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The Calling of the Seventy

A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Lesson 16:
“What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?”




In Luke 10, Jesus calls and commissions the Seventy. This video will talk a little bit about them and the scriptural context for what Jesus is doing. To begin with, I’ll read Luke 10:1, where they are introduced, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

When we read that Jesus has just commissioned a set of seventy men to go with the twelve whom he has already sent forth in helping bear the burden of a substantial labor, we should be reminded of an event that took place relatively early on in the Hebrew Bible, in which Moses is feeling overburdened taking care of the People of the Lord. As he says in verse 14,

14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”

There are perhaps several lessons here, one being that the Lord is responsive to the requests for help of his servant and another being that we don’t and often shouldn’t try to bear our burdens alone. Later on in the same chapter, Moses does as he has been instructed and gathers the seventy elders together, beginning at verse 24:

Numbers 11:24 ¶ And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

When the Lord puts his spirit upon us, it enables us to teach with power and even to teach things beyond our normal unaided capacity, and this is a blessing that Moses at least would like to see widely enjoyed. The Lord, speaking in Doctrine and Covenants 68:3-4 also supports this idea, 3 “And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. 4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.”

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