“Lesson 33: The Savior Appears to the Nephites,” Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997),118
In this lesson we will learn that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God, that he is our Savior, and that he lives today.
Read 3 Nephi 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Also review the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite from Lesson 31.
Samuel's prophecies "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. And there was also a great and terrible tempest . . . the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain . . . the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth . . . when [these things] were done . . . there could be no light, because of the darkness, . . ." (3 Nephi 8:5–25).
The Savior's voice could be heard through the darkness saying, "Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for . . . it is because of their iniquity and abominations that [the slain] are fallen! . . . great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness . . . all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they . . . if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life" (3 Nephi 9:2, 12-14).
"I am Jesus Christ the Son of God . . . the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled . . . by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled" (3 Nephi 9:15–17). With so much confusion in the world today, especially about the Nature of God, it is very important for us to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and what his purpose was on this earth.
Jesus continued saying, "Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin . . . Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved" (3 Nephi 9:21-22). With a new understanding the Atonement "the people who were spared alive . . . their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer" (3 Nephi 10:10).
Twice the people at the temple in the land Bountiful hear the voice from heaven and did not understand it (3 Nephi 11:3–4). So they could understand the voice they stopped conversing and "did open their ears to hear it" (3 Nephi 11:5–6). Likewise if we want to listen and be ready to receive what Heavenly Father wants us to hear we need to listen closely to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost.
What they heard was Heavenly Father telling them "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him" (3 Nephi 11:6–7). From this introduction we learn that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, they are two separate beings, the Father loves the Son, and we are to hear, or listen to the Son. A similar experience was had by those who witnessed Jesus Christ being baptized (Matthew 3:17), as well as by Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove (Joseph Smith History 1:17).
The people then saw "they saw a Man decending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them" (3 Nephi 11:8). The Savior told them who he was and the people fell down to the earth (3 Nephi 11:10–12). How would you have felt if you had been there?
Christ then had the people feel the wounds in his body so they would know he had "been slain for the sins of the world" (3 Nephi 11:14–15). Jesus Christ also give Nephi the power to perform baptisms (3 Nephi 11:19–21).
The greatest news in the world today is that Jesus Christ lives. Many people think of him as having lived long ago and having died on the cross. The knowledge members of his church have makes us feel especially close to the Savior. We know that he suffered for our sins and gave his life for us and that he lives and directs his church today.
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