After the destruction which coincided with the death of the Savior, and before He visited a group of people on the American continent, He spoke to them several times. The first message they heard was a lament and an invitation.
The Savior’s purpose in addressing the people was to explain the tragedy they had just experienced and to invite them to receive His healing power.
- Explanation: I have destroyed many cities because of the sins of the people, “that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come up any more unto me against them” (3 Nephi 9:2-12).
- How to be healed (3 Nephi 9:13-22).
- Invitation: Return unto me, repent, and be converted, so that I can heal you (3 Nephi 9:13-14).
- Introduction: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God (3 Nephi 9:15-18).
- I created the heavens and the earth.
- “I was with the Father from the beginning.”
- I was rejected by my people.
- “By me redemption cometh.”
- “I am the light and the life of the world.”
- “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
- Announcement: The law of Moses is fulfilled. Sacrifices and burnt offerings are replaced by “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:19-20).
- The main message: I have come to save everyone who will repent and come unto me (3 Nephi 9:21-22).
- [After several hours of silence] The Savior laments the unresponsiveness of the people (3 Nephi 10:4-7).
- “How oft would I have gathered you…and ye would not” (3 Nephi 10:4-5).
- “How oft will I gather you…if ye will repent and return unto me” (3 Nephi 10:6).
- “But if not…the places of your dwellings shall become desolate” (3 Nephi 10:7).
Lehi told his son Jacob that, because of the redemption of the Messiah, we are free to choose “liberty and eternal life” or “captivity and death” (2 Nephi 2:26-27). Immediately after carrying out His Atonement, the Savior reinforced this doctrine to a group of Lehi’s descendants. He, the Son of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, came to redeem us. The test for each of us is whether we are willing to receive the redemption. The healing power is available, but we must choose to receive it. We do it by humbling ourselves, turning to the Savior, and repenting of our sins.
As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf testified:
The most important day in the history of mankind was the day when Jesus Christ, the living Son of God, won the victory over death and sin for all of God’s children. And the most important day in your life and mine is the day when we learn to “behold the man”; when we see Him for who He truly is; when we partake with all our heart and mind of His atoning power; when with renewed enthusiasm and strength, we commit to follow Him (“Behold the Man!” General Conference, April 2018).
I will respond to the Savior’s words by taking actions which enable me to receive His healing power, including humbling myself, turning my thoughts to Him, and repenting of my sins. I will remember that He wants to save everyone, that He has paid a terrible price to achieve that goal, and that the choice is now ours to receive the redemption He has made available to us.
Blog Posts About the Savior’s Words to the People in Darkness
- How Is Jesus Christ “the Light and the Life of the World?” (3/17/2019)
- Why Is Jesus Called “Alpha and Omega?” (3/5/2019)
- What Is the Significance of the Names and Titles of Jesus in the Book of Mormon? (3/3/2019)
- What Does It Mean to Be “Baptized with Fire?” (2/23/2019)
- How Does the Savior Invite Us to Come Unto Him? (2/12/2019)
- Ministering Unto Them – 3 Nephi 10:18-19 (12/24/2018)
- I Am the Light and the Life of the World – 3 Nephi 9:18, 3 Nephi 11:11 (12/5/2018)
- The Places of Your Dwellings Shall Become Desolate – 3 Nephi 9:6-7 (12/4/2018)
- How Oft Would I Have Gathered You – 3 Nephi 10:5 (12/12/2017)
- A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit – 3 Nephi 9:20 (12/11/2017)
- Their Mourning Was Turned to Joy – 3 Nephi 10:10 (4/30/2017)
- More Righteous – 3 Nephi 9:13 (10/11/2016)
- There Was Silence – 3 Nephi 10:1-3 (9/30/2016)
- As Many As Have Received Me – 3 Nephi 9:15-17 (9/24/2016)
- And They Knew It Not – 3 Nephi 9:20 (6/25/2016)
- That I May Heal You – 3 Nephi 9:13-14 (1/14/2016)
- How Oft Will I Gather You – 3 Nephi 10:4-6 (10/11/2015)
- A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit – 3 Nephi 9:19-20 (10/10/2015)
- Whosoever Will Come, Him Will I Receive – 3 Nephi 9:14 (10/8/2015)
- Because Ye Were More Righteous Than They – 3 Nephi 9:13 (10/7/2015)
- 3 Nephi 9:13 Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me? (12/3/2014)