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Citations on Jesus

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or

Standard Works

“Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very
Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very
Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in
them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;
And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he
shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his
name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation
cometh to none else” (The Book of Mormon, Alma 11:38-40).

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we
prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that
our children may know to what source they may look for a remission
of their sins” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26).

2nd President Brigham Young

“We believe we have a correct idea of the character of the Son
from the writings of the Apostles, so far as they learned it. But
while he was tabernacling in the flesh, he was more or less contaminated
with fallen nature. While he was here, in a body that his
mother Mary bore him, he was more or less connected with and
influenced by this nature that we have received. According to the
flesh, he was the seed of Adam and Eve, and suffered the weaknesses
and temptations of his fellow mortals” (Brigham Young,
November 29, 1857, Journal of Discourses 6:95-96).

6th President Joseph F. Smith

“Even Christ himself was not perfect at first; he received not a
fulness at first, but he received grace for grace, and he continued
to receive more and more until he received a fulness” (Joseph F.
Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 1986, p. 68. See also Teachings of Presidents of
the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 153).

“Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither
did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he
had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the
earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not
until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our
father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to
the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission”
(Joseph F. Smith; Gospel Doctrine, 1986, p. 442. See also Teachings of
Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 87).

“The Father of Jesus is our Father also. Jesus Himself taught this
truth, when He instructed His disciples how to pray: ‘Our Father
which art in heaven,’ etc. Jesus, however, is the firstborn among
all the sons of God—the first begotten in the spirit, and the only
begotten in the flesh. He is our elder brother, and we, like Him,
are in the image of God” (Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of
the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 1998, p. 335).

9th President David O. McKay

“The fallacy that Jesus has done all for us, and live as we may, if
on our deathbed, we only believe, we shall be saved in his glorious
presence, is most pernicious. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world,
has given us the means whereby man may obtain eternal happiness
and peace in the kingdom of our Father, but man must work out
his own salvation through obedience to the eternal principles and
ordinances of the gospel” (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 8).

10th President Joseph Fielding Smith

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, and the same is true with
those who through faithfulness become sons of God. Our bodies
are essential to the fulness and the continuation of the seeds forever”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:33).

“We worship Elohim, the Father of Jesus Christ. We do not worship
Adam and we do not pray to him. We are all his children
through the flesh, but Elohim, the God we worship, is the Father
of our spirits; and Jesus Christ, his first Begotten Son in the spirit
creation and his Only Begotten Son in the flesh, is our Eldest
Brother” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:106).

12th President Spencer W. Kimball

“Long before you were born a program was developed by your
creators. …The principal personalities in this great drama were
a Father Elohim, perfect in wisdom, judgment, and person, and
two sons, Lucifer and Jehovah” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of
Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 32,33. Ellipsis mine).

15th President Gordon B. Hinckley

“In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of
those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe
in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of
whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ
of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the
Fulness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the
boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove
that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned
ministers of the gospel of the ages’” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Crown
of Gospel is Upon Our Heads, Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7).

“As a church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not
believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance
to what they say” (Gordon Hinckley, “We look to Christ,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2002, p. 90).

First Presidency

“Now who is Jesus Christ, and how could he bring about the resurrection
when no other man nor all men put together could do so?
The Scriptures respond to these questions. They make it clear that
the spirit person Jesus Christ—as are the spirits of all men—is the
Son of God, our Eternal Father. In this respect he is like all other
men. He differs from all other men, however, by reason of the fact
that men’s bodies are begotten of mortal men and are, therefore,
subject to death, being descendants and inheritors from Adam,
while Christ’s physical body was begotten of God, our Heavenly
Father—an immortal being not subject to death. Christ, therefore,
inherited from his Father the faculty to live on indefinitely”
(Marion G. Romney, Conference Reports, April 1975, pp. 123-124).

“There was in Palestine a couple, Joseph and Mary. They lived in
Nazareth. They had traveled, evidently, from Nazareth to Bethlehem
in order to pay a tax that had been decreed by the Roman
Emperor. That was the ostensible purpose. She, heavy with child,
traveled all that distance on mule-back, guarded and protected
as one about to give birth to a half-Deity. No other man in the
history of this world of ours has ever had such an ancestry—God
the Father on the one hand and Mary the Virgin on the other…
But he went back to Nazareth and dwelt with them, a carpenter,
a carpenter’s son, until he took on his mission. Thereafter, when
they found him doing wonderful things and displaying wonderful
information and great knowledge, they said, “Is not this the
carpenter’s son?…Is not this the carpenter?” He lived in a lowly
home, the only man born to this earth half-Divine and half-mortal.
He dwelt among the most lowly, taught among them, did his works
among them” (J. Reuben Clark, “Who is This Jesus We Worship?”
Cited in the LDS Church manual The Life and Teachings of Jesus and
His Apostles, p. 10. First ellipsis mine).


