Objective: To encourage each child to become more fully converted to Jesus Christ.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great apersecution against the bchurchwhich was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great alamentation over him.
As I study these scriptures about the conversion of Saul, it reminds me a lot of the conversion of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah.
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty achange in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do bevil, but to do good continually. Mosiah 5:2
Show a glass of water to the children.
- What happens when water boils? (It changes to steam.)
- What happens when water freezes? (It changes to ice.)
Explain that when water changes to ice or steam, we say that it has been “converted.” It is different from the original water.
- How are people converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ? How do their lives change when they are converted?
|The Conversion of Saul
(see Acts 9)
|The Conversion of Alma the Younger
(see Mosiah 27)
|What had they been doing?
|“As for Saul, he made ahavock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to bprison.” (Acts 8:3)”And Saul, yet breathing out athreateningsand slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,”And desired of him aletters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2)
|“Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the aunbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an bidolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much cflattery to the people; therefore he dled many of the people to do after the manner of his einiquities.”And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; astealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his bpower over them.” Mosiah 27:8-9
|“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a alightfrom heaven:”And he afell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, bSaul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Acts 9:3-4
|“…as they were going about arebelling against God, behold, the bangel of the Lord cappeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a dcloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood;”And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them.” Mosiah 27:11-12
|Overcome by the Power of the Spirit
|“And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.”And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”
|“And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became adumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.”
|Blessed and Converted
|“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his ahands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that bappeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath csent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the dHoly Ghost.”And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received asight forthwith, and arose, and was bbaptized.”
|“And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of atwo days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort:” Mosiah 27:23
|Fulfilling their Mission
|“And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.””But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.””And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and adisputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.”
|“For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been aredeemedof the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.”And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be aborn again; yea, bborn of God, cchanged from their carnal and dfallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his esonsand daughters;”And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in anowise inherit the kingdom of God.”I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.”Nevertheless, after awading through much btribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an ceverlasting burning, and I am born of God”
What an interesting comparison: it reminds me of the scripture that says “God is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (1 Nephi 10:18-19, bold added for emphasis)
Questions to Ask
How might the members of the Church have felt about him?
How would you feel if someone persecuted you for your beliefs?
How should we respond when someone does this?
How do Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ help us know when we need to repent?
(Feelings from the Holy Ghost and guidance from our parents, the prophets, and the scriptures.)
What does it mean to “kick against the pricks”?
(A prick was a sharp spear people used on animals to make them move. Often the animals would kick back when pricked, which made the spear hurt them even more. Jesus Christ was telling Saul that his actions were harming himself more than anyone else. When we fight against what is right, we hurt ourselves the most.)
What did Saul do to repent and turn to Jesus Christ?
He recognized his sins. (Acts 9:6.)
He was baptized. (Acts 9:18.)
He tried to correct the things he had done wrong. (Acts 9:20.)
He changed and never persecuted people again.
Explain that Saul was not wicked in his heart; he was deceived. He needed to repent and be baptized.
What do we need to do to repent of our sins?
After Saul’s conversion, why would neither the people nor the disciples believe him when he preached?
How do we know when we’re truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (Mosiah 5:2.)
“When we have undergone this mighty change, which is brought about only through faith in Jesus Christ and through the [working] of the Spirit upon us, it is as though we have become a new person. … You have forsaken lives of sin … and have become clean. You have no more [desire] to return to your old ways. You are in reality a new person” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 470).