Do Mormons Believe In Jesus? Unpacking Shared Beliefs And Unique Perspectives

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Published by Shannon Jacobs



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Some of us may have wondered, “Do Mormons believe in Jesus?” In the first place, the name of Christ appears in the name of their church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints[1]. Mormons predominantly adhere to the teachings of Joseph Smith, who asserts that his church is the “only one true church on earth.” In 1930, Smith founded the church in New York and wrote The Book of Mormon, one of the foundational texts of the Mormon religion.

Mormon doctrinal positions are derived from the Doctrines and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The Journal of Discourses, a 26-volume compilation of early Mormon leaders’ public sermons, can also be consulted for additional information on Mormon beliefs.

Do Mormons Believe In Jesus?

Mormons in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe and worship Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, just as members of the Christian religion around the world do.

Perhaps they are fellow workers for the cause of Christ, and that is a reason to rejoice. So, if they claim to follow Jesus, it begs a more fundamental issue, not just for Mormons but for all religious groups. What kind of Jesus do they follow, exactly?

Mormons consider themselves Christians. The Mormon faith emphasizes Jesus Christ’s dual nature as both creator and redeemer. He is not just the object of Mormons’ devotion but also their spiritual leader. He does this through the revelation of his will through the Church’s prophet (the President of the Church) and by bestowing power on those who have the priesthood in the Church.

There are two main reasons why non-Mormons claim that Mormons aren’t Christians: (1) the fact that the Mormon Church has its own canonical texts apart from the Bible; and (2) the belief that Mormons follow “a different Jesus.” It’s hard for Mormons to wrap their heads around these claims.

Many Mormons express a desire for a larger canon of scriptures and a confidence that they will be given what they need when they earn the right to it. If you want to argue that Mormons believe in a “different Christ,” you’ll have to explain why your religion or any other church on earth doesn’t have more resources about the historical Jesus than the Mormon religion.

Mormons and Christians share many of the same beliefs about Jesus Christ. There are, however, many pristine and priceless beliefs about the Savior that are exclusive to Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The next two sections of The Doctrine and Covenants detail revelations given to Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith. As for the first, it extols Jesus’ glory:

“This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom. Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth.

This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; as also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; and the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.”

Who Do Mormons Believe Jesus Christ Be?

Sacred Mormon teachings state that Christ was God before the earth was created. Before becoming an eternal God, Jesus Christ was a mortal Messiah. Through Him, the Father God made many universes. Christ alone is responsible for all of creation. According to Mormon doctrine, Jesus Christ’s pre-mortal name was “Jehovah.”

In the Old Testament, Jehovah is the name God uses while speaking. In the Bible, the term “Lord” is used instead of His name out of respect for Him. Mormon teachings state that all humans have lived forever as distinct entities and that God the Father formed us spiritually before we incarnated on Earth.

They also believe that God the Father is the parent of their souls and that our souls resided with God before we were born into our physical bodies on Earth and lived our mortal lives, making us all spiritually related. Christ’s spirit was the first to be arranged by God the Father. Since the Father has made “worlds without number” through the Word, who is Christ, this may have occurred ages and eons ago.

Christ was selected to redeem humanity by effecting an infinite and eternal atonement; he was sent to earth as the literal Only Begotten Son of God in order to set in motion the entire scheme of redemption, salvation, and exaltation (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, ed. 2, p. 129).

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What Do Mormons Believe About Jesus?

Many of the viewpoints held by Mormons would seem familiar to traditional Christian beliefs if you were to have a conversation with one or merely read any of the doctrinal pronouncements. There are some important distinctions, though.

They Believe He Stands At The Right Hand Of The Father

Mormons believe that Jesus is not God the Father. The portrayal of Jesus in Joseph Smith’s “First Vision,” placing Him at the right hand of God the Father, exemplifies this idea.

They Don’t Believe In The Virgin Birth Of Mary To Jesus Christ

Mormons, especially Mormon apologists, may try to defend the Mormon belief that Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Spirit but rather by God the Father impregnating the Virgin Mary. The Journal of Discourses, Volume 1, Pages 50 and 51, provides a citation for this.

Jesus Is Separate From God, Married, And The Devil’s Spiritual Brother

Mormons are polytheists because they deny the Trinity. Jesus is a distinct deity from the Father in this polytheistic worldview, but that’s not all. Take into account the words of Walter Martin in his book, Kingdom of the Cults.

In his Journal of Discourses, Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde makes it clear that the Mormon Savior is not the second member of the Christian Trinity since Mormons reject the prevailing Christian doctrine about the Trinity. Neither is he a literal representation of the Redeemer of the New Testament.

Christ, in Mormon theology, was a pre-existent spiritual brother who celebrated his own marriage to “the Marys and Martha, whereby he could see his seed before he was crucified” (as Moses 4:1–4 alludes to in the Pearl of Great Price and Brigham Young University Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 282).

They Believe In Jesus’ Death And Resurrection

What the Bible says about Jesus’ life, including his physical resurrection, is accepted as true by Mormons. Jesus is quoted as stating in the gospel of Luke following his resurrection:

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).

The Book of Mormon gives a detailed account of Jesus’ time on earth in Alma 7:9–12, saying:

“Behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. 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.

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled, which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” 

According to Mormon scripture, Jesus Christ suffered unfathomable pain in Gethsemane and on the cross to atone for the sins of mankind and provide great help for those who were suffering.

The Mormon faith is based on the idea that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on the cross so that all people might have the opportunity to be resurrected and spend eternity with God the Father. Because He was the sole person to ever live a pure existence, the Savior offered Himself as the ideal sacrifice, the spotless lamb. Latter-day Saints are the only Christians who believe that Jesus Christ came to the Americas after His death (see John 10:16; 3 Nephi 11).

They Don’t Believe Good Works Are Sufficient For Salvation

The Mormon doctrine of “works righteousness” rejects the idea that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is sufficient for redemption. Exercising faith in the Lord, repentance of sins, receiving the sacraments or ordinances of salvation, and rendering Christian service to neighbors are all things they feel are required for salvation from sin, but they also believe that human works are not enough.

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Although Mormons may occasionally employ orthodox-sounding language that may lead you to mistake their teachings for the genuine story, it is important to remember that this is not the case. Any close approximation of the truth is incorrect.

Despite the sincerity of many Mormons, it is clear that the church’s teachings diverge from those of the Bible for one simple reason: those teachings did not originate there. Even though Mormons claim to follow Jesus and use his name as the name of their religion, the Jesus they worship is not the same as the Jesus of Christianity.

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