Chapter 4: Jesus Christ, the Son of God

“Chapter 4: Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual (2000), 9–10

“4: Jesus Christ,” Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, 9–10

Chapter 4

Jesus Christ, the Son of God


To know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, is imperative for all who desire eternal life (see John 17:3). This knowledge comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. Joseph Smith taught, “No man can know that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 223).

Doctrinal Outline

  1. Jesus Christ is literally the son of God the Eternal Father.

    1. Jesus Christ is the firstborn spirit son of God (see D&C 93:21; Colossians 1:13–15; Hebrews 1:5–6).

    2. Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God in the flesh (see JST, John 1:1, 13–14; 1 Nephi 11:14–22; Jacob 4:5, 11; Alma 5:48; D&C 20:21; 76:22–24).

  2. Jesus Christ is a being of glory, might, and majesty.

    1. Jesus Christ has a resurrected body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22; Luke 24:36–39; 3 Nephi 11:12–15).

    2. Jesus Christ possesses all power in heaven and on earth (see D&C 93:17; 100:1; Matthew 28:18; 1 Peter 3:21–22).

    3. Jesus Christ possesses a fulness of the perfection, attributes, and glory of the Father (see 3 Nephi 12:48; D&C 38:1–3; Colossians 1:19; 2:9–10; D&C 93:4, 12–17).

    4. Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world (see D&C 88:5–13; 93:2, 9; John 1:4; 8:12; 3 Nephi 9:18).

  3. As the Son of God, Jesus fills many roles essential to our salvation.

    1. Jesus created the worlds under the direction of God the Eternal Father (see 3 Nephi 9:15; Hebrews 1:1–3; Helaman 14:12; Moses 1:33; Ephesians 3:9; D&C 93:10).

    2. Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament (see Isaiah 12:2; 1 Nephi 19:10; D&C 110:1–4; JST, Exodus 6:1–3; Abraham 2:7–8).

    3. The Savior came to earth and set a perfect example for us to follow (see 1 Peter 2:21; 2 Nephi 31:7, 9–10; 3 Nephi 18:16; 27:21, 27).

    4. Only through Jesus Christ can we be saved (see Acts 4:12; Mosiah 3:17; 5:8).

    5. Through the Atonement, the Savior provided redemption from physical and spiritual death (see Alma 11:40–43; 34:8–10; 2 Nephi 9:6–13, 26; D&C 18:11–12; 19:16; Helaman 14:15–18; 1 Corinthians 15:19–23).

    6. Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and us and is our advocate with the Father (see 1 Timothy 2:5; D&C 45:3–5; JST, 1 John 2:1; Moroni 7:28).

    7. The Son of God is our true and righteous judge (see Psalm 9:7–8; 2 Timothy 4:8; John 5:22, 27, 30; Acts 10:40–42).

    8. The Father’s will is carried out to perfection by the Son (see John 4:34; 5:30; 5:19; Matthew 26:39, 42; 3 Nephi 11:11).

    9. Although Jesus is the Son of God, He is sometimes called the Father (see Mosiah 15:1–8, 11; Isaiah 9:6; Mosiah 5:7; Helaman 14:12; Ether 3:14).

    10. Jesus Christ is the rock upon which we must build our foundation in order to overcome the temptations of Satan (see Helaman 5:12; Psalm 18:2; 1 Nephi 15:15).

Supporting Statements

  1. Jesus Christ is literally the son of God the Eternal Father.

    • “Among the spirit children of Elohim, the first-born was and is Jehovah, or Jesus Christ, to whom all others are juniors” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 70).

    • “That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof; and, the offspring from that association of supreme sanctity, celestial Sireship, and pure though mortal maternity, was of right to be called the ‘Son of the Highest.’” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 81).

    • “We believe absolutely that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, begotten of God, the first-born in the spirit and the only begotten in the flesh; that He is the Son of God just as much as you and I are the sons of our fathers” (Heber J. Grant, “Analysis of the Articles of Faith,” Millennial Star, 5 Jan. 1922, 2).

