In Greek Christ means, the anointed. Jesus is the first born of all of God’s children in the spirit. He is literally our eldest brother. If all the children of God were to be ranked from greatest capacity to the least capacity, Jesus would still stand in a category of his own. He is greater than any and all of God’s children. Even as a spirit, before the earth was created, his love for us was so pure and complete, his greatness so evident, that he was a creator of worlds. We are told in the scriptures, and most pointedly in the first chapter of John in the New Testament, that Jesus Christ made everything in the universe. This would be, of course, under the direction of his father, who is always in charge of His own family. Christ even made the earth on which we all live. Small wonder that when he commanded the waves to be still they obeyed the voice of their creator.
Christ is second only in preeminence to our Father. When our Father presented His plan of salvation to us, the method for helping us become like Him, a glorified and resurrected being, He chose Christ to be the custodian of all of His children. Our Father had already been through the mortal experience, and could not do for us what needed to be done by someone who was mortal, so He chose Jesus to be the one to come down to perform the work of what we call the atonement. The atonement is the core of the whole gospel of Christ, and is the center of all we believe in. That will take more than one article to explain, but I’ll get around to it at some point.
It was in this family council, when Christ was chosen to be the Christ, that Satan, Lucifer, rebelled against God, and in the resulting war got a third part of all of Gods children expelled from Heaven. They were sent to earth. Here they tempt and try our souls in an effort to get us to reject our Father and His plan of happiness that Christ has offered us. It is important to remember that God will never force happiness on us, just as He will not force evil upon us. He always allows us to chose for ourselves what we want to do. He gives us correct principles then lets us govern ourselves. When we are judged in the end, it will be according to what we knew and how we chose.
Christ is the god of the Old Testament, Jehovah. He has many names in the scriptures, all of them descriptive of his calling as our redeemer and savior or of his personal attributes. Here are just a few of his many names: Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, I AM, Mighty One of Jacob, Messiah, the Holy One of Israel. Each and every title points to just a small part of his all encompassing role as our Savior and Redeemer, my two favorite titles for him.
The reason he needed to be both divine and mortal while here on earth is because the key to unlocking our eternal salvation and exaltation lay in his ability to perform the act of the Atonement, which started in the Garden of Gethsemane, and ended with his resurrection. The atonement in its full scope is incomprehensible to the human mind, but we can understand bits and pieces of it. In order for Christ to become our Savior, and in order for him to be able to redeem us from being cut off from God’s presence because of our sins, a payment had to be made. Not just any payment, but this had to be a payment made by a sinless soul for the sins committed by others. The nature of the payment had to satisfy the full demands of God’s eternal justice. The payment had to be able to satisfy the demands of justice for the rest of eternity, not just for today. It had to cover the misdeeds and wrong doings of every living soul belonging to the family of God who would ever come to earth. Small wonder that when he suffered he sweat great drops of blood, and angels had to come more than once to strengthen him and help him through it. But he did it because his love for us and for his Father was so complete that he was willing to suffer whatever the Father required of him in order to open the door for us to return home. It is only because of the Atonement that forgiveness of sin is possible. Without the Atonement even one small misstep would cut us off from the presence of God forever. We would have all eventually become angels to the Devil.
The Atonement offered two gifts to all of mankind, one free and the other a door and an opportunity. The free gift was salvation from death. Because of Christ’s resurrection all mankind will be resurrected. This is a gift given to all of God’s children, whether they choose to follow God or not. The other is the opportunity, through obedience to Christ’s commandments to become exalted, so that when we are resurrected we can be able to walk back into the presence of God as one of Christ’s disciples, one of his children if you will. Those who are obedient in all things will be able to live with God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, with their families forever, and eventually become gods themselves.
When people accuse us of not being Christians, we stare in disbelief at their lack of understanding. There is no people on earth who have a greater view of Christ than do the Latter-day Saints. He is the center of our lives, and the one and only hope we have of ever being able to return to our Father in Heaven. Christ is everything to us.
Click on the title of the Video to see a talk by
Marion G. Romney – Jesus Christ Our Redeemer