Acts 2:1 the day of Pentecost
"Nine days after Christ's ascension on the Mount of Olives came Pentecost, a name which means 'fiftieth.'
"Pentecost was applied to the Jewish feast celebrated 50 days after the second day of unleavened bread, or the Passover day. It is also known as 'the feast of weeks' (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10), because according to the Hebrew style, it fell seven weeks, or a week of weeks, after the Passover. It was also known as 'the feast of harvest' (Ex. 23:16) and as 'the day of the first-fruits.' (Num. 28:26.)" (LDS Church News, 1991, 06/22/91)
"The feast lasted a single day, which was a day of holy convocation (Lev. 23;21); and the characteristic rite was the new meal offering, that is two loaves of leavened bread made of fine flour of new wheat. Special animal sacrifices were also made (Lev. 23:18) and freewill offerings (Deut. 16:10)." (Bible Dictionary, "Feasts")
Bruce R. McConkie
"...it is not without significance that the Lord chose the Pentecost, which grew out of the final Passover, as the occasion to dramatize forever the fulfillment of all that was involved in the sacrificial fires of the past. Fire is a cleansing agent. Filth and disease die in its flames. The baptism of fire, which John promised Christ would bring, means that when men receive the actual companionship of the Holy Spirit, then evil and iniquity are burned out of their souls as though by fire. The sanctifying power of that member of the Godhead makes them clean. In similar imagery, all the fires on all the altars of the past, as they burned the flesh of animals, were signifying that spiritual purification would come by the Holy Ghost, whom the Father would send because of the Son. On that first Pentecost of the so-called Christian Era such fires would have performed their purifying symbolism if the old order had still prevailed. How fitting it was instead for the Lord to choose that very day to send living fire from heaven, as it were, fire that would dwell in the hearts of men and replace forever all the fires on all the altars of the past." (The Promised Messiah, p. 432.)
Acts 2:4 they were all filled with the Holy Ghost
This glorious endowment of the Spirit of God upon the Apostles represents the fulfillment of over three years of anticipation. John the Baptist had taught, 'he that cometh after me...shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire' (Matt 3:11). During Christ's final week, he promised, 'I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth...he shall teach you all things, and bring all thing to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you' (Jn. 14:16,17,26). Just after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the brethren and said, 'Peace be unto you...And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost' (Jn. 21-22). While this constituted the administration of the gift, the realization and fulfillment of the gift was to come even later. Before his ascension he promised again, 'ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence' (Acts 1:5). All of these promises must have been the source of great expectation. The disciples had acted largely without the influence of the Spirit until now. But their mortal awkwardness and spiritual insensitivity would all come to an abrupt end on the day of Pentecost. Surely, they understood the importance of the gift they had waited so long to receive.
Ironically, many church members take this gift for granted. Partially because they do not remember what life was like without it-partially because they do not fully enjoy the fruits of the Spirit, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, tragically and too often, goes unappreciated, 'For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?' (DC 88:33) Harold B. Lee said, "There are some, I fear, who have never lived to enjoy the companionship of that member of the Godhead and to receive His ministrations." (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 96.)
But what good does it to be baptized and not enjoy the blessings of the Holy Ghost? Joseph Smith remarked, "You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 314). In the pursuit of religion, there is little else which compares to the companionship of the third member of the Godhead.
"You may have the administration of angels, you may see many miracles; you may see many wonders in the earth; but I claim that the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man.
"You may surround any man or woman with all the wealth and glory that the imagination of man can grasp, and are they satisfied? No. There is still an aching void. On the other hand, show me a beggar upon the streets, who has the Holy Ghost, whose mind is filled with that spirit and power, and I will show you a person who has peace of mind, who possesses true riches, and those enjoyments that no man can obtain from any other source." (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, edited by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 5.)
Parley P. Pratt
"An intelligent being, in the image of God, possesses every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, affection, of will, wisdom, love, power and gift, which is possessed by God himself.
