Filed under: Jesus Christ, Mormon Church, Mormonism
I started paying attention to this comment about Jesus being the brother of Satan only in the last few years here in the US. I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) in Italy and I had never heard this argument when people tried to attack the Mormon Church.
While living in Brazil I heard it only a few times, but I thought that it could be dismissed very easily, since it seems to me a very dumb comment anyway.
Since we are all children of God, brothers and sisters in spirit, then Jesus is the brother of Satan the same way some of us have brothers and sisters, but this fact doesn’t really tell us anything about what we believe, or it does not mean that the Mormon Jesus is someway “friend” with Satan or that they stand for the same things
However, during the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I began noticing people who were raising signs like the one below.
Clearly, some people extrapolate all sort of meanings from the simple belief (and fact) that Jesus and Satan (and all of us) were spiritual brothers and sisters before this life.
Many anti-Mormons claim that Mormons are not Christian. But Mormons believe in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement for our sins. It is only through Jesus that we are saved. Many Christians who claim you only have to accept Jesus to be saved have a problem with Mormons because we likewise accept Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, despite our doctrinal differences. So, the thought goes among some who refuse to accept us as Christians, that we must believe in a different Jesus, not the Jesus of the Bible. As supposed proof, these critics argue that the so-called "Mormon Jesus" is the brother of Satan, and therefore it doesn't matter if Mormons accept him or not because he is the wrong Jesus. Alternatively, to other detractors, accepting the "Mormon Jesus" actually matters very much, because following the "Mormon Jesus" would be the same as following Satan, his "brother."
Whichever the case, this ridiculous notion is a "straw man" or a gross misrepresentation of actual LDS belief…In short, the entire argument is a disingenuous attempt to demean and belittle Mormons. It is bigotry pure and simple.
It is obvious to me and many others, but unfortunately it is not to some, that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are Christians, not just because of the name of the Church, but especially because of the teachings of the Church about Christ.
Many articles and books have been written in favor or against, some saying that Mormons are Christians and some saying that they are not. This website can help to show what is true and what is not, and it will give valuable insights about what really Mormons believe regarding Jesus Christ.
Sincere seekers of the truth and members of the Church of Jesus Christ will really like the website.
The Messiah website http://messiahjesuschrist.org contains videos and text created by and for the Neal A. Maxwell Institute. The More Good Foundation has been involved in the creation of the websites in English and in other six languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Germans, French, and Japanese).
The websites are all at different stages of completion, but there is already a lot that can be already found in each of them.
I love to go to the temple. I have recently moved and now I live very close to one of the beautiful Mormon temples. Everything that there is or that we do in the temple is a symbol of Jesus Christ and his life and atonement.
Recently I was reading from the scriptures while in there and I was struck by this scripture in the New Testament, John 12:27:
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
When troubles come and problems seem to overcome our confidence in the Lord and in what we are trying to do, this is a good verse to remember. The Lord Jesus was troubled. So, it is acceptable to be troubled, it is normal to have really bad moments in our lives, but “what shall we say? Father save us from this hour?”
Troubles and problems are part of lives and are important for our progression, therefore we should better ask for strength to endure and overcome them, instead of praying to avoid them.
In the previous verses (24 and 25) we are taught that
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
It is easy to forget these principles, especially when everything seems to go well in our lives and over time we start thinking that someway we are almost entitled to those blessings because we are keeping the commandments.
In part this may be true, we receive many blessings because we keep the commandments. However, we are never so obedient that we do not need correction once in a while to help us move to a higher level, and even more important, there are things we can only learn through adversity. Moreover,
(our) adversity and (our) afflictions shall be but a small moment (D&C 121:7)
and as the Lord told Joseph Smith in a very difficult moment of his life,
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?" (D&C 122:8).
Properly Elder Holland responded to this question in his talk Lessons from Liberty Jail
No, Joseph was not greater than the Savior, and neither are we. And when we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps, and be His disciples, we are promising to go where that divine path leads us. And the path of salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane. So if the Savior faced such injustices and discouragements, such persecutions, unrighteousness, and suffering, we cannot expect that we are not going to face some of that if we still intend to call ourselves His true disciples and faithful followers.
