Monday, February 20, 2017

A Misunderstood View of Jesus Christ

I am now continuing on the subject of "the Trinity" from my last blog, In the eyes of many Christians, the perception seems to be that we have "humanized" Our Savior.  That we have taken away his divine status.  Throughout this blog, I will be referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the eyes of the world it has been given a nickname, "Mormon Church".   I hope to share some of my personal thoughts on this.  Christ is the center of our worship.  As members of the LDS Church, we pray to Our Father (God) in the name of His Son (Jesus Christ).  Every talk we give ends with the expression; "in the name of Jesus Christ".  Our journey through this life has as its objective to get to know Him.  He died for us.  He went through a degree of pain before and during His crucifixion we will spend a lifetime trying to grasp.

When I made the comment in my blog on "The Trinity" about the scripture in John 17:3  and that our eternal life has much to do with our knowledge of Him, I began a journey to do exactly that.  I feel closer to Him than I have ever felt in my life.  My respect for Him grows as I strive each day to live what He has taught.  I serve in His name.  We sing about Him.  We take the sacrament (communion) every Sunday with the sole purpose of remembering Him, taking upon ourselves His name and being absolutely obedient to His commandments.  Once a month we have the opportunity to testify of His divinity and express our gratitude for what He has done for us.  " is by grace that we are saved after all we can do."  Yes, only Our Savior makes that possible. We avoid using His name in vain.

We believe in an open canon of scripture which includes a second witness of Him in the Book of Mormon.  There are references to Him throughout that sacred record.  On January 1, 2000 a document titled:"The Living Christ" was published which declares an affirmation of Him that He truly was resurrected, died for us, his miraculous birth and His mission,  This was signed by His living apostles at the time. As I went to the church's website on just now to find that document, I saw a beautiful video on the Savior using Mark 12:28-34 where He talks about "The Greatest Commandment" to love God with all thy heart and to love thy neighbor as thyself.  On that same page is a talk by one of the apostles, Elder Christofferson titled "Abide In My Love".

We are continually wanting to share our testimonies of Christ with our friends, neighbors and the whole world through our missionaries.  We have a missionary force of some 70,000 young men and women throughout the world and baptize some 250,000 annually into our church.  Every single convert to our church goes through a process of a series of lessons, scripture study, heartfelt prayer and a commitment to baptism after receiving a spiritual witness through those prayers of the truthfulness of what they have been taught.  They have an interview with a leader in the mission to confirm the fact that they truly do believe what they have been taught.  They then enter the waters of baptism and are later confirmed members of the church by the laying on of hands. I had this same experience and received that spiritual witness.

I have the highest regard for the divinity of Jesus Christ.  This is very, very sacred to me.  When I partake of the bread and water each Sunday in remembrance of Him, I am recommiting myself to live as He has taught me to live.  These are not idle statements I am making.  I feel His love as I serve in His name.  I strive every day to be better.  I am a human being and make my share of mistakes, but I also know I can repent of those mistakes because of His atonement.  I am now beginning to understand His atonement as I go through this process.  I do not want His suffering to go in vain.  I want to embrace it by making Him proud of me.  Yes, He truly does live and He lives in my heart.

I hope with all my heart through what I have shared here that I have dispelled some of those mis-perceptions that exist about "these Mormon".  However, I realize in saying this that just reading this blog will not be enough.  There is an analogy I heard a long time ago that relates to this.  One of our apostles was on a plane trying to have a religious conversation with the man sitting next to him.  He was not having any success so he asked the man if he could describe what salt tastes like.  After many attempts to do so, this man was unable to describe the taste of salt.  Our apostle responded by saying just as you have been unable to describe the taste of salt to me I have been unable to share with you my witness.  You have to taste the salt to know what it tastes like.  That is the only way.  So my challenge to any reading this blog is to do the same.  Read about us.  Read the Book of Mormon which is a second witness of Jesus Christ.  Read the many scriptures in this record which testify of Christ and His atoning sacrifice.  These scriptures complement the Bible and add depth to its many passages about Christ and His apostles.  Go on to or and watch the videos.  Taste of the fruit and you too will feel its truthfulness.

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