by Nora Hess

The Christus mormonMembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, frequently nicknamed “Mormons,” are avid followers of Christ. A scripture from The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, which is the religious record of an ancient native people who lived in the Americas for thousands of years both before and after Christ’s birth, puts it this way:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26)

A typical Mormon does indeed spend much time every day talking of Christ, studying His words, expressing gratitude and praying to the Father in Christ’s name, thinking about Him, and teaching children and others about Him. Every week during Sunday meetings, committed Mormons partake of the sacrament, where they promise God that they will always remember Christ as they take the bread and water that represent His body and blood. “Always,” to a Mormon, literally means always–all day, all night, Mormons strive to remember Christ in every thought and action.

Mormon Christ Praying in the Garden of GethsemaneMormons are “Obsessed with Christ”

It therefore seems astounding to most Mormons that some other Christians claim that Mormons are not Christian. How can someone who strives to spend every moment of their life following Jesus Christ not be a Christian? According to Stephen H. Webb in his recent article at firstthings.com, Mormons are “obsessed with Christ.” Mr. Webb points out that “Mormonism is obsessed with Christ, and everything that it teaches is meant to awaken, encourage, and expand faith in him.” Yet some pastors and teachers of other Christian faiths continue to teach their congregations that Mormons cannot be called Christians. Recent media attention surrounding the campaign of Mitt Romney for president of the United States has included coverage of some such statements.

I Believe in Christ

Perhaps other Christians could understand Mormons better if they knew what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thought of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Even knowing the full name of the Church, which is named after Christ, might help. The lyrics of a popular Mormon hymn, “I Believe in Christ,” were written by the apostle Bruce R. McConkie shortly before his death. They read as follows:

I Believe in Christ

 I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I’ll sing;
I’ll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.

The first verse expresses the love and joy Mormons feel toward Jesus Christ as their Savior. They regard Him with profound reverence.

 I believe in Christ; he is God’s Son.
On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He healed the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised.

mormon-jesus-Children

Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, both in the spirit and in the flesh. Before His advent on the earth He was the firstborn of the Father in the Spirit, possessing a spiritual body. He created the earth and spoke to His people during Old Testament times. He came to earth to dwell in a physical body, conceived by his mother Mary through the power of the Holy Ghost so that He was also the physical Son of God. He reaffirmed the sacredness of our physical bodies, and their eternal importance, as He healed our bodies as well as our spirits. Most of all, He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). As our ultimate example and teacher, He showed us the way to live.

 I believe in Christ– my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I’ll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.

Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God, as Thomas proclaimed when he fell at the Savior’s feet after His resurrection (see John 20:28). He taught the truth, the true way to live, to His disciples. Knowing the true gospel–having our feet planted firmly in its sod–matters. When we know truly what His commandments are, we are on the straight and narrow path to happiness, joy, and eternal life with Him. The truth He taught lights our way.

I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.

Mormons stand firmly with their Christian friends of other faiths in testifying that Jesus Christ has crucifixion-of-jesus-christpaid the ransom for our sins. Every one of us has sinned, and by the law we are condemned, as Jesus taught. Without His atoning sacrifice, Satan would have power over us. But because of our Savior we can repent of our sins. When we confess our sins, make restitution to those we have wronged, and forsake our sinful ways, our sins can we washed clean through Jesus’s atoning sacrifice. Thus we can return to Him, and live with Him forever, in joy and love.

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”

“Ye shall obtain.” When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings this line, they express all the sufferings of life, along with the incredible joy of Christ’s power to heal our bodies and spirits of every sin and sorrow of mortality. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, we can overcome every effort of Satan to destroy us. We will be raised with perfected, immortal bodies like the Father’s and the Son’s, washed clean of sin, to live with them and with our families in glory forever.

I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I’ll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

Jesus Christ will come to earth again one day. Whether we are living or dead, Mormons believe that we will be brought to stand before Him. If we love Him and have chosen to follow Him, we will stand with Him, never to be separated again. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in Christ. From the surface to the very core of my being, I am a Christian. I love my Savior more than anything else in this life or the next. I praise Him, worship Him, and follow Him. I know what path I must take to return to Him, and I will follow it. I trust in Him to overcome all the sins and sorrows of my life. I will stand with Him forever.

Nora Hess is a musician and mother of ten who lives in Lindon, Utah, and is a writer for the More Good Foundation. Nora has degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. She is also a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

 

 

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