211 _39. MINISTRY OF THE RESURRECTED CHRIST ON THE WESTERN HEMISHPERE

211 _39. MINISTRY OF THE RESURRECTED CHRIST ON THE WESTERN HEMISHPERE

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CHAPTER 39 670MINISTRY OF THE RESURRECTED CHRIST ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE 670By considering the apostolic ministry in immediate sequence to our study of the Lord's ascension from the Mount of Olives, we have departed from the chronological order of the several personal manifestations of the risen Savior to mortals; for very soon after His final farewell to the apostles in Judea He visited His "other sheep," not of the eastern fold, whose existence He had affirmed in that impressive sermon concerning the Good Shepherd and His sheep. 1 Those other sheep who were to hear the Shepherd's voice and eventually be made part of the united fold, were the descendants of Lehi who, with his family and a few others, had left Jerusalem 600 B.C. and had crossed the great deep to what we now know as the American continent, whereon they had grown to be a mighty though a divided people. 2 670THE LORD'S DEATH SIGNALIZED BY GREAT CALAMITIES ON THE AMERICAN CONTINENT 670As already set forth in these pages, the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem had been made known to the Nephite nation on the western hemisphere by divine revelation; and the glad event had been marked by the appearance of a new star, by a night devoid of darkness so that two days and the night between had been as one day, and by other wonderful occurrences, all of which had been predicted through the prophets of the western world. 3 Samuel the Lamanite, who through faithfulness and good works had become a prophet, mighty in word and deed, duly chosen and commissioned of God, had coupled with his predictions of the glorious occurrences that were to mark the birth of Christ, prophecies of other signs-of darkness, terror, and destruction-by which the Savior's death on the cross would be signalized. 4 Every prophetic word concerning the phenomena that were to attend the Lord's birth had been fulfilled; and many people had been brought thereby to believe in Christ as the promised Redeemer; but, as is usual with those whose belief rests on miracles, many among the Nephites "began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen." 5 670Thirty and three years had sped their course since the illumined night and the other signs of Messiah's advent; then, on the fourth day of the first month, or, according to our calendar, during the first week of April, in the thirty-fourth year, there arose a great and terrible tempest, with thunderings, lightnings, and both elevations and depressions of the earth's surface, so that the highways were broken up, mountains were sundered, and many cities were utterly destroyed by earthquake, fire, and the inrush of the sea. For three hours the unprecedented holocaust continued; and then thick darkness fell, in the which it was found impossible to kindle a fire; the awful gloom was like unto the darkness of Egypt 6 in that its clammy vapors could be felt. This
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