“My Faith and Testimony”

“…we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; ….  And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
(Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:25-26)

I am an active member of the restored Church of Jesus Christ (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  I believe the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth in these last days.  It is the Lord’s church led by ordained and living Apostles and Prophets who serve and act under His direction.  Jesus Christ is the Resurrected and Living Savior of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ himself (the very Jehovah of the Old Testament), “…the light and the life of the world.”  This is the Kingdom of God on Earth; and, it is guided by the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

Many years ago, in an adult Sunday School class, our instructor looked at me and asked directly: “Brother Edgar, have you ever doubted your testimony of Jesus Christ; and what were your feelings at that time?”  I did not answer immediately but thought seriously about the questions.   Then I said, “I honestly do not recall ever doubting my testimony of Jesus Christ.”  I have always known that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is our Savior and Redeemer.  I believed this when I was a child; and, as an adult, I have never doubted it.

Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, Our Savior and Redeemer! (From a painting by: Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1873)

I testify that Jesus the Christ is literally the resurrected and immortal Son of God the Eternal Father.  He was “spiritually and physically” begotten of God the Father (born of a mortal mother).  The Great God of Heaven is His Father, and Mary is His mother.  The rest of humanity has or will come into this earthly life as spirit children of our Heavenly Father (“spiritually” begotten of God in our premortal existence) and born into this life of mortal parents.  But Jesus Christ Himself is the ONLY begotten Son of God the Father in the flesh.  He and the Father are separate and distinct individuals, but they are exactly alike in character, attributes, and perfections.  And, they are united in purpose, “…to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:39)

Jesus Christ was with Heavenly Father in our pre-mortal spirit existence.  He was “the Chosen One.”  Under the plan and direction of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created and organized the Heavens and Earth and all things in them.  He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament and Jesus the Christ of the New Testament.  He is the Holy Messiah, the Holy and Chosen One of Israel.  During His short 33-year life on Earth, He fulfilled ancient prophecy, performed miracles, raised the dead, taught His gospel and doctrine, and set the perfect example.  Then, at the end of His earthly ministry, after partaking of the Sacrament with His Apostles, He walked to the Garden of Gethsemane.  Then, when alone in the garden, the Son of God somehow took upon Himself the sins of all mankind and atoned for them.  Through His many hours of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, He overcame the world and atoned for the sins and transgressions of all who would faithfully follow Him and endure in righteousness to the end.

After His unimaginable ordeal in the garden, Jesus the Christ was falsely accused of crimes, taken captive, spit on, ridiculed, tortured, painfully nailed to a wooden cross, and left to die.  Later in the day, after His voluntary death, His body was removed from the cross, covered in a white linen, and laid in a borrowed tomb.  Then, on the third day, Jesus the Christ overcame death, was resurrected with an immortal and glorified body, and ascended to His Father in Heaven.  His glorious resurrection overcame the bonds of death and guaranteed that all mankind would eventually be resurrected and stand before Him, the Great and Merciful God of Heaven and Earth, at the bar of Judgement.

It is my testimony that Jesus Christ is alive and well today …and, He is glorified!  Also, He is like His Father in every way.  They are Immortal and Glorified beings.  Jesus Christ is the beloved son of God the Eternal Father.  He is our Savior and Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

I also believe all men and women on earth (regardless of their race, nationality, religion, or the color of their skin) are in reality spiritually begotten children of our loving Heavenly Father.  And, our Spirits are our true identity (John 6:63).  God is the Father of our spirits.  We are all His children, spiritually begotten of Him (God the Father).  He truly is our Loving Heavenly Father.  We lived with Him (as intelligent spirits) before our birth here on earth. We loved Him, and He loves us.  “…the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and parental regard” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City: 2007, 404).  And, as His children, we all have the potential to someday be like Him!