What Bruce McConkie wrote in the past is not necessarily Mormon Doctrine, but this excerpt from his book, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man ( p.30) is a good explanation of when Mormons expect to be the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
” Many scriptures attest that “the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” (D&C 110:16.) In our revelations the Lord says, “The time is soon at hand that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory” (D&C 34:7), and that “the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand. . . . For in mine own due time will I come upon the earth in judgment” (D&C 43:17, 29). Speaking of his coming, the Lord says in one revelation that it shall be “not many days hence” (D&C 88:87), and in another, that the wars to precede it are “not yet, but by and by” (D&C 63:35). These and like sayings fall into perspective when we hear him say: “These are the things that ye must look for; and, speaking after the manner of the Lord, they are now nigh at hand, and in a time to come, even in the day of the coming of the Son of Man.” (D&C 63:53.) We conclude that in the eternal perspective the coming of the Lord is nigh, but that from man’s viewpoint many years may yet pass away before that awesome and dreadful day. And we must remind ourselves that he will not come until all that is promised has come to pass.
Time, as measured “after the manner of the Lord,” is that which prevails on Kolob. One revolution of that planet is “a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning,” such “being one thousand years according to the time appointed” for our earth. (Abr. 3:4.) This earth was created and destined to pass through “seven thousand years of . . . continuance, or . . . temporal existence,” with the millennial era becoming its Sabbath of rest. “We are to understand,” as it is set forth in the revealed word, “that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things.” Certain named events are then specified to precede his coming. They are “the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years-the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.” (D&C 77:6, 12.) That is to say, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come “in the beginning of the seventh thousand years.” We, of course, cannot tell with certainty how many years passed from the fall of Adam to the birth of Jesus, nor whether the number of years counted by our present calendar has been tabulated without error. But no one will doubt that we are in the Saturday night of time and that on Sunday morning the Lord will come.
Peter had the Lord’s time in mind when he wrote that “there shall come in the last days scoffers,” mockers who do not believe the scriptural accounts stating that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. They will say: “Where is the promise of his coming?” They will reject the Second Coming with its millennial era of peace, with its new heaven and new earth wherein death and sorrow cease, because, as they falsely reason: “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” They will say such things as: ‘How can there be a millennial era during which men will live to the age of a tree, when everyone knows we are the end product of evolution and that death has always existed on earth?’ But Peter says that they “willingly are ignorant” of God’s true dealings with reference to the creation, with reference to the flood of Noah, and with reference to the coming day of judgment, a day when “the elements shall melt with fervent heat” and all things shall become new.
To the saints, among whom are we, he says: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise. . . . But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise.” (2 Pet. 3:3-13.)
Thus, also, we read in latter-day revelation: “Now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man. . . . For after today cometh the burning-this is speaking after the manner of the Lord.” (D&C 64:23-24.)
With reference to that day of which we write, Joseph Smith said: “I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter. I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face. I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.” (D&C 130:14-17.) A few days after making this statement the Prophet referred to it in a sermon and said: “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written-the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old.”
It was in this same sermon that he said: “Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end [of the world] would not come in 1844, 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes.” The rising generation includes all those yet to be born to parents then living. Manifestly many of these are now among us and will be living after the year A.D. 2000 has come and gone.
In this sermon also the Prophet said: “The coming of the Son of Man never will be-never can be till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out: which judgments are commenced.” (Teachings, p. 286.) At this point he alluded to Paul’s statements that the saints are the children of light and not of darkness and that the coming day should not overtake them as a thief in the night. And it is on these points-that he will not come until the signs of the times are fulfilled and that the children of light will recognize the signs-that we shall take our stand as we go forward in our studies.
To all of this we must append this verity: When the day arrives, he will come quickly. The time for repentance and preparation will be passed; the day of judgment will be upon us. His presence “shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. . . . And it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.” (Isa. 10:16-17.)
Hear, then, this counsel, O ye saints: “Be patient in tribulation until I come; and, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and they who have sought me early shall find rest to their souls.” (D&C 54:10.) Also: “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord.” (D&C 87:8.)
