In December 2016, I volunteered to coach my son’s 10-year-old basketball team in the Lake Pointe Church league. We looked at various community basketball league options for our son and Lake Pointe was the least expensive. And we liked the fact that it was a church league with good Christian standards. When I volunteered to be the team coach, Lake Pointe required me to fill out a “Belief Statement” form in which I answered whether or not I agreed with several doctrinal statements from their church. Whether I agreed or not with the statements, I had to agree to support Lake Pointe’s doctrinal beliefs if the issue were to come up during my weekly devotional with the kids or in other public situations. (Click here to see the Belief Statements on Lake Pointe’s website)
Being a coach, even though it was a bunch of 10-year-olds, was stressful. I did enjoy, however, sharing a bible verse with the boys each week at practice. And each of the games was begun with a prayer, and I volunteered to offer it a couple of times during the season. When we were leaving one of the games, a man from the crowd who I had never met before came up to me and thanked me for the nice prayer I offered. It was overall, a good experience with the Lake Pointe Church basketball league.
At the time I filled out the Belief Statement, I found it difficult to simply answer “Agree” or “Disagree” for many of the questions. Many of the statements had a lot of nuance, and I found myself wishing I could write out a paragraph in response to each one where I could more fully explain why I agreed or disagreed. Ultimately, I put that I agreed with most, if not all, the statements. And I did so with all sincerity. While I’m a faithful Mormon, I found I had much in common with the good Christians at Lake Pointe Church, though, perhaps, I thought, they may be surprised about the way in which I agree. Because I have this website as a platform, I thought I would write an open letter with my short (or sometimes long) essay responses to the Lake Point Church Belief Statements.
Statement 1: I believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I Agree. I thought this was an interesting way to kick off the statements. I didn’t realize that there are Christian denominations out there who don’t believe in the actual physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. I suppose they believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ is metaphorical. I guess it makes sense that there are people and churches who believe that. Even in Jesus’ day, the Jews were split on this subject, some believing in the literal resurrection (Pharisees), and others not (Sadducees).
One of my favorite Biblical verses about the literal resurrection is 1 Corinthians 15:20–22 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
And one of my favorite verses about the resurrection from the Book of Mormon is in Alma chapter 11: “42) Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death. 43) The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time …45) I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.”
Statement 2. I believe the miracles were supernatural occurrences as presented in the Biblical account.
I agree. Again, it is very interesting that this is one of the 15 points they chose to highlight. I suppose in this day and age, it is very difficult for people to believe the miracles Jesus and others performed in the Bible, like Moses parting the Red Sea, and Jesus instantaneously healing the blind and lepers, walking on water, and raising people from the dead. But I certainly do believe that Jesus’ miracles really happened and that he did them by tapping into higher powers that we mortals do not yet understand. And I believe that some day, when “we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13) that we will understand the Celestial laws by which the scriptural miracles were performed.
Statement 3. I believe a Christian cannot lose their salvation.
I’m not sure if I responded that I agree or disagree with this statement. The argument can be made either way, depending on how one defines salvation. Traditional protestant or evangelical Christians, which I think is how one would classify Lake Pointe Church, believes in a binary heaven and hell in the afterlife and defines salvation as those who will be in heaven while the people in hell will not have salvation. Mormon theology about salvation is much more nuanced and, honestly, more reflective of the reality of degrees of righteousness and wickedness of people. We Mormons believe that in the resurrection there will be degrees of heaven divided into three main groups called the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdom, any one of which is better than this life on earth and could thus be considered salvation.
Salvation that cannot be lost. As we read in 1 Corinthians 15:20–22, quoted above, Jesus Christ, through his infinite atonement, has made it so all mankind will be resurrected. When Paul said that “all be made alive” he meant that all who lived on this earth will be resurrected without condition. The Book of Mormon also teaches this principle. It says that resurrection “shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God” (Alma 11:44). Being resurrected and restored to a glorious, physical body is a wonderful blessing that is a gift from our Savior that all mankind will receive and cannot be lost. If that is the salvation Lake Pointe Church is referring to, then I agree with the statement.
Salvation that can be lost. Regarding the salvation that can be lost, I believe that a person must commit a sin in order to lose their salvation in heaven. If a person never commits a sin, their salvation is not in jeopardy. In order to commit sin, a person must be old enough and wise enough to know right from wrong. Little children, or people with disabilities giving them the mental capacities of a small child, do not know right from wrong and thus are not capable of committing sin. Having never sinned, these people are saved and will be in heaven. The Book of Mormon is clear on this subject:
“Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me. … 10) Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. …12) But little children are alive in Christ.” (Moroni 8: 8,10,12)
For everyone else, Romans 3:23 applies: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” In other words, we have all transgressed God’s commandments and in so doing we have lost our salvation. So regarding the question “can a Christian lose their salvation?” I think the answer is clear: Yes. Any Christian who lives to the age of accountability will lose their salvation because nobody has lived a sinless life except Jesus Christ.
