#LDSConf – 3 Nephi 19

CLICK HERE to read 3 Nephi 19.

After the Savior ascended back into heaven, the people returned to their homes (verse 1).  Word spread quickly that they had seen the Savior, and the people testified of how He had healed them and their children (verse 2).  They invited many people to come meet Him again the next day, and many worked hard to travel there to witness it for themselves (verse 3).

So many people showed up (verse 4) that the twelve disciples divided the people into twelve groups (verse 5).  The disciples invited the people to pray (verse 6), while they ministered among the people (verse 7).  All the people were praying “to the Father in the name of Jesus” (verse 8) to receive the Holy Ghost (verse 9).

As they had been taught, the leader was baptized (verse 11), and then the disciples (verse 12), and then also all the people (verse 13).   The Holy Spirit filled them (verse 13), and all the people witnessed being “encircled about as if it were by fire” (verse 14).  Angels ministered to the disciples, and the Savior again appeared to the people (verse 15).  He invited the people to kneel again (verse 16), and commanded the disciples to pray (verse 17).  They began to pray (verse 18), and the Savior also bowed to pray (verse 19), thanking the Father for the Holy Ghost being given to the disciples (verse 20), asking for the Holy Ghost to be given to all those who believe (verse 21), and saying that He will know they believe because He will hear their prayers (verse 22).  He prayed for the people to be at-one (verse 23).  Then the Savior went back to the disciples and taught them how to pray (verse 24).

And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof (verse 25).

This reminds us of the Living Christ description:

His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters…

The Savior told the disciples to keep praying (verse 26), and He himself went off alone to pray again (verse 27).  He thanked the Father for purifying the disciples because of their faith (for keeping His part of the covenant in response to their willingness to be obedient), and He prayed that all the people would be purified through their faith and their testimony, even as they are purified by the atonement (verse 28).  The Savior followed the pattern He had already established for prayer, noting that He was not asking the Father to purify everyone, but that He was asking the Father to purify those willing to be obedient (verse 29).

When the Savior went back to check on the disciples, they were still praying (verse 30).

And He did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.

This countenance-changing, this becoming-the-Light, this literal shining of His presence reminds us of Moses, whose face was physically and literally shiny after visiting with the Lord (see Exodus 34:35).

The Savior then went back to pray to the Father again (verse 31).  No one could write the words He prayed (verses 32, 34), but all the people witnessed it “and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which he prayed” (verse 33).

When the Savior finished praying, he reminisced about how the disciples in Jerusalem had not been able to stay awake to pray with Him the night before He was crucified.  He said:

So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews (verse 35).

No one, He said, has seen things “so great as ye have seen; neither have they heard so great things as ye have heard” (verse 36).

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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