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“Chapter 3: Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior,” Gospel Principles, (2009),13–16
A Savior and Leader Was Needed
• Why did we need to leave Heavenly Father’s presence? Why do we need a Savior?
When the plan for our salvation was presented to us in the premortal spirit world, we were so happy that we shouted for joy (see Job 38:7).
We understood that we would have to leave our heavenly home for a time. We would not live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. While we were away from Him, all of us would sin and some of us would lose our way. Our Heavenly Father knew and loved each one of us. He knew we would need help, so He planned a way to help us.
We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Jesus Christ, who was called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27; see also Moses 4:1–4).
Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give His life for us, and take upon Himself our sins. He, like our Heavenly Father, wanted us to choose whether we would obey Heavenly Father’s commandments. He knew we must be free to choose in order to prove ourselves worthy of exaltation. Jesus said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2).
Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose. He would take away the freedom of choice that our Father had given us. Satan wanted to have all the honor for our salvation. Under his proposal, our purpose in coming to earth would have been frustrated (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay , 207).
Jesus Christ Became Our Chosen Leader and Savior
• As you read this section, think about the feelings you have for the Savior.
After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, “I will send the first” (Abraham 3:27).
Jesus Christ was chosen and foreordained to be our Savior. Many scriptures tell about this (see, for example, 1 Peter 1:19–20; Moses 4:1–2). One scripture tells us that long before Jesus was born, He appeared to a Book of Mormon prophet known as the brother of Jared and said: “Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name” (Ether 3:14).
When Jesus lived on earth, He taught: “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. … And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:38, 40).
The War in Heaven
Because our Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to be our Savior, Satan became angry and rebelled. There was war in heaven. Satan and his followers fought against Jesus Christ and His followers. The Savior’s followers “overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).
In this great rebellion, Satan and all the spirits who followed him were sent away from the presence of God and cast down from heaven. A third part of the hosts of heaven were punished for following Satan (see D&C 29:36). They were denied the right to receive mortal bodies.
Because we are here on earth and have mortal bodies, we know that we chose to follow Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Satan and his followers are also on the earth, but as spirits. They have not forgotten who we are, and they are around us daily, tempting us and enticing us to do things that are not pleasing to our Heavenly Father. In our premortal life, we chose to follow Jesus Christ and accept God’s plan. We must continue to follow Jesus Christ here on earth. Only by following Him can we return to our heavenly home.
• In what ways does the War in Heaven continue today?
We Have the Savior’s Teachings to Follow
• Think about how the Savior’s teachings have influenced you.
From the beginning, Jesus Christ has revealed the gospel, which tells us what we must do to return to our Heavenly Father. At the appointed time He came to earth Himself. He taught the plan of salvation and exaltation by His word and by the way He lived. He established His Church and His priesthood on the earth. He took our sins upon Himself.
By following His teachings, we can inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. He did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.
• Moses 4:1–4; Abraham 3:22–28 (Savior chosen in premortality)
• D&C 76:25–29 (War in Heaven)
• Revelation 12:7–9, 11 (Savior’s followers in the War in Heaven overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony)