Special Witnesses of Christ

Apostles are Special Witnesses of Christ

An apostle’s testimony is a unique blessing for our generation.

Preparation:

Lesson:

Watch the Special Witness from Elder Ballard, embedded below.

Have someone read D&C 107:23

The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

What do you think it means to be a “Special Witness of Christ“?

Apostles Hold All the Priesthood Keys of the Kingdom of God. President Gordon B. Hinckley outlined the basic duties of the Apostles in this way:

“The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles, called and ordained to hold the keys of the priesthood, have the authority and responsibility to govern the Church, to administer its ordinances, to expound its doctrine, and to establish and maintain its practices. Each man who is ordained an Apostle and sustained a member of the Council of the Twelve is sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator

These duties are not new concepts. See Ephesians 4:11-13

Apostles know with certainty that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that He lives. They have a specific responsibility to provide a special witness of Christ unto the world.

And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. – Acts 4:33

I know I can gain a personal testimony of Jesus Christ. Is an apostle’s testimony different from my own?

Read the following excerpt from President Boyd K.Packer on the sacred nature of an apostolic witness of Jesus Christ:

“Occasionally during the past year I have been asked a question. Usually it comes as a curious, almost an idle, question about the qualifications to stand as a witness for Christ. The question they ask is, ‘Have you seen Him?

“That is a question that I have never asked of another. …There are some things just too sacred to discuss. … I have not asked that question of others, but I have heard them answer it—but not when they were asked. They have answered it under the prompting of the Spirit, on sacred occasions, when ‘the Spirit beareth record.’ (D&C 1:39.)

“I have heard one of my brethren declare: ‘I know from experiences, too sacred to relate, that Jesus is the Christ.’

“I have heard another testify: ‘I know that God lives; I know that the Lord lives. And more than that, I know the Lord.’

It was not their words that held the meaning or the power. It was the Spirit. ‘… for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.’ (2 Ne. 33:1.)

“I speak upon this subject in humility, with the constant feeling that I am the least in every way of those who are called to this holy office. …

“Now, I wonder with you why one such as I should be called to the holy apostleship. There are so many qualifications that I lack. There is so much in my effort to serve that is wanting. As I have pondered on it, I have come to only one single thing, one qualification in which there may be cause, and that is, I have that witness.

I declare to you that I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that he lives. He was born in the meridian of time. He taught his gospel, was tried, was crucified. He rose on the third day. He was the first fruits of the resurrection. He has a body of flesh and bone. Of this I bear testimony. Of him I am a witness” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 123–25; or Ensign, June 1971, 87–88).

At the end of almost every conference talk, there is a very distinct and powerful testimony of the Savior. The following closing comment from President Howard W. Hunter serves as an excellent example.

“It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that I bear my witness. I know of Christ’s reality as if I had seen with my eyes and heard with my ears. I know also that the Holy Spirit will confirm the truthfulness of my witness in the hearts of all those who listen with an ear of faith” (“An Apostle’s Witness of Christ,” Ensign, Jan. 1984, 70).

Activity Ideas:

  • Share a favorite apostolic testimony with your family.
  • Read through The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles as a family.
  • As you watch or listen to General Conference, make note of the spirit confirming the words of these Special Witnesses of Christ.

Highlight the General Conference by sharing this family home evening lesson idea with your friends.

Alternate Lesson Ideas:

  • Option #2: Visit the LDS.org page dedicated to sharing Special Witnesses of Christ videos from each of the apostles. We like to share these videos during intermissions of baptisms.These videos support different gospel topics and could easily support several family home evening lessons punctuated with the testimony of a prophet or apostle.

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