“Behold, I Am Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Jan. 1996, 40
Sometime between 559 B.C. and 545 B.C., the prophet Nephi wrote of the Lord Jesus Christ’s future ministry to the American 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 many years the righteous Nephites and Lamanites awaited the coming of Christ.
Hundreds of years passed, and then in the thirty-fourth 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, chapters 11 through 28.—Kathryn L. Poulter, Assistant Editor