Then the question is, what does an individual have to do to regain our salvation? Jesus taught many things on this subject:
- John 3: 3,5 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. …Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
- John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
- Matt 18:3 “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
I could go on and on listing the teachings of Jesus and other prophets and apostles regarding how to qualify for salvation. And all those scriptural teachings are true. But how does one truly know if he or she has qualified for salvation? To answer this, I like what Joseph Smith taught: “The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood. It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” (D&C 131: 5-6) He further stated that “to have a positive promise of your own Salvation is making your Calling and Election sure, viz the voice of Jesus saying my beloved thou shalt have eternal life. Brethren never cease struggling until you get this evidence. Take heed both before and after obtaining this more sure word of Prophecy.” (21 May 1843 Howard and Martha Coray Notebook 208 as quoted in The Words of Joseph Smith by Andrew F. Ehat)
A Book of Mormon prophet named Moroni taught that we are not saved until we are actually saved, meaning being promised salvation and actually being saved or redeemed are two different things. Of course God’s promises are sure, and for those that are promised salvation, the day will come when they are actually saved and brought back into God’s presence. Moroni said that “because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed” (Mormon 9:12–13 emphasis added).
Statement 4. I believe in literal heaven, hell, and a personal devil.
I’m sure I clicked that I agree with this statement, though, as previously mentioned, as a Mormon, I don’t believe that a single heaven and a single hell are the only two options after this life. I believe that the Savior’s reference to “many mansions” (John 14:2) was touching on the fact that heaven has a place for all people of a wide variety of levels of righteousness. Paul expanded on this concept of differing degrees of heavenly glory in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Cor 15: 4-42)
As for the “personal devil” aspect of the statement, I’m not exactly sure what Lakepointe means. I did a quick search on Google for that term and didn’t get much help. From what I surmise, Lakepointe is asking if the devil is a real person who really tempts us. And to that I answer yes. The Devil with a capital D is Satan or Lucifer. There are also numerous devils with a lower case d who are the followers of Satan.
The Devil was once an angel in the presence of God. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (Isaiah 14:12) In the pre-earth life, Satan rebelled against God and sought to destroy the followers of the Son of God with his lying and make them his captives (Moses 4:2-3). “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev 12: 7-9)
Statement 5. I believe the Bible is without error in it’s original form.
Absolutely, I agree. One of the fundamental tenants of Mormonism is that “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (Article of Faith 8). I also concur with this statement from Joseph Smith: “I believe the bible, as it ought to be, as it came from the pen of the original writers” (15 October 1843, Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards, as quoted in the Words of Joseph Smith). The Bible is the word of God. It is a source of truth and inspiration and spiritual light for all who read it and apply its teachings.
Statement 6. I believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons but one God.
Again, I agree. This one surprised me because I thought most evangelical Christians believed the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate people. But I’m not super familiar with other religions’ beliefs.
One of the best illustrations that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate beings is at the baptism of Jesus, where the Father’s voice is heard coming from heave, the Son is physically present in the river, and the Holy Spirit descends like a dove. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:16-17).
Another clear statement on the nature of the three members of the Godhead–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–is by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1843. “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us” (D&C 130: 22).
Statement 7. I believe a Christian fully receives the Holy Spirit when he is saved.
I’m pretty sure I put that I agree with this statement, though, as we’ve already discussed, I think we have some differences in the definition of “saved.” Still, I have no problem agreeing with the statement that someone who has fully received the Holy Spirit is saved.
The concept of fullness has become more and more important to me as I have studied the gospel of Jesus Christ over the years. Concepts like the fulness of the Holy Ghost (D&C 109:15), the fulness of the Priesthood (D&C 124:28), a fulness of joy (D&C 93:33), and fulness of glory (D&C 132:6 and D&C 84:24), are replete in LDS scripture. It seems clear that while many of us experience these gifts partially, the greatest blessings are reserved for those who receive these things in fullness. This concept of partially versus fully receiving the Holy Spirit is highly related to what we have already discussed with the degrees of glory of heaven. And like the three degrees of glory, the apostle Paul also talks about the fullness of God and Christ.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3: 14-19, emphasis added)
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4: 12-13, emphasis added)
Statement 8. I believe that man was created by God and did not evolve from something less than human.
I put that I agree with this statement, though I really appreciate this opportunity to add more detail to my answer. I believe, as is stated by Moses in Genesis that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) and that on the sixth day of creation “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27 ).
