ISSUES OF FAITH: A difference between knowing of and knowing

EASTER IS AROUND the corner, which means you can find those delicious Cadbury chocolate eggs at the store, and trees and flowers starting to bloom.

For Christians around the world, we reflect on the crucifixion and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

I love how nature symbolizes resurrection; coming back to life in majestic beauty.

My wife, Jen, recently gave a talk in church and spoke about knowing Jesus Christ versus knowing of Jesus Christ. As Easter approaches, I’ve thought more about this.

Many people know of Jesus Christ, but how does one get to know Jesus?

If I wanted to get to know someone, I would think the first step would be to speak with them.

To get to know God and His son Jesus Christ, we can start with prayer. This prayer would be the prayer of a humble child of God speaking to a loving Heavenly Father and sharing what is in one’s heart.

Next, if I wanted to get to know someone, I might read their words.

In my faith, we have two sources of God’s words which go hand-in-hand: The Book of Mormon and the Bible. I love that the Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and divinity.

It supports the Bible and refutes any claims that Jesus was just a great teacher. In John 10:16, Jesus says, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

As recorded in The Book of Mormon, after Jesus Christ’s resurrection, He visited the ancient people of Nephi. They were gathered at their temple and heard a voice from heaven saying, “Behold, my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name — hear ye him.”

Then Jesus Christ descended out of heaven clothed in white and said, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.”

Everyone who was there fell to the earth. Can you imagine the scene?

As He said in the Bible, His other sheep would hear His voice. He then said, “Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.”

Not only did Jesus visit these people, but He wanted them to testify firsthand that He was Jesus Christ, the resurrected living Son of God.

It’s a beautiful chapter in The Book of Mormon, and it is another witness that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, the Savior of Mankind. He is of whom Isaiah and other prophets foretold, The Mighty God, The Prince of Peace.

Next, on our journey to get to know Jesus Christ, we cannot overlook the importance of gathering in His name.

We get to know someone when we come to their home, and maybe share a meal with them.

In our faith, we call the temple the house of the Lord. We also have churches where we gather on Sundays. We assemble to worship and to partake of the sacrament, turning our thoughts to The Savior.

We renew covenants we’ve made to follow Him and keep His commandments.

There is a power in this and blessings that come into our lives as we gather in His name.

As we look fondly at the buds on the trees and flowers beginning to bloom, and perhaps indulge in a Cadbury egg or two, I invite you to not only know of Jesus Christ this Easter season but to personally get to know Him better.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. Bishop Jason Bringhurst is the leader of the Mount Pleasant Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Port Angeles, ComeUntoChrist.org. His email is jasonbring@gmail.com.

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