by Seth Saunders
In business you often hear that there is power in the name. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or “Mormons” as they are often mislabeled by the media), this statement is very true. For members of the LDS Church there is great pride taken in the fact the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, is in the name of their church. This is one of the things that confuses members of the church when they are not considered Christians. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, they believe that He lived, died, and was resurrected so that all humans would have the opportunity to live with Him and God the Father again. Yet, other Christians accuse “Mormons” of not being true Christians. This is also another reason the Church is urging others to call them by their full name instead of calling them the “Mormon Church”; they are trying to dispel some of this confusion.
It is important to make this point very clear. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in and worship Jesus Christ. It is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that all mankind has the potential to receive eternal life. Without the sacrifice and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there would be no way for anyone to return to live with God again. Thus, this act of unconditional love creates within members of the Church the deepest and most sincere love and respect for Jesus Christ. Jesus truly is central to the Plan of Salvation (God’s plan for His children), which is why following His teachings is of the highest priority for members of the LDS Church.
In the year 2000, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared with the world “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.” In this modern-day revelation, it was declared by the living prophet and the apostles that:
He [Jesus Christ] was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
For members of the LDS Church, the power and strength that come from the testimonies of the leaders of the Church provide the opportunity for individuals to strengthen their personal testimonies. As members work to follow the example that Christ set, as well as to follow the guidance of their modern-day leaders, their love for Christ is made more pure.
Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) believe that God the Eternal Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings; yet they are one in purpose. It is this belief in the Godhead that has many outside the Church questioning what it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches. As one comes to find his own personal testimony of this very important doctrine, he will have a desire to learn more and to follow the example Christ set for each person on this earth. Included in this example are, among other things, baptism by immersion, receiving the Holy Ghost, seeking out the poor and needy to provide comfort and assistance, and participating in the sacred sacrament. As faithful members strive to be diligent to the covenants they have made, they will often talk about the blessings that have entered their life. You will often hear members of the LDS Church share what they feel when discussing what they believe; this is because the Holy Ghost was sent to be a comforter. Through the Holy Ghost, one can receive a personal witness for oneself of what is true.
In one of the profound teachings of the LDS Church, members are taught and firmly believe that Christ will come again. Again from “The Living Christ,” we read, “we testify that He will someday return to earth. ‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.”
For members of the Church there is great power and comfort knowing that if they will do all they can while living on this earth to follow the perfect example set by the Savior of the world—Jesus Christ—when He returns again they will be numbered among those who will live with Him and Heavenly Father again. So, for as much as there seems to be questions about whether or not Mormons are Christians, for members of the LDS Church who strive daily to live His teachings, there is no question. They know they are Christians and are forever in the debt of Jesus Christ for all that He has done, is doing, and will do for them.
Seth Saunders is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon“). He is currently serving as Branch President of the Pembroke Branch.