Some believe that Jesus’ resurrection was not literal. Some even believe Jesus never lived.
Truth comes to us in 2 forms: from faith (trust based in experience, in this case spiritual) and reason. Virtually all New Testament scholars — both religious and atheist — are as sure of Jesus’ life as they are that Alexander the Great lived. So, when someone says Jesus is a legendary figure, such as Robin Hood or Sir Lancelot you now know better.
So, not only did Jesus live, but he also rose from the dead. I found this video by Gary Habermas (wonderfully tough Evangelical Christian) to be awesome. Gary shows that by accepting only parts of the New Testaments that even the skeptical scholars trust as historical, one can still demonstrate that Jesus rose the 3rd day. In addition, one can be sure that the New Testament (despite what some critics say) is trustworthy and authoritative.
You may want to watch this video a few times. I had to do so to fully understand what Gary was talking about.
So, what does this have to do with the LDS Church? Well, if we don’t have a resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, we don’t need a Joseph Smith to restore His Gospel after an apostasy. You probably already believe this event. I simply don’t think it hurts to understand more scholarship to reinforce your beliefs! After all, more and more folks neither believe in a literal Jesus nor a bodily resurrection.
We have a restored testimony of Jesus Christ, his true nature, and purposes.
Let us share this message with great humility. As Elder Oaks says,
“Sometimes we do this in a way that gives great offense to people who belong to other churches or who subscribe to other philosophies. But God has not taught us anything that should cause us to feel superior to other people.
Certainly all churches and philosophies have elements of truth in them, some more than others. Certainly God loves all of His children. And certainly His gospel plan is for all of His children, all according to His own timetable.”
We believe the priesthood and associated keys were restored to Joseph Smith. However, unique truths and perspectives are found in every faith and people on earth. No one organization has a monopoly on goodness or truth.
In a recent survey, one of the greatest stumbling blocks for those who left the Church was its claim to be the one true church. This video shares statements from the Church and its leaders to clarify what is meant and not meant by this claim, as well as discusses the many valid truths held by people of different faiths around the world. Also reviewed is how God has interacted with ALL his children throughout history.