After Jesus leaves, they depart for their homes and all night long they keep busy telling everyone they can find that Jesus showed Himself to them and taught them, and that He will be there at the temple again on the morrow. Am I filled with the joy of Christ like these people were, that I am willing to tirelessly work to share His light with others?
Those that hear the good news travel all night to get to the temple to see and hear Him. Do I show this type of yearning to be taught by the Master? Do I make scripture study a priority, so I may hear and know His words for me? Do I make time and prepare to pray, so the heavens will open my eyes to see and my ears to hear?
The crowd the day before was about 2,500 people. Now it has grown to be so great that the apostles separate them into twelve bodies to prepare them to receive the Lord. The apostles are named:
- Timothy (his brother he raised from the dead)
- Jonas (Timothy’s son)
- Mathonihah (his brother)
- Jonas (this is the second one)
The apostles begin with prayer and then repeat what was taught yesterday by Christ. They must have taken notes. Then they bow down and pray again as a multitude.
And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.”3 Nephi 19:9
Since Christ could not be with them, they prayed that another member of the Godhead could be with them.
Do I take advantage of this great gift and seek the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead, daily to guide and comfort me?
Nephi goes down into the water and is baptized. Then he baptizes “all those whom Jesus had chosen.” (12) The Holy Ghost “did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (13)
The Holy Ghost purges our sins through the fire of Christ’s atoning power, which He has the power to bring into our hearts.
The fire cleanses their souls, burns all the refuse that bogs their spirits down. Just like the children the day before, “they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.” (14)
These people had just survived a horrible geographic devastation, great wickedness and turmoil, government broken up and divided into tribes, and three days of utter darkness. That had to have been completely terrifying. But now, they are being ministered to by angels and healed.
As the angels minister to them, Jesus returns and ministers to them as well. The apostles kneel and pray “and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.” They didn’t have to supplicate Heavenly Father, since Jesus was in their midst.
Jesus will heal us of whatever afflictions we suffer in this life. That is His promise. Any upset, any terror, any pains, any upheaval and breaking that happens to us, He will make it right again.
Jesus goes a little bit away and “bowed himself to the earth, and he said: (19) Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.” (20)
He asks that the Comforter be given to any who believe on their words. He mentions why they pray unto Him.
And they pray unto me because I am with them.”3 Nephi 19:22
Otherwise, they would pray to Heavenly Father, in His name.
Jesus returns. His apostles are still praying “without ceasing…unto him.” (24) They didn’t multiply many words, but it was given them what they should say. This is because the Holy Ghost was with them.
If we have His Spirit with us, He will teach us what to pray for, who to pray for, and how to pray. Jesus smiles on them, “and the light of his countenance did shine upon them” and they are white like Him, “yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.” (25)
He again goes off to pray to the Father while they pray to Him, and this time says:
Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me.”3 Nephi 19:28
He returns to the apostles, who pray without ceasing. He smiles on them again. How awesome would it be to have Jesus smile upon me? That would be worth sacrificing anything for—even, and especially, my sins.
He goes off again to pray to the Father “and tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be written by man the words which he prayed.” (32) The people did hear and “they did understand in their heart the words which he prayed.” (33)
Understanding the things of God in our hearts brings that firm testimony which cannot be easily shaken.
How can I do better at sharing Christ’s light to those in my sphere of influence?
How can I do better at preparing myself to hear His words to me?
In General Conference this past week, Michell Craig gave these two questions we can ask ourselves to try to be more humble and understand in our hearts the things God wants us to know:
- What am I doing now that I should stop doing?
- What am I not doing now that I should start doing?