Question #3: What do you believe about Jesus?
One of the criticisms of the Church is “Well, they say they believe in Jesus, but it’s not the Jesus that I know,” and then they focus on perceived differences between how Latter-day Saints understand Christ versus a more traditional Protestant view of Him. While we do have some doctrinal differences with mainline Christian churches (for example, we believe that Christ is our literal elder brother, separate from the Father, and possesses a tangible body), there is much more that unites us with other churches than divides us. It is not dishonest to stress our commonality rather than our differences. We don’t hide our differences, but we don’t need to beat people over the head with them.
The short answer: “We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and is the Son of God the Father. We believe that Christ came to earth to pay the price for our sins. We believe that while He was on the earth, He organized His church, was crucified, and arose on the third day. We believe He lives today, that He has restored His Church, and that one day He will return in power and glory to the earth.”
The point: Even as we are emphasizing how we agree on the Savior and His role in the salvation of the human race, we are still planting seeds—that He organized a specific church and restored it in the latter days and that He will return again to claim His Church and people.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs . . . he was wounded for our transgressions
Matthew 16:15–19 Jesus: Whom say ye that I am? Peter: Thou art the Christ . . .
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life . . .
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son . . .
Acts 1:11 This same Jesus . . . shall come (again) in like manner as ye have seen . . .