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STEPHEN, FULL OF FAITH, WAS ZEALOUS, FEARLESS

Stephen, the first martyr for the testimony of the resurrected Savior, is described as, "A man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 6:5.)

He is also characterized by an unflagging and courageous zeal in testifying of Christ. His candor never faltered, even to save his own life, according to Elder James E. Talmage.As the early Church rapidly grew, Stephen was one of seven chosen to assist the apostles. (Acts 6:1.) No sooner was he chosen than he gained a reputation for fearlessness.

"He was zealous in service, aggressive in doctrine, and fearless as a minister of Christ," wrote Elder Talmage of Stephen in Jesus the Christ.

Stephen offended important people and was soon called before the Sanhedrin. There he discoursed on the history of Israel, and concluded by accusing those of the Sanhedrin of betraying and murdering "the Just One." (Acts 7:52.)

"It is plain to see that Stephen's speech was not one of vindication, and far from a plea in his own defense," wrote Elder Talmage. At the conclusion of Stephen's discourse, a vision opened up to him and he saw and described "the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." This further enraged the Sanhedrinists, who then stoned him. (Acts 7:55.)

"The blood of Stephen the Martyr proved to be rich and virile seed, from which sprang a great harvest of souls," wrote Elder Talmage.