Who was Jesus of Nazareth?
He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New [Testament]. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. â€śAll things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was madeâ€ť (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He â€śwent about doing goodâ€ť (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our pre-mortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvaryâ€™s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.
We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.
He rose from the grave to â€śbecome the firstfruits of them that sleptâ€ť (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His â€śother sheepâ€ť (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised â€śdispensation of the fulness of timesâ€ť (Ephesians 1:10).
Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: â€śHis eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
â€śI am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Fatherâ€ť (Doctrine & Covenants 110:3-4).