"But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo; and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud-a germ, which gradually develops into bloom, and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit, after its own kind.
"The gift of the Holy Spirit adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being." (Key to the Science of Theology/A Voice of Warning [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1965], 101.)
Acts 2:4 The effect of the Gift of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles
"The early chapters of Acts record the activities of the coming of the Holy Ghost at the feast of Pentecost. It was the gift of the Holy Ghost that they received on that occasion, for the Twelve and the other members of the Church had already enjoyed the power of the Holy Ghost, else they would not have had testimonies of the Savior and of the gospel. They would not have responded to the gospel in the first place had not the Spirit borne witness to their souls. But now they had the full power and gift of the Holy Ghost." (Robert J. Matthews, Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 282.)
Harold B. Lee
"Dr. Mosheim in his Ecclesiastical History...said, 'Historians testify that even after the Master's death, he was still their omnipotent protector and their benevolent guide.' Dr. Mosheim speaks of the fulfillment of the Master's promise that he would send to them the gift of the Holy Ghost...
"Then the doctor explains that this fulfillment came on the day of Pentecost. He records a remarkable change noticeable in the disciples after this great event in these words: 'The consequences of this grand event were surprising and glorious, infinitely honourable to the Christian religion, and the divine mission of its triumphant author. For no sooner had the apostles received this precious gift, this celestial guide, than their ignorance was turned into light, their doubts into certainty, their fears into a firm and invincible fortitude, and their former backwardness into an ardent and inextinguishable zeal, which led them to undertake their sacred office with the utmost intrepidity and alacrity of mind. This marvelous event was attended with a variety of gifts; particularly the gift of tongues, so indispensably necessary to qualify the apostles to preach the gospel to the different nations. These holy apostles were also filled with a perfect persuasion, founded on Christ's express promise, that the divine presence would perpetually accompany them, and show itself by miraculous interpositions as often as the success of their ministry should render this necessary. And, indeed, there were undoubted marks of a celestial power perpetually attending their ministry. There was in their very language an incredible energy, an amazing power of sending light into the understanding, and conviction into the heart.' (J. L. von Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, pp. 61, 67.)" (Conference Report, April 1964, Afternoon Meeting 22.)
Harold B. Lee
"The growth of the Church among the gentile nations during this period was phenomenal. How was it possible that a handful of apostles, who were fishermen and publicans, could engage the learned and the mighty as well as the simple and those of low degree to forsake their religion and embrace a new religion? There can be but one answer to that question. There were undoubted marks of a celestial power perpetually attending their ministry. There was in their very language an 'incredible energy or amazing power of sending light into the understanding and conviction of the heart.' (Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History 1:56-68.)" (Stand Ye in Holy Places [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 43.)
Acts 2:2-4 A latter-day Pentecost at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple
The day of Pentecost was a sign to believers and non-believers that the Holy Ghost had sanctified and validated the work of the Apostles. Appropriately, another day of Pentecost accompanied the Restoration. During the dedicatory prayer at the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet said: 'Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high. Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof. And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory' (DC 109:35-37). The complete fulfillment of this prophetic request is recorded in church history.
"(Sunday, March 27, 1836) I met the quorums in the evening and instructed them respecting the ordinance of washing of feet, which they were to attend to on Wednesday following; and gave them instructions in relation to the spirit of prophecy, and called upon the congregation to speak, and not to fear to prophesy good concerning the Saints...Do not quench the Spirit, for the first one that opens his mouth shall receive the spirit of prophecy.
"Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the temple), and were astonished at what was taking place. This continued until the meeting closed at eleven p.m.
"The number of official members present on this occasion was four hundred and sixteen, being a greater number than ever assembled on any former occasion." (History of the Church 2:428.)
