’ (Acts 4:32; D&C 45:65-66). Sometimes we think this means that we have to look alike, sound alike, talk alike, dress alike, and have the same number of children. I think what it really means, above all, is that we need to love the Savior with all our hearts. At that point, we will have the ‘mind of Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:16) to unite us in soul with others. As we think about situations and problems, the frustratingly complex ethical and moral dilemmas will become clearer and simpler because we will know what Jesus would do in a given case, and we can do what he would do, just as he was able to do what the Father would have done in his place.” (Chieko N. Okazaki, Disciples [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 155.)

John Taylor

“In speaking with a gentleman recently on some of the difficulties between the English and the Irish people, I told him that it was lamentable that such a feeling should exist. Well, said he, they are two different races and they cannot affiliate, one being Celtic and the other Anglo-Saxon, and their sympathies and feelings are dissimilar. Their ideas and feelings differ; their education and their instincts differ. That is very true so far as it goes. But what of us? We are gathered here under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and that as I before said, produces a unity of feeling and spirit, a oneness and sympathy that does not exist in the world and Jesus has said, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ (John 13:35.) . . . . And how is it, brethren? Are we Scandinavians; are we English; are we Scotch, Swiss or Dutch, as the case may be? No; the Spirit of God, which we obtained through obedience to the requirements of the gospel, having been born again, of the water and of the Spirit, has made us of one heart, one faith, one baptism; we have no national or class divisions of that kind among us.” (Journal of Discourses, 24:2)

Brigham Young

“If we were one, we should then prove to heaven, to God our Father, to Jesus Christ our Elder Brother, to the angels, to the good upon the earth, and to all mankind that we are the disciples of the lord Jesus Christ. If we are not one, we are not in the true sense of the word the disciples of the Lord Jesus. 273.

“…The Church of Jesus Christ could not exist, and be divided up into parties. Where such disunion exists in any government, it ultimately becomes the means of the utter overthrow of that government or people, unless a timely remedy is applied. Party spirit once made its appearance in heaven, but was promptly checked.

That perfect union, which must ultimately be enjoyed by the Latter-day Saints, can only be brought about by every man and woman living so as to keep their minds pure and unspotted like a piece of clean, white paper, being constantly free from the love of the world, that the spirit of revelation may easily indite upon the heart whatever is the mind and will of the Lord. We cannot be truly the members of Christ's mystical body without living in this way, that the Spirit may indite as easily upon the heart the things of God, as these brethren, our reporters can write with ink on paper. 11:19.

“We must become of one heart and mind, in order to fully enjoy the blessings we anticipate.

“If we are united, we are independent of the powers of hell and of the world. 5:257.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 281.)

Joseph Smith

“In order to conduct the affairs of the Kingdom in righteousness, it is all important that the most perfect harmony, kind feeling, good understanding, and confidence should exist in the hearts of all the brethren; and that true charity, love one towards another, should characterize all their proceedings. If there are any uncharitable feelings, any lack of confidence, then pride, arrogance and envy will soon be manifested; confusion must inevitably prevail, and the authorities of the Church set at naught; and under such circumstances, Kirtland cannot rise and free herself from the captivity in which she is held, and become a place of safety for the Saints, nor can the blessings of Jehovah rest upon her.” (History of The Church, 4:165-66)

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