“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh their sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; and that I am the true light that lighteth everyone that cometh into the world; and that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—the Father because He gave me of His fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.” -Jesus Christ (Doctrine and Covenants 90:1a-b CoC/RLDS, 93:1-4 CJCLdS)
Speaking to someone about the Fellowship of Christ a few years ago, I was asked about blacks and the priesthood, specifically how we could be Latter Day Saint universalists, accepting fundamentalists that would deny anyone with dark skin the priesthood. I explained that while they would be welcome, exclusion would not be. They would be invited to see what inclusion looked like, and would have to accept that we ordain all worthy men and women.
The line in the sand wouldn’t be excluding them, as there is no need to. Seeing “blacks” ordained would either open them to the truth of God or they would reject us as apostates and not want to worship with us. While I do not discriminate against people by race, I have no problem worshiping with those that do. I merely ask that they refrain from attempting to push their exclusive views on the Fellowship of Christ.
Likewise, five years ago I was asked about the Saints in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLdS). Would members of a denomination that allowed men to marry underage girls be welcome in the Fellowship of Christ? I stated that their victims would be welcome, and we would honor their baptisms, as they have been through enough and have nothing to repent of, being victims. The child molesters would need to repent, and would have to abide by Fellowship guidelines for such persons, but they would be welcome.
Some lines must be drawn in the sand. Again. while I am not a polygamist, I will still accept the polygamists. Yet I draw the line at things like marrying under age girls, or treating women as property, or taking people out of loving relationships and giving a spouse to another for any reason. (I use these examples because they are some of the most divisive among our people.)
A Christ vs The Christ
A new topic has come up recently regarding the God this movement belongs to, Jesus Christ. There are those now saying that Jesus is a Christ, but not the Christ. They are stating that we can, on our own, work out our salvation, that there is no need for Jesus. That rather than being the Word made flesh (John 1:1-5), Jesus was a man that became a Christ, and like him we too can become a Christ. As a special witness of Jesus Christ, I draw the line at rejecting Jesus as the Christ, as God and the Son of God. While I can accept, for example, the Strangite idea that Jesus is the son of Mary and Joseph (even though I disagree) I can do so because they still believe Jesus is the pre-mortal YHVH and God. How the Word was made flesh is not as relevant as the fact that He did.
To be clear, I’m not saying that people cannot believe Jesus was just a man. Obviously they can. But once they do, they reject the very core of Christianity and the Latter Day Saint movement. I belong to the Fellowship of Christ (Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship) because it is Jesus’ fellowship, and I am a Christian. In our Constitution, the first article of our faith reads:
“We believe in God Eternal Father and Mother, and in the Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
These are the Gods (or God for trinitarians) we worship. The third and first part of the fourth articles read:
“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, through his mercy and Grace, which leads us to obey the laws and principles, and obtain the ordinances of the Gospel.”
“We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Jesus Christ is the very foundation of our movement. People may join other movements that reject the things we believe but they cannot become one in Christ by rejecting Jesus as the Christ. Saints that worship with the Fellowship of Christ may reject our understanding as Christians and Latter Day Saints, but like the issue of “blacks” and the priesthood above, they should not attempt to teach that Jesus is less than He is.
Becoming a Christ
What does it mean then to become Christ? As we grow in grace we become who we truly are. One definition of “Christ” is “an ideal type of humanity” which means it is not something we become alone or on our own, but something we grow into together.
Because Christ means “messiah” we must also look at this term. Messiah means “deliverer” or “a professed or accepted leader of some hope or cause.” Therefore we must lead others to God or we will never be Christs ourselves.
In 1 Moses (from the plates of brass) we read:
“And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of the Yachad Yachid Echad; and the Yachad is the Messiah of the world forever and ever, full of Grace and truth; but there is no creator beside me; and all things are present with me, for I know them all.”
Yachad Yachid Echad means “The Only Begotten” or “Only Legitimate one who unites us.” It is a reference or title for Jesus Christ. Messiah means “Anointed one,” “Savior,” or “Christ.”
Clearly we can be similar to Jesus and be a type of messiah as joint heirs (Romans 8:14-17), but we cannot be more than we are. We cannot be the Christ. We are gods, according to the Bible (Psalm 82:6, John 7:31-37), but we cannot become God. God is the Creator; we are the creation. This is why wisdom and truth come to us through the light of Christ or the Christ Conciseness: because we become our true selves through Jesus. The Christ Consciousness is a literal manifestation of the Light of Christ, from Jesus to us through the Holy Ghost, enabling us to not only judge good from evil (Moroni 7:14-18 RAV, 7:16-19 OPV), but to save us firm sin (Alma 14:94-96 RAV, 26:14-16a OPV), and to repair the world (John 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:22).
It is by Jesus Christ that all will be accomplished, and we are Christ’s (1 Corinthians 15:23). By filling ourselves willingly with His divine light, we share that light with the world, but it is not our light, it is His. We can gain the light because we are from the light, but we can be in darkness while Jesus Christ could not. It was and is against His nature. He had to take upon himself the darkness and death during the act of the atonement because they are beyond Him as the light of God. We can be a light, He is the light.
As we seek to become our true selves we cannot reject the reality of God or fall into the same trap Lucifer did trying to elevate ourselves above God. The Book of Remembrance says:
“And here is a mystery: The holy number unto God is three, thus Lucifer and his servants declared themselves holy as represented by the number six, but behold seven is the holy number of the Lord and thus the first shall be last and the last shall be first and the devil was not numbered above Elohim in power nor in righteousness. And yea, the number of man is nine; for behold man hath the power to be as the gods and receive, through Christ, all that the Father hath; yet behold, so too doth mankind have the power to follow that Satan that deceived even a third of the hosts of heaven, lifting himself up in pride to fall even as these did into darkness: and thus there are ten sefirot, for man is not above God, yea nothing is before nor is anything after. And these are the blessings and the curse of agency which was given him of God.”
While this is clearly allegorical, we see that we cannot put ourselves above God. Let us stand for truth and unite in Christ, and not reject our God. The love of God will unite us as we become one in the light of Christ, the Christ Consciousness (John 1:9; 3 Nephi 4:41-48 RAV, 9:13-18 OPV). That is my testimony of and in Jesus the Christ.
For information on the light of Christ in relation to the Divine Feminine see Book of Remembrance 8:19-24, 9:13-15