Acts 2:5 there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews...out of every nation under heaven
"The law commanded that three times a year all the males of the covenant people were to appear before the Lord in the place that he should choose, that is, in the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), in the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and in the Feast of Tabernacles (Ex. 23:14-17; Deut. 16:16). This ordinance...in Old Testament times...could not be generally or even frequently observed...In New Testament times the case was altered. The Jews came up from all parts of the land with much more regularity to keep their three great feasts." (Bible Dictionary, "Feasts")
"Wherever a Roman, a Greek, or an Asiatic might wander, he could take his gods with him...It was far otherwise with the Jew. He had only one Temple, that in Jerusalem; only one God...That Temple was the only place where a God-appointed, pure priesthood could offer acceptable sacrifices, whether for forgiveness of sin, or for fellowship with God... On the great blood-sprinkled altar of sacrifice smoked the daily and festive burnt-offerings, brought by all Israel, and for all Israel, wherever scattered; while the vast courts of the Temple were thronged not only by native Palestinians, but literally by 'Jews out of every nation under heaven.' Around this Temple gathered the sacred memories of the past; to it clung the yet brighter hopes of the future. The history of Israel and all their prospects were intertwined with their religion; so that it may be said that without their religion they had no history, and without their history no religion. Thus, history, patriotism, religion, and hope alike pointed to Jerusalem and the Temple as the centre of Israel's unity." (Edersheim, Alfred, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 3)
Acts 2:6 every man heard them speak in his own language
Bruce R. McConkie
"'They shall speak with new tongues.' (Mark 16:17.) So said Jesus of those who would believe his gospel. And now amid this Pentecostal outpouring of divine grace, the purpose of this gift of the Spirit is dramatically set forth. It is to preach the gospel, to make known God's saving truths, and to do it under faith-promoting and testimony-inspiring circumstances. Peter and the others spoke and people of all languages and tongues understood, thus showing forth the power of God and foreshadowing the apostolic ministry which would take the gospel to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
"In speaking of the purpose of the gift of tongues, Joseph Smith said: 'The gift of tongues by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Church, is for the benefit of the servants of God to preach to unbelievers, as on the day of Pentecost.' (Teachings, p. 195.) Also: 'Be not so curious about tongues, do not speak in tongues except there be an interpreter present; the ultimate design of tongues is to speak to foreigners, and if persons are very anxious to display their intelligence, let them speak to such in their own tongues [that is in the tongues of the foreigners].' (Teachings, pp. 247-248.) (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2: 33.)
Acts 2:16-17 this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel
"Because Peter, referring to the Spirit that was then resting upon the Twelve Apostles, said, 'this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel,' etc., the very general opinion prevails that Joel's prophecy was then fulfilled; and hence the last days were come. This is an entire misapprehension of the purpose of Peter in making the quotation; as also of the quoted passage itself. Beyond all controversy Peter meant only: This Spirit which you now see resting upon these Apostles of Jesus of Nazareth, is that same Spirit which your Prophet Joel says will, in the last days, be poured out upon all flesh. Obviously he did not mean that this occasion of the Apostles receiving the Holy Ghost was a complete fulfilment of Joel's prediction. To insist upon such an exegesis would be to charge the chief of the Apostles with palpable ignorance of the meaning of Joel's prophecy. On the occasion in question the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Twelve Apostles, who were given the power to speak in various tongues; Joel's prophecy for its complete fulfilment requires that the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Ghost, shall be poured out upon all flesh; and undoubtedly refers to that time which shall come in the blessed millennium when the enmity shall not only cease between man and man, but even between the beasts of the forests and of the fields; and between man and beast, as described by Isaiah in the following language:
'The wolf also shall dwell with the Lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.' (Isa. 11:6-9)
"Compare these conditions so vividly described with what Joel himself says of the period when the Spirit of the Lord shall be poured out upon all flesh, and it will at once be clear that the two Prophets (Isaiah and Joel) are dealing with the same period [which] in fact is still in the future; for the sun has not yet been turned into blackness; nor the moon into blood; nor have the stars withdrawn their shining. It is obvious that the events upon the day of Pentecost did not fulfil the terms of this prophecy, except in those particulars already pointed out. The mention in this prophecy, however, of those special signs which Jesus refers to as immediately preceding His own second and glorious coming, clearly demonstrate that Joel was speaking of the last days indeed, and not of a circumstance that occurred in connection with a period more properly designated as the Dispensation of the Meridian of Time...therefore at some time future from the days of the Apostles, we may look forward to a universal outpouring of God's Holy Spirit upon all flesh, resulting in a universal peace and widespread knowledge of God." (History of The Church, 1: xxxiii.)
