What Do Only Mormons Know About Jesus?

Last April a prophet of God, living upon the earth today, spoke to the children of Israel and reminded them of some things that have been long forgotten by all mankind about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In an address to the Savior’s assembled church, Gordon B. Hinckley said:

For centuries men gathered and argued concerning the nature of Deity. Constantine assembled scholars of various factions at Nicaea in the year 325. After two months of bitter debate, they compromised on a definition which for generations has been the doctrinal statement among Christians concerning the Godhead.

I invite you to read that definition and compare it with the statement of the boy Joseph. He simply says that God stood before him and spoke to him. Joseph could see Him and could hear Him. He was in form like a man, a being of substance. Beside Him was the resurrected Lord, a separate being, whom He introduced as His Beloved Son and with whom Joseph also spoke.

I submit that in the short time of that remarkable vision Joseph learned more concerning Deity than all of the scholars and clerics of the past.

In this divine revelation there was reaffirmed beyond doubt the reality of the literal Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This knowledge of Deity, hidden from the world for centuries, was the first and great thing which God revealed to His chosen servant.

And upon the reality and truth of this vision rests the validity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What did the boy prophet, Joseph Smith, learn about Jesus Christ that the rest of the world forgot shortly after the death of the original Twelve Apostles in ancient times? He learned what the early disciples of Jesus knew, that Jesus is God and that he has a resurrected body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s. This is what the ancient saints learned in the Upper Room when the Savior appeared to them after Jesus rose from the dead on that first Easter so long ago as recorded in John 20:19-29.

It has happened again! Jesus has once again appeared in the flesh to a mortal man, one of very few times it has happened since his ascension as recorded in Acts 1:9-11. But that is not all that the fourteen year old Joseph Smith learned. Jesus did not come visit him alone. His Father came with him, the same Father that Jesus prayed to so often while he was alive in mortality, the same Father in Heaven that all Christians pray to every time they say the Lord’s Prayer as Jesus taught us to pray in the Sermon on the Mount.

The Father and the Son are two distinct beings, two people, two exalted and omnipotent men. The ancient saints knew this because Jesus taught it to them. But somehow mankind forgot. After the death of those who knew Jesus and had authority from him to preach his gospel, men started to argue about the teachings and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And because they no longer had living oracles, prophets of the Lord Jesus who had actually heard and seen him, there was no one able to settle the disputes and answer the questions that men had. Every man’s opinion was as good as another’s. And in the midst of this doctrinal confusion, Satan was able to introduce some very false ideas about God, about both the Father and the Son. After all, Satan is the author of confusion. He is the originator of all false doctrine about Jesus. And the end result of all this doctrinal confusion was the heresy of the Holy Trinity universally taught in the traditional Christian world.

But there are living prophets once again upon the earth! Jesus has again appeared to men, and his Father also. And through their chosen prophet, Joseph Smith, they have restored the ancient teachings, the ancient understanding of God. Angels have visited the earth in modern times and taught the pure and undefiled gospel of Jesus Christ in our own day.

So Mormons know things about Jesus of which other Christians are ignorant. The knowledge is available to them, but they refuse to believe the truth revealed from heaven. Mormons know that Heavenly Father is actually an exalted man with a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s. And Jesus Christ is another man, the actual Son of our Heavenly Father. He also has a body of flesh and bones. Only the Mormons, alone among all other Christians, have this true understanding of God. Only they are able to worship the Father and the Son with a true understanding of who and what they are.

Jesus Christ lives! His Father also. And they have visited the earth recently. Joseph Smith was chosen by them to restore this ancient knowledge. Joseph was a true prophet. And Gordon B. Hinckley is such a prophet today in 2006. The heavens have opened, and once again angels visit the earth. We may all rejoice. Satan’s power is near an end. And the true church of Jesus Christ is once again organized under the authority of Jesus Christ himself.

What a happy day!

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6 Responses to What Do Only Mormons Know About Jesus?

  1. Aaron Curtis says:

    Becky,

    My understanding of President Hinckley’s counsel is that he is referring to the following passage of scripture from Joseph Smith’s History:

    ” JS-H 1: 17, 25
    17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
    • • •
    25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”

    One could also consult the Prophet’s statement in D&C 130:
    1.
    D&C 130: 22
    22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

    But I’m not sure the 1843 Joseph would be the “boy” President Hinckley refers to.

    So, my interpretation of President Hinckley’s message is thus: compare the statement of Joseph Smith that he saw and spoke with the Father and the Son, that they are two separate corporeal beings, that they speak and interact with us as a man speaketh with another, and that they have personality and substance. Compare that with the text of the Nicean Creed and the subsequent creeds and you end up with quite a contradiction.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Becky Groe says:

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I serve as a sunday school teacher to the 12/13 yr old youth. Born of a discussion of our beliefs as they differ from other faiths, I remembered the general conference address referenced here and recall how I truly loved the feeling I had of the spirit bearing witness to me of all the truths revealed through the prophet Joseph Smith as President Hinkley briefly summarizes in this address.

    What I would like to do, if you can help me, is locate the definition of diety referenced by President Hinkey. He challenges us to “compare it with the statement of the boy Joseph,” but I cannot find it and do not know where to look. I found your website through a google search for the ‘Nicaea 325 Nature of Diety.’ Could you help me?

  3. Jim Cobabe says:

    From _Lectures on Faith_, Lecture 3:

    Let us here observe, that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God, unto life and salvation:

    First, the idea that he actually exists.

    Second, a correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes.

    Third, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his [God’s] will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive, but with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  4. Steve, I’m not sure we know the whole story in the case of Moses. It may have been that only part of what was known in his day has been transmitted down through the millennia to us. While I am sure that God spoke to Moses from out of the burning bush, we also learn elsewhere in the King James version of the Old Testament that he spoke with Moses face to face as one man converses with another. This is further confirmed in the Pearl of Great Price in the Book of Moses.

    So Joseph Smith’s interview with the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove is not as remarkable as one might first assume from a superficial reading of Exodus. And there is precedent for God speaking face to face with his prophets as one man speaks to another.

  5. Steve EM says:

    jcobabe,

    I’m not going to say the LDS doctrine is wrong, as I don’t know one way or the other. But it is hardly the essence of my faith and honestly doesn’t concern me. I am troubled that we base so much on a literal interpretation of JS’s vision. I’m glad Moses didn’t teach that the Almighty is a burning bush.

    Similarly, traditional Christianity putting so much stock in the Nicene creed is troubling. Constantine makes Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, collects some Christian leaders into a room and holds a gun to their heads into they come up with a rigid common belief system. And I’m supposed to accept that as gospel? Hooey.

  6. jcobabe says:

    Interestingly, I have met a number of otherwise orthodox “Christians” who profess such beliefs — e.g., literal resurrection, corporeal existence — seemingly at variance with the formal creeds of the church in which they claim to associate. Some are even surprised to learn the exact nature of the dogma taught by their own church.

    I often wonder if there are not many such LDS members, who privately hold their own differing notions about the nature of God. It seems troubling that we should be confused about such fundamental doctrine, even though it is so clearly defined in such unambiguous terms.

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