“How was it with Mary and Martha, and other women that followed
him [Jesus]? In old times, and it is common in this day,
the women, even as Sarah, called their husbands Lord; the word
Lord is tantamount to husband in some languages, master, lord,
husband, are about synonymous. …When Mary of old came to the
sepulchre on the first day of the week, instead of finding Jesus
she saw two angels in white, ‘And they say unto her, Woman, why
weepest thou? She said unto them, Because they have taken away
my Lord,’ or husband, ‘and I know not where they have laid him.
And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw
Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her,
Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing
him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne
him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him
away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith
unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.’ Is there not here manifested
the affections of a wife. These words speak the kindred ties
and sympathies that are common to that relation of husband and
wife” (Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854, Conference message, Journal
of Discourses 2:81. Ellipsis, brackets mine).

“Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom
on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show
this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will
acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married,
to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his
seed, before he was crucified” (Orson Hyde, Conference message,
October 6, 1854, Journal of Discourses 2:82).

“I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great
blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last
Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that
Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children”
(Orson Hyde, March 18, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:210).

“It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage
in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it
will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married
on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with
Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must
have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it”
(Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses 4:259).

“One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that
greatly loved Jesus — such as Mary, and Martha her sister, and
Mary Magdalene; and Jesus greatly loved them, and associated
with them much; and when He arose from the dead, instead of
showing Himself to His chosen witnesses, the Apostles, He appeared
first to these women, or at least to one of them — namely,
Mary Magdalene. Now it would be natural for a husband in the
resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards
show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of Jesus were written,
we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were His
wives” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 159).

“God has glorified His Son; but though the Son is glorified with
the glory of the Father, you can’t change the fact that He is the
Son of that Father, and that Father, the Eternal Father, the Father
of Jesus Christ, the Father of His spirit and the Father of His body,
was once a Man, and has progressed, not by any favor but by the
right of conquest over sin, and over death, to His present position
of priesthood and power, of Godship and Godliness, as the
Supreme Being whom we all profess to worship. We are all spirit
sons and daughters of God; but Jesus Christ was and is The Son of
God in a superlative and distinctive sense, God the Eternal Father
being His Father both in spirit and in flesh” (James E. Talmage,
Conference Reports, April 1915, p. 123. See also Alonzo L. Gaskill,
Odds Are You Are Going to Be Exalted, p. 8).

“Christ attained Godhood while yet in pre-existence, he too stood
as a God to the other spirits, but this relationship was not the same
one of personal parenthood that prevailed between the Father
and his offspring” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966,
p. 323).

“Our Lord revealed anew some of the writings of John – writings
which explained how Christ himself had worked out his own salvation,
finally receiving all power in heaven and on earth – and then
he said: ‘I give unto you these sayings that you may understand
and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you
may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of
his fulness’” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 849).

“Christ worked out his own salvation by worshipping the Father. After
the Firstborn of the Father, while yet a spirit being, had gained
power and intelligence that made him like unto God; after he had
become, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number;
after he had reigned on the throne of eternal power as the Lord
Omnipotent-after all this he yet had to gain a mortal and then an
immortal body” (Bruce R. McConkie, Sermons and Writings of Bruce
R. McConkie, 1966, p. 61. Italics in original).

“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have
abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ
whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal
uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy
Spirit” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 269).

“Christ stands preeminent among all the spirit children of the Father.
While yet in preexistence he became ‘like unto God’” (Bruce
R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ,
pp. 442-443).

“Christ himself, the Firstborn of the Father, rose to a state of glory
and exaltation before he was ever suckled at Mary’s breast” (Bruce
R. McConkie, “The Salvation of Little Children,” Ensign, April
1977, p. 3).

“There are yet others who have an excessive zeal that causes them
to go beyond the mark. Their desire for excellence is inordinate.
In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining
a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper
and perilous. I say perilous because this course, particularly
in the lives of some who are spiritually immature, is a gospel
hobby that creates an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude. In
other instances it leads to despondency because the seeker after
perfection knows he is not living the way he supposes he should”
(Bruce R. McConkie, “What is our relationship to members of the
Godhead,” Church News, March 20, 1982, p. 5).

“Jesus was born of heavenly parents in a premortal world—he was
the firstborn of our Heavenly Father” (Robert D. Hales, “Your Sorrow
Shall Be Turned to Joy,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November
1983, p. 67).

“Jesus is a God, yet He continually distinguishes Himself as a separate
individual being by praying to His Father and by saying that
He is doing His Father’s will” (Robert D. Hales, “Eternal Life—
to know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ,” Ensign
(Conference Edition), November 2014, p. 81).

