28. "We Are Witnesses" | BYU Studies

28. "We Are Witnesses"

Apostles Receive Instruction for Forty Days
 
 
Very little is said in the New Testament about Jesus' forty-day post-resurrection ministry, but references exist outside of scripture. This website provides an annotated bibliography of scholarly literature on the subject of that Forty-Day Ministry, a complete listing of the primary early Christian sources with accompanying summaries, and a cross-referenced Topics and Themes page.
 
 
"The New Testament mentions the forty-day ministry but provides only limited detail." Outside scripture, many accounts claim to tell what happened with Jesus and his apostles during this time. Though seen as apocryphal, "Latter-day Saints generally tend to give thoughtful consideration to them….Many elements found in the Old World forty-day literature also appear in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon." These elements include Jesus teaching the gospel, performing ordinances such as the Sacrament, giving authority and endowments.
 
"New Testament Word Studies," by John W. Welch, Ensign, April 1993
 
"Because the New Testament as we have it was originally written in Greek, a study of words in the Greek text often sheds additional light on the gospel." Such words include endued in Luke 24:49, which comes from the Greek word endou. Endou has literal and figurative meanings: to dress or clothe and to "take on 'characteristics, virtues, intentions.' Thus, the endowment is a dressing not in ordinary clothes, but "with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) and in the virtues and intentions of God."
 
 
"The scriptural law of witnesses requires that in the mouth of two or three individuals shall every word be established." To "witness" something, in the scriptural sense, is "to give personal testimony based on firsthand evidence or experience." Such witnesses help establish faith, "for faith comes by hearing the word of God through the power of human testimony accompanied by the Holy Ghost." Examples of the law of witnesses include John the Baptist and Christ testifying of Christ's divinity, the men and women bearing record of Christ's resurrection, and the witnesses who will be present at the final judgment.
 
The Apostles are Filled with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost
 
 
The LDS experience at the Kirtland Temple is similar to the Apostles' experience on the day of Pentecost. Benjamin Brown records in a letter his first-hand account of the manifestation of the Holy Ghost at the Kirtland Temple dedication. "The Spirit of the Lord, as on the day of Pentecost, was profusely poured out….We had a most glorious and never-to-be-forgotten time." Reflecting later on his notes, "Such a chain of testimonies, and an interweaving of evidences, accompanied with that perception and comprehension which the Holy Ghost alone can give, none can realize, but those who have received that Spirit and revelations unto themselves."