WHAT IS ACTS? WHAT GOES ON IN ACTS?
The Book of Acts was written by Luke and is a continuation of the Book of Luke. In Acts, which is the dramatic and moving story of how an obscure Jewish sect grew into a world-wide church, we see that the stories of Christ’s life and the accounts of His teachings became what the Apostles and Paul and the others taught as they went out into the world – first to the Jews, next to the Samaritans, then to the world – the Gentiles. (Acts 1:8) It is a book about missionaries.
These people were carrying the “good news” to the world that the prophecies of the Messiah had been fulfilled. That He had come. That He had risen. That He was the Son of God. This is the beginning of Christianity.
“To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport…we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom…to get beyond ourselves…to rise above our immediate surroundings.”
Oliver Sacks, “Altered States”, The New Yorker, August 27, 2012.
“No one knows anything about Christ’s work simply by being born a member of the Church, and often he knows little about it after years of unmotivated exposure in meetings or classes. He must learn. And learning involves self-investment and effort. The gospel should be studied as carefully as any science. The literature of the Church must be acquired and read. Our learning should be increased in our spare time day by day. Then as we put the gospel truth to work in daily life, we will never find it wanting. We will be literate in the most important field of knowledge in the universe, knowledge for lack of which men and nations perish, in the light of which men and nations may be saved.”
Marion D. Hanks, “Theological Illiterates,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1969, 42.
“We are here to witness the creation and to abet it…especially we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness….” Annie Dillard
“Ordinances and ceremonies thought to have been pagan in inspiration are shown to have been an integral part of…earliest Christianity in the light of the gospel ordinances restored through Joseph Smith.” (Griggs, Millett, Studies in Scripture, 22).
“When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world. Are you going into Abraham’s bosom. No, not any where nigh there, but into the spirit world. Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. Do they go to the sun? No. Do they go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not.”
Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 372.
William Wordsworth wrote an account of a trip that he and a school friend made to cross the Alps. Takes them weeks to approach the summit. With the goal in sight they stop for lunch and their guide moves ahead. They lose the trail and wander around before happening upon a local peasant. They ask directions and are confused, disbelieving when he points down. To their total disappointment, they have already reached the summit and crossed the Alps without knowing.
Terryl & Fiona Givens: “What if in our anxious hope of heaven, we find we have blindly passed it by…? What if the possibilities of Zion were already here, and its scattered element all about us?” In a child’s slobbery kiss, in holding your daughter’s hand coming down the canyon, in lifting a neighbor from his destitution?
“These are the stuff and substance of any Zion we build, any heaven we inherit.”
(The God Who Weeps, 120,121).
This is where the Savior is.
This is love. This is right here.
Other References (aka The River of Words):