Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

From the answer to another question, someone suggested that the LDS (Mormon) church teaches that Jesus is distinct from God--that though He is a part of the Godhead, the Godhead is not a Trinity defined by the "Three-in-One" idea.

What specifically, then, does the LDS Church teach about who Jesus is and where He came from? Is He eternal, not eternal, uncreated, created?

share|improve this question
    
Would you mind linking to the original source? This interpretation appears to be a vastly oversimplified view of the issue. –  Mason Wheeler Jan 18 '12 at 21:50
    
@MasonWheeler Included the source... hoping a good answer will make it clear... (and not overly simplified). –  Narnian Jan 18 '12 at 21:53
    
@MasonWheeler Do you have suggestions on how I could word this better? –  Narnian Jan 18 '12 at 21:58
    
Some Christianity believes that the Holy Trinity is three-in-one, or three beings in one being. LDS doctrine distinctly teaches the doctrine of the godhead, which means 3 separate individuals. My answer in the question you linked to says nothing to indicate that Mormons think Jesus is excluded from or believe in the Holy Trinity. To be clear, "Holy Trinity" is a term not really found in LDS teachings. "Godhead" is more correct, and it includes Jesus. (I since clarified further my other answer.) –  Matt Jan 18 '12 at 22:02
1  
@Matt Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding. I have updated the question to hopefully accommodate a correct understanding. –  Narnian Jan 18 '12 at 22:07
show 1 more comment

3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The below is pulled from The Araonic Priesthood Manual 3: Lesson 1 The Godhead

Jesus Christ is—

  1. The Firstborn Son of Heavenly Father in the spirit.
  2. The Only Begotten Son of Heavenly Father in the flesh.
  3. The Creator of heaven and earth under Heavenly Father’s direction.
  4. The Savior and Redeemer of mankind.
  1. Mormons believe we are all the spirit children of Heavenly Father, Jesus is our older brother in spirit.
  2. Kind of self explanatory
  3. If the Godhead means 3 distinct Individuals, one of them was responsible for the physical creation of the earth. Going further on this point would be a whole different answer.
  4. This is, as far as I know, the common denominator among all christian denominations.

So that is who the Mormons believe he is, as far as created, Mormons believe all spirits are created, thus given #1 above, Heavenly Father Created Jesus. I would like to note though that from what I have learned the definition of Created to a Mormon is a bit different than to many other christian groups.

As far as eternal, President Ezra Taft Benson 13th President of the LDS Church said "Life is eternal. We are eternal beings." If we are eternal then Jesus is Eternal.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I agree with @Matt's comment. And from what I understand, LDS believe that all people, angels (including Lucifer and co.), and even Jesus were created by God and are His children and existed and lived with God before creation in what they call the "pre-earth" life, and that Jesus was chosen to be Savior in this pre-earth life. Also, in our "pre-earth" life we (the people) all had faith in Jesus. They believe God sent us to Earth to learn to make the right choices, and by choosing to have faith in Jesus, again, can we return home to the father.

The belief that Jesus was created would mean He is not eternal, and is not God, as defined by the trinity belief, but perhaps a god.

Here is a link for more info (Thanks @Matt).

share|improve this answer
    
I don't know for sure but you might be confusing the Jehovah's Witnesses with the LDS. –  Nicolás Carlo Jan 19 '12 at 0:53
    
@nickecarlo No, I've spoken with LDS elders before and this is the doctrine they presented. They gave me a pamphlet that goes over this. I can quote it later when I get home if you'd like. –  Shredder Jan 19 '12 at 1:11
    
That would be nice or maybe a link that everyone can go to and see the information as coming from them. –  Nicolás Carlo Jan 19 '12 at 1:16
5  
@nickecarlo No, that is LDS belief. Those who chose to follow Christ (and thus the Father) come to Earth, gain physical bodies, and prove themselves and learn and grow. Those who followed Satan in the pre-earth life forfeited that blessing and are servants of the devil. Their official website explains this more: lds.org/plan/our-eternal-life (see all the links on the left side) –  Matt Jan 19 '12 at 1:16
    
@Matt Thanks for the link. –  Nicolás Carlo Jan 19 '12 at 1:23
show 1 more comment

Mormons believe that that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. At the same time He is the first spirit child of our Heavenly Father. Our spirits are also spirit children of our Heavenly Father according to Mormon doctrine. Therefore, we are all children of our Heavenly Father in the spirit (Heb 12:9). In this sense we are all brother and sisters and Jesus is our elder brother in the spirit.

Mormons believe that the universe and everything in it has an eternal existence and everything has been created from something. (The universe didn't just pop up out of nothing.) Therefore the creation is rather a question of organization. This also applies to our spirits and the spirit of Jesus. In this sense, Jesus is eternal and the spirits of mankind are also eternal. We all have been created from spiritual matter which is in LDS terms sometimes referred to as intelligence.

As Jesus plays the special role of being the only begotten Son, He inherited some traits from our Father in Heaven, such as power over death and knowing all things (as is evident from the new testament). Before He came to this earth and received a mortal body, Jesus existed in a premortal existence as everyone of us did. In this premortal existance He created the earth and the rest of the universe under the direction of God, the Eternal Father. Jesus Christ is considered the Jehova of the Old Testament by latter-day saints. In many (most) instances, it is Jesus acting in proxy for our Heavenly Father.

However, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are distinct being with different roles but with the same goal and purpose which is the eternal wellfare of the souls of mankind. The role of our Heavenly Father is He is the Eternal Parent of our spirits, that He is the director of all things (though delegating many things to His Only Begotten). The role of Jesus is that of a mediator who atoned for the sins of mankind to blot our all our transgressions against the law of God.

There is a good talk by an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints about this topic here.

share|improve this answer
1  
Welcome to Christianity.SE, Ralph, and thanks for contributing, especially for answering the question on-topic. –  Matt Aug 8 '13 at 0:44
    
Was surprised by the words of video behind link which received. Also it felt that it was said with authority. Maybe LDS is apostolic and biblical denomination? They add new details without refuting classic christian doctrines like trinity and open canon - principle, which seems that classical christianity does not embrace. Also - because I like science fiction and LDS doctrine as I have read-it seems that LDS doctrine is appealing to me. Also teachings of IHOPKC are appealing to me. This is current opinion. It might change. Alsothey haven't altered KJV bible like Jehovas w. have. Comments? –  laovultai Jan 6 at 14:52
    
@laovultai If you can form your comment into a specific, objective question which has actual answers (as opposed to opinions), feel free to post a question and contribute. (For non-Q&A discussion, try the chat instead.) –  Matt Jan 16 at 17:05
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.