Center. Anchor. Foundation. These terms describe the Savior and where He fits in my testimony, and in the testimony of other Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as Mormons. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is the center of my beliefs, everything our faith, and the Church, is rightly called after His name.
Prophets’ Words About Christ
The Bible clearly testifies of Christ, recording His earthly ministry and Atonement for all mankind. In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, he instructs the church members to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus Christ is the one who authored the Plan of Salvation, as well as the one who completed the Atonement. His doctrine of repentance and baptism is at the center of our faith. (See 3 Nephi 11:32).
In The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture written by ancient prophets on the American continent, Nephi, one of the authors, describes his and his family’s religion: “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ” (2 Nephi 25:26). Nephi lived 600 years before Jesus was born, yet he and his family had faith in Christ. Throughout the Book of Mormon, other prophets do exactly what Nephi describes, rejoicing in and testifying of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Helaman, a Book of Mormon prophet who lived close to the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, instructed his sons to build their lives “upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God . . . a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).
Paul’s, Nephi’s, and Helaman’s words about the Savior are as applicable now as they were anciently, as well as applicable to each of us individually. These ancient prophets entreated their people to “look unto Jesus,” “rejoice in Christ,” and “build upon the rock of our Redeemer,” and entreat us to do the same.
Having Faith in Christ
However, sometimes it can be hard to have faith in someone who lived so many thousands of years ago. I am amazed by ancient prophets, including Nephi and other Book of Mormon prophets, as well as Old Testament prophets such as Jeremiah and Isaiah who testified of Christ. The Savior had not yet come to earth when Isaiah was alive, yet he still testified and prophesied that the Savior would come. Isaiah,
Now, more than 2000 years after the Savior’s earthly ministry, we have much more evidence than ancient prophets had. We have the written testimonies of Jesus’ apostles who saw and knew Him; we also have the account of the Savior’s visit to the Americas recorded in the Book of Mormon. We can go to visit the places where the Savior walked and talked, and see where he died and was resurrected. Although we cannot see Him, we have volumes of testimony written by others who did see Him. We can read their testimonies, and read about what the Savior did while He was on earth. Our own faith can grow by reading of others’ experiences recorded in holy scripture.
Jesus Christ: A Sure Foundation
Jesus Christ is the center of my faith. His life is the perfect example for me of how I should live, what I should do, and what kind of person I should strive to become. His Atonement makes it possible for me to repent and to eventually return to live with Him again. As I read the scriptures, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, everything I see points to our Savior: all the prophets before Him prophesied about Him, and the prophets after Him testified that He really did live. Without my witness that Jesus is the Christ, the rest of what I believe as a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) would not matter.
When I was eight years old, I was baptized and made a covenant, or promise, with Heavenly Father that I would always remember my Savior and try to be like Him. Every day as I keep my promises, remember the Savior, and try to become more like Him, my life is better. When I remember that “I’m trying to be like Jesus,” I make better choices (see Children’s Songbook 78). I say better things. I treat other people more kindly. I am happier, and feel more peace. No, my life isn’t perfect. Things go wrong; I make mistakes, and have failures and disappointments. But keeping Christ at the center of my life stops me from giving up altogether, and gives me hope that I can succeed and that everything will, eventually, be all right.
Megan is a graduate of BYU-Idaho and recently married member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is a writer and avid reader, and loves music, hiking, and her family.