Thomas S. Monson is the president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes known as Mormons. In his office hangs a painting of Jesus by Heinrich Hofmann. Of
this painting, he says:
Positioned on the wall of my office, directly opposite my desk, is a lovely print of the Savior, painted by Heinrich Hofmann. I love the painting, which I have had since I was a 22-year-old bishop and which I have taken with me wherever I have been assigned to labor. I have tried to pattern my life after the Master. Whenever I have a difficult decision to make, I have looked at that picture and asked myself, “What would He do?” Then I try to do it. We can never go wrong when we choose to follow the Savior
Mormon beliefs emphasize that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. Although we are all God’s children, because He created our spirits, He is literally Jesus’ father. Jesus’ father is God, and His mother is the mortal Mary. This paired heritage is what made it possible for Jesus to atone for the sins of the world.
Prior to our life on earth, we lived with God in Heaven as spirits. When God explained to us that in order to progress further, we would need to live on earth, out of God’s presence, He said we would need a Savior. None of us, with our fully mortal heritage, would be able to live a sinless life.
Jesus offered to do this for us. He promised to come to earth and willingly live a perfect life and then suffer for each of our sins—an act known as the atonement. Then he would die for us. All of this was done voluntarily, which is one of the requirements of the atonement.
“The time came when He stood alone. Some Apostles doubted; one betrayed Him. The Roman soldiers pierced His side. The angry mob took His life. There yet rings from Golgotha’s hill His compassionate words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Earlier, perhaps perceiving the culmination of His earthly mission, He spoke the lament, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” “No room in the inn” was not a singular expression of rejection—just the first. Yet He invites you and me to receive Him. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Who was this Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? Who is the King of glory, this Lord of hosts? He is our Master. He is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Author of our Salvation. He beckons, “Follow me.” He instructs, “Go, and do thou likewise.He pleads, “Keep my commandments.”
Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.
Thomas S. Monson, “Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 84–87
Jesus, as worshipped by the Mormons, is the Jesus portrayed in the Bible, rather than the one defined in counsels of men long after His death and resurrection. They teach He is completely unified in doctrine and purpose, but is not one in substance with God. Unity of substance is not a Biblical concept, and the word trinity is not found there, but was chosen later in debates over the nature of God.
Mormons teach that Jesus is the center part of the restored gospel, even holding the central spot in the true name of the Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is only through Jesus Christ that one can be saved, and return to live with God someday. His atonement allows each person to be risen from the dead, and to live forever. This is grace and is available to all who live on earth, without any acts at all, not even that of accepting Jesus as our Savior. It is a completely free gift. Exaltation, the next step, is also available to those who love God enough to want to submit their will to His. Jesus’ followers are baptized and taken on themselves the name of Christ. As such, they work to represent Him well by keeping the commandments and doing all good things out of love for God. Those who obey the commandments, doing so entirely out of love for God and not simply through expectation of reward will be permitted to enter into His presence someday.
Mormons love and worship the Savior as the foundation of all they hold sacred in their faith. At baptism they take on His name and work to share His gospel with others. They teach even their smallest children to pray in His name and to love Him. They honor Him as the creator of the earth and the Savior of mankind.