“The Lord Truly Did Teach the People for the Space of Three Days”

Alan C. Miner

According to John Welch, recent scholarship has shown that ancient Israelites may have celebrated, as part of Shavuot (Pentecost in Greek), the giving of the law to Moses and the revelation of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. . . In addition, Shavuot (Pentecost) was a day for remembering great spiritual manifestations. Thus, the Holy Ghost was manifest as tongues of fire to the saints gathered for Pentecost that same year in Jerusalem (see Acts 2:1-4). Shavuot came to be associated with the day on which the Lord came down in smoke and flame on Mount Sinai and appeared to Moses on behalf of the host of Israel. Now Jesus had come down and appeared to all gathered in Bountiful. Indeed, the ancient model for Shavuot was the three day ritual the Israelites observed before the law was given at Sinai (see Exodus 19:15), and Jesus similarly "did teach the [Nephites] for the space of three days" (3 Nephi 26:13; see also 11:1-8; 19:4-15). Thus, while the suggestion that Jesus appeared at Bountiful on Shavuot or any other particular holy day remains tentative, the choice of Shavuot is attractive and symbolically meaningful. [John W. Welch, The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount, F.A.R.M.S., p. 32]

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