Though the Mormon Church founder and prophet Joseph Smith lived long before Einstein (E = mc2) and other modern scientists discovered that you can’t create something from nothing, Joseph Smith taught that God didn’t create the world nor mankind out of nothing. He said that “in the translation [of the Bible] …the word created should be formed or organized” (Words of Joseph Smith page 60). God confirmed this to Adam and Eve when he said “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19) speaking of the eventual death and decay of their mortal bodies.
Something not stressed in the LakePointe Church statement but that is stressed in the Bible is that mankind was created in the image of God. Brigham Young taught, “When we look upon the human face we look upon the image of our Father and God; there is a divinity in each person, male and female; there is the heavenly, there is the divine” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 51). More than just looking like God, the scriptures, both ancient and modern, teach the men and women are literal children of God.
- Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
- Psalms 82:6 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”
- Psalm 127:3 “Children are an heritage of the Lord.”
- Revelation 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
- D&C 76:24 “That by him [Jesus Christ], and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”
Because men and women are children of God, they inherit some characteristics of God, like our appearance, and we have the potential (eternally long term potential) to become completely like God some day. The earth was a creation of God, but not a begotten child of God, and something created does not inherit the characteristics of the creator. But because we humans are children of God, we inherit the capability of becoming like our father and mother some day. In fact, Jesus himself commanded us to strive to become like God Our Father in Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
As for the last part of the statement–that mankind did not evolve from something less than human–that is clearly a jab at evolutionism. While I think it should be stressed that human and animal evolution is a theory and not fact, I think there could be elements of truth in it. Still, to the extent that mankind’s body may have evolved, I believe that process was instituted and guided by God. The bottom line is that I think God is the father of the human race, and not any other being.
Statement 9. I believe that all Christians have direct access to God.
I absolutely believe this. And not just all Christians, but all people everywhere. I can think of almost no greater knowledge that is largely hidden (generally by ignorance and unbelief) from the human race than the fact that we have access to God. He is aware of us. He knows our names. He hears and answers all of our prayers. James in the New Testament encouraged us to use that access to God to ask for wisdom and direction in our lives. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). And Jesus said during his earthly ministry that using that access to get to know God was the very definition of eternal life.”And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
Statement 10. I believe in the power of prayer to affect and change lives.
Yes, again, of course I agree. Jesus taught that sincere prayer brings great blessings. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt 6:6). James taught that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
Mormon, the ancient prophet of the Book of Mormon, stressed that prayer in vain or lacking sincerity will not bring blessings. “For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing” (Moroni 7:6). But said he, sincere prayer can help transform your life and your eternal life. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure” (Moroni 7:48).
Statement 11. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.
Yes, I agree. Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the Old Testament prophet Isaiah said: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son” (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus’s virgin birth doesn’t mean he lacks a father, it means he had no earthly father. God was the father of Jesus. This is how the angel Gabriel described it when he brought news of the forthcoming virgin birth to Mary, the mother of Jesus:
“26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:26-35)
And this was the experience of Joseph, Mary’s espoused husband:
“18) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt 1:18-23).
I believe Jesus’s virgin birth happened as described. I believe he had a mortal mother, from whom he inherited the ability to die, and an immortal father, from whom he inherited the ability to overcome death, resurrect, and bring resurrection to us all.
Statement 12. I believe when a person repents of their sin and turns by faith to Christ, they are saved by grace.
Yes, absolutely, I believe that God has granted us time to repent, through faith in Jesus Christ, and if we do so, we will be saved by His atoning grace.
Repentance: Both Matthew and Luke quote Jesus teaching the need for all of us to bring forth the fruits of repentance” (Matt 3:8 and Luke 3:8). When John the Baptist began preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, his opening message was “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:1-2). The Book of Mormon explains that one of the main purposes of this earth life is to repent. “And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God” (Alma 42:4). The fruits of repentance are to “make confession unto the Lord” (Ezra 10:11), “cease to do evil” (Isa. 1:16), “turn yourselves from all your transgressions” (Ezek. 18:30), and have “Godly sorrow” (2 Cor. 7:10) for your sins. When we do this we are promised that “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18) by the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Faith: The role of faith in the repentance and salvation process is well documented in the scriptures. Jesus taught, throughout his mortal ministry, that physical and spiritual healing come through faith in God. On more than one occasion, when Jesus gave sight to a blind man, he said “thy faith hath saved thee.” (Luke 7:50 and Luke 18: 42) To a sick man and his friends was this exchange showing that faith is a necessary part of being forgiven and saved: “Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee …Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed” (Matt 9:2,6-7). And Paul, the great apostle and missionary of the church after the resurrection of Christ, taught this important linkage between faith, grace and salvation: “By grace are ye saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8).
