In this week’s Come Follow Me lesson, Acts 6-9 “What Wilt Thou Have Me to Do?” (July 18-24), we learn about the first Christian martyr, Stephen, as well as Saul’s (or Paul’s) conversion. It’s a great few chapters in Acts.
Save it for later- pin it now!
Looking for the free printables? KEEP SCROLLING! These posts are packed with information so be sure you scroll all the way down to the Teaching Ideas section and look for the coral buttons to print!
I love the teacher manuals myself as they give some insights into the backgrounds of the time and even some ideas to teach my kids. The articles from General Conference are great for personal study as well.
“He Asks Us to Be His Hands” by Sister Cheryl A. Esplin
“‘You Are My Hands’” by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Waiting on the Road to Damascus” by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“The Apostle Paul as Master Teacher” by Frank F. Judd Jr (these are teaching tips but helpful to understand the way Paul teaches)
“Stephen, the Martyr”- Summary
“Receiving and Recognizing the Holy Ghost” by James P. Porter
“Creating a Gospel-Sharing Home” by President M. Russell Ballard
“Discovering the Holy Ghost” by David H. Yarn, Jr.
“The Unspeakable Gift” by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
“‘A Teacher Come from God’” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
“Be Thou an Example” by President Thomas S. Monson
“The Gospel to All the World” by Elder John B. Dickson
“Full Conversion Brings Happiness” by Elder Richard G. Scott
DESERET BOOKSHELF PLUS RECOMMENDATIONS
These are great to listen together in the car on the way to school. My whole family loves listening to the youth speaker ones especially. Remember, as a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS member, you can access these eBooks or audio books anytime. Find out more about Deseret Bookshelf PLUS.
- "The Apostle Paul: His Life and His Testimoy" Sidney R. Sperry Symposium on the New Testament
- "From Persectuor to Apostle: A Biography of Paul" by Thomas A. Wayment
- "A Time to Stand" by R. Scott Simmons (youth talk)
- "Verse by Verse: The New Testament Volume Two Acts through Revelation" by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner
- "Becomeing a Fearless Missionary" by Ryan Sharp
- "The Virtual Missionary: The Power of Your Digital Testimony" by Greg Trimble
- "The Power of Everday Missionaries: The What and How of Sharing the Gospel" by Clayton M. Christensen
Remember, there are a bunch of great Come, Follow Me themed podcasts to help you enhance your studies as well.
Watch a video and discuss it after dinner, recap a part of the lesson before Church on Sunday, share a video in a group and discuss it together, or pause and discuss a video as part of your main lesson.
The Martyrdom of Stephen (about 5 1/2 minutes)- Bible video
Waiting on the Road to Damascus (about 17 minutes)- Talk by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The Road to Damascus (about 5 1/2 minutes)- Bible video
Peter Brings Tabitha Back to Life (about 1 minute)- Illustrated scripture story
The Faith of a Child (about 17 minutes)- Talk by President Thomas S. Monson
Wicked Men Kill Stephen (about 1 1/2 minutes)- Illustrated scripture story
Simon and the Priesthood (about 1 minute)- Illustrated scripture story
Saul Learns about Jesus (about 1 1/2 minutes)- Illustrated scripture story
An Instrument in His Hands (about 5 1/2 minutes)- Youth video
How Can I Better Listen to the Holy Ghost? (about 23 minutes)- Mormon Channel Episode
How Does the Holy Spirit Guide? (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Youth video
Questions to Ponder
Use these questions to help you ponder as you do your personal studies, encourage journaling for your kids, text them to a friend or child to get the conversation going, or take them with you in the car and randomly draw from a bag as you carpool to school or your next practice. These go beyond the questions in the manual.
When have you felt that God has delivered you from your afflictions? Or made them for your benefit?
How does your attitude affect your willingness to serve?
Have you ever resisted the Holy Ghost? What happened?
When you have followed the counsel of the Holy Ghost how has that helped you?
When sharing the gospel have you been persecuted? How did you respond to the persecution? How can you better prepare yourself to respond in a Christlike way to persecution?
How can you not let someone’s opposition to the church keep you from preaching to them?
Why is it important that you are on the right path going the right direction? How can you help others to the path?
When have you been an instrument in the hands of the Lord? What did you have to sacrifice to be able to be that instrument?
