Mormons place the name of the Savior, Jesus Christ, directly into the center of the name of their church. He is the purpose for the Book of Mormon. Small children study His life, and adults delve even further into the four gospels that teach about Him, as well as the Book of Mormon, which adds even more knowledge of His life and mission.
Mormons are Christians. There are differences, of course, since they worship the Biblical Jesus and not the one argued about, compromised on, and created by men in a council of powerful people. The Jesus Christ Mormons worship is found clearly in the Bible verses.
In the Bible, we read that Jesus is the Son of God. Mormons believe this to be literally true. He had God as His father, and a mortal mother named Mary. He is not God, but is God’s son, part of the Godhead. The complete Godhead consists of God, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They are indeed one, but not, as the Nicene’s decided, one person. They are one in purpose, mission, and truth. They are, in other words, entirely unified.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3, King James Version of the Bible)
In these verses we see the members of the Godhead all in one place, and God declaring exactly who Jesus is–not God, but God’s Son. His expression of pleasure in how Jesus had so far lived His life is further proof they are not the same person. God is not likely to praise Himself in this way or refer to Himself as beloved.
Jesus volunteered to come to earth and live a sinless life for us. We had to be redeemed by someone who was perfect, and none of us could do this. As God’s only begotten Son, Jesus could and willingly did so. He lived exactly as he had promised us He would, and then went into the Garden of Gethsemane, where he atoned for sins He never committed, because He loved those who had committed them. Then He allowed men to kill Him, after which He was resurrected.
Through grace, this gift, freely given, allowed each of us to be resurrected and to live forever. It also made it possible to completely repent of our sins. Both these gifts are essential to eternal salvation, and every person receives them regardless of how he lives his earthly life.
Those who choose not just to live, but to live according to God’s word, also receive even greater gifts. The atonement makes it possible for those who truly love God and Jesus Christ to repent and then to work towards the life of perfection God asked of us. If we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, live according to His words the best we can, and always make the best effort possible, the Savior makes up the difference and we can live with God forever in His kingdom.
The Savior made powerful sacrifices on our behalf, to make possible God’s greatest gift. He has earned our love, respect, and worship, and Mormons honor Him as their Savior.