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Dominant scriptural theme: 'He is risen'

Apostles' testimony essential to Church

PROVO, Utah — The golden chain that makes its way though the book of Acts to the book of Revelation and throughout all of the scriptures is that Jesus is the Son of God and has been resurrected, said Elder L. Aldin Porter Oct. 25.

Speaking at BYU's 31st annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, Elder Porter, an emeritus General Authority, said, "The dominant message of the scriptures in all ages is 'He is risen.' "

More than 1,000 Church members attended the annual scripture symposium, held on the BYU campus and titled "Go Ye Into All The World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles."

Elder Porter offered the symposium's keynote address titled, "He is risen." Other presenters also addressed themes from the New Testament, the Church's 2003 Gospel Doctrine curriculum.

During his address, Elder Porter said the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ are fundamental to the Church.

"The apostles Peter, Thomas, Paul and others bore personal witness of the Resurrection, and their testimonies highlight different aspects of the supernal event," he said.

For example, he said, Peter made a major point of the fact that the Savior had been raised from the dead and gave a call to repentance and to baptism.

"I draw attention to not only the message but the method by which it is transmitted," Elder Porter said, quoting Acts 2:32, 36-38 and Acts 3:14-15, 19-21. "Peter did not argue, he did not plead, he did not cajole — he simply bore witness of the Master and His Resurrection with a power we can feel as we read the accounts. He knew the fundamental truth, that the convincing power of the Holy Ghost would accompany his words."

The Lord's work, he continued, moves forward on personal revelation and the power of testimony. "Today we testify before the world that these things are true. Our parents, teachers, priesthood and auxiliary leaders, missionaries, and apostles and prophets bear witness of the divinity of the Lord's Atonement and Resurrection. We have spiritual progress in this kingdom when our quorums, classes and pulpits resound with the sure word of testimony."

Elder Porter said one of the reasons the Book of Mormon is given to members in this day is that they may effectively teach and testify of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the certainty of His resurrection.

"The Book of Mormon's title page explicitly states that it is written 'to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations,' " said Elder Porter.

"Clearly He who gave us this sacred scripture has made known its divine purposes. These facts were placed in the book to draw our attention to those important doctrines the Lord wants us to understand.

"Therefore, the Book of Mormon is not merely the history of a people; it is the history of a message, of those who carried that message, and the people's response to it. The testimony of Jesus permeates its pages from the title page to Moroni's final testimony."

Elder Porter said the kingdom moves forward today on the power of personal revelation that there is a Savior to this world and He is Jesus Christ.

Today, he continued, "our prophets, apostles and other leaders testify of the risen Lord and the power of the Atonement and Resurrection. . . .

"This great and powerful witness that we have so abundantly seen in the scriptures has fallen upon the apostles and prophets and faithful members of the Church in our day. We are blessed with prophets who have a sure and certain knowledge of these basic truths. . . .

"We here tonight have the honor and the obligation through revelation to bear witness that Jesus literally came forth from the tomb. Our teaching should be permeated with this eternal fact. Ours is the joyful burden of standing as His witnesses in our day and time."

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