Friday, December 21, 2007

Jesus the Christ

If I shall never write or utter words again after these words, I will be content. At this holiday Christmas season, I wish to give my personal witness of the Living Son of the Living God.

This morning I awoke thinking of and singing silently Handel’s greatest oratorio, The Messiah. The words first penned by the Prophet Isaiah ring loudly in my inner ear.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, Old Testament KJV)

He was born in a lowly stable, but He lived as a Spirit before coming to earth and receiving a fleshy tabernacle of clay. He was God the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the God the Son of the New Testament. He is the promised Messiah, the Emmanuel, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Prophet Jeremiah recorded the revelation he received from the Lord, saying, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.” (Jeremiah 1:5) Like the Savior before us, we were each spirits in the premortal world. After creating the world upon which we reside “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27, original emphasis.)

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Like the Christ child, we too came to earth and received a body of flesh, bone and blood. Each of us has imperfections; each of us has aliments. Some have deformities and maladies incomprehensible and terrible, yet He who bore all pain and suffered more than man can suffer except it be unto death, can lift and succor us. He who healed the blind, the lame, the leper and who cured all manner of diseases can cure our mental and spiritual anguish, as well as our physical troubles according to His will and pleasure for our eternal benefit.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and an account of the Savior’s visit to the people on the American continent after His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, teaches:

He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

…and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.
(2 Nephi 26: 24, 33)

At this Christmas season as the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on earth over 2,000 millennia ago, I give my witness and testimony for all the world to see. I know—I know—that Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Redeemer. He lives. He raised the dead and overcame death by rising triumphantly from the tomb on the third day. It is only in and through the grace of God that we can be saved (See Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 10:24). Only through God’s Beloved Son, the Savior Jesus Christ, can we be forgiven of our mistakes, our sins and our transgressions. Through Him alone we can find true joy and peace in this life and in the eternal world to come.

To learn more about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes about the Savior of the World, click on The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.

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