Acts 2:17 your old men shall dream dreams
George F. Richards
"The Lord has revealed to me, by dreams, something more than I ever understood or felt before about the love for God and the love for fellow men. I believe in dreams, brethren and sisters...More than forty years ago I had a dream, which I am sure was from the Lord. In this dream I was in the presence of my Savior as he stood in mid-air. He spoke no word to me, but my love for him was such that I have not words to explain. I know that no mortal man can love the Lord as I experienced that love for the Savior unless God reveals it unto him. I would have remained in his presence, but there was a power drawing me away from him, and as a result of that dream I had this feeling, that no matter what might be required at my hands, what the gospel might entail unto me, I would do what I should be asked to do, even to the laying down of my life." (Conference Report, October 1946, Afternoon Meeting 139.)
Acts 2:17-18 your daughters shall prophesy...my handmaidens...shall prophesy
"But what of the title 'prophetess'? In my studies, I have found it to be a term applied variously to wives of prophets, poetesses, and a few women who possessed the power to prophesy, who declared that they spoke God's message, and whose prophecies were fulfilled. Priesthood ordination is not a prerequisite for possessing this gift. Prophecies can be spoken by men and women, adults and children. Moses outlined in detail how a woman could take upon herself the vows of a Nazarite. (See Numbers 6:2-8.) Luke, in the book of Acts, tells of four young girls who prophesied. (See Acts 21:19.) And Jesus, visiting the Nephites, taught their children and opened their mouths. Babes spoke things too wondrous to be recorded. (See 3 Nephi 26:14.) The prophet Joel looked forward to a day when 'your sons and your daughters shall prophesy' (Joel 2:28), a promise the angel Moroni repeated to Joseph Smith (see Joseph Smith 2:41 )." (Jerry W. Hurd, Our Sisters in the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 53.)
Elder Joseph F. Smith, Jr.
"...the angel of the Lord declared to John that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; and the Prophet Joseph Smith has declared that every man who has come into this Church; and every woman, for that matter, who has received the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord, is a prophet or a prophetess; that every man should be a prophet, because every man in the Church should have the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy; and he should declare the truth, teach the principles of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, call upon the people to repent of their sins, and instruct them in the things of the kingdom." (Conference Report, April 1918, Second Meeting Outdoors. 158 - 159.)
Acts 2:19 signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke
Following the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City, President Gordon B. Hinckley also quoted Joel 2:28-32 (See Conference Report, Nov. 2001, 4). Certainly, an event so apocalyptic and dramatic would seem to warrant mention in the scriptures. But just as Peter's reference to Joel's prophecy does not mean that the entire passage has been fulfilled (see commentary for Acts 2:16-17), President Hinckley's use of the same passage does not mean that all of Joel's prophecy has been fulfilled. His reference certainly means that the destruction of the twin towers in New York City was one of the signs of the times. That 'blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke' (Joel 2:30) is an excellent description of that fateful and tragic event. But just as Joel's prophecy about the Lord pouring out his spirit has multiple fulfillments, we can expect more 'blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke' before the sun darkens, the moon is turned to blood, and the stars fall from the heavens. Prior to Sep. 11, 2001, Elder Neal A. Maxwell prophetically commented:
"Has any generation seen such ominous 'vapours of smoke' as ours, with its atomic mushroom clouds over the pathetic pyres of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (See D&C 45:41; Joel 2:30-31; Matthew 24:24; Acts 2:19.) But, alas, even these may fall short of later fulfillments." (If Thou Endure It Well [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 12.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"The words of the prophets are rapidly being fulfilled, but it is done on such natural principles that most of us fail to see it. Joel promised that the Lord would pour out his spirit upon all flesh; the sons and daughters should prophesy; old men should dream dreams and young men should see visions. Wonders in heaven and in the earth should be seen, and there should be fire, blood and pillars of smoke. Eventually the sun is to be turned into darkness and the moon as blood, and then shall come the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Some of these signs have been given; some are yet to come. The sun has not yet been darkened. We are informed that this will be one of the last acts just preceding the coming of the Lord." (The Way to Perfection [Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949], 280.)
