It’s difficult to read 3 Nephi 17 in the Book of Mormon and not weep alongside the Savior and those who experienced the sacred occasion of His appearance and ministry to the Nephites following His Resurrection. It is also difficult to imagine that anyone, after reading the account, would not also experience a deep witness of the Spirit that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon is a true record. A record that was written for our day and preserved to come forth at this very time, when more than ever in the history of the world we need Him and His gospel. We need Him to save us and heal us from the inevitable, broken hearts of mortality!
How grateful I am for the Book of Mormon. It has truly changed my life. Tonight I found myself in the crowning chapter of the book, weeping. I wept because I imagined myself among the Nephites, with my husband, our children, and grandchildren – my entire family. I wept because I know that what the Savior wants more than anything else is to heal each and every one of us through the power of the Atonement. I wept because the Savior wept. He was truly overwhelmed by the love He received from these people. What a contrast to what He had just experienced in Jerusalem, among His own, only days before. They crucified Him!
18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22 And when he had done this he wept again;
I wept because I know that I will have that same experience at His Second Coming if I am true and faithful to the covenants that I have made in His Holy Temple. I wept, imagining what it will be like to kneel with the Savior and have Him pray for me – I know He will. I wept because I know I need to repent more, and more often. I wept because I so want to be a better person and to become like Him. But oh, I am so weak. How grateful I am to know that although we are commanded to be perfect, it’s not going to happen in this life. What we can become is pretty perfect at striving to be perfect. I think that’s what’s expected of true disciples of Jesus Christ. I am committed to ‘striving’ a little harder, every day.
“Perfection is an eternal goal. While we cannot be perfect in mortality, striving for it is a commandment which ultimately, through the Atonement, we can keep.” President James E. Faust
I’ve always loved the Primary song, ‘I Wonder When He Comes Again.’ After reading the account of the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites, I think I now know.
I can’t wait!