The name for the Babe of Bethlehem was given by divine revelation to Mary:
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1: 30-31).
Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8: 56-58).
Once of Humble Birth
Born of humble birth to Mary, Jesus of Nazareth is also the great “I AM.” (Exodus 3: 13-14) He was who appeared to Moses and directed that prophet to deliver the children of Israel from pharaoh’s bondage. In 1830, the truth of Christ’s pre-mortal identity was further reinforced as the resurrected Lord appeared to Joseph, His prophet of the “restitution” (Acts 3:18-21):
“Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins; Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer” (D&C 29: 1, 2).
Six years later, in 1836, the prophet Joseph recorded this additional witness of the Savior’s premortal identity:
“The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying: I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110: 1-4).
In harmony with the truth that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the prophet Isaiah records that the death and resurrection of the “LORD JEHOVAH” would bring about resurrection for all:
“Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: . . . Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead” (Isaiah 26: 4, 19).
It is important that we come to know the pre-mortal identity of Jesus as Creator of heaven and earth. (John 1: 3, 9) And as Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament. Yet, it is even more important for covenant Christians to “seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” (Matt. 6: 33) it is of highest priority that we follow Him and heed His precious message of salvation:
Alpha and Omega
“Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made; The same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes; I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me. . . .
I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father . . . [and] the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; . . . I have made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool, wherefore, again I will stand upon it. . . .
Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, . . . And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me. . . .
Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land. . . . I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, . . . for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them” (D&C 38: 1-4, 8, 17, 22-24, 29-30, 33).
While some see Jesus as just another wise man, or as one among many prophets. In contrast, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reverence Jesus as the Christ. He is the only begotten Son of God, the Prince of Peace, our Savior and Redeemer, even Alpha and Omega. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings who will come a second time to rule and reign on this earth; He is the Mortal Messiah slain for the sins of the world; Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament, the LORD JEHOVAH.