“Come, Know the Lord Jesus,” Ensign, May 1977, 12
People everywhere today are hearing voices, strange voices enticing them to follow bye and forbidden paths which lead to destruction. Nowhere is this more evident than in the pleading tones of that chorus of discordant voices which speak of the Savior of the world himself.
There are voices crying, “Lo, here is Christ” or “Lo there”—meaning that various preachers are saying: “Believe in Christ, and be saved according to this system” or “according to that system.”
A voice from the Koran acclaims Jesus as a prophet like Abraham and Moses, but sweeps aside the divine Sonship with the declaration that Allah has no need for a Son to redeem men; rather, he has but to speak and a thing is done.
A voice from one sect, looking back to the cross, says: “We were saved 2,000 years ago, and there is nothing we can do about it one way or the other now.”
Another voice proclaims: “Baptism is of no moment; simply believe; confess the Lord with your lips; no more is needed; Christ did it all.”
Another sect sets aside the need for good works with the assertion that there will be a final harmony of all souls with God—all will be saved.
Another sings out about confession, and penance, and purgatory, and the ritualistic rites of a priestly hierarchy. Another says our Lord was a great moral teacher, nothing more. Others believe the virgin birth was only a pious fiction fabricated by simple disciples who also made up the accounts of the miracles.
And so it goes; all sects, parties, and denominations acclaim a Christ molded to fit their diverse theological idiosyncrasies. And as we know, this very babble of voices crying out that salvation comes through Christ, according to this or that conflicting system, is itself one of the signs of the times.
Jesus foretold that in our day there would be false Christs and false prophets, meaning that false religions bearing his name would arise, and that false doctrines and false teachers would be everywhere.
Amid it all may we raise the one voice which echoes the mind and will and voice of the Lord. Our voice is one which testifies of a true and living Christ; it is one which says that the Lord Jesus has revealed himself and his gospel anew in modern times; it is a voice which invites all men to come to Him who died on Calvary, and to live his laws as he has given them to modern prophets.
May I now, as one who has come to a knowledge of the truth about our Savior, proclaim his divine Sonship and testify of that salvation which comes in and through his holy name and in no other way, and do it by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I shall speak of the Gods of heaven and of our relationship to them and of what they expect of us. And may I say, at the outset, that all those whose hearts are open, and whose minds are enlightened by the power of the Holy Spirit, shall know of the truth of the doctrines I shall teach and the testimony I shall bear.
We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Father’s name is Elohim;
Jehovah is his Son.
Above all Gods they stand supreme,
And rule the universe.
Jehovah is the Holy One,
By whom redemption comes;
His gospel is the word of life;
He is our living Lord.
The Holy Spirit witness bears;
Our soul the message hears—
That Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Are man’s Eternal Gods.
Be it known, then, that there is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal. He has all power, all might, and all dominion. There is no power he does not possess and no truth he does not know. Every good thing dwells in him independently in its eternal fulness. He is the Creator, Upholder, and Preserver of all things. His name is Elohim, and he is our Father in heaven, the literal Father of the spirits of all men. He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s, and is in fact a resurrected and glorified Person. The name of the kind of life he lives is eternal life; and eternal life, by definition and in its nature, consists of life in an eternal family unit and of the possession of the fulness of the glory and power of the Father.
The Lord Jesus, whose witnesses we are, is the Firstborn of the Father, the Firstborn of every creature. He was the Beloved and Chosen One from the beginning.
When our Eternal Father ordained and established the plan of salvation; when the great Elohim set up the system which would enable us, his spirit children, to advance and progress and become like him; when the Father of us all offered eternal life to his children—he asked for volunteers to put his plan into operation.
After all the hosts of heaven had been taught the gospel of God; after they knew of the perils and trials of a future mortality; after the need for a redeemer had been presented in the courts of glory—the Father propounded these questions and sent them forth through all the seraphic hosts of heaven:
“Whom shall I send to be my Son? Who will put the terms and conditions of my plan into effect? Who will work out the infinite and eternal atonement, whereby all men shall be raised in immortality, with those who believe and obey being raised also unto eternal life?”
Then it was that his Beloved and Firstborn Son responded:
“Here am I, send me; I will be thy Son; I will sponsor thy plan, Father; I will take upon me the sins of all men on conditions of repentance; and, Father, the honor and the glory be thine forever.”
Then it was that this Favored One—this One, who, under the Father, had been the Creator of worlds without number—was chosen and foreordained and became the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Then it was that the decree went forth that the great Jehovah should be born and die and rise again from the grave in glorious immortality, thus becoming in the full and literal sense like unto the Father.
Then it was that the Firstborn in the spirit was chosen to become the Only Begotten in the flesh.
Then it was that the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy because immortality and eternal life would now be a reality.
In due course came Adam and Eve; the fall of man, with its temporal and spiritual death; and the consequent promise of a Redeemer, a Savior, a Deliverer. The gospel of the Lord Jehovah was revealed so that men might worship the Father in his name and enjoy the words of eternal life on this earth and be inheritors of eternal life on the celestial earth that is to be.
Adam and Eve made all things known to their seed so they might believe in Christ, repent of their sins, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and work the works of righteousness.
Christ and his laws were revealed to all the holy prophets. As Peter said, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43.)
He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel, the Holy One, the Lord Omnipotent. He was the promised Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer, the Son of David; and at the appointed time he was born of a virgin in Bethlehem of Judea, according to the promises.
From Mary, his mother, a mortal woman, he inherited the power of mortality, so that he was subject to all the temptations and ills of the flesh, including death itself. From God, his Father, an Immortal Man, he inherited the power of immortality, so that he had power to live forever, or having voluntarily laid down his life, to take it up again in immortal glory.
He came into the world to ransom men from the temporal and spiritual death brought upon them by the fall of Adam. He came to satisfy the demands of divine justice and to bring mercy to the penitent. He came as a Mediator, as an Intercessor, to plead the cause of all those who believe in him.
He came to bring immortality to all men as a free gift. He came to make eternal life available on conditions of obedience to the laws and ordinances of his gospel. He came to bring hope, to bring joy, to bring peace, to bring salvation; and his is the only name given under heaven whereby salvation comes.
Our Lord—the Lord Jehovah, the Lord Jesus—is our hope and our salvation. He it is that hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. He has redeemed us from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment.
After his resurrection he ascended up on high to sit on the right hand of the Father. He has appeared in our day, with his Father, who said: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS—H 1:17.)
He has appeared many other times to converse with his earthly friends; and in the not distant future he will come again, with ten thousand of his angels, in all the glory of his Father’s kingdom, to usher in his personal reign of righteousness and peace. When he comes he will slay the wicked and judge the world; and every corruptible thing will be destroyed by the glory of his presence.
He is our Friend, our Lawgiver, our King, and our Lord. We seek his face and desire to dwell in his presence. We are his people, the sheep of his fold.
Our desire is “to be reconciled to God” through his blood, “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” As one of our fellow laborers of old said: “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ,” so that all men “may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Ne. 25:23, 26.)
And so now, in keeping with our established practice and pursuant to the divine obligation laid upon us, I bear personal testimony of the divine Sonship of him who has saved us by his blood. He is truly God’s Almighty Son in whom we shall rejoice both now and forever.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.