“That Jesus attained eternal perfection following his resurrection
is confirmed in the Book of Mormon. It records the visit of the
resurrected Lord to the people of ancient America. There he repeated
the important injunction previously cited but with one very
significant addition. He said, ‘I would that ye should be perfect
even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.’ This time
he listed himself along with his Father as a perfected personage.
Previously he had not” (Russell M. Nelson, “Perfection Pending,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1995, p. 87).

“Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly
Father could possibly have. He was a God, Jehovah, before His
birth in Bethlehem. His beloved Father not only gave Him His
spirit body, but Jesus was His Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Our
Master lived a perfect, sinless life and therefore was free from the
demands of justice. He was and is perfect in every attribute, including
love, compassion, patience, obedience, forgiveness, and
humility. His mercy pays our debt to justice when we repent and
obey Him. Since with even our best efforts to obey His teachings
we will still fall short, because of His grace we will be saved, ‘after all
we can do’” (Richard G. Scott, “The Atonement Can Secure Your
Peace and Happiness,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1997,
p. 53).


“The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested
by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son
of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and
glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the
Savior of mankind” (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages,
p. 15).

“Jesus became a God and reached His great state of understanding
through consistent effort and continuous obedience to all the
Gospel truths and universal laws” (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel
Through the Ages, p. 51).

“We read in modern revelation that Jesus Christ was and is our elder
brother, the ‘Firstborn’ unto the Father. We accept, as Latter-day
Saints, the teachings of the prophets to the effect that Jesus
of Nazareth was the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father in
the flesh; therefore, the revelation I referred to points back to
a previous birth, a birth in the spirit world. You and I were sons
and daughters of our Eternal Parents in the spirit world. In fact,
all the people in this world were of that family, and Jesus Christ
was the Firstborn” (Milton R. Hunter, Conference Reports, October
1949, p. 69).

“It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different
Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Bernard P. Brockbank, “The
Living Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1977, p. 26).

“Why would we need to grow a stronger testimony of the living
reality of the Son of God as found in the Book of Mormon? Today
there is much confusion in the Christian world about the doctrine
of Christ—not only about His divine nature but even about His
Atonement and Resurrection, His gospel, and especially the commandments
related to it. The result is a belief in a self-made-man
Christ, a popular Christ, and a silent, crucified Christ. Wrong religious
beliefs lead to wrong religious behaviors” (Charles Didier,
“Man’s Search for Divine Truth,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 2005, p. 49).

“When the Lord came to earth, He had a veil of forgetfulness
placed over His mind, as we do, but He, like us, progressed from
grace to grace.” (Presidency of the Seventy Jay E. Jensen, “The
Savior the Master Teacher,” Ensign, January 2011, p. 42).

Church Manuals

“There was in Palestine a couple, Joseph and Mary. They lived in
Nazareth. They had traveled, evidently, from Nazareth to Bethlehem
in order to pay a tax that had been decreed by the Roman
Emperor. That was the ostensible purpose. She, heavy with child,
traveled all that distance on mule-back, guarded and protected as
one about to give birth to a half-Deity. No other man in the history
of this world of ours has ever had such an ancestry—God the
Father on the one hand and Mary the Virgin on the other” (The
Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 1979, p. 10).

“As Joseph Smith taught, Jesus was born with a veil of forgetfulness
common to all who are born to earth, but even as a child
he had all the intelligence necessary to enable him to govern the
kingdom of the Jews (see source under Basic Library), because he
overcame the veil and came into communication with his Heavenly
Father” (The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles Instructor’s
Guide Religion 211-212, 1979, p. 13).

“The oldest child in our heavenly family was Jesus Christ. He is our
oldest brother” (Gospel Fundamentals, 2002, p. 5).

Other Sources

“Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing
power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however,
is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to
lose one’s salvation. Many go so far, for instance, as to pretend,
at least, to believe that if we confess Christ with our lips and avow
that we accept him as our personal Savior, we are thereby saved.
His blood, without other act than mere belief, they say, makes us
clean” (LDS Tract titled, What the Mormons Think of Christ, p. 31).

“Latter-day Saints are monophysite in their Christology; that is,
they believe Christ has only one nature, which is simultaneously
both human and divine. This is possible because the human and
the divine are not mutually exclusive categories in LDS thought,
as in the duophysite Christology of much orthodoxy. As Lorenzo
Snow said, ‘As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man
may be’ (Snow, p. 46). Most Christians would agree with the first
half of this couplet as applied to the person of Christ, but Latter-day
Saints apply it also to the Father” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism

“For Latter-day Saints Christ was not, is not now, and never will be
united in nature or substance with the Father. His oneness with
the Father is spiritual in spirit, purpose, and mind. Jesus, in LDS
belief, is the Only Begotten Son of the Father in the flesh. He entered
mortality, subject to growth as well as being, and fulfilled the
will of the Father as exemplar, savior, and mediator. He was not
given all power on earth and in heaven until he received the fulness
of the glory of the Father” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 1:257).

