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 living and ordained Apostles and Prophets who act under His direction. He 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.
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. While 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, captured, spit on, tortured, ridiculed, painfully nailed to a wooden cross, and left to die. Later in the day, after His voluntary death, His body was laid in a borrowed tomb where it lay for three days. On the third day, He overcame death, was resurrected with an immortal and glorified body, and ascended to His Father in Heaven. His glorious resurrection overcame 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 Father. And He is our Savior and Redeemer.
I also believe all men and women on earth (regardless of their race, religion, or the color of their skin) are 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!
However, in this life, because of the Fall of Adam and our personal transgressions, and because God the Father is a God of Justice, mankind is necessarily separated from His presence. And yet, because He is also a God of Mercy, He has provided a way (His Plan) for us to overcome our faults and return to Him. According to the Father’s Great Plan of Salvation, Jesus Christ Himself (God’s beloved and sinless Son) atoned for all our sins and Adam’s transgression. He (Christ) paid the ransom demands of justice and made it possible for each of us to be redeemed from “the Fall of Adam.” In addition, He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind; He suffered and atoned for our sins (if we would sincerely repent and come unto Him); after which, He was crucified and died on the cross. I also believe that on the third day following His crucifixion, Jesus Christ overcame death through His resurrection and ascension back into the presence of God the Father.
Because of Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven, we will be resurrected, and we will stand before Him to be judged. Jesus Christ is the Great Judge. He has paid the price of our sins, and He has redeemed us from the Fall of Adam (we will all be resurrected). Like God the Father, Jesus Christ is also merciful and loving, but He is also a God of justice. So, while His atonement has paid the demands of justice, there is much required of us. In this life, we are all unworthy (to some degree) of His forgiveness and mercy. However, to be redeemed, what He asks of us is that we follow His Doctrine, the “Doctrine of Christ” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:20-21); that is, we exercise Faith in Him, Repent honestly of our sins, be Baptized by an authorized servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit, and continue/endure in a life of righteous living. Essentially, we will be judged according to: 1) the desires of our hearts; 2) our obedience in keeping His commandments; 3) our faithfulness in honoring our covenants with Him; and, 4) our continuing or “enduring” in good works. This is the essence of “the Gospel Plan of Salvation,” or in other words, “The Great Plan of Happiness.”
Thus, Jesus the Christ has made it possible for us (spirit children of God) to be resurrected with glorified bodies and to return to be with our Heavenly Father again.
Finally, please allow me to say something about the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Shortly after the early Christian era, and because of wickedness in both the church and the world, the Church of Jesus Christ (including a full understanding of Heavenly Father’s Plan) was taken from the earth …and Divine revelation ceased. What little was left of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was corrupted by false religious leaders and conspiring minds. The earth fell into “the Great Apostasy” when these false leaders corrupted the Doctrine of Christ. This period is referred to in history as “the Dark Ages” …when “the heavens were sealed.”
However, I testify the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ has since been restored to the earth in our day. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have opened the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. In the Spring of 1820, a young boy (Joseph Smith, Jr.) was seeking answers to his questions concerning which of all the churches was true, and which he should join. While searching, he came across the words of the Apostle James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5). Young Joseph added that “…never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine.” Armed with confidence, Joseph decided to approached God the Father in humble prayer. You can view a brief dramatized account of Joseph Smith’s prayerful experience by clicking on this link: “The First Vision.”
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 the Son of God the Eternal Father. Like God the Father, Jesus Christ loves all of God’s children, and because of His Sacrifice and Obedience to God, 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 of us to ultimately return and live with God 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 them with all who will read this. 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 a Disciple of Jesus Christ. If you would like to learn more, please visit the Come Unto Christ web page. Jesus Christ is “…the light and the life of the World.” He wants us to come unto Him.
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