Filed under: Jesus Christ, Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, Videos
I was reading a book written by Andrew C. Skinner, Golgota, and in the book I found a story-parable quoted by President Faust, but that was initially narrated by President Hinckley several years ago. This story illustrated very well the sacrifice that the Savior did for us. I am grateful for the knowledge regarding the Atonement of Jesus Christ, knowledge that mostly came to me through the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The story follows the video below.
Some years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley told “something of a parable” about “a one room school house in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough no teacher had been able to handle them.
“Then one day an inexperienced young teacher applied. He was told that every teacher had received an awful beating, but the teacher accepted the risk. The first day of school the teacher asked the boys to establish their own rules and the penalty for breaking the rules. The class came up with 10 rules, which were written on the blackboard. Then the teacher asked, ‘What shall we do with one who breaks the rules?’
“‘Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on,’ came the response.
“A day or so later, . . . the lunch of a big student, named Tom, was stolen. ‘The thief was located--a little hungry fellow, about ten years old.’
“As Little Jim came up to take his licking, he pleaded to keep his coat on. ‘Take your coat off,’ the teacher said. ‘You helped make the rules!’
“The boy took off the coat. He had no shirt and revealed a bony little crippled body. As the teacher hesitated with the rod, Big Tom jumped to his feet and volunteered to take the boy’s licking.
“‘Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?’ the teacher asked.
“After five strokes across Tom’s back, the rod broke. The class was sobbing. ‘Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. “Tom, I’m sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever!’”
President Hinckley then quoted Isaiah:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . .
“. . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
No man knows the full weight of what our Savior bore, but by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know something of the supernal gift He gave us
Filed under: Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Mormon Church, Mormon Doctrine
I traveled to Italy in December, to visit family and friends with my son Luca, who had just come home from his mission in Boston. We visited Rome, among other places, and obviously the Vatican. While in Rome and in Italy in general, my eyes met several times the symbol of the catholic religion, and of other Christian churches, the Crucifix.
I then remembered the feeling I had the first time I was in an apartment of the Mormon missionaries. That day (sometimes in December of 1984) I had accepted their challenge to be baptized in the Mormon church, and my mom was absolutely contrary to that.
In fact, she had challenged me to leave her home or give up the idea of becoming a member of the Mormon church. I had then decided to leave my home but without really knowing where to go. Having in my hands a pamphlet with the address of the missionaries, I had decided to go talk with them. I arrived there around 10 pm and they offered me to stay with them for the night. The first thing I noticed in their apartment was that on the top of their bed there wasn’t a crucifix, but a picture of Jesus resurrected.
That had a profound impact on me. What a different feeling brings to you to see a picture of Jesus resurrected – in this case a representation of his Second Coming, than a crucifix. Not that in the Church we do not believe or we do not give importance to the fact that Jesus suffered for us, on the contrary, but it is important to realize that is His victory over death and sin that should be the symbol of our religion, and not his death and suffering.
I understand that many can have different taking on this matter, but for me that was another step toward understanding and accepting the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. In harmony with this experience I like the focus given in the church about not only working for our happiness in the future life, but about how keeping the commandments in this life will allow us to experience true happiness right now, and not only in the future worlds. Suffering is a “necessary evil” not the purpose of our lives here on earth.
This quote from Joseph Smith well explain this doctrine:
Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.
Stop being defensive about your religion. That’s the message Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve delivered to 2,422 BYU graduates at the Marriott Center Thursday during commencement exercises for the Class of June 2009 and August 2009.
Ballard recounted the early struggles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the university, and a resulting sense that church members need to adopt a defensive posture. Things have changed, he said.
“This isn’t 1830, and there aren’t just six of us anymore,” Elder Ballard said. “Constantly anticipating criticisms or objections can lead to an unhealthy self-consciousness and a defensive posture that doesn’t resonate well with others. It is inconsistent with where we are today as a church and as a great body of followers of Jesus Christ.”
“Emphasize that Latter-day Saints follow Jesus Christ and what Jesus Christ teaches.”