“It is well to consider that all of His teachings, admonitions, and
post-resurrection commandments would be nothing more than
mere ethical teachings if He were not literally God the Father’s
Only Begotten Son” (William O. Nelson, “Demonstrate discipleship
by striving to be like Christ,” Church News, January 4, 2003,
p. 4).

“There is no salvation in false doctrine, no redeeming power in
misunderstanding about Jesus Christ, His divinity, nor His mission.
As He declared, our ability to inherit eternal life is directly
related to our understanding of Christ, and His doctrines (see 3
Nephi 27:15-17; John 17:3, 16-17)” (BYU associate professor W.
Jeffrey Marsh, “Doctrine of Christ restored to the world,” Church
News, January 3, 2004, p. 6).

“Although we are ‘rejoicing more.’ In a strict sense nothing in
the Latter-day Saint doctrine of Christ has changed in the last 175
years” (BYU Professor Emeritus Robert Millet, “Joseph Smith’s
Christology: After Two Hundred Years,” John Welch, ed., Worlds
of Joseph Smith: A Bicentennial Conference at the Library of Conference,
p. 238).

“Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of God the Father and thus the
recipient of the birthright of the royal family. As such, and in that
premortal realm, he was the Elder Brother of all of the spirit sons
and daughters of the Father” (BYU Professor Emeritus Robert L.
Millet, A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints, p. 20).

“Having already considered the manner in which Christ advanced
from grace to grace, let us now consider the implications of this
doctrine as far as men are concerned. Three times within a single
sentence we are told that Christ did not receive ‘a fulness at first,’
but rather acquired that fulness advancing ‘from grace to grace.’
(D&C 93:12-14.) The revelation then proceeds to explain that we
have had the process by which Christ obtained perfection taught
us in order that we might gain an understanding of how and what
to worship, that in due time we too might obtain a fulness of the
Father. Salvation, then, consists in our advancing after the manner
in which Christ advanced. His salvation did not consist of some
divine manifestation of power, nor did it center in some particular
event. He worked out his salvation with ‘fear and trembling’ over
the course of time by making his works the works of the Father,
just as we have been commanded to do” (BYU Professor Emeritus
Joseph Fielding McConkie, Seeking the Spirit, pp. 48-49).

“Given what we know about the true nature of both creation and
procreation in our premortal existence, one might ask if there was
ever a time when Jesus was not God. Mortal minds cannot conceive
of such a time, and the scriptures themselves do not explicitly
speak of such a time—only of Christ’s obedience to the Father
as well as His greatness and glory. The Savior Himself prayed to
His Father on the eve of Gethsemane, ‘And now, O Father, glorify
thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee
before the world was’ (John 17:5). We are reminded, however, that
prophets have taught that, as with all spirit children, Christ Himself
had a beginning; that the principles of agency, obedience, and
progression operated in the premortal state of our existence; and
that the Savior honored and followed these foundational concepts
of the Father’s plan until He stood like unto God. Thus, the answer
to our question is yes” (Andrew C. Skinner, “The Premortal
Godhood of Christ: A Restoration Perspective,” Jesus Christ: Son
of God, Savior, ed. Paul H. Peterson, Gary L. Hatch, and Laura D.
Card, p. 56).

“The previously quoted remarks of Joseph Smith have been interpreted
as supporting the concept of different saviours for different
worlds—or systems of worlds. Yet the Atonement of Jesus
Christ is described in the Book of Mormon as being ‘infinite for all
mankind’ (2 Nephi 25:16; Alma 34:10, 12, 14). However ‘all mankind’
probably refers only to the inhabitants of this earth. Nephi
quoted his brother Jacob as teaching, ‘our God …suffereth the
pains of all men …who belong to the family of Adam’ (2 Nephi
9:20-21; emphasis added)” (Rodney Turner, “The Doctrine of the
Firstborn and Only Begotten,” The Pearl of Great Price: Revelations
from God, p. 100. Ellipsis and italics in original).

“The belief that Christ was married has never been official church
doctrine. It is neither sanctioned nor taught by the church. While
it is true that a few church leaders in the mid-1800s expressed their
opinions on the matter, it was not then, and is not now, church
doctrine” (LDS spokesperson Dale Bills, Deseret News, “LDS do not
endorse claims in ‘Da Vinci’,” May 17, 2006)

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