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Jesus Christ

Latter-day Saints have the name "Jesus" in their official church name but they believe in a different Jesus than other Christian groups.

Which is the true Jesus?   I don't believe one can be saved by believing in the false Jesus that the apostles warned about. 

How do you feel?

In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times." (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

How is President Hinckley's Jesus different?

Eternal or not eternal?

At one point of his life Joseph Smith taught, "Behold, and hearken unto the voice of him who has all power, who is from everlasting to everlasting, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" (Doctrine and Covenants 61:1). "Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I AM, even Jesus Christ" (D&C 39:1). "For the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior. From eternity to eternity, he is the same" (D&C 76:1,4).

The Book of Mormon even called Jesus the Eternal God (see title page and 2 Nephi 26:12). In the Gospel Principles teacher’s manual, “eternal” is defined as meaning “everlasting, without beginning or end."

Think of Jesus as the "without beginning or end" God.

The Book of Mormon (in Mosiah 3:5) even says about Jesus: "The Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases".

This verse clearly talks about the Lord Omnipotent existing from the eternal past, through the present, and to the eternal future. The title and the person being described go hand and hand. You cannot separate the two. The title is eternal too.  Jesus has always been the "Lord Omnipotent" and He will always be the "Lord Omnipotent."

Honestly, the LDS Church is preaching another Jesus when they say he was the first spirit son born to Heavenly Mother and Father who then progressed into becoming a God like his father before him.

The Book of Mormon also instructs people that the right way is to worship Christ, the Holy One of Israel, with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul (2 Nephi 25:28-29).

Jesus is portrayed as far superior to the exalted being the LDS Church calls Heavenly Father. Unfortunately, the truth of the eternal nature of Jesus as God also changed sometime in Joseph Smith's life.  This change now forms the basis of what the Mormon Church teaches about Jesus Christ. In our days, the Mormon Church worships an exalted man.

Joseph Smith was deceived by Satan and started teaching about a false Christ. This deception continues before new converts join the Mormon Church.

Was Jesus created first (first born)?

Mormons share a key belief with Jehovah's Witnesses ... they believe Jesus is a created being.  To Latter-day Saints, firstborn (as seen in Doctrine and Covenants 93:21) means "first born."

It may be foreign to some people but the Bible refers to Israel and Ephraim as the “firstborn” (Exo. 4:22; Jer. 31:9). I wonder if Latter-day Saints would consider Ephraim or Israel their oldest brother? “Firstborn” does not always mean “first born” in the procreative sense either. It means preeminence.

The Apologetics Response has written a very good explanation of what firstborn means (online, local copy).  Enlighten yourself.

The Mormon Jesus was not always God - he became a God

"By obedience and devotion to the truth he (Jesus) attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state" (Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, 2004, page 10, image, chapter 4, online).

"Christ, who is the firstborn in the Spirit of the children of God, was elevated to Godhood, and in the vision Abraham saw he describes him as being like unto God" (LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, chapter 6, page 74).

"Jesus was appointed to Godhood. In the Meridian of Time Christ came into the world, in fulfillment of the promise and appointment (LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, chapter 43, pages 511-512). This means Jesus was appointed to Godhood in his incarnation.

God the Father is the ultimate repository of all intelligence, "or, in other words, light and truth" (D&C 93:36); Jesus Christ, the Firstborn, who became a god in the premortal existence, the Father's steward over his creations, is the one source of light for us as individuals; and the Holy Ghost is the "gatekeeper," as it were, the dispenser of light to us according to worthiness and ability to receive it (Ensign, December 1975, "How to Receive Spiritual Gifts", local copy, online).

Jesus becoming a God is also alluded to in the 1997 Gospel Principles manual. "Every person who was ever born on earth was our spirit brother or sister
in heaven. The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21), so he is literally our elder brother (see Discourses of Brigham 
Young, p. 26). Because we
[which includes Jesus] are the spiritual children of our heavenly parents, we have inherited the potential to develop their divine
qualities.  If we choose to do so, we can become perfect, just as they are

The Mormon Jesus inherited divine powers from the Father.

