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Organization of Church included in great, eternal plan for mankind

During His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ established His Church, becoming, as the scriptures say, its "chief corner stone." (See Eph. 2:20.)

President Spencer W. Kimball, in a conference address in April 1978, bore testimony of the Savior and rehearsed the events leading up to the creation of the Church.

"Jesus Christ lives, and He is the author of the true way of life and salvation. This is the message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," said President Kimball.

The most important message in the world today is that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was chosen by the Father as the Savior of this world," continued President Kimball. "His coming was foretold centuries before His birth upon this earth. It was seen in vision by Adam, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Lehi, Nephi, King Benjamin, Alma, Samuel, and many others, including Mary, His eternal mother.

"A modern prophet, the late Elder James E. Talmage of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, declared who Jesus was and is:

"The solemn testimonies of millions dead and of millions living unite in proclaiming Him as divine, the Son of the Living God, the Redeemer and Savior of the human race, the Eternal Judge of the souls of men, the Chosen and Anointed of the Father — in short, the Christ.

"Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the God of Adam and of Noah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel, the God at whose instance the prophets of the ages have spoken, the God of all nations, and He who shall yet reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords." (Jesus the Christ, pp. 1-2, 4.)

"What was the purpose of Christ's mission in life?" President Kimball asked.

" 'God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.' (Gen. 1:27.)

"Man, created in the image of God, was placed on the earth to experience mortal life, an intermediate state between premortal life and immortality.

"Our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. By eating the forbidden fruit, they became mortal. Consequently, they and all of their descendants became subject to both mortal and spiritual death (mortal death, the separation of body and spirit; and spiritual death, the separation of the spirit from the presence of God and death as pertaining to the things of the spirit).

"In order for Adam to regain his original state (to be in the presence of God), an atonement for this disobedience was necessary. In God's divine plan, provision was made for a redeemer to break the bonds of death and, through the resurrection, make possible the reunion of the spirits and bodies of all persons who had dwelt on earth.

"Jesus of Nazareth was the One who, before the world was created, was chosen to come to earth to perform this service, to conquer mortal death. This voluntary action would atone for the fall of Adam and Eve and permit the spirit of man to recover his body, thereby reuniting body and spirit.

"Jesus Christ has influenced humanity more than anyone else who ever lived. Born in a manger of an earthly mother and a Heavenly Father, he lived on earth for 33 years. He spent 30 of those years preparing for His life's mission and His ministry. Then He traveled to the River Jordan to be baptized by immersion by His cousin John, called the Baptist. By participating in this symbolic ordinance, He demonstrated to all that baptism is the door into this Church. From heaven, His Father acknowledged the important occasion, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' (Matt. 3:17.)

"For the next three years the Savior served mankind. He healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, cast out evil spirits, restored life to the dead, provided comfort to the oppressed, spread the good news of the gospel of love, testified of the Father, taught the eternal plan of salvation, and laid the groundwork for an organization that would provide for the salvation of man — His Church. This Church was not the church of John the Baptist, nor was it the church of Peter, nor of Paul, nor of any other man on the earth. It was Christ's own church; He was its head.

"That Christ established a church is well-documented in the New Testament. In Ephesians we are told that the Church of Jesus Christ was 'built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.' " (Eph. 2:20.)

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