1991
    Jesus Christ: Our Savior, Our God
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “Jesus Christ: Our Savior, Our God,” Ensign, Apr. 1991, 2

    First Presidency Message

    Jesus Christ:

    Our Savior, Our God

    From an address by President Ezra Taft Benson delivered at San Diego, California, on 21 December 1979.

    The most important event in the history of the world was the birth of Jesus Christ. From the days of Adam to John the Baptist—some four millennia—righteous men and women looked to the day of His heralded birth. Prophets foretold the event, and sacrifices, symbolism, and signs portended His birth.

    The birth of Jesus Christ was not ordinary. Though He had a mortal mother, Jesus did not have a human father. Sacred scripture testifies of the paternity of Jesus Christ: “He shall be born of Mary, … she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” (Alma 7:10.)

    Yes, God was the Father of His fleshly tabernacle, and Mary—a mortal woman and a virgin—was His mother. He is, therefore, the only person born who rightfully deserves the title “the Only Begotten Son of God.”

    Because His Father was God, Jesus Christ had power which no other human had before or since. He was God in the flesh—even the Son of God.

    He therefore, as scripture records, had power to do many miracles—raise the dead, cause the lame to walk, cause the blind to receive their sight, and cast out evil spirits. He provided His gospel, which He offered as a source of constant sustenance and nourishment to keep our spirituality alive forever. Hear His words: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14; italics added.)

    And again: “He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (John 6:58.)

    Because He was God—even the Son of God—He could carry the weight and burden of other men’s sins on Himself. Isaiah prophesied our Savior’s willingness to do this in these words: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: … he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:4–5.)

    That holy, unselfish act of voluntarily taking on Himself the sins of all other men is the Atonement. How One could bear the sins for all is beyond the comprehension of mortal man. But this I know: He did take on Himself the sins of all and did so out of His infinite love for each of us. He has said: “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; … which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink.” (D&C 19:16, 18.)

    In spite of that excruciating ordeal, He took the cup and drank. He suffered the pains of all men so we would not have to suffer. He endured the humiliation and insults of His persecutors without complaint or retaliation. He bore the flogging and then the ignominy of the brutal execution—the cross.

    Because He was God—even the Son of God—he alone had the power of resurrection. And so on the third day following His burial, He came forth from the tomb alive and showed Himself to many. There were witnesses then who saw Him. There have been many in this dispensation who have seen Him. As one of those special witnesses so called in this day, I testify to you that He lives. He lives with a resurrected body. There is no truth or fact of which I am more assured or more confident than the truth of the literal resurrection of our Lord.

    As I contemplate what our Savior has done so willingly and with such infinite love, I say with reverence and gratitude, in the words of our hymn:

    I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,

    Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.

    I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,

    That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

    I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine

    To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,

    That he should extend his great love unto such as I,

    Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

    Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me

    Enough to die for me!

    Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

    (Hymns, 1985, no. 193.)

    Because Jesus Christ is God—even the Son of God—He will come again as He promised.

    He will come in a day of wickedness—a time when men and women will be “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” (Matt. 24:38.)

    He will come at a time of great upheaval and tribulation when “the whole earth shall be in commotion.” (D&C 45:26.)

    He will come as a thief in the night, when the world least expects Him to come: “But of that day, and hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father only.” (JS—M 1:40.)

    I testify to you of these truths about our Savior. I know Him as our Master. I love Him with all my soul. I pray we shall always remember Him and what He has so willingly done for us.

    Ideas for Home Teachers

    Some Points of Emphasis

    You may wish to make these points in your home teaching discussion:

    1. The most important event in the world’s history was the birth of Jesus Christ.

    2. Because His Father was God, Jesus had power that no other mortal person has had; He was a God in the flesh.

    3. Because He was who He was, He could carry the burden of others’ sins.

    4. Because He was who He was, He had the power of resurrection.

    5. Because He is who He is, He will come again as He promised.

    Discussion Helps

    1. Relate your feelings about the Savior Jesus Christ.

    2. Are there some scriptures or quotations in this article that the family might read aloud and discuss?

    3. Would this discussion be better after a pre-visit chat with the head of the house? Is there a message from the bishop or quorum leader?

    Detail from Christ and the Rich Young Man, by Heinrich Hofmann; inset: detail from The Nativity, by Gustave Dore

    Christ in Gethsemane, artist unknown; inset: detail from The Crucifixion by Gustave Dore