Acts 2:27 thou wilt not leave my soul in hell
Spencer W. Kimball
"Another scriptural character responsible for murder-and this in conjunction with adultery-was the great King David. For his dreadful crime, all his life afterward he sought forgiveness. Some of the Psalms portray the anguish of his soul, yet David is still paying for his sin. He did not receive the resurrection at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter declared that his body was still in the tomb. (See Acts 2:29-34.)
"President Joseph F. Smith made this comment on David's position:
'But even David, though guilty of adultery and murder of Uriah, obtained the promise that his soul should not be left in hell, which means, as I understand it, that even he shall escape the second death.' (Gospel Doctrine, 434)
"The Prophet Joseph Smith underlined the seriousness of the sin of murder for David as for all men, and the fact that there is no forgiveness for it.
'A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness. David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of Uriah; but he could only get it through hell: he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell.
'Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the Priesthood; and the Priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.' (Teachings, 339)" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, 128)
Acts 2:27 neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption
We might wonder how this scripture is true. Bruce R. McConkie taught, "Corruption is...used to signify the decay and change that will take place after death." (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163) But if corruption refers to mortality and death, then did not Jesus see corruption? Wasn't his body laid in the tomb, and didn't his Spirit go to the spirit world? How is that different than David, who 'was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption' (Acts 13:36)? The answer may be found in the ancient Jewish tradition as described by James E. Talmage, "It was the popular belief that on the fourth day after death the spirit had finally departed from the vicinity of the corpse, and that thereafter decomposition proceeded unhindered." (Jesus the Christ, note 5., p. 500). According to this tradition, Jesus did not 'see corruption' because his body did not decompose-being resurrected before the fourth day.
Acts 2:29 David...is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day
"Peter had the keys of eternal judgment. And he saw David in Hell and knew for what reason, and that David would have to remain there until the resurrection at the coming of Christ.
"Even David must wait for those times of refreshing [Acts 3:19-20] before he can come forth and his sins be blotted out. For Peter speaking of him says, 'David hath not yet ascended into heaven, for his sepulchre is with us to this day.' His remains were then in the tomb. Now we read that many bodies of the Saints arose at Christ's resurrection, probably all the Saints. But it seems that David did not. Why? Because he had been a murderer." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 144.)
Acts 2:36 God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ
Elder Albert E. Bowen
"That is the kind of teaching that introduced the gospel of Jesus Christ in the ancient day. There is no equivocation, no temporizing, there is no dodging of the issue. There is the straightforward declaration that this man who had lived among them was recognized of God, that they had taken him in foul hands and had destroyed his life, but that he was raised up and had become and was recognized of God as both Lord and Christ.
That is our religion. That is what we believe. Wipe that out, and we have nothing left upon which to rest our faith. It is basic to every principle that is acknowledged in our teaching." (Conference Report, April 1952, Afternoon Meeting 64.)
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart
"This New Testament account illustrates two of many ways in which the power of the Holy Ghost may be manifested: in the first instance, through the miracle of a 'rushing mighty wind' and 'cloven tongues'; in the second, through the subtle spiritual 'pricking' of hearts.
