Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild. Some saints and many traditional Christians have this view of Christ. But if we are to know God [Jesus Christ], we must know all sides of his personality. We must know him to become like him. And that is the main purpose of our existence. We cannot know him if we have in our minds a distorted, superficial understanding of the Savior’s character and personality. Jesus Christ is not like Mr. Rogers who for many years talked down to the children in his audience and taught them in patronizing, weak, insipid, mild, soft and schmaltzy words. Rogers wore soft, fuzzy cardigan sweaters. The Savior did not.
There is a hard, warlike side to Jesus. And we cannot know him unless we understand that along with his kindness and gentleness he was a man of war. Both are part of his personality and character.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote this in his book, Mormon Doctrine:
Christ is the God of Battles. (D. & C. 98:23-48; 105:14.) Anciently he commanded his people to engage in righteous wars (Ex. 23:27-33; 1 Sam. 15:2-3), and whenever they were so engaged, he was entreated of them and fought their battles. (1 Chron. 5:20; 2 Chron. 20:15; 32:7-8.) The whole Nephite history is one of the Lord giving frequent direction to them in their battles, whenever they sought such guidance in faith. In the day of his Second Coming the promise is that he again will fight the battles of his saints, “as when he fought in the day of battle.” (Zech. 14:1-5; Ezek. 38; 39; Zeph. 3:8.) Despite the false sensitivities of those who cannot conceive of the meek and lowly Nazarene as a Man of War (Ex. 15:3), yet the inspired answer to the query: Who is the King of Glory? is, “The Lord strong and mighty, and Lord mighty in battle.” (Ps. 24:8.)
Sometimes a man or woman prefers to think of Jesus as Mr. Nice Guy because he hopes to inherit eternal life and avoid spirit prison in the next life without being required to repent of their sins. They do err. They have not read the scriptures, or if they have, they did not understand them. Yes, he is the God of love, kind, gentle, forgiving, and merciful. But he is also fierce towards his enemies and full of wrath toward those who rebel against him by refusing to follow him and repent of their sins. Mercy cannot rob justice.
Since the Fall of Adam, Satan has been loose in the world, performing his duty as a tempter and deceiver. For that reason there has been wickedness in the world from the beginning, and wicked men who cause that wickedness. These men will be damned if they don’t repent, just as we will if we don’t repent. How great is God’s punishment of the wicked if they refuse to repent? Consider this passage from the 63rd chapter of Isaiah and see if you can find any of the qualities of Mr. Rogers there:
2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
What does this passage mean? Similar language inspired by these words of Isaiah are part of that great hymn, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Who drowned the whole world except for Noah and his family? God did. And God is Jehovah also known as Jesus Christ. What did the Savior do at the beginning of his brief visit to his covenant people in ancient America? He burned cities, buried them up in the earth, caused cities to be swallowed up in the ocean. All these things he takes personal credit for as he explains them in the Book of Mormon.
No the Savior is not Mr. Rogers or anything like him. He is kind, gentle, wrathful and terrifying toward his enemies. He is the God of Battles.