The March 30-April 12, 2020 Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests watching the video series Special Witnesses of Christ and discussing “what they teach us about what the Savior has done for us.”
President Russell M. Nelson’s video was filmed in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives during his April 2018 worldwide tour (see: Camille West, “President Nelson Bears Witness of Jesus Christ in New Video,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org Church News, Aug. 24, 2018). Just three months earlier, President Nelson was sustained and set apart as the 17th president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, January 14, 2018, in the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple.
As you watch President Nelson at this historic and sacred site, ponder how this location and the imagery included in the video affect your thoughts and feelings. It was from the Mount of Olives, three days before His last mortal Passover (see “Harmony of the Gospels”) that Jesus prophesied concerning the end of times and counselled “all men; watch, therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord doth come” (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:46; see also Matthew 24:42).
Take the time not only to listen to President Nelson’s testimony but also to look for inspiring words, phrases, and scriptures that he uses. Consider ways to relate his words to yourself and your family. Ask questions, listen to the Spirit, and record your impressions in a personal journal. Discuss your insights with family, friends, and neighbors. You may want to try some of the “activities to consider” listed after President Nelson’s testimony.
President Nelson’s Witness of Jesus Christ
“Whenever I come to this great city of Jerusalem, I feel a renewed reverence for Him who made this land holy.
“Under the direction of the Father, Jesus the Christ was Creator of this and other worlds. He was Jehovah, God of the Old Testament. Jesus was the promised Immanuel, as prophesied by Isaiah.
“More than 2,000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ was born in nearby Bethlehem. As the Only Begotten Son of Almighty God, Jesus was the only perfect man to walk the earth. In New Testament days, Jesus established His Church, built on the foundation of apostles and prophets.
“He healed the sick and caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. He raised the dead.
“Yet He allowed His life to be taken to make resurrection a reality and eternal life a possibility for all humankind. It was here in Jerusalem that the Savior spent His final days in mortality.
“I am standing on the Mount of Olives. Here at the base of the mount, Jesus came to the Garden of Gethsemane. He came to submit to the will of His Father and offer Himself as the sacrifice for the sins and weaknesses, the pains and burdens of all who had ever lived.
“In that garden, olives had been pressed under great weight to squeeze precious oil from the olives. In like manner, Jesus was literally pressed under the weight of the sins of the world. There He sweat great drops of blood, his life’s ‘oil,’ which issued from every pore.
“Not far from here is a hill named Golgotha, meaning ‘skull,’ which symbolized death. There upon the cross, the Savior of the world was lifted up. He gave His life as part of His atoning sacrifice.
His subsequent Resurrection, His triumphant victory over the grave, is recorded in holy writ: ‘But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20).
“Because the Savior offered Himself as the infinite Atonement, you and I have the opportunity, the privilege, to be forgiven when we repent. We can also turn to Him for healing of our hearts, for strength where we are weak, and for help to do things we simply cannot do on our own.
“By virtue of His transcendent offering, Jesus also gave us the gift of immortality and the opportunity for eternal life, proclaiming: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
“Another testament of Jesus Christ comes from ancient America, where God the Father introduced His Son to the Nephites, declaring, “Behold my Beloved Son, … hear ye him” (3 Nephi 11:7).
“Modern prophets have also borne witness of Him, including this declaration by the Prophet Joseph Smith: ‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!’ (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22).
“I also declare that Jesus the Christ lives, that His Church has been restored to the earth, complete with His power and authority, with apostles and prophets and essential ordinances and covenants.
“In a coming day the Lord will return to this Holy Land. Then ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). Then He will offer these words: ‘I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God’ (Doctrine and Covenants 45:52). And then every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.
“I testify that He is the living Christ, our Lord and Savior, Exemplar, Redeemer, and Judge in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Activities to Consider:
As a family, read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (Ensign, May 2017). Invite each family member to pick an Easter message from this testimony to share with others. For example, you might create posters to display on social media, on your front door, or in a window.
Studying the account of the resurrected Savior’s visit to the Americas is especially meaningful during the Easter season. Encourage family members to imagine what it would have been like to feel His wounds (see 3 Nephi 11:14-15) or to be one of the children He blessed (3 Nephi 17:21).
In many parts of the world, the 2020 April general conference takes place the weekend before Easter. Encourage family members to review conference messages that testify of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection—especially from the Apostles, who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ. Then you could discuss these messages together and identify teachings that strengthen your testimonies of the Savior.
View President Nelson’s Special Witness that he recorded in April 2000: see https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/covenant-the-savior-made-with-abraham-still-applies-today-?lang=eng.