Jesus Christ



The Mormon View of Jesus Christ

LDS image of Jesus

According to Joseph Smith, the founder of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jesus Christ is central to Mormon beliefs. The New Testament teachings about him, as well as Smith's teaching that Christ came to America, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, form the foundation of LDS doctrine.

Most local Mormon congregations display a picture of Christ (i.e. "Christ in the red robe"; right) painted by LDS church member, Del Parsons after he was commissioned to do so in 1983 by church leadership. The portrait, which the church considers historically accurate, is hung as a reminder of their beliefs about Jesus. It has been criticized by some for its Western and Caucasian depiction of Christ.

The LDS church believes it is the "restoration" of the New Testament church, based on the teachings of Smith, who testified to being dissatisfied with all Christian denominations as a teenager. As a result of that teaching, Mormonism has similarities and differences with orthodox Christianity (click link to see a comparison chart). While the similarities between LDS and Christian beliefs about Christ are noteworthy, their differences are important to acknowledge or else the unique teachings of the religions will be blurred or lost.



LDS teachings about Jesus

Titles and doctrines

Mormons hold many beliefs about Christ that appear to be in alignment with Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrines - such as Christ as Son of God, Christ as Savior of humanity, Christ's existence before his birth, Christ predicted by prophets before his birth, the Virgin Birth, the reality of the crucifixion, and the bodily resurrection of Christ - yet the Latter-Day saints understand many of these titles of Christ and doctrines differently than orthodox Christianity. [1] Though the vocabulary is similar, the essence of their respective beliefs isn't always identical.

The nature of Christ

Mormons do not agree with mainstream Christians that Jesus is the eternal Word of God or God himself. In Mormon belief, Jesus was a created spirit and "son of God" before being given a physical body, just like all humans. In the Mormon text "Book of Moses," Satan and Jesus contend for the privilege of taking a body of flesh in order to become the redeemer, with Jesus winning the contest. The spirit of Jesus was then given a body through the Virgin Birth to Mary in Bethlehem. [2]

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References:

  1. "Who is Jesus Christ?" Mormon.org.
  2. Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses 4:1-4.
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