How was/is your conversion similar or different than Saul’s? How do you strive to continue to be converted?
When have you watched someone else seek to serve and be like Jesus Christ? How did that inspire you to be a better disciple of Christ?
These are my ideas. My hope is that my thoughts may be a springboard to your own great ideas that are right for you and your family.
Add two more bio cards to your ring of New Testament definitions. Read over the chapters that include Stephen and Saul and include your additional notes.
As you review Saul, be sure to point out that he is also known as Paul.
While Saul’s conversion is unusual, our choice to do something good instead of the wrong we have done in the past can be a quick choice. We can decide now how we want to behave in certain situations so when it comes time to make the choice, we’ve already decided. We can also be quick to repent. You can use a maze like this Choose the Right Way maze to help demonstrate how even though we may make a wrong choice, we can quickly get back on the right path again by repenting immediately.
Use my comic book template pages to draw out a story that involve Stephen or Saul. Share your stories with one another and why you admire these people.
- Try a new experiment as you discuss the dangers of resisting the Holy Ghost. This experiment is also known as the Indecisive Magnet. You will need to build a pyramid with some skewers. The donut magnet hangs from the middle (you can order one here). Then you put other strong magnets on each side of the triangle (like these rectangle ones). As you swing the magnet, you will see the magnet moving away from each side so it looks like it has no idea where to go. Print out my experiment cards to help you perform the experiment and record your conclusions.
- Bring the experiment over to your ministering family’s house or another neighbor and have your children teach the lesson! The more they can share, the more they can feel the and recognize the Spirit speaking to them. And if you buy one of these 20 packs of magnets you can easily leave the experiment with them to continue the fun and share with someone else.
- I got this experiment idea from Babble Dabble Do. If you need a visual of how this experiment is put together, definitely check out their site. Plus there are more magnet experiments you can do and draw parallels to (like how the Holy Ghost can guide us to help others).
Use another magnet object lesson to explain what Christ meant when He told Saul, “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (Acts 9:5) Hold two ends of a magnet so they will repel each other. Challenge your class or family to try to put the magnets together that way. It’s hard! They won’t do it. Yet, if you turn one around, they will easily go together. Explain what “kick against the pricks” means and how we might do that today.
Ask the Lord the same question Saul asked, “What wilt thou have me to do?” There are all kinds of ways we can become an instrument or tool in the Lord’s hands. As you discuss answers you have received and past experiences, put a tool into your toolbox with my free printable above.
Once all the tools are in your toolbox, invite your family to notice how all the tools are different and have different jobs to do. The Lord wants all of us with our various talents. Then go around the room and say one talent someone has and how it can be a force for good. You can even prepare your tools ahead of time and write their talent and example on the back and hand them out.
Only put some of the tools in your toolbox. You may say that you don’t have room for any other tools or how you don’t really like to use those other tools. Then give your family or class an opportunity to prove you wrong by fitting all the tools in or giving reasons for why you should use the other tools. You could even set up a scenario where you need a screwdriver but don’t have one so you try to do it with another tool. While you may be able to finally get the job done, it would be much better if you had the right tool. How does this compare to how the Lord can use us?
Give each person a tool and ask them to explain how the tool is used. Then challenge them to come up a way that tool might do missionary work. Example: A screwdriver screws things together. It can show others how families can stay together forever.
Discuss how sometimes tools can become worn or rusted if not properly cared for. However, you can also sharpen a saw and clean off rust and it can be used for great things again. Discuss how Saul might have been a dull or rusty tool but ended up being one of the best tools in the box and how we can be likewise.
For more on repentance, check out my Primary 3 Lesson 10 free handouts that include bandaids and the steps to repentance.
Acts 9:32-43 (Tabitha)
Discuss other great disciples mentioned in Acts 9 such as Tabitha. She was “full of good works.” Using a brad, add Tabitha to the background scene and show how Peter raised her again. Because many showed Peter the coats and garments Tabitha (or Dorcas) made, it is likely she made many clothes for the poor. How can we also be full of good works? Invite your family to help fill up the table with clothes as you go about doing good works this week. There are garments with ideas on them as well as without.
- You can find more activities and ideas to help you teach in lesson packets from The Red Headed Hostess.
I’m now linking to the category pages for available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. They have stories, activity pages, and some media options available under each topic. Definitely check out the latest addition of the Friend and New Era as well.