Have you ever imagined what it would have been like to be a Nephite when Jesus Christ appeared?
Imagine you are at the temple in Bountiful in ancient America. Not long ago, you endured terrifying tempests, earthquakes, fires, and whirlwinds. You survived, but thousands did not (see 3 Nephi 8). You probably lost your home and maybe even some family and friends. You might be feeling like your world is shattered and your life is completely ruined.
Maybe you’re at the temple in Bountiful to find some kind of comfort. It’s good to be with others, but you still feel lost, confused, and sad.
Suddenly, you hear a voice. You can’t understand it at first, but the third time you hear it, you do.
“Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him” (3 Nephi 11:7).
You look up and see your Savior.
But He doesn’t just want you to see Him.
“Arise and come forth unto me,” He said (3 Nephi 11:14).
He wants you to come unto Him.
“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come” (3 Nephi 11:15; italics added).
Have you ever noticed the words “one by one”?
“Come forth unto me” wasn’t a general statement. He wanted them to go forth one by one. He could’ve just introduced Himself, but He wanted every single person there to know who He was for themselves. He wanted them to individually come to Him, to meet Him, and to receive an up close and personal witness that He really is the Savior of the world. He wanted them to feel the prints in His hands and feet—the marks of the Atonement He’d completed just for them. Just for you.
Can you imagine that?
So what does that mean for us?
Jesus Christ still calls us to come unto Him, and that invitation is still extremely personal. He is the Savior of the world, but He is also the Savior of you. He is your personal Savior. Because of His atoning sacrifice, He can comfort and strengthen you personally. And He wants you to know that for yourself.
Even though you can receive a testimony by believing on others’ words (see D&C 46:13–14), it is important for you to gain and strengthen your own testimony. To do so, you can read stories of His example, immerse yourself in His words, ponder His teachings, and pray for a personal witness. You are supposed to have a very close and personal relationship with our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Maybe you’ve endured tempests, earthquakes, fires, and whirlwinds, or maybe you’ve endured loneliness, sadness, depression, confusion, or disappointment. You might have even felt like your world is shattered and your life is completely ruined. And that’s why having a personal relationship with the Savior is so important. You might not be able to feel the marks in His hands and feet every day, but you can still feel His love and the hope that comes from His Atonement.
“He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He will bind up our wounds and care for us (see Luke 10:34). The healing and strengthening power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is for all of us who will ask” (President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, Oct. 2015 general conference).
He is there for you personally and can strengthen you so that you can get through anything.