Ceremony of Recognition
In 3 Nephi 5:5–6, the Nephites were asked to perform a ceremony of recognition and witnessing. They first felt His side. To do this they embraced the Lord, for they could not feel His side without embracing Him. Embracing Him is an essential part of the ceremony of recognition. Ceremony and holiness are connected with each other. All encounters with God are, in one way or another, a ceremony. Having embraced the Lord and felt His side, the witnesses were asked to take a step back and feel His hands. Feeling the Lord’s hands is also a part of this ceremonial process. At an arm’s length, holding His hands, they felt the marks of the nails. Then, having touched these sacred emblems of the atonement, they were permitted to kneel and feel the prints in His feet. This part of the ceremony is the easiest for men to observe. For kneeling at His feet is the natural position for anyone who has witnessed for themselves the price He paid on their behalf and feels the love within Him. This is ceremony, and this is ritual, but it employs such rich witnesses in the body of the Lord as to be convincing beyond all doubt that He is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Deliverer, and the Holy One of Israel!1See also SACRED EMBRACE.
1 The Second Comforter, 169–170