“I Shall Come in My Glory with the Powers of Heaven”

Alan C. Miner

In 3 Nephi 28:7-8 Christ is addressing the three disciples who desired to tarry. Christ says the following:

Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality.

Thus Christ, the God of heaven and earth promised to come again.

According to Garth Norman, a tenth-century Mexican culture hero called Ce Acatl Topitltzin Quetzalcoatl took upon himself the title of their deity Quetzalcoatl, the god of heaven and earth. There is good reason to believe that this man-god (Ce Acatl), who was a priest king of Tula, was regarded as an incarnation of the original god Quetzalcoatl, and significant historic events in his life may have been designed to convey that meaning. How else can we account for his birth on 1 Reed (Ce Acatl), his death on 1 Reed, and his promise to return as a Messianic-type resurrected being on 1 Reed (Carrasco p. 34; Bierhorsts 1974, p. 37). Bruce Warren has convincingly correlated this 1 Reed date with Christ's birth (as explained in AAF Newsletter No. 3). So it is reasonable to suspect that the Quetzalcoatl god they were looking for was Christ--and of course Quetzalcoatl Topiltzin who was regarded as an incarnation of the original god Quetzalcoatl. . . . The native belief in Quetzalcoatl's return is documented in Alvarado Tezozomoc's account where Moctezuma II's counselor Tlacaelel reminds the king that it is time to renovate a deteriorated wooden "image of Quetzalcoatl who went to heaven, saying when he left he would return and bring our brothers, . . . and it has to be renovated, to be the god we all wait for, who went to the sea and sky." . . . When we consider the three Nephite disciples at Bountiful being privileged to remain and not taste of death to bring souls to Christ until his second coming (3 Nephi 28:4-9), it is easier to comprehend both the perpetuation of that prophecy down through Mesoamerican historical tradition and the place where it may have occurred. [V. Garth Norman, "The Case for Quetzalcoatl-Christ and Where He Administered Is Growing," in Ancient America Foundation Newsletter, No. 14 September 1998, pp. 6-7] [See the commentary on 3 Nephi 28:12]

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