"Jesus was the only person to be born of a mortal mother, Mary, and an immortal father, God the Father. That is why Jesus is called the Only Begotten 
Son of God. From His Father, He inherited divine powers (see John 10:17–18). From His mother, He inherited mortality and became subject to hunger, 
thirst, fatigue, pain, and death
" (Ensign, December 2010, "Jesus Christ Is the Only Begotten Son of God", local copy, Gospel Principles (2009), 
pages 52–53).

"We believe Jesus is the Son of God the Father and as such inherited powers of godhood and divinity from His Father, including immortality, the capacity to live forever. While He walked the dusty road of Palestine as a man, He possessed the powers of a God and ministered as one having authority, including power over the elements and even power over life and death" (What Mormons Believe About Jesus Christ).

Jesus was not divine and he did not possess godly power before he inherited them from his Mormon father. As Gospel Principles mentions above,
Jesus inherited the potential to develop divine qualities of his heavenly parents.

The Mormon Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan.

"When the plan for our salvation was presented to us in the spirit world, we were so happy that we shouted for joy (see Job 38:7). Two of our brothers offered to help.   We needed a savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Jesus and Satan offered to help. Our oldest brother Jesus said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27). Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give his life for us, and take upon himself our sins. He knew we must be free to choose in order to prove ourselves worthy of exaltation. Jesus said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” - Moses 4:2 (Gospel Principles, page 17). Click here for a FAIR article explaining their belief in Jesus and Lucifer being spirit brothers.

"Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27) [1997 Gospel Principles].  Abraham 3:27 does not depict Jesus as the spirit brother of Lucifer.

The Mormon Jesus is possibly married.

It is quite possible that the Mormon Jesus is said to be married in a vague reference to his attaining perfection: "The Savior attained perfection by the following process: “He received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness” (D&C 93:13). A recognition that the Savior’s perfection came gradually is comforting to two imperfect beings who are trying to make their marriage perfect" (Religion 234–235 - Eternal Marriage Student Manual, p. 165).

Interestingly enough, this same manual says, "Christ came not only into the world to make an atonement for the sins of mankind, but to set an example before the world of the standard of perfection of God’s law and of obedience to the Father" (p. 124). Jesus did not marry anyone, so this was not an example of His perfection and obedience.

The Mormon Jesus is not omnipresent.

"Each occupies space and is and can be in but one place at one time, but each has power and influence that is everywhere present" (Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, page 8).

The first spirit child of heavenly parents

"The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21), so he is literally our elder brother (see Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 26)" [1997 Gospel Principles].   D&C 93:21 says nothing of heavenly parents.

Was Jesus born through sexual relations between Heavenly Father and Mary?

While the LDS Church does not use these exact words, it would appear she implies it happened with this more sophisticated verbiage.

His unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and of an immortal, or resurrected and glorified, Father. Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is to say, Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Joseph F. Smith, p. 356).

That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof; and, the offspring from that association of supreme sanctity, celestial Sireship, and pure through mortal maternity, was of right to be called the Son of the Highest” (Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, p. 9).

The condescension of God, of which the scriptures speak, means that the Immortal Father - the glorified, exalted, enthroned ruler of the universe - came down from his station of dominion and power to become the Father of a Son who would be born of Mary, after the manner of the flesh” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1985, Ensign, December 2001, "The Condescension of God", local copy).

Latter-day Saints need to ponder why Heavenly Father would have to come down from heaven to earth.

"The condescension of God (meaning the Father) consists in the fact that he became the personal and literal Father of a mortal Offspring born of mortal woman" (Book of Mormon - Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, 1999, page 15, lesson 3).

"To condescend is literally to go down among. The condescension of God lies in the fact that he, an exalted Being, steps down from his eternal throne to become the Father of a mortal Son, a Son born after the manner of the flesh" (Book of Mormon - Seminary Student Study Guide, 2000, page 22, 1 Nephi 11).

You may also find similar teachings by other LDS leaders throughout time in the Journal of Discourses. Latter-day Saints also need to wonder if Heavenly Father married Mary before Jesus was conceived and then divorced her before she could eventually marry Joseph.

Supposing that this is really what happened and that Jesus was born this way, would Latter-day Saints find it offensive or unnatural for the immortal Heavenly Father (an exalted man of flesh and bones) to have sexual relations with the mortal Mary like mothers and fathers procreate their own children in our day?

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