There’s a lot of confusion around the Mormon religion. One common question people have is whether Mormons believe in Jesus or not. So do they?
Yes, Mormons do believe in Jesus. Mormonism is a branch of Christianity that follows the Old Testament, the New Testament, and The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is in addition to the other books and does not replace them.
But the story of Jesus’s resurrection differs slightly from most other Christian sects. So they believe in Jesus, but what’s different?
Jesus, According To Mormonism
The Book of Mormon is the story of the ancestors of the Native Americans. It tells how their ancestors got to the Americas from Jerusalem under the leadership of the prophet Lehi.
The book tells of the two societies formed by this group of Hebrews, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Lamanites eventually destroyed the Nephites, but not before Jesus visited them.
The belief is that after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, he visited the Nephites and taught them before ascending to heaven.
The Book of Mormon was written by the prophet Mormon and is an abridged version of Jesus’s teachings to the Nephites.
Mormon’s son Moroni buried the plates and visited the modern prophet, Joseph Smith, to deliver the writings to him.
This means that the Book of Mormon is considered supplemental teachings of Jesus.
They tell the history of the peoples of the Americas before Christ and the divine teachings Jesus gave the righteous Nephites before they were wiped out.
Commonalities With Other Christians
The idea that Jesus visited the Americas before his ascension is unique to the Mormons. Catholics and Protestants don’t share this belief, to be sure.
So is it the same Jesus Christ then, if the stories are different?
That probably depends on who you ask, but it’s safe to say they are intended to be the same person.
So, for example, the Catholic Jesus that turned water into wine is the same figure as the Mormon Jesus who performed the same miracle.
If a Protestant and a Mormon were to sit down and compare their beliefs, there wouldn’t be much disconnect on the historical aspects of Jesus’s life.
But there would be significant differences in the interpretation of those events.
Differences With Other Christians
Apart from the introduction of Jesus into the Americas, Mormonism interprets the theological function of Jesus.
Most Christians will be familiar with the idea of the Holy Trinity. In these religions, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one being.
Therefore, God exists as all three persons, even as they are all three distinct from each other.
In Mormonism, the three figures are separate beings, each with their own function. God has a physical body, Jesus is the Son of God, and the Holy Ghost is a spirit.
The three make up the Godhead, whose purpose is to bring about salvation for all of mankind.
Catholics and Protestants say that Mormons aren’t Christians primarily for this reason.
Jesus as Savior
Although theologians may disagree over the differences, one thing is for certain. Mormons believe that their salvation lies in the mercy of Jesus Christ.
They believe that salvation is not possible through human works alone.
If the divine person Jesus Christ hadn’t taken on a mortal body (although he himself is immortal) and died on the cross, human salvation would not be possible.
Mormons believe that doing good, Christian things is necessary to live a life of faith but that we are intrinsically incapable of saving ourselves. Therefore, divinity must intercept on our behalf and save us, and it did through Jesus.
This makes Jesus the central figure in the entire religion. It would be difficult to argue that a religion whose central figure is Jesus doesn’t believe in Jesus.
Mormonism is an often misunderstood religion, which explains why people are unsure whether they believe in Jesus even though he is their central figure.
It’s true that their concept of Jesus differs from other Christians’, but Catholics and Protestants disagree on many theological concepts, and both are still considered Christians.
It doesn’t make much sense to exclude Mormons from the designation for having some theological differences, too.