“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come unto the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world… and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world… Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may know that I am the God of israel, and the God of the whole earth.”
Dear Friend ~
In this post, we want to take you to the time Jesus first appeared to His people in ancient America and share with you His first words to His people and His first invitation to them. As you read the account below, what questions do you have? What thoughts and feelings come to your mind and heart? Can you imagine what it might have been like if you were there? Can you imagine a coming day where you yourself might experience something similar when He comes again? (to see the whole passage in context, click here.)
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
13 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
14 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.
15 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.
16 And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:
17 Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.
Christ’s first words to His people in America were a declaration that He was in fact the Savior of the whole earth, that His coming to them was a fulfilment of prophecy, and that He had done what the Father had sent Him to do. His first invitation to His people was to come and see and feel (both with their hands and with their hearts) and know for themselves that He was who He said He was and that the marks He bore were for them – because of His suffering, they could be healed – because He conquered death, they too could find life again, and find it more abundantly. No longer did they have to rely on what others had told them – now they could know for themselves.
This is one of the great messages found throughout the Book of Mormon – Christ invites all – even us today – to come unto Him to see and feel and know for ourselves that He is the Savior, that He died and rose again for us, and that He took upon Himself our sins and sufferings. Likewise, this is our invitation to you – to add to your knowledge and love of God and His word by coming to know Him even more through this additional witness of Christ. Come and see and feel and know for yourself of His goodness and grace. Just as He ministered to all of His people in all parts of the world through all generations of time, so too can He minister to you – wherever you might be in your journey, whenever you might need Him. And when you come to see and feel and know these things for yourself, you too – like us – will undoubtedly feel similarly – “Hosanna! Blessed be name of the Most High God!”
May God bless you even more abundantly as you continue to strive to come unto Him and to see and feel and know for yourself.