In the Book of Mormon, we learn that after Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected, he visited the people that inhabited the Americas.
In John, Jesus proclaims,
“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
The contemporaries of Christ thought that the “other sheep” were the Gentiles, but they misunderstood. Jesus Christ wouldn’t teach the gentiles. We see this in the exchange he has with the woman of Canaan, when he tells her that he was only sent to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (See Matthew 15:22-28.) The other sheep were the lost members of the house of Israel, and they would literally hear His voice. We are able to read of one such experience in the Book of Mormon.
The people of the Book of Mormon were once inhabitants of Jerusalem. You can find out more about their history here. These people, known as the Nephites and Lamanites, were true members of the house of Israel. They had made covenants, kept the law of Moses, and, like the Jews of Jerusalem, were looking forward to the coming of their Messiah. Even though Christ wouldn’t live among them, they knew that he would come to the earth and fulfill the will of God by suffering for our sins.
Some time after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, Christ came and visited these people. This visit is recorded in the book of 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. It is the highlight of the Book of Mormon.
Shortly before Christ came to the Americas, the people who lived there experienced many natural disasters. There were earthquakes, tornadoes, mudslides, and fires. Then, after the destruction, the land was covered in darkness for three days. After this, the people who had survived began to rejoice because they had been spared. Many gathered at the temple to talk about what had been going on. While gathered there, they heard a voice from heaven, but couldn’t understand it. Again, they heard the voice, but again, they couldn’t understand it. Finally, they could hear, and they understood:
“Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.” – 3 Nephi 11:7
After this pronouncement, they saw a Man, the Savior, descending out of Heaven.
Can you imagine this? I honestly can’t. I wish that I could say that, Yes, I could understand. I can’t fully grasp the horror of the disasters and then the joy of the promised Messiah. Even though I can’t completely imagine this event, I know, in my heart, that it happened.
When Christ visited the people, he testified of Himself, he let them come, one by one, to see the nailprints in His hands and feet, and to feel His flesh, and called apostles and set up His church. He also taught the People the higher law of the gospel,he healed the sick, and he blessed the children. As a result of His visitation, the people lived in complete peace and happiness for a couple hundred of years.
The entire account of Christ’s visitation to the Nephites, those who inhabited the Americas anciently, is inspiring. One of my favorite parts of this is the pattern that is taught by the Lord, himself:
“…will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” – 3 Nephi 9:13
Healing is what Christ is all about. He came to Jerusalem, and he healed His people. He came to the Americas, and he healed His people. He offers us healing, too – from the effects of sickness, our sins, the sins of others, and death. We can feel the comfort that the Healing Power of Christ, and His Atonement brings into our lives if we will only 1)Return to Him, 2)Repent of our Sins, and 3)Be Converted.
I have felt the healing power that the Savior offers in my life. I know that He loves us. I know that He has loved us always – enough to appear to His children throughout the world. If you are not familiar with the experience of Christ’s visit to the Americas, I encourage you to read about it here. You can also find out more about the Book of Mormon here.