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Joseph Anderson, Sunday Afternoon October 1971

April 4, 2015

There are those who have wished that they might have had the privilege of living when the Savior was upon the earth, that they might have known him and heard the sound of his voice and felt the touch of his hands. Yes, it would have been a great privilege and blessing to have been with him when he walked upon the earth had we been among his followers and had faith in his mission. Very few at that time recognized him as the creator of heaven and earth and the Savior of mankind.

It would have been a marvelous experience to have been as closely associated with him as were his disciples, but even they did not fully appreciate his mission. Though he explained his mission to them and told them that he would lay down his life for the salvation of mankind, that he would come forth again from the tomb on the third day, that he would take upon himself the sins of all mankind, it was difficult for his followers to understand these things.

After his crucifixion and his body was placed in the tomb, Peter and others of the apostles returned to their nets and their fishing. Those in other occupations no doubt manifested a similar attitude. They did get a glimpse of his Messiahship on one occasion before his crucifixion when Jesus asked his disciples:

“Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

Peter and others were permitted to witness the Master’s transfiguration, and they had seen the wonderful miracles that he had performed; yet it was not until after his resurrection and his appearance and association with them prior to his ascension and after they had been endowed with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost that they were prepared to proclaim to the world without fear that he was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

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