The Unauthorized Investigator's Guide to
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Lesson 1

The Savior's Earthly Ministry

The Missionaries Will Teach...

A few hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the world again fell into apostasy.  But when Jesus began his mortal ministry, He established his church again upon he earth.

God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to overcome death and atone for the sins of the human race. "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son...that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).  God sent his beloved son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth and suffer excruciating pain for the sins of everybody who will have lived on the earth.  Jesus made this infinite atoning sacrifice so that everybody who has faith, repents, is baptized, receives the Holy Ghost, and endures to the end will be forgiven for their sins and will receive eternal life.

When he lived on earth, Jesus taught the plan of happiness for families and performed miracles.  He called twelve men to be apostles, laid His hands on their heads, and gave them the priesthood, and authorized them to lead God's church after his departure.  Jesus Christ organized His church, fulfilled prophesy, and was rejected and crucified.  But the most important thing he did was complete the atonement.   The Son of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, did everything his father asked him to do.

Some Additional Thoughts...

I really like most of the story of Jesus; I like what Jesus taught and did.  I like the spirit of light, sacrifice, forgiveness, love, compassion, pacifism, and empathy that he personified.  If you look at it symbolically, I even believe in atonement; when somebody does something that is harmful, it tends to  have effects that ripple out and cause more and more hurt.  In order for the cosmos to heal from such an event, it takes widespread love and forgiveness.

Having said that, I don't believe that the laws of metaphysics require that the son of God be tortured and killed so that the price of sin can be paid and people can be forgiven.

And of course, another issue is what evidence exists to support the various elements of the story of the gospels.

Are Mormons Christian?  My thoughts on the perennial question.

Offsite Links

The Jesus Puzzle: Was There No Historical Jesus? Earl Doherty offers an intriguing analysis of the origins of Christianity.

The Jefferson Bible.  Thomas Jefferson said, "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] by His biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same Being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore to Him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of His disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus. These palpable interpolations and falsifications of His doctrines, led me to try to sift them apart. I found the work obvious and easy, and that His past composed the most beautiful morsel of morality which has been given to us by man." (Letter to William Short, April 13, 1820)


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