More at Deseret News
Filed under: Jesus Christ, Mormon Prophets and Apostles
Prophets of God have many gifts and skills. One of these is to be able to explain or reveal simple truths that when understood can make a great difference in our personal lives and in the lives of our families and our society.
I have taken several sociology and psychology classes during my life and I have read thousand of pages from different authors. But many more have been written by scholars in those disciplines, who tried to find solutions for the problems affecting humanity, at the individual or societal level. Many experiments have been done following those theories and ideas, and some of them were catastrophes (see for example the application of Marx’s theories to build a better society). Others, at best, are limited, too limited to really make a permanent difference in the life of people (for example, the behaviorist ideas in psychology).
My purpose is not to trash all the efforts that have been done by human beings who tried to figure out how to improve our lives. In some ideas and theories there is a lot of good. However, this is the key point: human beings are not able with their limited knowledge and understanding to solve these existential problems in a satisfactory way. They are at best limited and imperfect solutions, when they are not clearly going in the wrong direction and make things even worse.
On the other hand, listen to what an inspired prophet of God said, with simple and clear words, without doing any statistical analysis …
The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature (Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God," Ensign, Nov 1985, 5).
It is true that by changing the environment we can affect change in individuals, at least to some degree, but the real change, the change that will last and will produce the desired results of happy individuals and healthy societies can only be reached through Christ and His Gospel.
Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world (Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God," Ensign, Nov 1985, 5).
Filed under: Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Mormon Church, Mormon Videos
This is an interesting video where Rachel Esplin, a 20-year old Harvard junior, speaks on a panel of faith about her Mormon beliefs, upbringing, and faith in Jesus Christ and the restoration of the gospel. She does a great job of presenting what she believes and with honesty explains her feelings about the Mormon Church. Her answer cover several important beliefs of Mormons.
Filed under: Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ, Mormon Church, Mormon Prophets and Apostles, Mormon Videos, Videos
When I first arrived to the US in 2000 I went to watch for the first time the movie, The Testaments: of One Fold and One Shepherd. The message of this film is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind. This movie alone show to all sincere investigators of the truth that Mormons actually believe in Jesus Christ. This movie is one of my favorite ever. It is spiritual and interesting, and it is very well done. This is the only movie that I watched more than once or twice. I think i have watched it 9-10 times. I have found it on youtube, go ahead and enjoy it.
WHAT IS A TESTAMENT?
A Testament is a covenant or an agreement made between God and his people. The Term Testament may also refer to a statement of belief.
The Old and New Testaments in the Bible are records of God’s promises to His people in ancient Israel. The Book of Mormon is a record of God’s promises to His people in ancient America. These testaments also witnesses of Jesus Christ and the reality of His life, love, and sacrifice for each of us.
WHAT DOSE “ONE FOLD AND ONE SHEPHERD” MEAN?
From the Scriptures we learn that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and that those who follow Him are part of his fold (see John 10:14; Alma 5:38, 60).
While in Jerusalem, the Savior told His followers, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold: and one shepherd” (John 10:16).
Shortly after His Resurrection, Jesus Christ appeared to the people in ancient America. To these people He said, “Verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (3 Nephi 15:21).
These passages of scripture teach us that the Savior loves all His people, regardless of when or where they live. He wants all people everywhere to become part of his fold.
WHAT IS THE BOOK OF MORMON?
Throughout time, God has repeatedly reached out in love to His children by revealing His gospel to prophets. The writings of prophets in ancient Israel are collected in the Bible. These prophets include Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses.
At the same time that some of these prophets were teaching in ancient Israel, there was another of people living in ancient America. God loved these people and called prophets among them. Their writings are collected in The Book of Mormon.
The highlight of the Book of Mormon is the record of Jesus Christ’s appearance to the people of ancient America. After His Resurrection in the old world in the Old World, He appeared to these people, taught His gospel, healed the sick, and showed them how to live by his example.
The Book of Mormon is an inspiring and powerful witness of Jesus Christ. Reading the Book of Mormon will bring you joy, hope, and the power to live more righteously. It will increase your faith in and love for Jesus Christ. It will bring you closer to your Heavenly Father.