By J.D. Shaeffer

Something quite fascinating has come to my attention in my religion class the past couple of weeks. I haven’t shared it yet for who knows why, but now is a great time to let you in on this perspective.

The stories in the Scriptures are not historical fiction. The characters are not fictitious, nor are the events that surrounded their existence. The Bible, along with the Book of Mormon and other sacred writings that we have available to us, are all textbooks of history, filled with accounts that really happened.

This infers, therefore, that the people therein are obviously humans like us, with the same emotional spectrum that we have.

Take 3 Nephi 17:5-7 for a good example of applying this perspective. Christ has begun his visitation of the Americas and the Nephites who remain are in complete amazement. He says He’s about to go and leave them, when He sees that the crowd were in tears. It goes on to say that Christ tarried there longer than He had planned, after “[His] bowels are filled with compassion towards [them],” and He heals their sick and administers to the little ones. Imagine the depth of emotion that was there! Imagine if you were actually there! The Nephites, just prior to His coming, had witnessed the most horrendous of storms and destructions, then were suddenly let into Christ’s personal presence. If I was there, I would’ve done nothing less than feel a vastly intense longing for Him to stay a little longer, definitely with tears in my eyes. This impacted Jesus in such a way that He felt the same emotion that they did, and desired to stay with them as well.

Once we apply this perspective, we add an extra layer of profound feeling, and our study of the past experiences of God’s prophets and their people can enter into our lives more. We will start to understand what they really went through.