The book of Third Nephi in the Book of Mormon with majestic clarity shows us a Redeemer whose heart is moved with compassion for us.
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.
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 they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears. (3 Nephi 17:8–10)
My own tears flow as I read that passage, and I yearn for a day when I too may kiss His feet.
We also witness during His visit to the Nephites, as we saw during His ministry in ancient Israel, His tender care for children. In this setting He is joined by angels to guard and to bless these precious ones as they receive His pure love:
And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them. (3 Nephi 17:23–24)
Perhaps the greatest testimony of His love in the account of His visit to those in the New World is reflected in His willingness to plead unto the Father in their behalf. Having already accomplished the work He alone could do to atone for and redeem us in Gethsemane and on the cross, and having been resurrected so that we would also live again after our time in mortality, yet He would and will still plead with the Father in our favor.
And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father. (3 Nephi 17:17)
And in our time, the Lord has revealed His pleas to His Father on our behalf:
Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:3–5)
Have you ever closed your eyes and imagined what it would feel like to see and hear your Savior pray to His Father for you? Perhaps He would express gratitude for the desire of your heart to follow Him, for the gifts you bring, for your kindness to His children, for your patience in bearing up in challenging situations, for the other things that only He and you know about yourself. Imagine hearing Him plead that your faith will hold strong and continue to grow, that your ability to be His hands in the world will be enhanced, that your courage will not fail, that the challenges and worries only you and He know you bear will become sources of strength, that you will have everlasting life through your faith in Him. What would it feel like to see and hear Him express His love for His Father and for you?
Having absorbed these things, is there anything you would hold back from Him? Is there anything He could ask that you would not want to offer, and offer wholeheartedly? And then, could you imagine that you know any individual you would not wish to likewise experience this same overwhelming miracle of love? How would such an experience change your life, your focus, your gratitude, and your prayers?
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In A Better Heart, Tom Christofferson blends scripture stories, personal experiences, quotes, metaphors, and commentary to show that, like a doctor treating patients for diseases of the heart, the Master Physician cares for us and will change our spiritual hearts to work in rhythm with His. Available now at DeseretBook.com.