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What Does It Mean to Be Christian?

Christianity—the world’s largest religion, with well over two billion followers—recognizes Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world.

Christians believe Jesus is their Savior, and the one who paid the price for every sin in the world so that all people might return to God. Beliefs vary somewhat among the different denominations, but the core of Christianity, which is centered on Jesus Christ, remains the same.

What do Christians believe?

There are many facets to Christianity. Here are a few that set Christianity apart from other religions

There is one God

Christians believe that God is more than a supernatural force or universal presence; they believe in a single God who is the Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all. God is your Heavenly Father, He loves you, and He has a plan for you.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of all humankind

Although other world religions may accept Jesus as a great teacher and prophet, Christians recognize Jesus as something more—the literal Son of God. He is central to God’s plan because He makes it possible for all to be cleansed of their sins, reconcile themselves to God, and be resurrected after death.

Christians follow Jesus Christ

Jesus also lived as an example to all people. He led a perfect life, yet He was baptized to demonstrate that all must be obedient to God’s commandments. Christ exemplified charity, humility, and reverence to His Father. Christians are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and follow His teachings and gospel in their daily lives

Christians believe in scripture, prophets, and prayer

The words of God’s prophets are recorded in holy scriptures, and Christians continue to refer to them today for God’s guidance. God also speaks to us today through prophets, men like Moses and John the Baptist, whom He calls to help fulfill His plan. And God communicates to His children individually by answering prayers.

What does Christianity teach?

Among the many teachings of Christianity, these themes are some of the most important.

God loves you and wants you to be happy

God loves His children—He loves you—and He did not give you life for you to be miserable. Yes, trials and hardships are part of God’s plan, but He knows that through them you can learn, mature, and grow closer to Him. It is God’s desire that “ye shall have fulness of joy” (3 Nephi 28:10). And by following His teachings, you can. 

God gives guidance

God does not expect you to navigate the complexities of life without help. Rather, God gives you commandments —life instructions that, when followed, can bring true happiness.  You can find God’s guidance in the holy scriptures, through the words of His prophets, and through the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Salvation comes through Jesus Christ

Even with God’s teachings to guide us, you will make mistakes. But through baptism, regular repentance, and the saving grace of Christ’s Atonement, you can be forgiven of your sins. Jesus explained that it is not enough to just say you are Christian: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” He taught, instead, that true Christians do “the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). 

All people will live again

Christians do not believe that death is the end. Your spirit continues to exist after your mortal life ends. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, your spirit will be reunited with your perfected, resurrected body, and you can have the opportunity to live eternally with God and the people you love.

Are Mormons Christian?

Yes! In fact, “Mormon” is just a nickname; the formal name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons have the same core beliefs as most Christians, with a few important distinctions.

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is part of the Godhead

While some Christian churches believe in the Holy Trinity—three Gods in one—or the idea that God is without form, Mormons believe that God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct individuals, united in purpose. The Father and the Son have physical, perfected bodies, while the Holy Ghost is a spirit. Mormons worship Jesus Christ as a member of the Godhead.

Mormons believe in Christ’s established Church

Following the death of Jesus, authority in Christ’s Church gradually was lost and some parts of Christ’s gospel were changed and diminished. Most Christian churches today descend from the Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant traditions that sprung from Christianity’s early beginnings. Rather than being a reformed church stemming from one of these traditions, the Mormon Church is a restored church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church Jesus Christ Himself reestablished on the earth as it was originally organized, with direct priesthood authority and living prophets and apostles. 

Mormons believe in living prophets

As part of His restored Church, Jesus Christ has called prophets and apostles today, just as He did in scriptural times. These individuals have been given authority to speak God’s words and lead Christ’s restored Church today. 

Mormons follow Christ’s gospel as taught in the scriptures

Mormons revere the Bible as the word of God and believe the Book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ. Because God loves all His children, He has given His word liberally through scripture; as a companion to the Bible, the Book of Mormon is proof of this. An ancient record that contains writings of prophets on the American continents, the Book of Mormon supports Bible teachings, adds clarifying details to doctrine, and gives witness to the resurrected Christ. 

Is Christianity true?

Yes! But you should answer this question for yourself, in your own heart. Jesus promised that all people can come to know Him. Here are some ways to get started.

Witnesses of Jesus Christ

One way to learn about Christianity is simply to ask a Christian. Many are eager to share their beliefs and witness of Jesus Christ and His gospel. As you listen to answers and to people’s convictions, pay attention to how you feel. 

Scriptures testify of Christ

The scriptures are a formal record of God’s word and of people who have experienced His love and power. As you read about Jesus’s life on earth, think about the principles He taught, the love He showed, and His role in bringing all people to God.

The Holy Spirit will confirm truths to you personally

You can learn about Christianity from other people and through study, but it is the Holy Ghost who gives a spiritual confirmation of truth. Jesus explained the Holy Spirit’s role: “He shall testify of me” (John 15:26). Some describe this witness from the Holy Ghost as a warm, peaceful sensation or a strong impression of truth. This confirmation from the Spirit is how people come to know the truth of Christianity, for “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).

By learning of Jesus and committing to follow His gospel, you can come to know of His reality and divinity. The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi taught, “Come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:33). All people are invited to know Jesus Christ, to learn of His teachings, and to enjoy the tremendous blessings promised by God that come when we follow Him.

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