The Savior visited the Nephites after his resurrection. There are many things the Savior could have taught on this momentous occasion. What he chose to teach is certainly important to his followers. Following is brief review of the Savior’s teachings.
Among the Nephites, the three days of darkness was accompanied by a terrible tempest and physical upheavals. Many people died! Near the end of the three days of darkness, a voice was heard explaining in detail the destruction of various cities along with the inhabitants and the reason why they were destroyed (see 3 Nephi 9:1-12).
13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. (3 Nephi 9:13, 15)
There are two question in verse 13 that need to be considered:
1. Why are those who are spared referred to as “more righteous” than those who died?
The answer is found in 3 Nephi 10:12.
12 And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared—
2. What does it mean to be “righteous”, but not converted and healed?
3 Nephi 9:20 helps to answer this question. The Savior teaches about the conversion of the Lamanites, saying,
And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion… (3 Nephi 9:20)
The more righteous were spared because they received the prophets, but hadn’t received the baptism by the Spirit for full conversion. This is why the Savior said, “…return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you.”
The main message the Savior gave the Nephites can be summed up by the following commit made by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:
We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost. Elder McConkie, ”. The Promised Messiah, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978, p. 13.)
For a more in depth post on the doctrine of fire and the Holy Ghost click here for a three part post.