What do Mormons believe about Jesus? The beauty of the restored gospel is that our knowledge and understanding of Jesus and His life and mission is ever-expanding. There have been volumes written about Jesus, and I’m sure volumes more are yet to come. Because He is so involved in our lives, this article will be in two parts. So let’s start at the beginning.
I’ve been watching a TV show on Netflix called God’s Favorite Idiot. In it, there is a war going on in Heaven. There are fire bombs, shields, swords, etc. I watch and laugh because they are so far off the mark. Before we came to Earth there was a war in heaven. But there were no weapons. Eternal beings don’t die. It was a war of ideas and words. It was a war for the souls of everyone. And it’s still continuing here on earth.
Before Earth Life- We Were Busy
You see, we are all children of God, His literal children. In Heaven, we lived and learned and grew. We practiced our talents, and we prepared for the future. We had progressed to a point that to continue growing we needed bodies. One day God called together all His children and presented a plan, The Plan of Salvation.
We all wanted bodies so we could be like our Heavenly Father. And we shouted for joy that He had a plan for us. We would come to Earth and get bodies, gain experience and learn.
But with learning, there are always mistakes, and in Heaven, there is no sin. So we would need a Savior- one who could come to Earth and live a sinless life. One who would take upon himself all our sins, and atone for us.
Jesus stood up and volunteered to be our Savior. He was our older brother and had achieved perfection already. He wanted God to succeed in His goal to see each of His children succeed in their efforts to become like Him one day. And Jesus was happy to have all the glory for His efforts go to the Father.
Then Lucifer stood up. He said he had a better plan. Lucifer offered to be our Savior, saying he would make sure nobody ever made a mistake or sinned. He would not live a sinless life or die for us, but instead, take away choice so he could bring every child back to God so not one soul would be lost. And he wanted all of God’s glory for himself in exchange.
War- Not The Type You’re Used To
So God let us choose who we would follow- Jesus or Lucifer. And the war in Heaven began, a war of persuasion. It was about whether we would have the freedom to choose when we came to Earth. Jesus Christ’s plan would give us the chance to grow and learn. But those who didn’t repent could be lost.
Those who followed Lucifer didn’t want to risk making mistakes and not getting to return to live with Heavenly Father again. Lucifer tried to get everyone on his side, but most of us saw the need for trial and error in our journey of growth. There was never a doubt that God would win this war. He will always win. But in His kindness, He let us choose whose side we would be on.
In the end, one-third of all God’s children chose to follow Lucifer. They didn’t trust themselves or they didn’t trust that Jesus could do what He said He could do- live a sinless life and atone for our sins. With a heavy heart, God banished Lucifer and one-third of the hosts of Heaven.
They would not get bodies or be blessed to move to the next stage of progression- Earth life. “And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice” (Moses 4:1–4).
Be proud of yourself! You have already succeeded in a major trial. You chose to be on Jesus Christ’s team in the life before Earth. That is a big deal. Now our goal is to keep choosing Jesus here on Earth so that when we go home we will get to live with God again.
Jesus Christ- Creator And Teacher
Jesus Christ is a member of the Godhead- a group of three perfect eternal beings. The Godhead includes Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as its members. Together they created the Earth and placed Adam and Eve on it.
Jesus was born of Mary, as the only one who could accomplish the atonement because he was the only one who was ever born that had Heavenly Father as the father of His earthly body. He had the power to lay down his life and live a sinless life.
I’ve been watching the series The Chosen. I have learned so much about how different the Savior’s teachings were from the ancient Jewish traditions. For example, the Lord taught us to love our neighbors. But the Jews had gotten very specific about who their neighbors were, or who they were required to be kind to. But Jesus taught us to love everyone and for them that was revolutionary.
For me, the Savior’s teachings bring peace. They are simple. I love how the Lord left us with 10 commandments when the ancient Jewish tradition had 613! I can’t imagine keeping them all straight. No wonder Jewish men went to synagog to learn the law. They had a lot of studying to do just to keep all the commandments!
But the beauty of studying like that was that those who were watching KNEW the Savior when they saw him. How amazing it must have been to see the Savior heal and teach. To witness the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, and to see Him walk on water, would leave an indelible memory.
Mormons are blessed to have the Bible and its teachings and to also have the Book of Mormon- the record of God’s dealings with those on the American continent. Since most know all about what happened with the Jews while Jesus lived among them, in the next article I will discuss what happened in the Americas when Jesus was here on earth.
Stay tuned for Part 2