Mormons consider Jesus Christ to be the centerpiece of their religion. His name is placed in the very center of the church’s real name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormon is just a nickname that comes from their use of the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible.) The Savior holds the same position in the church.
Mormons teach that Jesus Christ is very literally the Son of God, God’s only begotten Son. He came to earth as a gift to us, having promised to live a perfect life, to atone for our sins, which happened in the Garden of Gethsemane, and then to die on the cross. After his death, He would be resurrected, just as we can be resurrected someday because of His gift to us.
A Mormon’s education about the Savior begins in the very first years of childhood. As children learn to pray, they’re taught to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Even the nursery for the toddlers includes brief lessons about the life of the Savior and the children learn to sing, “I’m trying to Be Like Jesus.” Classes for children use the Savior’s earthly life as an example of how the children should live their own lives. For instance, they learn that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, and then learn that they too must serve others, even though they’re small. In class, they think of ways to serve and then carry out a simple service project.
Recently, children in the church learned a song which asked if we would live differently if we could see Jesus standing beside us, watching. In the last verse, they’re reminded that Jesus is always near, always watching over them and loving them, and so they should always live the way they would live if they could see Him. Mormons are taught to live their lives this way. Jesus is personal and real to them, and they study the Bible and the Book of Mormon for clues as to how He would want them to live.
Without the gift of the atonement, no one could be resurrected. Death would be the end, and there would be no hope of ever returning to live with God. Mormons honor and revere Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. Throughout their church buildings, you’ll find numerous paintings based on His life, a weekly reminder of His place in our eternal lives.
The Book of Mormon, a scriptural book used with the Bible, is subtitled “Another Testament of Christ” to let people know it is indeed about the Savior. You can read more about this in “The Book of Mormon.” The Book of Mormon mentions the Savior more often than does the Bible, and He and His mission are referred to in more than half the verses. The Book of Mormon expresses the desires of those ancient prophets who wrote the books in one of its early chapters:
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26)