    • “There cannot be any doubt in the heart of a Latter-day Saint regarding Jesus Christ’s being the Son of the living God, because God Himself introduced Him to Joseph Smith. …

      “Any individual who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, has no business to be associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, 23–24).

  2. Jesus Christ is a being of glory, might, and majesty.

    • “Jesus Christ is the heir of this Kingdom—the Only Begotten of the Father according to the flesh, and holds the keys over all this world” (Smith, Teachings, 323).

    • “The Savior did not have a fulness at first, but after he received his body and the resurrection all power was given unto him both in heaven and in earth. Although he was a God, even the Son of God, with power and authority to create this earth and other earths, yet there were some things lacking which he did not receive until after his resurrection. In other words he had not received the fulness until he got a resurrected body” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:33).

    • “Both the Father and the Son, being omnipotent Gods, are designated by the name-titles, Almighty (Gen. 49:25; Rev. 1:8; 2 Ne. 23:6; Hela. 10:11; D. & C. 84:96; 121:33), Almighty God (Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 1 Ne. 17:48; D. & C. 20:21; 87:6; 88:106), Lord Almighty (D. & C. 84:118; 2 Cor. 6:18), and Lord God Almighty (Rev. 4:8; 11:17; 21:22; D. & C. 109:77; 121:4; 1 Ne. 1:14; 2 Ne. 9:46). These designations signify that these holy beings have all power and unlimited might. A deep sense of reverence is implicit in the use of each name-title” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 30).

  3. As the Son of God, Jesus fills many roles essential to our salvation.

    • “Whether descriptively designated as Creator, Only Begotten Son, Prince of Peace, Advocate, Mediator, Son of God, Savior, Messiah, Author and Finisher of Salvation, King of Kings—I witness that Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven whereby one can be saved! (See D&C 18:23.)

      “I testify that He is utterly incomparable in what He is, what He knows, what He has accomplished, and what He has experienced. Yet, movingly, He calls us His friends. (See John 15:15.)

      “We can trust, worship, and even adore Him without any reservation! As the only Perfect Person to sojourn on this planet, there is none like Him! (See Isa. 46:9.)

      “In intelligence and performance, He far surpasses the individual and the composite capacities and achievements of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live! (See Abr. 3:19.)

      “He rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all! We kneel!” (Neal A. Maxwell, in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, 9; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, 8).

    • “Who, among all the Saints in these last days can consider himself as good as our Lord? Who is as perfect? Who is as pure? Who is as holy as He was? Are they to be found? He never transgressed or broke a commandment or law of heaven—no deceit was in His mouth, neither was guile found in His heart” (Smith, Teachings, 67).

    • “As far as man is concerned, all things center in Christ. He is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state. As such he became, under the Father, the Creator of this earth and of worlds without number; and he was then chosen to work out the infinite and eternal atonement, to come to this particular earth as the literal Son of the Father, and to put the whole plan of redemption, salvation, and exaltation in operation.

      “Through him the gospel, all saving truths, and every edifying principle have been revealed in all ages. He is the Eternal Jehovah, the promised Messiah, the Redeemer and Savior, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By him immortality and eternal life become realities, and through his grace and goodness salvation is possible for all who will believe and obey” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 129).

    • “Christ is the Father in the sense that he is the Creator, the Maker, the Organizer of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are. …

      “He is the Father of all those who are born again. …

      “He is the Father by what has aptly been termed divine investiture of authority. That is, since he is one with the Father in all of the attributes of perfection, and since he exercises the power and authority of the Father, it follows that everything he says or does is and would be exactly and precisely what the Father would say and do under the same circumstances.

      “Accordingly, the Father puts his own name on the Son and authorizes him to speak in the first person as though he were the Father” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 130).

Christ teaching in the temple