Everything in the doctrines and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”) points to Christ, especially centering on the Savior’s atonement for mankind, the most important event in all the world’s history.
The Church of Jesus Christ is the complete restoration of Christ’s primitive church, as He established it during His ministry among the Jews, with apostles and prophets at its head. The keys to administer His Church were restored in modern times by Jesus Christ Himself, through the ministering of angels to the earth. God has restored the authority to act in His name, and His power to do so, just as in the days of early Christianity, when the apostles performed many miracles in the name of Christ.
Central to this restoration is the atoning power of Jesus Christ. Said the first prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith,
“…the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and the Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it …” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).
What Mormons Believe about Christ
Mormons join the rest of the Christian world in proclaiming that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary after she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost. Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, stated many years before the birth of the Savior,
And behold, he shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem [of which Bethlehem was a part] which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God (Alma 7:10).
Nephi, another earlier Book of Mormon prophet, said,
And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest [in vision] is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!(1 Nephi 11:18-21).
The Book of Mormon peoples were led away from the area of Jerusalem around 600 B.C., just before Babylon overran the Jews. Led to the Americas, they followed the Law of Moses, but their prophets taught them to look forward to the coming of Christ. They saw signs of His birth, and experienced terrible devastations at the time of His death, during which the more wicked among them were killed. Then Christ visited them in His resurrected state and organized His church among them after the same pattern He used in Israel.
And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them: Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him. And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning (3 Nephi 11:6-11).
The witness recorded in the Book of Mormon is a second witness to the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God, that He was indeed born of Mary, a virgin, in Bethlehem, that He ministered to the Jews, was crucified, and rose again the third day, the first fruits of the resurrection.
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and separate from His Father, although they are one in purpose and divine nature. Mormons believe that Christ’s resurrected state is His final and eternal state, and that resurrection is perfection. Christ shares the divine attributes of the Father — they are all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-merciful and loving.
Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of Mankind. On conditions of our faith and repentance, we can lay hold upon the infinite atonement He wrought for us and find salvation and exaltation after we leave this mortal existence.
And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives (Mosiah 5:8).
Christ saved us from death. Because of His atonement, we will all be resurrected, both the wicked and the righteous, to perfect immortal bodies, to live forever. Because of His atonement, nearly all will inherit a kingdom of heaven.
…for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free (2 Nephi 2:3).
Exaltation into the presence of God is conditional upon us repenting of our sins and keeping God’s commandments.
And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God (Moroni 8:25, 26).
If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).
Jesus Will Come Again
We live in the “last dispensation of time” before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. God’s kingdom on earth has been restored in preparation for the coming of Christ. Members of that kingdom are working on becoming more Christ-like and gathering in the pure in heart. This is a time of increasing wickedness and confusion. But Christ nurtures those who call on Him for help and comfort, no matter what their religion. At the time of His coming, sincere believers of all persuasions who strive to repent and follow His commandments will be prepared to greet Him as He ushers in His millennial reign of peace.
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