This week, I have spent the majority of it asleep, recovering from the flu. I haven't been able to do a lot for myself, and I have been so grateful for my husband and boys who have kept everything going until I have been able to wake up and get on with life. During those brief moments of alertness, I have been trying to get in my scripture study. It was interesting the verses that jumped out to me while I was sick, which I probably would have skipped over otherwise without much thought. Like this verse in Third Nephi 26:15 when Jesus re-appeared to the Nephites.
Reading that verse made me think about what I had read earlier in Third Nephi 11. When Jesus first appeared to the Nephites, we learn that he allowed each person to come and thrust their hands into his side, and to feel the nail prints in his hands and feet. Why? Why would Jesus take the time to do this for the Nephites? He had come their to teach them of his doctrine, and settle any disputations that they had. But first, He wanted the people to know that he was the God of Israel, and their Savior who had been slain for the sins of the world. I can't imagine how that would feel, to have a multitude of people thrust their hands at you, and feel your scars and wound marks. It must have taken hours for each of them to walk one by one and to have this experience. The atonement became personal to each of these people who participated in this event. The atonement was no longer a generic term that the people referenced, but it became a personal, sacred event that had meaning to each individual. Jesus Christ had died for their sins. Once this relationship was built, Jesus was able to go on and teach them, but Christ knew that they were not able to understand all things yet. They needed to go home and ponder on what he taught them, and ask Heavenly Father for understanding. This understanding comes by being taught truth through the power of the Holy Ghost. 3 Nephi 17:And it came to pass that after he had ascended into heaven—the second time that he showed himself unto them, and had gone unto the Father, after having healed all their sick, and their lame, and opened the eyes of their blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and even had done all manner of cures among them, and raised a man from the dead, and had shown forth his power unto them, and had ascended unto the Father—
2 I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.I really like what it says in verse 5:
And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.The Nephites knew that Jesus had spent so much time with them already, but they were not ready yet for him to go. Jesus understood what the Nephites wanted and responded directly to their needs.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.Which brings me full circle to where I began in Third Nephi 26: 15.
7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.
9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, 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.
And it came to pass that after he had ascended into heaven—the second time that he showed himself unto them, and had gone unto the Father, after having healed all their sick, and their lame, and opened the eyes of their blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and even had done all manner of cures among them, and raised a man from the dead, and had shown forth his power unto them, and had ascended unto the Father—
This weeks journey into the scriptures, has really helped me to see how compassionate our Savior truly is. He knows what we have need of. He suffered for our sins. The Atonement is a very sacred, and very personal experience where our Savior knows how to help us individually. His bowels are filled with compassion for us, and wants to heal us from our afflictions, strengthen us through our trials, as many times as we need him. His ultimate purpose is to help us return back home to our Heavenly Father.