Our Savior and His Great Plan of Salvation

In this mortal life, because of the Fall of Adam and our personal transgressions, and because God the Father is a God of Justice, mortal mankind is necessarily separated from the physical presence of God the Eternal Father (we are unable to endure His Divine presence).  And yet, because God is also a Loving God of Mercy, He has provided a way (His Plan) for us to overcome our current carnal, mortal existence (including our faults and transgressions) and ultimately return to Him.  In the premortal councils in Heaven, according to God the Father’s Great Plan of Salvation (and Justice) for His spirit children, Jesus Christ Himself (God’s beloved and sinless Son, the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament) voluntarily agreed to do the will of God the Father (Elohim): Jehovah declared, “…Here am I.  Send me.” (Abraham 3:27).  And thus, Jehovah was “the Chosen One.”  In this life, Jesus the Christ (aka: Jehovah) would atone for all our sins and Adam’s transgression.  He (Christ) would pay the ransom demands of justice and make it possible for each of us to be redeemed from our fallen state, and “the Fall of Adam.”  Jesus Christ would take upon Himself the sins of all mankind.

Inconceivable to all of us, Jesus Christ (in the Garden of Gethsemane) suffered for us and atoned for all our sins (if we would sincerely come unto Him and repent of our sins)Then, after His enormous pain and suffering during His ordeal in the garden, the Beloved Son of God (Jesus Christ) was wrongfully accused, taken prisoner by the Roman guards, tortured, crucified, and nailed to a wooden cross.  He was left there to suffer a slow death, and die physically on the cross.  Ultimately, Christ voluntarily gave up His physical body and died on the cross.  Then, His body was taken down, covered in a white linen clothe, and laid in “a borrowed tomb.”

I sincerely believe that on the third day following His crucifixion and death, Jesus Christ overcame death by and through His Godly power over death.  He was resurrected and seen by many, ascended to His Father, seen again by many, and eventually ascended back into the presence of His Father in Heaven.  Jesus Christ broke the ‘bands’ of death and guaranteed an eventual physical resurrection for all mankind on earth.  “O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?”  (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)


The Resurrection and Redemption of all Mankind

Because of Christ’s power over life and death, He overcame His own death and rose triumphantly from the grave (resurrected) with His immortal, glorified body.  He broke the bands of death and ultimately guaranteed the resurrection of all mankind In the future Day of Judgement, we will all be resurrected; and we will all stand before the Great and Eternal Bar of Judgement to be judged of our deeds in this life.  Jesus Christ Himself, our Savior and Redeemer, is and will be the Great and Merciful Judge of Heaven and Earth.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, prior to the Lord’s captivity and eventual crucifixion, Jesus the Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind.  He willingly submitted Himself to suffer pain and agony to pay the ransom price for the sins of the world.  The event in Gethsemane was His Great Atoning Sacrifice for the sake of all who would come unto Him.  Because of Jesus Christ, we can all be completely cleansed, forgiven of our transgressions, and redeemed from the Fall of Adam.  In the last days, all mankind will be resurrected and will stand before Jesus Christ, the Great Judge of all.  If we have been faithful and true to Jesus Christ and our sacred covenants with Him, we will stand confidently before our Savior, the Great Judge of Heaven and Earth, Jesus the Christ.

He is Risen:  John, the Beloved Disciple of Jesus Christ, witnessed much in the life of our Saviour Jesus Christ, including the Glorious Resurrection of Christ.  Please click and watch the following brief video portraying key events in the Life of Christ as reported by John the Beloved.  (Be sure your audio is on!)


The Doctrine of Christ

The Doctrine of Christ is referred to many times throughout the scriptures (both ancient and modern).  But, …what is the Doctrine of Christ?  What does it mean?  What is its purpose?  And how does it apply to us personally?  I believe this subject is enormously important to understand.  So, I would like to present a few details of the Doctrine of Christ for general consideration.

First of all, Jesus Christ declared, the Doctrine of Christ “…is my Doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me.”   And, the Savior bore record that “…the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.” (Jesus Christ)
(Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:32) 

In addition, the Great Prophet Nephi, in his final message to his people, declared that “…this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given …this is the Doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine….”

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”
“And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
(Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:20-21)

The Doctrine of Christ includes: learning of Christ, exercising Faith in Him, repenting of our sins and transgressions, making sacred covenants with Him, and striving to endure in righteousness to the end.  Like God the Father, Jesus Christ is merciful and loving, but He is also a God of Justice.  So, while the Atonement of Jesus Christ has paid the demands of justice, there are still expectations and behaviors for us to follow that we may become more like our Savior.

What does “the Doctrine of Christ” require of us as individuals?

