“Behold, I Am Jesus Christ”


A Visual Account of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Visit to the Nephites in the Americas

Sometime between 559 B.C. and 545 B.C., the prophet Nephi wrote of the Lord Jesus Christ’s future ministry to the Nephites and Lamanites. He prophesied: “After Christ shall have risen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren; and the words which he shall speak unto you shall be the law which ye shall do. …

“There shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection. …

“The Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him” (2 Ne. 26:1, 3, 9).

For nearly six hundred years, righteous Nephites and Lamanites awaited the coming of Christ. Then in the 34th year after the signs of Christ’s birth, the signs of his death were given—a great storm arose, accompanied by earthquakes, great upheavals of nature, and three days of thick, impenetrable darkness. Sometime afterward, at an occasion when people were gathered together at the temple in the land Bountiful “conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death … 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 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” (3 Ne. 11:2, 8–10).

Thus began the ministry of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ to the people in the Western Hemisphere. Following is artwork depicting some of the events described in 3 Nephi 11–28—Kathryn L. Poulter

[illustration] Jesus Christ Visits the Americas, by John Scott. “They saw a Man descending out of heaven; … and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him” (3 Ne. 11:8).

[illustration] Christ and the Book of Mormon Children, by Del Parson. “And he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. … And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked … they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, … and the angels did minister unto them” (3 Ne. 17:21, 23–24).

[illustration] Christ Praying with the Nephites, by Ted Henninger. “And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, … And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father” (3 Ne. 17:16–17).

[illustration] The Sacrament in the New World, by Minerva Teichert. “And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat. And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude” (3 Ne. 18:3–4).

[illustration] Jesus Christ and the Nephite Disciples, by Gary Kapp. “More blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven” (3 Ne. 28:7).

[illustration] Bring Forth the Record, by Robert T. Barrett. “And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept. … And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them” (3 Ne. 23:7, 14).

[illustration] And He Did Heal Them All, Every One, by Gary Kapp. “And it came to pass that … all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him” (3 Ne. 17:9).