Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

This is the third chapter of the Gospel Principles manual for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To view the entire lesson, go here: Jesus Christ Our Chosen Leader and Savior.

A Savior and Leader Was Needed – Why did we need to leave Heavenly Father’s presence? Why do we need a Savior?

As part of the plan of God, or the plan of Salvation, we were to leave the pre-mortal world and the presence of our Heavenly Father. The reason for this, is that our progression would have been halted and none would have been able to truly become like God, the Father. We needed to be able to gain a physical body and experience mortality, where we could use our agency without the constant connection with God. We needed a chance to prove ourselves faithful to Him and we needed to experience the opposition that is found in the world, so that we could fully appreciate the blessings of eternity. Alma 12:24 reads, “And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.” In was necessary for us to enter this state of probation so that we could be ready to meet God again. Also, in Abraham 3 we read the following:

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

There would have been no way to return to God, without a Savior. As part of the plan, Adam and Eve had to choose mortality. This was the only way for us to come to the earth. However, in being cast out of the Garden, they were separated physically and spiritually from God. The only way to return to live with God, was to live perfect lives, which is not a condition for any except for the Savior himself. The Savior provided the only way for us to return, when he experienced the atonement for everyone.

Jesus Christ Became Our Chosen Leader and Savior – What are some feelings you have about the Savior?

As a member of the LDS faith, I believe that there was a council held in heaven, during the pre-mortal existence. In this council, God revealed His plan to all of us. Because a Savior was necessary to His plan, a Savior presented himself. Jesus Christ had already been chosen to be the Savior, as he was the firstborn Son of God. Satan, however, wanted to gain the glory, and so he offered himself to be the Savior of our world. Christ was chosen and Satan was angry. We can read about this in Moses, chapter 4 which says the following:

1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

The Only Begotten of God was chosen from the beginning to be the Savior of the world. Satan could not change that, and in his anger he rebelled against God.

The War in Heaven – In what ways does the War in Heaven continue today?

When Satan rebelled against God, he took all the souls with him who wanted to rebel as well. These souls made up one-third of the host of heaven. In Revelation, chapter 12 we read the following:

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

As a combined force in rebellion, they began a war in heaven, which continues today. Much of the world does not recognize that a war continues to be fought with Satan. He and his forces are among us, constantly attacking us and the things that we should hold dear. They desire for us to join them, by wasting away our lives in sin and destruction. They tempt us to do the things that bind us to Satan. Not enough recognize the strength that we have over our spiritual enemies. We kept our first estate by following our Savior, Jesus Christ, and coming to live on this earth. Because of this, we are stronger and have the power and ability to use our agency righteously. The angels of Satan are bound to do his will for eternity. In 2 Nephi 2:27 we read, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” We can be blessed with the power of God on our side, if we are faithful to the Lord. We have the power to choose our own liberty and eternal life, if we look to the Savior and His teachings.

We Have the Savior’s Teachings to Follow – How have the Savior’s teachings influenced you?

Personally, I don’t think I have studied the teachings of the Savior nearly enough in my life. I plan on changing that through this medium of study and through a study of with my family this year. I can say that my life is constantly affected by His teachings which I have studied. I think the greatest influence it has on me, is that I see my life as a small moment of a much greater picture. I believe that the Savior has taught us there is something greater than what we now understand. He taught of higher laws and greater rewards for becoming more like Him. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5, the Savior teaches the following:

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment . . .

There are things that we can do which take us a step closer to Godliness. The temptation to kill another has never come to my mind. I could never imagine myself, in my right mind, ever even contemplating it. This is not a temptation that I believe I will have in this life. I do find myself, however, getting frustrated to a point that can lead to being angry with another. The Savior teaches me that I should take the law a step further and live a life void of anger towards another. This is just one of many examples of this in his teachings. With each of these teachings, the Savior makes amazing promises to those who follow His teachings. I find myself yearning for those things that He promises us. The Savior’s teachings encourage me to look forward with hope by trying every day to be better than the day before. The teachings of the Lord, help me to be strong in the face of the adversary. I have a hope that the righteous and faithful will be victorious in the end and will receive the promised blessings of the Lord.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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