Sunday, June 5, 2011
Further Light and Knowledge on Christ's visit to the Americas
So we know that the pinnacle of the Book of Mormon takes place in 3rd Nephi Chapter 11 when the Savior visits the Americas thus fulfilling the prophecy he made previously while dwelling among his apostles in Jerusalem, when he stated in John 10:16,
"other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
In that statement he was speaking of his children who were the natives here in the America's and as far as I know probably elsewhere too. I have come to an absolute love of the account of the Savior's visit in 3rd Nephi as have many million other people. I just thought that I would give a few tid-bits of added insight that may get over looked when we read through the events that lead of to this account and the actual account itself.
Starting with the catastrophic events that lead up to the Saviors visit we read of not only an apostasy of the people but a great storm that eventually brought much destruction. Although there is a lot of speculation of whether this was caused by a vol canoe or earthquakes or probably both, we do know that in places where cities once stood they had now been covered by earth. Other great cities were completely buried in the sea, and many others burned including the great city of Zerahemla only to be rebuilt later. The common misconception is that as soon as these destruction's took place they were immediately followed by three days of darkness which lead directly into the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately this is not the case. Further study of these breathtaking chapters shows that in 3 Nephi 8:5 it states,
"And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land."This verse lets us now that the year 34 (from which the sign had been given according to Samuel the Lamanite) in the first month and fourth day there arose a storm. So this great storm arose in the beginning of the year, on the first month. Now if we examine 3 Nephi 10:18 it states,
"And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them."
From this verse we see that Christ did not appear unto those who had been spared until the ending of the 34th year. This would have allowed the people not only a greater part of a year to start rebuilding cities but also to marvel at the destruction and the previous voice of the Lord that they heard explaining the destruction during 3 Nephi 10. Thus we see that in Chapter 11 when Christ appears they are in this same manner of "marveling and wondering one with another". So although there was great destruction that was followed by three days of darkness, the Savior did not appear unto the remaining Nephites and Lamanites until end of the year.
The second added insight that I would like to share takes place immediately upon Christ descending to the Temple of Bountiful. In 3 Nephi 11: 13-15 it states,
"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side , and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet: and this they did do going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record that it was he of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."
So in this verse we see that every single soul of those who were spared and at the temple in Bountiful did go forth and take the time to feel the prints in the Saviors hands and feet and in his side until they could bear record and know with a surety that this was the Lord of whom the prophets had spoken. So the next question is how many people where there that day that had this opportunity? Well in the end of 3 Nephi 17 this question is answered for us in verse 25 which says,
"And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls: and they did consist of men, women, and children."
So if we break the amount of people down with the time line, supposing that on average each person took about 15 seconds to feel the prints in his hands, feet and side and multiplying that by the 2500 people and dividing it by 60 twice to break down minutes and hours. It roughly comes to about 10 hours and 45 minutes that the Savior stood there allowing everyone there to feel the prints and to know for sure that this was the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When compared to most of our average 8 hour work days we realize that even something as small as allowing people to feel the prints from the nails was quite an accomplishment that when read in the correct context allows the reader to gain added insight and a better perspective for the love that the Savior has for each and every one of us.