“Ye Have Both Heard My Voice and Seen Me and Ye Are My Sheep”

Alan C. Miner

In many ways the resurrected Christ made an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of the Nephites whom he visited on the American continent. In 3 Nephi 15:24 we find Christ verifying to them that "ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep."

T.J. O'Brien poses the question, "Of all the American heroes, who was the greatest?" Was it George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, perhaps Albert Einstein? How about Martin Luther King, Simon Bolivar, Benito Juarez, Eleanor Roosevelt or Eva Peron? Every nation on the North and South American Continents can list men and women of strong impact. Many of these individuals were great only within their own countries, while others transcended borders and still inspire us today.

But of the many noteworthy individuals produced by the Americas, only one had a power so pervasive that it has touched every corner of the continents and the life of every inhabitant. One figure alone has given rise to accounts of accomplishments so great that they eclipse the deeds of all the other heroes of the Americas combined.

Indian legends, from the Bering Straits in Alaska to Cape Horn in South America, tell of an amazing white, bearded "foreigner" whose contributions in distant past were so remarkable that they eventually penetrated every culture of the Americas then, and still endure today. So revered was this person that huge monuments were erected to his honor. His symbol, the feathered serpent, is still found today in ceremonies, paintings, carvings, and architecture throughout all the lands of the Western Hemisphere. . . . Who is this figure? He has been called by various tribes and cultures "Quetzalcoatl," "Kulculcan," "Viracocha," "Ioskeha," and a host of other names. . . . Fascinating clues, which today are rapidly increasing, will entice the reader to join the search for a solution to the oldest and most baffling mystery of the Americas: the identity of the fair, bearded visitor from across the sea, and the feathered serpents by which he or they were everywhere identified. [T.J. O'Brien, Fair Gods and Feathered Serpents, pp. 13-14]

3 Nephi 15:24 Ye have both heard my voice, and seen me, and ye are my sheep ([Illustration]): Locations Visited by the Bearded, White Mystery Man. [T.J. O'Brien, Fair Gods and Feathered Serpents, p. 30]

3 Nephi 15:24 Ye have both heard my voice, and seen me, and ye are my sheep ([Illustration]): Representations of the Bearded White God in Mesoamerica. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust, p. 196]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary