Verse 1: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ascended into heaven, the multitude did disperse, and every man did take his wife and his children and did return to his own home.
Verse 2: And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that He had ministered unto them, and that He would also show Himself on the morrow unto the multitude.
Verse 3: Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show Himself unto the multitude.
What conversation families must have had as they talked about the marvelous experiences of the day. To have heard the teachings of Jesus and seen the miracles He performed would have been so joyful. After the destruction of the earth, Jesus’ touch would have been so healing replacing terror and fear caused by darkness and storms with peace and joy.
The people who had experienced the day with Jesus were talking about it and sharing with those who had not been there. Many labored all night – most likely on foot in the dark – to get to where Jesus was going to be the next day. What an experience of joy to anticipate and prepare for.
Verse 6: And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.
Verse 7: And the disciples did pray unto the Father also in the name of Jesus. And it came to pass that they arose and ministered unto the people.
Verse 8: And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken—nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken—behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.
Verse 9: And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.
The leaders whom Jesus had chosen began leading the next day. They organized the people into twelve groups so they were small enough to hear what was told them. The leaders, the twelve Jesus called, taught the people and prayed for and with them. There were new people to hear and teach – those who had traveled all night to be there.
I like the statement that they prayed for that which they most desired. To pray for what we most desire in righteousness is a good thing. To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift a person can have to help them during their life, as the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead and helps individuals in the ways of God for their specific needs. To have individual tutoring and guidance and comfort and healing through the Holy Ghost is a strength and help of marvelous proportions.
Verse 10: And when they had thus prayed they went down unto the water’s edge, and the multitude followed them.
Verse 11: And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized.
Verse 12: And he came up out of the water and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen.
Verse 13: And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
Verse 14: And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.
The desires of their hearts were fulfilled as the disciples were baptized and received the Holy Ghost. The people saw what seemed like fire encircling the disciples. Angels came down out of heaven and ministered to them as well. What a joyous experience for those who had been there the day before and what amazement for those who had labored all night to get to the place where they could have this heavenly experience. Imagine literally seeing the completed baptism of water and spirit!
Verse 15: And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.
Jesus came and ministered unto them. To have His presence, to have His care and teachings. What peace and joy and love must have surrounded this multitude. The leaders prepared the multitude through their ministering and teaching for the multitude to have marvelous experiences and to prepare for Jesus Christ’s visit.
This is what the leaders whom are called to lead should do. Their service should prepare those they are called to serve to receive Jesus Christ. Our service should strengthen and teach people. It should lead them to Jesus. Each of us is a leader and a follower. Each of us has responsibilities to serve and to be served. Both roles are important in the learning process.
There is something to be learned individually in following Jesus Christ both as a leader and as one of the multitude. Each role leads to more complete understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Verse 16: And it came to pass that He spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that His disciples should kneel down upon the earth.
Verse 17: And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, He commanded His disciples that they should pray.
Verse 18: And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.
The multitude were willingly obedient to Jesus Christ’s commands. They worshipped Him. Good questions for us each to ask ourselves are, “Am I willingly obedient to Him who provides the only way Home to Heavenly Father?” and “Do I reverence He who suffered personally for each of my hurts, mistakes, and sins?”
Verse 19: And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said:
Verse 20: Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.
Verse 21: Father, I pray Thee that Thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.
Verse 22: Father, Thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and Thou seest that they believe in me because Thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.
Verse 23: And now Father, I pray unto Thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as Thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.
Then Jesus did as He taught and He prayed to Heavenly Father. He humbly thanked Heavenly Father for the blessings being experienced, then asked for blessings upon others who would be influenced by His chosen servants’ words of testimony. He prayed for unity of purpose of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and those who believe.
I love unity. I am grateful for the strength, understanding of purpose and people it gives. I also recognize that being One takes sacrifice and humility by seeking God’s will instead of our own. It takes willingness to cooperate with others to fulfill a greater role than one’s own purposes. It brings a wonderful feeling of closeness to others and to God.
May we each seek Jesus, hear Him, and let Him lead us to our Father Above together.