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Select Quotations from Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage

The following quotes come from the book Jesus the Christ: A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy Scriptures both Ancient and Modern, authored by apostle James E. Talmage and originally published in September 1915. While there are several versions of Jesus the Christ, this is the 1981 edition. This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 1983 and again in 2009. To visit the site with all of the books and quotes from these, go here.

Apostasy, Great

“Throughout the period of apostasy the windows of heaven had been shut toward the world, so as to preclude all direct revelation from God, and particularly any person ministration or theophany of the Christ. Mankind had ceased to know God; and had invested the utterances of prophets and apostles of old, who had known Him, with a pall of mystery and fancy, so that the True and the Living God was no longer believed to exist; but in His place the sectaries had tried to conceive of an incomprehensible being, devoid of ‘body, parts, or passions,’ an immaterial nothing” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 754).

Book of Mormon Geography

“The Land Bountiful. — This comprized the northerly part of South America, extending to the Isthmus of Panama. On the north it was bounded by the Land of Desolation, which embraced
Central America, and, in later Nephite history, an indefinite extent north of the Isthmus. The South American continent in general is called, in the Book of Mormon, the Land of Nephi” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 742).

Council in Heaven

“It now becomes our purpose to inquire as to the position and status of Jesus the Christ in the antemortal world, from the period of the solemn council in heaven, in which He was chosen to be the future Savior and Redeemer of mankind, to the time at which He was born in the flesh” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 32).


“The ‘Creed of Athanasius.’–At the Council of Nice, convoked by the emperor, Constantine, 325 A.D., a formal statement of belief concerning the Godhead was adopted. Later a modification was issued, known as the ‘Creed of Athanasius,’ and though the authorship is questioned, the creed has a place in the ritual of some of the Protestant churches. No more conclusive evidence that men had ceased to know God need be adduced than the Athanasian Creed” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 756).


“Divinely Appointed Judges Called ‘Gods.’—In Psalm 82:6, judges invested by divine appointment are called ‘gods.’ To this scripture the Savior referred in His reply to the Jews in Solomon’s Porch. Judges so authorized officiated as the representatives of God and are honored by the exalted title ‘gods.’ Compare the similar appellation applied to Moses (Ex. 4:16; 7:1). Jesus Christ possessed divine authorization, not through the word of God transmitted to Him by man, but as an inherent attribute. The inconsistency of calling human judges ‘gods,’ and of ascribing blasphemy to the Christ who called Himself the Son of God, would have been apparent to the Jews but for their sin-darkened minds” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 501).


“Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the God of Adam and of Noah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel, the God as whose instances the prophets of the ages have spoken, the God of all nations, and He who shall yet reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 4).

“We claim scriptural authority for the assertion that Jesus Christ was and is God the Creator, the God who revealed Himself to Adam, Enoch, and all the antediluvial patriarchs and prophets down to Noah; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of Israel as a united people, and the God of Ephraim and Judah after the disruption of the Hebrew nation; the God who made Himself known to the prophets from Moses to Malachi; the God of the Old Testament record; and the God of the Nephites. We affirm that Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the Eternal One” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 32).

“During that ante-mortal period there was essential differences between the Father and the Son, in that the former had already passed through the experiences of mortal life, including death and resurrection, and was therefore a Being possessed of a perfect, immortalized body of flesh and bones, while the Son was yet unembodied. Through His death and subsequent resurrection Jesus the Christ is today a Being like unto the Father in all essential characteristics” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp. 38-39).

“A question deserving some attention in this connection is that of the peccability or impeccability of Christ–the question as to whether He was capable of sinning. Had there been no possibility of His yielding to the lures of Satan, there would have been no real test in the temptations, no genuine victory in the result” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 134).

Jesus’ Birthday

“As to the season of the year in which Christ was born, there is among the learned as great a diversity of opinion as that relating to the year itself. It is claimed by many Biblical scholars that
December 25th, the day celebrated in Christendom as Christmas, cannot be the correct date. We believe April 6th to be the birthday of Jesus Christ as indicated in a revelation of the present dispensation already cited in which that day is made without qualification the completion of the one thousand eight hundred and thirtieth year since the coming of the Lord in the flesh. This acceptance is admittedly based on faith in modern revelation, and in no wise is set forth as the result of chronological research or analysis. We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, 1 B.C.)” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 104).

Jesus’ Incarnation

“In that august council of the angels and the Gods, the Being who later was born in flesh as Mary’s Son, Jesus, took prominent part, and there was He ordained of the Father to be Savior of all mankind. As to time, the term being used in the sense of all duration past, this is our earliest record of the Firstborn among the sons of God; to us who read, it marks the beginning of the written history of Jesus the Christ” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 9).

“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 through mortal maternity, was of right to be called the ‘Son of the Highest’” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ p. 81. See also Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual: Religion 231-232, p. 9).

“Without attempting to analyze the mass of calculation data relating to this subject, we accept the Dionysian basis as correct with respect to the year, which is to say that we believe Christ to have been born in the year known to us as B.C. 1, and, as shall be shown, in an early month of that year. In support of this belief we cite the inspired record known as the ‘Revelation on Church Government, given through Joseph the Prophet, in April. 1830,’ which opens with these words: ‘The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh'” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 103).


“The Nephites suffered extinction about 400 A.D., but the Lamanites lived on in their degraded course, and are today extant upon the land as the American Indians” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 1956, p. 49).

“For many decades the Nephites retreated before their aggressive foes, making their way north-eastward through what is now the United States. About 400 A.D. the last great battle was fought near the hill Cumorah; and the Nephite nation became extinct. The degenerate remnant of Lehi’s posterity, the Lamanites or American Indians, have continued until this day” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 1956 ed., p. 742. Footnote b says the Hill Cumorah is “Near Manchester, Ontario county, New York.”).


“Christ, the Creator of heaven and earth, tabernacled as He then was in mortal flesh, may not have remembered His preexistent state, nor the part He had taken in the great council of the Gods; while Satan, an unembodied spirit—he the disinherited, the rebellious and rejected son—seeking to tempt the Being through whom the world was created by promising Him part of what was wholly His, still may have had, as indeed he may yet have, a remembrance of those primeval scenes” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 132).


“Marriage for Eternity.–Divine revelation in the dispensation of the fulness of times has made plain the fact, that contracts of marriage, as indeed all other agreements between parties in mortality, are of no validity beyond the grave, except such contracts be ratified and validated by the duly established ordinances of the Holy Priesthood. Sealing in the marriage covenant for time and eternity, which has come to be known as celestial marriage, in an ordinance established by divine authority in the restored Church of Jesus Christ” (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 564).

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