"As members of the Church, we can have the Holy Ghost as our personal guide if we live worthily. I have learned that for me the promptings of the Holy Ghost most often come in subtle ways similar to how the promptings came to those who heard Peter's testimony. Those who look only for 'cloven tongues of fire' may not recognize the Spirit when it pricks their hearts." (Diana Dunkley, "Hearing the Still, Small Voice," Ensign, July 1996, 28)
Acts 2:37 Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Orson F. Whitney
"When Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, preached 'Christ and him crucified,' and the conscience-stricken multitude, 'pricked in their heart,' cried out, 'men and brethren, what shall we do?' a question was propounded which the most learned philosophers of that age could not answer. Ceasar, sitting upon the throne of the world, would have been mystified had the question been put to him-What shall men do to be saved? Not so, the Galilean fisherman. He knew, and he told them straightway: 'Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'
"...These requirements have not changed. They are in force today. They will remain in force so long as the Gospel is preached. The Apostle did not say that these were all the requirements. But he answered the question put to him, and it was the appropriate and sufficient reply for that occasion." (Saturday Night Thoughts [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1921], 236.)
Acts 2:38 repent and be baptized
Orson F. Whitney
"Faith, however, not repentance, is the first requirement. The probable reason why Peter omitted to mention faith at that time, was because he perceived that the multitude already had faith, already believed what he had told them of the crucified Redeemer. Had it been otherwise, they would not have been 'pricked in their heart.' and would not have anxiously inquired, 'What shall we do?' Belief was the first requirement made by the Savior, through his chosen twelve, when he sent them 'into all the world' to 'preach the gospel to every creature' (Mark 16:16). He declared salvation dependent on faith and works: 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.'" (Gospel Themes [Salt Lake City: n.p., 1914], 28.)
"When they heard these things, they were pricked to the heart, and cried out, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'
"You have heard this kind of cry in those revival meetings among the sectarians: people would get convinced and under a sort of contraction of mind, and they would want to know what they should do to be saved.
"Now, here was a lot of people gathered from all parts of the surrounding country, speaking different languages; and Peter was preaching to them to believe, repent, and be baptized: and while reasoning upon the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, they cried out, 'What shall we do?' Did he tell them to go to the anxious seat to be prayed for? No, he did not know anything about such a seat: the Devil had not yet invented it. Did he tell them to go and put their names into a class-book, and that they would receive them on probation, and then, if they were worthy, they would be received as members? No: this is something in advance of Peter's time; it is something of Christian civilization.
"It was necessary that we should have the enlightenment of the 19th century to reveal these things. Did he tell them to pray? No, he did not. Prayer is well enough in the season thereof; but they had something else to do.
"Is it not right to go into your closet and pray? Yes. But when you have ordinances to attend to, then that is your business. What did Peter say to them? He said, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'" (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 5: 243.)
Acts 2:38 be baptized...for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
"By this we learn that the promise of the Holy Ghost is made unto as many as those to whom the doctrine of repentance was to be preached, which was unto all nations...We discover here that we are blending two principles together in these quotations. The first is the principle of repentance, and the second is the principle of the remission of sins; and we learn from Peter that remission of sins is to be obtained by baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and the gift of the Holy Ghost follows inevitably, for, says Peter, 'you shall receive the Holy Ghost.'
"Therefore we believe in preaching the doctrine of repentance in all the world, both to old and young, rich and poor, bond and free...But we discover, in order to be benefitted by the doctrine of repentance, we must believe in obtaining the remission of sins. And in order to obtain the remission of sins, we must believe in the doctrine of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we believe in baptism for the remission of sins, we may expect a fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Ghost, for the promise extends to all whom the Lord our God shall call; and hath He not surely said, as you will find in the last chapter of Revelation-'And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely' (Rev. 22:17)." (History of The Church, 2: 256 - 257.)
"'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' (Acts 2:38.) That was the testimony which they bore to the people. That is the testimony which the elders of this church bear. There is something about this that is reasonable, that is intelligent, and that is susceptible of proof. It was a very fair proposition for the apostle to make, promising the people who would obey the requirements which the gospel imposes upon its adherents, that they should receive the Holy Ghost. And what should this do for them? It was to cause their old men to dream dreams and their young men to see visions, daughters prophesy; it was to bring things past to their remembrance, to lead them into all truth, and to show them things to come." (The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, selected, arranged, and edited, with an introduction by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941], 88 - 89.)
