What do Mormons Believe?
Mormons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do not see Christianity as originating with the early Christian church, but eons before this earth came into existence, with God's great Plan of Salvation unfolding eternally. Mormons believe that all the ancient prophets, including Fall Adam, received personal and church revelation from the Savior, and that most saw Him and preached of Him by name, understanding that salvation could only come through the Lord Jesus Christ.
This view has been opened to Latter-day Saints by revealed scripture and modern prophets, showing that the heavens have always been open, that there is no end to God's words and no end to God's works.
Mormons Believe in the Biblical Christ, Lord and Savior
As it says in the opening verses of John, Mormons believe that God the Father created all things by the Word of His Power, Jesus Christ. We learn in the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price that God has created worlds without number through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ:
- And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me. And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten (Moses 1:31-33). (See (See Deut. 32:8; Jer. 1:5; Acts 17:26, 29; Rom. 8:28–30; Eph. 1:3–4; 1 Pet. 1:19–20 (Rev. 13:8); Job 38:4–7; Eccl. 12:7; Heb. 12:9; Jude 1:6; Rev. 12:4, 7–9 for information about the Christ of the pre-mortal realm.)
Mormons, along with rest of the Christian world, believe that Christ was born in Bethlehem, of Jerusalem province, of the Virgin Mary, and that He was baptized by His cousin, John the Baptist, that He was crucified, and that He was resurrected the third day, as is recounted in the Holy Bible. Prophets of the Book of Mormon who preached before the birth of Christ, testified of Him and prophesied of Him by name
- And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem 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).
- And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou? And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
- And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God? And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest 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! ...and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him. And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove.
- And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them. ...and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.
- And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world. And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord (1 Nephi 11).
The Biblical Lord Jesus Christ Did the Will of His Father
The biblical Jesus Christ did always the will of His Father who sent Him, the Eternal Father with whom He pleaded in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross during the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The first prophet of the restoration of the gospel in modern times, Joseph Smith was a teenager in 1820, when he was trying to decide which of the Christian sects He should join. All of the sects claimed the truth and used the Bible as their authority, but they disagreed on doctrine. At the time of his first spoken prayer, the heavens opened to Joseph and he saw an astounding sight, astounding because he was steeped in Trinitarian traditions, yet, two glorious, resurrected men stood above him in the air — God, the Father, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not (John 10:36-37).
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him (Luke 11:13)?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14:12).
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13).
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matthew 12:50).
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23).
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever (John 14:16).
Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42).And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me (Mark 15:34)?
The Lord Jesus Christ Was Resurrected, and Still Is
The resurrected Christ dwelt with His apostles and taught and trained them after His death. He appeared as a perfect, glorious resurrected being to Joseph Smith, to the Book of Mormon peoples, and to the Ten Lost Tribes. At His ascension to heaven after teaching His apostles in the Holy Land, the Bible says:
- Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).
The Book of Mormon says:
- 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 the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11).
Joseph Smith said:
- But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
- It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (See Joseph Smith History 1:16, 17.)
And later in a vision shared with Sidney Rigdon:
- And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about. And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the bright hand of the Father, and received of his fulness; And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
- And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the bright hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— (Doctrine and Covenants 76:19-23).