The Savior appeared to individuals in different ways prior to his birth. And some appearances may suggest a vision of more than was actually seen, as evidenced by comments in later visions.
I The Savior in Body
The first way was when an individual saw the body of the Savior.
9 ¶ Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
- Isa. 6:1 (2 Ne. 16:1) I saw also the Lord … high and lifted up
- Ezek. 1:26 upon the … throne was the likeness as the a. of a man
- Amos 9:1 I saw the Lord standing on the altar
- Ether 3:13 are redeemed … therefore I show myself unto you
- Ether 3:20 therefore he saw Jesus
II Face to Face
The second was seeing God face to face, put perhaps not seeing any more of his body.
1 THE words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain,
2 And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.
- Gen. 32:30 I have seen God face to face
- Ex. 33:11 Lord spake unto Moses face to face
- Deut. 34:10 Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face
- D&C 107:49 he saw the Lord
- Moses 7:4 I saw the Lord
In the third type we cannot tell what was revealed.
2 And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.
3 And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.
- Gen. 12:7 (17:1; 18:1; Abr. 2:6–11) Lord appeared unto Abram
- Num. 12:8 similitude of the Lord shall he behold
- Deut. 5:24 Lord … hath shewed us his glory
- John 12:41 Esaias, when he saw his glory
- 2 Ne. 2:4 thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory
- 2 Ne. 16:5 mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord
- Alma 19:13 I have seen my Redeemer
- Ether 12:39 I have seen Jesus
- Ether 9:22 he even saw the Son of Righteousness
The final type is not really an appearing at all, but it is clear that the voice was the voice of the Savior, prior to his birth
12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
V The Savior’s Appearance to The Brother and Jared and Enoch
The phrase in the following scripture is interesting:
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.
14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
15 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
Enoch had numerous occasions to see the Savior. Here are a few of them
2 And from that time forth Enoch began to prophesy, saying unto the people, that: As I was journeying, and stood upon the place Mahujah, and cried unto the Lord, there came a voice out of heaven, saying—Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon.
3 And it came to pass that I turned and went up on the mount; and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory;
4 And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations.
48 Enoch was twenty–five years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam; and he was sixty–five and Adam blessed him.
49 And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty–five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated.
Enoch even saw “God weep:”
28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
Yet in all of this, Enoch must not have seen the Savior in the same way the brother of Jared it.
See also Gen. 18:22; John 8:56; Moses 1:2, 11; 7:47; Abr. 1:15.
The Savior appears in various ways to us.