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off
B. H. Roberts
"I call attention to the universality of this promise. It was made to those who were listening to the apostles, but not to them alone, it extended to their children, to them also that were afar off-to those who were a hundred years off, or five hundred, or five to ten thousand years off; the promise was to them; and as if this was not sufficiently universal, the apostle adds, 'even as many as the Lord our God shall call'-call to what? to as many of course, as are called to yield obedience to the Gospel-to all such the promise extends." (The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1901], 178.)
"Consequently, all persons, in all generations and ages, who will perform these requirements, have the promise of the Holy Ghost; the same Holy Spirit that Jesus promised, and the same that was given on the day of Pentecost-all could receive the spirit of revelation, and be guided into all truth. To show still further that the Holy Ghost was to be a revelator to the Church, as well as to the apostles, we will quote the words of John, written to the Church generally: 'Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.' And again, 'the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.' (I John 2:20-27.) Nothing is more certain than that the Church as well as the apostles, were to receive the promised Comforter, and that he was to teach all things to the Church, as well as to its officers; therefore, the revelations of the Holy Ghost, are indispensably necessary to comfort and teach the Church." (Orson Pratt's Works [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1945], 154 - 155.)
Acts 2:41 the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls
"I am so thrilled with the attitude that our new president, President Kimball, has taken with respect to missionary work. He has indicated that we must lengthen our stride and that he wants us to double the number of missionaries that we have...he said that he looks for the day when we will bring in thousands of converts. Then I said to myself: Why not? We have the greatest message in all this world. The message we have for the world today is just as important in the sight of the Lord for all of his children as the message was that Peter delivered on the day of Pentecost, when the multitudes were pricked in their hearts and they cried out: 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' (Acts 2:37.) You remember Peter's answer." ("One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism," Ensign, May 1975, 95)
Acts 2:44 all that believed were together, and had all things common
Sterling W. Sill
"The scriptures speak about an interesting religious practice that has sometimes been used over the ages to promote the economic welfare of people. This program has been known by various names, such as the United Order, the Order of Enoch, the Law of Consecration. It is based on the philosophy of an ideal economic order in which everyone works to the full limit of his ability, and each member has the privilege of withdrawing from the total accumulation according to his need rather than according to his ability to contribute. In the ideal operation of this program, no one has that which is above another, and those who are sick or have large families or other kinds of problems share in the total-not according to any equity, but according to what their needs may be.
"We hear of this unique arrangement first in the days of Enoch, one of the greatest prophets who ever lived on this earth...He gathered his people together in the city of Enoch, about which the scripture says: 'And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.' (Moses 7:18.)
"We might try to imagine a society in which there were no poor, no slums, no idlers, and no sinners. Apparently this idea worked pretty well in the entire city of Enoch, for all its people were eventually translated and taken up into heaven.
"This economic order was also practiced for a time in the days of Jesus. In Acts 2:44 we find this reference: 'And all that believed were together, and had all things common.' The scripture also says: 'And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common.' (Acts 4:32.)
"There was also a period of great righteousness among the Nephites. Of them the record says: 'And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.' (4 Ne. 1:3)
"This program would mean a utopia among us if we had the righteousness and self-control to make it work...But because of human weaknesses, this system has never seemed to work very well for very long. We have too much selfishness and too many idlers to make any common program work very well. There are too many people who want to take more out of life than they put in.
"To make this higher law really work, everyone would need to be ambitious, virtuous, and love his neighbor as himself. It would be necessary for each one to live as near to the top of his condition as possible. Because we haven't been able to qualify for the United Order, the Lord has instituted some lesser laws, including tithing, fast offerings, and other welfare programs. However, because of our personal weaknesses and lack of faith, even these lesser laws are not obeyed very well." (The Wealth of Wisdom [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 208 - 210.)