“AND now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.
And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
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.
And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
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.
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.” – 3 Nephi 11:1-12
Okay, so today’s scripture reference is a lot different than what we’d find in Handel’s Messiah. At this point in the Oratorio, the scriptures recited would be discussing Christ’s ascension into Heaven. I thought that it would be an appropriate time to include His visit to the Nephites.
Christ taught, “And 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,” (John 10:16). We know, from the teachings of the Old Testament that Jehovah had covenanted with all of Israel, and yet, by the time of His coming, Israel had been scattered.
Who scattered them? I guess you could say Babylon and other empires, but, ultimately, it is the Lord that allowed Israel to be scattered. Even though the tribes were lost to Judah and the Israelites in Jerusalem, it doesn’t mean that Israel was lost to the Lord.
A part of Israel, under the direction of the Lord, had migrated to the promised land – modern day North and South America. And after Christ had completed his ministry on earth at Jerusalem and had been resurrected, he visited His “lost” tribes.
The account included in the Book of Mormon is the account of Christ’s visit to a part of Israel. It is beautiful. If you are unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon and the visit of Christ to the people of the Americas, then I encourage you to read it. (You can find the account of Christ’s visit here.)
To see the rest of the “If Handel had been a Mormon” scripture chain, click here.