God the Father Speaks to the People Three Times

John W. Welch

These people were brought to attention as they all heard a voice, a soft voice that pierced them to the center. It left them speechless. First of all, they were shocked, maybe even afraid. Their whole bodies began to quake. (3 Nephi 11:3). They certainly did not know what might happen next. Think of what they had lived through. The devastation and trauma must have still been very vivid in their minds, as it may have been only about forty days since the devastating destructions. They may have wondered if the calamitous events would start again or if it was the beginning of another storm. They did not know yet that this day was going to be very different.

Then their hearts started to burn (3 Nephi 11:3); they were beginning to feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. Twice they heard, but did not understand—however, they understood the third time. When we want to be heard, we petition repeatedly. The three-fold repetition indicated that God wanted to be heard. This also sounds rather like a ritual setting, where things are repeated three times. It is also a little like what happened to Nephi’s father and uncle Lehi in the Lamanite prison in Helaman 5:46.

John W. Welch Notes