I am a Mormon. What does that mean? It means I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It means that am a follower and a disciple of Jesus Christ and I look to Him as my Savior and Redeemer. A lot of people in the world are wondering if Mormons are Christians. Many people believe we are not. I am here to tell you that we are.
In the dictionary the definition of Christian is: of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; a person who believes in Jesus Christ; a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ. (click here for reference). Let me break this down and explain how I, as a Mormon, am a Christian.
1. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible to be the word of God. I study the New Testament and have gained my love and testimony of Jesus Christ as I have studied His life and teachings through that book. I also believe that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I love that book with all my heart. My favorite part of the Book of Mormon is the final chapter, which asks us all to come unto Christ.
Moroni 10: 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ. I know that He is the Savior of this world. From the time I was a child I sought out Jesus Christ. I wanted to know Him and I wanted to feel of His love for me. Throughout my life I have turned to Jesus for peace and for the incredible healing powers of His atonement. I know that He was born in a manger. His life was one of humility. He was chosen by Heavenly Father to come down, to descend below all things, so that we could all rise above our own weaknesses and return to our heavenly home. I know that He suffered for my sins, and your sins, in the Garden of Gethsemane and He died for each of us on that cross on Calvary. And to complete Heavenly Father's plan, He rose from the dead on the third day and opened the door to eternal life, which gives every person that has ever lived the opportunity to live with their family and loved ones forever.
3. I exemplify in my life the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is an ongoing and lifelong process. I have taken upon myself the name of Jesus Christ and I do my best to exemplify His teachings in my life. Lately I have found myself on my knees, asking Heavenly Father to bless me with charity, which is the pure love of Christ. I want to love as Jesus loves. His love is unconditional. He sees each person as the truly are: a child of God. There are times when I am around people, whether I know them or not, and remember that they are God's children and He loves them infinitely and unconditionally. Despite any differences (religious, political, social, cultural, etc) we all are children of God, which means we all have some of His divinity, His spirit, within each of us, whether we see it or not. I desire to have charity and my heart is being softened as I am learning to love as Christ loves. There are so many teachings of Christ that I want to exemplify, and because I am human, I am not perfect at this, but I am trying. He is patient, kind, forgiving, accepting, a loyal friend, a listening ear, and His hand is always outstretched, to anyone that will come unto Him, no matter who they are or what they have done. My life is dedicated to following Him and through Him I have come to know who I really am.
That is what makes me a Christian. That is what also makes me a Mormon. Who is it out there that gets to determine who is and who isn't a Christian? Why is it such a big issue? We choose to follow Christ. Our church is named after Him. We are taught to love, to forgive and to help improve the human race, just as Christ did. I love Him and I respect and admire anyone who calls himself a Christian and does his best to follow the teachings of Christ. And for those who are not Christian and choose not to follow Christ, I still respect and admire you, especially those who have a desire to be good people and to treat all people with kindness. Christianity revolves around the teachings of Christ and Christ Himself taught us, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" John 13:34.
When I leave this life I want nothing more than to be embraced by the arms of Jesus. I know I will see Him again. I have felt the spirit of God testify in my heart that what I believe is true and that I am loved unconditionally because I am a child of God and that I will be forgiven of my sins because Jesus Christ has paid the ultimate price for them.
And that is why I am a Christian.
A modern day Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, giving his final testimony of Jesus Christ before he passed away in 1985. I think it is very powerful.