“He Did Smile Upon Them Again”

Alan C. Miner

In 3 Nephi 19;30 we find that "when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus" (3 Nephi 19:30).

Catherine Thomas asks, What does the shining, smiling face of God signify? The smile reflects the joy in God's nature and his giving of that joy to his receptive children. Elder Melvin J. Ballard experienced that divine smile:

As I entered the door, I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious Being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds. As I approached to be introduced, he arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and he smiled as he softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into his arms and kissed me, pressed me to his bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When he had finished, I knelt at his feet, and as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of him who hath all things in his hands, to have his love, his affection, and his blessing was such that if I ever can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be, to feel what I then felt.

[Catherine Thomas, "Theophany," in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 2, pp. 180-181]

3 Nephi 19:34 So great and marvelous were the words which he prayed that they cannot be written (Illustration): "Words That Cannot Be Written." Artist: Gary L. Kapp. Courtesy of David Larsen. [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Ensign, January 2000, Front cover]

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