Plain and Precious Truths


We are blessed to have latter-day scripture as well as the Bible to teach us about and testify of Jesus Christ. Below are 25 truths about the Savior with corresponding scriptures and teachings of latter-day prophets. (This chart is not a comprehensive list of teachings on these topics. For more on these topics, see “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” on page 42 of this issue.)

Doctrine

From the Bible

From Latter-day Scripture and Prophets

1 The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct personages.

“There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7; see also Matthew 3:16–17; Acts 7:55).

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 41–42).

2 The Father and Son have bodies of flesh and bones; the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.

“Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39; see also Genesis 5:1; John 14:9; Philippians 3:21).

“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us” (D&C 130:22; see also 3 Nephi 11:13–15).

3 The three members of the Godhead are perfectly united in purpose.

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

“They are distinct beings, but they are one in purpose and effort. They are united as one in bringing to pass the grand, divine plan for the salvation and exaltation of the children of God” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “In These Three I Believe,” Liahona and Ensign, July 2006, 8; see also 3 Nephi 11:27).

4 God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

“But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10; see also John 3:16–17; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 9:11–12, 28).

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39; see also D&C 29:43).

5 Jesus Christ was in the beginning with the Father and is the Firstborn.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

“The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1–2; see also Romans 8:29; Hebrews 1:5–6).

“I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn” (D&C 93:21; see also 3 Nephi 9:15; Moses 2:26).

6 In the premortal world, Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to be the Savior.

“[Christ] was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20; see also Revelation 13:8).

“My Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2; see also Ether 3:14).

7 Under the direction of His Father, Jesus was the Creator of the earth.

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3; see also Isaiah 40:28; Colossians 1:16).

“Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are” (3 Nephi 9:15; see also Mosiah 3:8; Moses 1:33).

8 Jesus Christ is Jehovah of the Old Testament.

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58; see also Genesis 22:14; 1 Corinthians 10:1–4).

“We carry in our hearts a firm and unshakable conviction of the divine mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Creator who, under the direction of His Father, made all things” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Season for Gratitude,” Liahona and Ensign, Dec. 1997, 4; see also Abraham 2:8).

9 Jesus is the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14; see also John 3:16).

“I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name” (Alma 5:48; see also Alma 9:26; D&C 93:11).

10 Jesus is the perfect example for humankind.

“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15; see also 1 Peter 2:21).

“One of the main purposes of our existence is that we might conform to the image and likeness of him who sojourned in the flesh without blemish—immaculate, pure, and spotless! Christ came not only to atone for the sins of the world, but to set an example before all man and to establish the standard of God’s perfection, of God’s law, and of obedience to the Father” (Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 151; see also 2 Nephi 31:16; 3 Nephi 18:16).

11 When the Lord began His mortal ministry, He established His Church.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11–12; see also Matthew 16:18; Luke 6:13).

“We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth” (Articles of Faith 1:6; see also 3 Nephi 12:1).

12 The Savior gave His life to atone for the sins of all humankind.

“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28; see also Isaiah 53:5–6; 1 John 2:1–2).

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

“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” (D&C 19:16, 18–19; see also 1 Nephi 11:32–33).

13 Jesus alone was able to pay the penalty for our sins.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“He was able to accomplish His mission because He was the Son of God and He possessed the power of God. …

“No mortal being had the power or capability to redeem all other mortals from their lost and fallen condition, nor could any other voluntarily forfeit his life and thereby bring to pass a universal resurrection for all other mortals.

“Only Jesus Christ was able and willing to accomplish such a redeeming act of love” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ—Our Savior and Redeemer,” Tambuli, Dec. 1990, 5; Ensign, June 1990, 4; see also Alma 34:8–10).

14 Jesus has broken the bands of death.

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20; see also John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:54).

“Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death” (Alma 11:42; see also Mosiah 16:7–8; Alma 22:14).

15 Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14; see also Luke 2:11).

“He cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children” (2 Nephi 9:21; see also D&C 66:1; Moses 1:6).

16 Jesus is the Messiah of the New Testament.

“The woman saith unto him, 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; see also Luke 4:16–21).

“Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world” (1 Nephi 10:4; see also 2 Nephi 2:26; Moses 7:53).

17 The Lord ministered among His “other sheep” in the ancient Americas.

“Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16).

“And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (3 Nephi 15:21; see also 3 Nephi 19:2–3; 26:13, 15).

18 Jesus is our Mediator and Advocate with the Father.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5; see also 1 John 2:1).

“Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 29:5; see also 2 Nephi 2:27–28; D&C 45:3–5).

19 The Lord is the Light and the Life of the world.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12; see also Psalm 27:1; John 1:9).

“For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the light and life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (D&C 45:7; see also Mosiah 16:9; D&C 12:9).

20 Jesus can succor His people according to their infirmities.

“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18; see also Isaiah 53:5).

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12; see also D&C 62:1).

21 The Savior can change human nature.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17; see also 1 John 5:4).

“Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;

“And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26; see also Mosiah 5:2, 7; Alma 5:14).

22 The Lord has restored His original Church in the latter days.

“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

“Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:20–21; see also Matthew 17:11).

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased” (D&C 1:30; see also D&C 20).

23 Jesus directs His Church through His chosen prophets.

“[Ye] are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

“The head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His Church. But the earthly head is our prophet” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Church Is on Course,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 53; see also D&C 21:1–5).

24 Jesus will someday return to earth.

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11; see also 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 1:7).

“For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand” (D&C 29:11; see also D&C 34:6; Moses 7:62–64).

25 The Lord will judge the world in righteousness.

“He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31; see also Psalm 9:8; Isaiah 11:3–4).

“Whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world” (3 Nephi 27:16; see also D&C 19:1–3).

O Jerusalem, by Greg K. Olsen; background © Corbis Images

Photograph by John Luke; inset: Last Supper, by Harry Anderson, courtesy of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, may not be copied

The Ascension, by Harry Anderson