Grace: The apostle Paul taught that “through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved” (Acts 15:11), thus teaching us that grace is the power of God that allows mankind to be saved. Paul further taught that “the grace of God …bringeth salvation” Titus 2:11 and he implored us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy” (Heb. 4:16). The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob added his witness that “it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved” (2 Ne. 10:24). Jacob further pointed out “how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Ne. 2:28).
Statement 13. I believe the only Biblical grounds for divorce is adultery or if a Christian is married to a non-Christian and the unbeliever no longer wishes to remain married.
Yes, I agree that adultery is grounds for divorce, but I don’t think it should be automatic. There are many couples that have saved their marriage after one of the spouses have an affair, and I think all options to save a marriage should be employed before pursuing a divorce. And the second part of the statement, I also agree with. Marriage should never be forced upon anyone who doesn’t wish to be married.
Jesus taught that marriage is an institution that God established from the beginning with Adam and Eve. He said that “what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt 19:6). When the Jews pressed the topic further and asked why Moses permitted divorce, Jesus said “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matt 19:8)
In Genesis, God says that “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18), therefore he created Adman and Eve and commanded them to remain together and multiple and replenish the earth in a marriage relationship. Keeping a marriage strong takes hard work by both partners. The apostle Paul counselled the Christians of his day that spouses should love and cherish and respect one another. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Eph 5:25 also see Col 3:19).
As a Mormon, I further believe that the marriage relationship, as God intents it, can last for all eternity. The prophet Joseph Smith taught that “in the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.” (D&C 131:1-3) This type of marriage is a covenant between the man and woman and God and can thus only be performed by the authority of God’s priesthood and in God’s Holy Temple. Men and women who are married this way, sealed in the temple and by the Holy Spirit of Promise (see D&C 132), may continue as husband and wife throughout eternity.
Statement 14. I believe in the physical return of Christ.
Yes, I agree, and if I can, I’d like to break this down into two parts: 1) the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that he physically lives today, and 2) the second coming of Christ when he will return to earth to reign.
Physical Resurrection: One of the best documented places in scripture of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is in the book of Luke, Chapter 24. In verses 5 and 6 it record angels announcing the literal physical resurrection of Jesus’ body. “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” Then, later in the chapter, it records how Jesus visited with his disciples, they felt his physical body and he eat with them.
“36) And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37) But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38) And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39) Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40) And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41) And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42) And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43) And he took it, and did eat before them.” (Luke 24: 36-43)
Though Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1), he still lives today and still has his physical, glorified, immortal body. And at the time of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, angels were present announcing his future second coming. “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)
Second Coming of Christ: The prophets of God in the Old and New Testament have taught of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Paul said, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thes 4: 16). Zechariah taught that when Jesus comes, some will say, “What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (Zech 13:6) Jesus himself taught some of the most detail around his second coming in Matthew Chapter 24. He gave many signs of the times and added “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt 24:44)
Statement 15. I believe that even though Jesus Christ was perfect, He died on the cross for our sins.
Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, and that he died on the cross as part of his infinite atonement to pay the penalty for our sins, and that he resurrected on the third day as a perfect, immortal being.
Peter was referring to the sinless life of Jesus Christ and the shedding of his blood for our sake when he spoke of “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). And Peter further taught that Jesus was one “who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). The wine of the last supper, Jesus taught, represented “my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). Paul taught often of how we are sanctified through the shedding of the blood of Christ. “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10).
The Book of Mormon adds it’s witness to these truths throughout its pages. One great example is the teaching of a prophet named Jacob: “Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Nephi 2:5–6).
Another Book of Mormon example is a speech by a missionary named Amulek: “Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice” (Alma 34:8-10).
Write a paragraph summarizing the circumstances surrounding your acceptance of Christ as your Savior.
The last part of the Lake Pointe Church Belief Statement Form was to write a summary paragraph about how I came to know and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I wish I had saved what I wrote then, but I’m sure it was something like the following:
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. My parents taught me from my earliest childhood that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I always believed it. When I was eight years old, my parents thought I was old enough to understand right from wrong, and they asked me if I wanted to follow the Savior’s example of being baptized as a covenant to always keep God’s commandments and be a witness of Christ at all times (Mosiah 18:9-10). I wholeheartedly made that covenant and received a special witness at that time from the Holy Ghost bringing me peace and joy and confirming that I had made the right choice. Since then I have had spiritual witnesses that are to numerous to count confirming the Jesus Christ died for my sins and was resurrected that I too may be raised to eternal life some day. I am eternally grateful to God for the gift of His Son, my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.