In this life, we are all unworthy (to some degree) of the tender mercies and forgiveness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  In reality, He truly loves us, and His tender mercies will NOT cease.”  However, we are asked to “press forward and always strive to faithfully follow His Doctrine.”  Key elements of the “Doctrine of Christ” include: learning of Him, exercising Faith in Him, repenting of our inappropriate behaviors, preparing for and being baptised, receive the “Gift of the Holy Ghost,” and faithfully striving to endure in righteousness in this life.  The process will allow the faithful followers of Christ to modify their behaviors and prepare themselves to stand confidently in the presents of the Great Judge (Jesus Christ) …to be judged according to His righteous judgement.

Key Elements to Learn and Understand in the Doctrine of Christ:

Key elements of the Doctrine of Christ include:
1)   Learn of Jesus Christ (His Character, Attributes, and Perfections),
2Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ,
3Repent honestly of our sins and transgressions,
4Be Baptized by an authorized servant of the Lord Jesus Christ (one who holds the Priesthood authority to Baptize),
5Receive “the Gift” of the Holy Spirit, and
6Strive to continue/endure faithfully in a life of righteous living.

The following key elements also support the Doctrine of Christ:
1Following the righteous desires of our hearts,
2Keeping and Obeying the commandments and covenants of God,
3Faithfully honoring our covenants with Him, and
4Continuing or “enduring” in good works throughout or lives.

I acknowledge, these numbered items above are very simplified points within the Doctrine of Christ.  While they are simple, they do highlight key elements of “The Doctrine of Christ.”  As we apply these principles in our study of the Doctrine of Christ, we will grow in our understanding.  They are all parts of “the Gospel Plan of Salvation …or in other words, “The Great and Eternal Plan of Happiness.”  They also support/highlight a simplified description of staying on and following “the Covenant Path leading to Eternal Life” (a glorious future life of full confidence in the presence of God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ).

(Click HERE to see a graphic diagram of the Doctrine of Christ.)

Former Obstacles to our Progression:

Prior to our Savior’s “Infinite Atonement” (in the Garden of Gethsemane), and His “Glorious Resurrection” (from death … and the borrowed tomb), there were two major obstacles (roadblocks) that prevented us from eventually returning to the presence of our Father in Heaven:

Obstacle #1: In this mortal life, we all have carnal (corruptible) bodies of flesh and bones.   If we remain in this state, we will age, grow old, and we will die.  At death, our physical bodies would be buried in a grave, and our spirit bodies would return to the spirit world.  We would not be resurrected nor receive a glorified resurrected body.  Our spirit bodies would carry on, but we would be unable to progress and be glorified like the Father.  We would be unable to endure His glorious presence, nor the Holy presence of His Son, Jesus the Christ.  And, God’s Great Plan of Salvation would be thwarted.

SolutionThis obstacle was overcome and resolved by the Power of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.  With the power of God, Jesus Christ overcame death, was resurrected, and ascended into the presence of His Father in Heaven.  Specifically, Jesus Christ has overcome “the bands of death” and guaranteed the Resurrection of all mankind.  Because of Christ, we will all be resurrected and able to stand before the Great and Eternal Son of God, to be Judged perfectly by Him.

Obstacle #2: We have all sinned and periodically transgressed the commandments of God.  Frankly, we live in an unclean world.  And, as humans, we often fall short of our heavenly potential.  We are unworthy (to some degree) to ultimately stand confident in the presence of God, our Eternal Heavenly Father.

Solution:  Of course, the solution to this obstacle is also provided by our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ.  In the Garden of Gethsemane (prior to His Crucifixion), Christ suffered and took upon Himself the sins and transgressions of all mankind.  Inconceivable as it may seem, our Redeemer Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and paid the “full ransom price” for the sins and transgressions of all who would come unto Him, repent of their sins, be baptized, and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  And now, all He asks is that we learn of Him, “Follow Him,” apply the pure and true saving principles of “the Doctrine of Christ,” and strive to follow in His footsteps.  Because of His pure love, His infinite mercies, and because of “the Doctrine of Christ,” all of God’s Children have the opportunity to stand spotless before the Great Judge of Heaven and Earth, Jesus the Christ, and be Judged by His Righteous Judgement.

Important Point for Serious Consideration:  The problem here is, if in this life we do not exercise Faith in Jesus Christ and apply the principles of His Doctrine (the Doctrine of Christ), we will not fully be able to receive and enjoy the rich blessings of the Atonement of Christ.  Yes, we will be resurrected, but we will also be personally accountable for our sins and transgression.  In hindsight, we will likely regret not following our Savior and His Doctrine.

