Who Is Jesus?


Elder Eldred G. Smith

Who is he who is called Jesus the Christ? Do you know him?

When he was praying to the Father, just prior to his crucifixion, he said:

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3.)

In that council in heaven, the plan and purpose of this earth life was explained to all the spirits, and then “the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” (Abr. 3:27.)

He who was selected was Jehovah, the oldest, who had promised that in going he would honor the Father and give him all the glory.

The Father has declared: “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)

Jehovah was, then, under the direction of the Father, the creator of this earth and many other worlds. Moses was shown in vision “many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.” (Moses 1:29.) God declared to Moses; “By the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.

“And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.” (Moses 1:32–33.)

To get some idea of the magnitude of these creations: President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., said, “Astronomers now yield what they did not formerly yield, that there may have been many, and probably were, many worlds like ours. Some say there were in this galaxy perhaps from its beginning, one million worlds like unto this one.

“‘Worlds without number have I created,’ through ‘mine Only Begotten Son.’ I repeat, our Lord is not a novice, he is not an amateur; he has been over this course time and time and time again.

“And if you think of this galaxy of ours having within it from the beginning perhaps until now, one million worlds, and multiply that by the number of millions of galaxies, one hundred million galaxies, that surround us, you will then get some view of who this Man we worship is.” (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Behold the Lamb of God, Deseret Book Company, 1962, pp. 16–17.)

He was truly no novice, no amateur, in the art or skill of a creator. “Worlds without number” he has created.

It was he, then, who came to this earth in the meridian of time, born of the virgin Mary—the literal Son of God the Father, “the Only Begotten Son.”

He declared who he was. Throughout his life on earth, he repeatedly declared that he was the Son of God. At the age of twelve, he was found “in the temple” conversing with the “doctors.” In answer to his mother’s reproof, he said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49.)

At the baptism of Jesus by John, as also at the transfiguration of Jesus, a voice from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17, Matt. 17:5.)

When Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

“She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (John 11:24–27.)

On another occasion, when Jesus stopped at Jacob’s well, he asked a Samaritan woman to draw water for him, and, in the conversation that followed, the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

“Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.” (John 4:25–26.)

Then again:

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias: and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:13–17.)

On numerous occasions, he declared that he was the Christ, the Son of God.

Is it any wonder then that he, the Son of God, the great Creator, had power over the elements of this earth, even to violate the law of gravity by walking on the water?

I suppose it was quite simple for him, the Creator, when obligated to provide wine at the wedding feast to change the water to wine.

Nor was it a trick of the imagination when he fed five thousand plus the women and children with a few loaves and fishes, and on another occasion, four thousand plus the women and children. (See Matt. 14:16–21, Matt. 15:32–38.)

He also showed his power over the elements when at his command to “be still,” the stormy sea was calmed. (Mark 4:39.)

He demonstrated his power over the animal kingdom; on two separate occasions, at his command, a great catch of fish was made when they had had no success before. (See Matt. 14:16–21, Matt. 15:32–38.)

He showed his power over the vegetable kingdom when he cursed the fig tree. (See Matt. 21:19.)

On each occasion, he was declared to be the Christ, the literal Son of God.

He healed all manner of illness or disease. At his command, the evil spirits departed, they, too, declaring who he was. He made the blind to see, the lame to walk. Yes, he even controlled life itself, for he restored Lazarus to life, who had been declared dead for four days. There were others, too.

Yes, “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” (1 Cor. 10:26.) He had dominion over all the kingdoms of the earth—in the earth, on the earth, and in the heaven above the earth.

All he did was for others—his was a life of service. There was not one selfish act.

Approaching the finish of his mission here, he prayed to the Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:4–5.)

He took upon himself the sins of all who shall repent, and gave his life that all might live. He brought about the resurrection for all. Do you realize that the creation of this earth, and all the work of Jesus and the prophets since the very beginning, was for you—that you might have immortality and eternal life—just as much as for anyone else?

Finally, in preparation for the restoration of his kingdom on the earth, in these the last days, he said: “Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

“Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power.” (D&C 19:15–20; italics added.)

Do you so think of him when partaking of the sacrament, and covenant to keep his commandments? To know him is to keep his commandments. Do you know him who was called Jesus?

Yes, this is he whom we worship. He is the Son of God; the Great Creator. He is our Savior and Redeemer. He is our advocate with the Father. It was he who made possible and brought about the universal resurrection. It was he, with his Father, who appeared to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove.

And after a marvelous revelation given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, they testified, “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:22–24.)

I testify that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that it was under his direction that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in this dispensation for the last time. I so testify to these truths in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.