22950_000_010Editor’s Note: Capitalization and spelling have been standardized in all quotes.
All through the ages the prophets have testified of Jesus Christ—of His divinity, of His birth, death, and Resurrection, and of His Atonement. In this final dispensation also, the testimonies and the lives of latter-day prophets stand as special witnesses for Christ, and we are reminded that “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).
“We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
“His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah saying:
“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:2–4).
“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 Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world; I have obeyed His sayings, and realized His promise, and the knowledge I have of Him, the wisdom of this world cannot give, neither can it take away.
“My faith is placed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and my knowledge I have received from Him” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 26).
“The Atonement made by Jesus Christ brought about the resurrection from the dead, and restored life. And hence Jesus said: ‘I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;’ (John 11:25) and Jesus Himself became the first fruits of those who slept. … How far does that principle extend and to whom is it applicable? It extends to all the human family; to all men of every nation” (The Mediation and Atonement of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 178).
“I have always looked upon the life of our Savior—who descended beneath all things that He might rise above all things—as an example for His followers. And yet it has always, in one sense of the word, seemed strange to me that the Son of God, the First Begotten in the eternal worlds of the Father, and the Only Begotten in the flesh, should have to descend to the earth and pass through what He did—born in a stable, cradled in a manger, persecuted, afflicted, scorned, a hiss and byword to almost all the world, and especially to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea. … There is something about all this that appears sorrowful; but it seemed necessary for the Savior to descend below all things that He might ascend above all things” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 4).
“Some two or three weeks after I was baptized, one day while engaged in my studies, I began to reflect upon the fact that I had not obtained a knowledge of the truth of the work—that I had not realized the fulfillment of that promise, ‘he that doeth my will shall know of the doctrine,’ (see John 7:17) and I began to feel very uneasy. … I had been accustomed, at the close of day, to retire for secret prayer, to a grove a short distance from my lodgings, but at this time I felt no inclination to do so. The spirit of prayer had departed and the heavens seemed like brass over my head. At length, realizing that the usual time had come for secret prayer, I concluded I would not forgo my evening service, …
“I had no sooner opened my lips in an effort to pray, than I heard a sound, just above my head, like the rustling of silken robes, and immediately the spirit of God descended upon me, completely enveloping my whole person, … and O the joy and happiness I felt! No language can describe the almost instantaneous transition from a dense cloud of mental and spiritual darkness into a refulgence of light and knowledge, that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and of the restoration of the Holy Priesthood, and the fulness of the gospel” (The Presidents of the Church, 139–140).
Joseph F. Smith
“I bear my testimony to you, that I have received an assurance which has taken possession of my whole being. It has sunk deep into my heart; it fills every fiber of my soul; so that I say before this people, and would be pleased to have the privilege of saying it before the whole world, that God has revealed unto me that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Redeemer of the world; … I know, as I live, that this is true, and I bear my testimony to its truth. If it were the last words I should ever say on earth, I would glory before God my Father that I possess this knowledge in my soul” (Conference Report, April 1901, 72).
Heber J. Grant
“I know that God lives, I know that Jesus is the Christ, I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, … God lives; Jesus is the Christ, and He is the chief corner stone of this great work—He is directing it, and He will continue to direct it” (Testimonies of Our Leaders, 50).
George Albert Smith
“I have been buoyed up and, as it were, lifted out of myself and given power not my own to teach the glorious truths proclaimed by the Redeemer of the world. I have not seen Him face to face but have enjoyed the companionship of His Spirit and felt His presence in a way not to be mistaken. I know that my Redeemer lives and gladly yield my humble efforts to establish His teachings. … Every fibre of my being vibrates with the knowledge that He lives and some day all men will know it.
“The Savior died that we might live. He overcame death and the grave and holds out to all who obey His teachings the hope of a glorious resurrection” (Testimonies of Our Leaders, 53).
David O. McKay
“What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. No person can study this divine personality, can accept His teachings without becoming conscious of an uplifting and refining influence within himself” (Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay, 24).
“There is not a principle which is taught by the Savior of men but is applicable to the growth, development, and happiness of mankind. Every one of His teachings seems to touch the true philosophy of living. I accept them wholeheartedly. I like to study them. It is a joy to try to live them” (Improvement Era, Nov. 1961, 818).
Joseph Fielding Smith
“Like Job, I can say, ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth’ (see Job 19:25). I know that He came into the world to redeem the world from sin, and through the Atonement made by Him all men are redeemed from death. … I know that Jesus of Nazareth was the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh, with life in Himself as His Father has life in Himself. Because of this wonderful truth, it was possible for Him to redeem us from death and the grave, and, on condition of our repentance, from our individual sins” (Testimonies of Our Leaders, 165).
Harold B. Lee
“I say, with all the conviction of my soul, I know that Jesus lives. I know that He was the very Son of God. And I know that in this church and in the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be found the way to salvation.
“I came to know as a witness more powerful than sight, until I could testify with a surety that defied all doubt, that I knew with every fiber of my soul that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that He lived, He died, He was resurrected, and today He presides in the heavens, directing the affairs of this Church, which bears His name because it preaches His doctrine. I bear that testimony humbly and leave you my witness” (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 636–637).
Spencer W. Kimball
“I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that He was crucified for the sins of the world.
“He is my friend, my Savior, my Lord, my God.
“With all my heart I pray that the Saints may keep His commandments, have His Spirit, and gain an eternal inheritance with Him in celestial glory” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, 73).
Ezra Taft Benson
“Jesus Christ was and is the Lord God Omnipotent (see Mosiah 3:5). He was chosen before He was born. He was the all-powerful Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is the source of life and light to all things. His word is the law by which all things are governed in the universe. All things created and made by Him are subject to His infinite power.
“Not only was Jesus born in a humble setting in Bethlehem and crucified on a cross on Golgotha, but on the third day He arose from the grave. Today He lives! Of that I personally testify. I know it. He is close to His Church and to His servants. The knowledge that He lives is the most priceless knowledge in the world” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 6, 468).
Howard W. Hunter
“I give to you my solemn witness that Jesus Christ is in fact the Son of God. He is the Messiah …
“It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that I bear my witness. I know of Christ’s reality as if I had seen with my eyes and heard with my ears. I know also that the Holy Spirit will confirm the truthfulness of my witness in the hearts of all those who listen with an ear of faith” (Ensign, Jan. 1984, 70).
Gordon B. Hinckley
“I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal, living God. …
“I believe that through His atoning sacrifice, the offering of His life on Calvary’s Hill, He expiated the sins of mankind, relieving us from the burden of sin if we will forsake evil and follow Him. I believe in the reality and the power of His Resurrection. …
“He is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I believe in Him. I declare His divinity without equivocation or compromise. I love Him. I speak His name in reverence and wonder. I worship Him as I worship His Father, in spirit and in truth. I thank Him and kneel before His wounded feet and hands and side, amazed at the love He offers me” (Ensign, Nov. 1986, 50–51).