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Ministry did not end with crucifixion

The Savior's crucifixion did not bring His personal ministry to a conclusion, Elder Howard W. Hunter, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, said in the April 1973 general conference. He spoke about the Book of Mormon's record of the Savior's ministry to the people of the Western Hemisphere after His resurrection.

"The Nephite prophets foretold of the signs that would be given to the people of this continent at the crucifixion of the Savior, and according to their prophecies, a devastating tempest did burst upon the land," Elder Hunter said. "There was thunder and lightning greater than had ever been known, and earthquakes rocked the earth. The city of Zarahemla was burned by fire, the city of Moroni sank into the sea and the inhabitants drowned, and the city of Moronihah was covered by a mountain. Highways were broken up, other cities destroyed, and many people were slain or carried away by the tempest. The raging storm and devastation continued for three hours, and the face of the whole land was changed."As the tempest ceased, a thick darkness gathered, and for three days no light was seen. Out of the darkness could be heard the great mourning howling and weeping of the people.

" `And it came to pass that there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of the land, crying:

" `Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent: for the devil laugheth and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen!' (3 Ne. 9:1-2.)

"The voice enumerated the widespread destruction. The survivors of the tempest and earthquakes were declared to be the more righteous, and hope was offered to them through repentance and conversion to the gospel of the Savior.

The speaker then identified himself:

" `Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

" `I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.' " (3 Ne. 9:15-16.)

Elder Hunter said that the Lord told them that the law of Moses had been fulfilled and He would no longer accept burnt offerings, but only the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

" Behold,' he said.I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.

" `Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.' (3 Ne. 9:21-22.)

"Many hours passed in silence and darkness, and again his voice was heard, sorrowing over his people and promising to gather them `as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings' (10:6) if they would repent and follow him. Darkness continued, and on the morning of the third day the earth ceased to tremble and all became quiet and peaceful. Christ had risen from the tomb. Many of the righteous dead of this land in the Western Hemisphere rose from their graves, as did many Saints in Judea."