On the other hand, if we faithfully follow His Doctrine (“the Doctrine of Christ”), we will be preparing ourselves to stand confidently in His presents …the presence of Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of Israel …and, be judged according to His pure love and righteous judgements.

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  (Matt 25:23)


NOTE:  For a more detailed description of “The Doctrine of Christ,” please click here: The Doctrine of Christ.”  That article will provided:  1) Greater detail of “the Doctrine of Christ,”  2) Instructions how to study “the Doctrine of Christ,”  3) A single page diagram of “the Doctrine of Christ,” and  4) A link taking you to The Doctrine of Christ PowerPoint Presentation.  I recommend you take a look.  Thank you.


“Come unto Him,” “Follow Him,” and “Keep His Commandments.”

Jesus Christ loves us, all of us, and He has provided the way for all of God’s worthy children to return to their loving and Eternal Father in Heaven.  By His Godly powers and perfect faith, Jesus Christ overcame the bonds of death and has been Resurrected in Glory.  And, because He was resurrected, all spirit children of God the Eternal Father will also be resurrected and raised from the dead.  This is a free gift from God!  All mankind will be Resurrected!

“The Risen Lord Appears to the Apostles”       A Video (Be sure your audio is on!)

In addition to His own Resurrection, Jesus Christ has overcome death for all mankind.  Ultimately, we will all be resurrected and stand before Jesus the Christ (the Great Jehovah and our Eternal Judge) to be Judged of Him.  The righteous will be redeemed and remain righteous still having repented and forsaken their sins and transgressions, having overcome the World, and being able to stand confidently in the presence of the Great God of Heaven and Earth, the Eternal Father, and His Beloved Son, Jesus the Christ.  We will be glorified and be able to enjoy the associations of both God the Father and His Son, Jesus the Christ, “Worlds without End!”

By taking upon Himself the sins of all the World (His Great Atonement) in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ has paid the ultimate demands of Justice allowing for the redemption of all mankind.  This is the way, and a gift to all who will “Come unto Him,” “Follow Him,” and “Keep His Commandments.”   He has paid the price (the demands) of Justice!  However, the full blessings and benefits of “the Atonement” of Jesus Christ only come with making and keeping sacred covenants with God.  If we do not repent and forsake our transgressions, as individuals, we personally will be accountable for our actions and behaviors.  Therefore, we must always strive to follow the “Doctrine of Christ” with diligence.  Only by faithfully following the principles of “the Doctrine of Christ” will we be able to receive a fulness of joy in this life, and Eternal Life (God’s Life) in the Eternal Worlds to come.


In Summary: My Personal Testimony

Dear Family, Friends, and all who read this, we are now living in “the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.”  Heavenly messengers have returned to the earth and restored Holy Priesthood authority/powers and blessings.  In addition, our Heavenly Father’s “Gospel Plan of Salvation” and “the Doctrine of Christ” have been revealed (again).  I believe Jesus Christ Himself sits at the head of His Church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and He is alive and well.  He is the Creator, our Savior, our Redeemer, and literally, the resurrected and glorified Son of God the Eternal Father.

Like God the Father, Jesus Christ loves all of God’s children, and because of His Sacrifice and His Obedience to God our Eternal Father, He has made it possible for us to be completely forgiven of our sins and redeemed from the Fall of Adam.  Thus, He has provided a way (if we are willing) for each one of us to ultimately return and live with God (our Eternal Father in Heaven) again.  “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:39)

Of these things I am certain, and with conviction I testify they are true.  I share this testimony openly with all who will read it.  And I do it with full confidence and all sincerity.   I know for myself they are true; and I know you too can receive this same assurance by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”  (The Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4-5)

My name is Scott Alexander Edgar.  I am a fellow servant in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and consider myself “a Follower and Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  If you would like to learn more, please visit the Come Unto Christ web page.  Also, please humbly consider approaching God the Father in sincere personal prayer concerning these true and sacred matters.  God answers honest and sincere prayers.  Seek to Hear Him!  And always remember, Jesus Christ is “…the light and the life of the World.”  He wants us all to come unto Him.  He is our Eternal Savior and Redeemer.  Of this, I am certain!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Edgar

 


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