“Book of Mormon Story: The Love of Jesus Christ,” Friend, Feb. 1996, 48
In John 3:16, in the New Testament, we read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus Christ, as Heavenly Father asked, created a beautiful world for us, He gave us the commandments to help us live as we should, and He guides all who listen through the prophets. But He has done much, much more than that for us. He suffered for our sins and He died so that we might live with Him and Heavenly Father in the celestial kingdom if we live righteously. And He has done all this because He loves us!
The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi was about to die. Like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, Lehi, who was a descendant of Joseph of Egypt, loved his children, and he thought hard about what he could tell each of them that would help the most. He wanted all of them to be able to live in the celestial kingdom.
Lovingly he warned Laman and Lemuel of what would happen if they did not repent of their wickedness, especially against Nephi, who the Lord said was to lead them. Lehi reminded them of the beautiful land they now lived in, which would always be theirs if they were righteous.
He praised Jacob, who was born in the wilderness, for understanding the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Joseph, Lehi’s youngest son, was named in honor of the Joseph who had been second in command in Egypt and who prophesied that Joseph Smith would bring the gospel to Lehi’s descendants in the latter days. Lehi explained many gospel principles to his youngest son and told him to continue to follow his brother Nephi.
Lehi spoke not just to his own sons but also to the sons of Ishmael, to Zoram, and to all their wives and children. He urged them to keep the Lord’s commandments, and he gave them his blessing. Then he died.
Lehi loved Jesus Christ and knew that the Savior loved him and his people. His last gift to them was his testimony of the gospel, of what Jesus Christ had done and would do in the future for them if they would obey the commandments.