Mormons Believe in the Biblical Christ
There are some who have said Mormons are not Christian. When this argument was too easily overcome, simply by reminding them that Mormon is merely a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they adapted their argument to suggest Mormons worship some other Jesus Christ. This argument, of course, is equally foolish. There is only one Jesus Christ in the Bible and Mormons believe in and read the Bible.
The Biblical Christ is the Christ Mormons worship. He is the Christ prophesied by the Old Testament and Book of Mormon prophets and He is the Christ who was born to Mary, with God as His Father. The Biblical Christ came to earth to live a fairly traditional mortal life with His mother and her husband, Joseph. As an adult, He began His promised ministry. He was baptized and began to build His church organization and to teach the gospel to everyone who was prepared to receive His message of salvation.
Some have tried to define a belief in Christ so it includes a random set of post-Biblical doctrines not listed in the Bible. Nor do those doctrines fit the Savior’s own description of a Christian. Nowhere does He list doctrines that must be believed in order to be a Christian. In fact, the term is used only three times in the Bible, never by Christ, and always in a context that suggests the term was initially used by outsiders.
Instead, Jesus told us that if we love Him we must keep the commandments. A wealthy young man who wanted to know how to achieve eternal life was given a list of commandments, which he assured the Savior he already kept. Jesus startled the young man when He said that if the young man really wanted eternal life, he should give all his possessions to the poor and follow Christ. There are some who suggest that saying one must keep the commandments makes them not Christian; this idea developed long after Biblical times, as a reading of the New Testament demonstrates.
This does not mean our obedience saves us—only Jesus Christ’s atonement can do that. It does mean we have to back up our words with actions.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
Salvation includes quite a few works, despite the common wish that it didn’t. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior is a work; so is baptism. Jesus outlined many commandments and kept them Himself. He didn’t wish we’d do them; he told the rich young man they were required. Jesus kept the Law of Moses, a much harder law than any the Mormons teach, and yet He never considered it a burden or a suggestion. He did free us from the need to keep that law, but not from the need to keep all commandments. Words that aren’t backed by action are shallow. To say we believe but to happily live a self-centered life without rules is to show that our words have no depth or power.
Some think Mormons have a different Jesus because they do not accept the trinity, even though we know the word trinity is not in the Bible and neither is the concept. Jesus never taught a trinity and neither did the apostles. Jesus frequently said His Father was greater than He was. He asked a man why he called Jesus good, when only God was good. He prayed to God. He said he did not His own will, but only the things His Father taught Him. At His baptism, God spoke and said He was pleased with Jesus, an odd thing for a humble man to say about Himself. And, of course, Stephen saw Jesus on the right hand of God.
Mormons believe in exactly the Biblical Jesus. While it is true they reject some post-Biblical literature adopted by many churches, the Jesus they worship every Sunday, indeed every day, is the Jesus of the Old Testament and the New Testament.