Cover image: The Lord Appears in the Kirtland Temple, by Del Parson via

Coming to know and love our Savior, Jesus Christ, is of vital importance as we continue our six-month study of the Kirtland Doctrine and Covenants revelations. Loving Him with all of our heart, soul and might is the first and great commandment. The Savior gave this commandment Himself, beginning in ancient times and continuing into our Kirtland era.[i]

However, coming to love Him requires knowing Him. The Savior commanded us to do just that three times in the Doctrine and Covenants as He challenged us to “learn of me.”[ii] The more we learn of Him, the more we will trust Him. The more we learn of Him, the more we will love Him and follow Him. Through the Kirtland revelations, Christ teaches us of His own divine nature, Atonement, and Resurrection. He taught plainly and completely that the eternal plan of salvation is centered in Him. His revelations focus on Himself, His roles and missions, and the redemption of mankind.

Christ made it clear that the revelations came from Him. He testified, “I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it. These words are not of men nor of man, but of me.”[iii] It might be said of Joseph Smith in Kirtland as it was said of Moses: The Lord spoke with him “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”[iv] Following are statements, insights and teachings of the Savior which He made in revelations that went to the world from Kirtland. They help us follow His encouragement to learn of Him and know Him.[v]

Christ identifies who He is:

  • He is our Older Brother. – “I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn.” D&C 93:21
  • He chose to save each of us in the pre-mortal council. – When God asked, He Said “Send Me…. Thy will be done and the Glory be Thine.” Abraham 3:27 Moses 4:2
  • He is the only Savior. God Said “Jesus Christ [is] the only name . . . whereby salvation shall come.” Moses 6:52
  • He created the Earth. – “I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me.” D&C 38:3
  • He chose to be born like us. “I . . . made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.” D&C 93:24
  • He chose to suffer death to save us. “I am Jesus Christ…who was crucified for the sins of the world.” D&C 76:41
  • “My body . . . was laid down for you, and my blood . . . was shed for the remission of your sins.” D&C 27:2
  • He will return to Earth. – “I will come upon the earth . . . and . . . reign.” D&C 43:29
  • He will be our judge. – “I, the Lord, will judge all men.” D&C 137:9

He assures us that we can trust Him:

  • “I fulfill what I have promised.” D&C 58:31
  • “I . . . cannot lie.” D&C 62:6
  • “My words are sure and shall not fail.” D&C 64:31
  • “Know that I am God.” D&C 101:16
  • “In me there is all power.” D&C 101:1
  • “I will fight your battles.” D&C 105:14

He gives comforting personal assurances:

  • “[I hear Your] prayers.” D&C 67:1
  • “[I know Your] hearts.” D&C 67:1
  • “[Your] desires… come up before me.” D&C 67:1
  • “I, the Lord, am merciful.” D&C 70:18
  • “I, the Lord, am . . . gracious.” D&C 76:5
  • “I will lead you along.” D&C 78:18
  • “I will . . . watch over you.” D&C 38:21
  • “Fear not . . . for you are mine.” D&C 50:41
  • “I have not forsaken you.” D&C 61:36
  • “I will have compassion upon you.” D&C 64:2
  • “Be of good cheer, and do not fear.” D&C 68:6
  • “I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.” D&C 68:6
  • “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left.” D&C 84:88
  • “Mine angels (will be) round about you, to bear you up.” D&C 84:88
  • “I will… watch over you.” D&C 38:21
  • “I am in your midst and ye cannot see me.” D&C 38:7
  • “[I] comprehendeth all things.” D&C 88:41
  • “[I] knoweth . . . how to succor them who are tempted.” D&C 62:1

Christ agonizes, has empathy for and even weeps for those who suffer

As His Saints struggled and Missouri persecutions became intense, He soulfully revealed, “My bowels are filled with compassion towards them.”[vi] In an 1836 vision, Joseph Smith saw the Savior brought to tears by the suffering of His latter-day Apostles. Joseph said he saw the Apostles “much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, [and Jesus] looked upon them and wept.”[vii] Christ urged His Saints to show this same kind of compassion.

Speaking of death, which often lurked nearby during the early days of the Restoration, Christ instructed the Church to “weep for the loss of them that die.”[viii] Christ taught of His tenderness and kindness toward each for whom He suffered in completing the Atonement. He said that His redeemed “shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever.”[ix] Showing great empathy, He revealed “in all their afflictions he was afflicted.”[x] He assured them that He “saved them . . . and . . . redeemed them” and then described that He “bore them, and carried them” because of His “love, and . . . pity” for them.[xi]

Christ taught that He will advocate for us with the Father

Christ explained that as our Advocate, He represents “even as many as have believed in my name.”[xii] He explained that His blood, which He shed, enables Him to successfully represent and plead for us before the Father. He said, “By the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them.”[xiii] As He stands before God, He fully knows our weaknesses and sins. He said, “Jesus Christ, your advocate . . . knoweth the weakness of man.”[xiv] He will say to His Father, “Behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.”[xv] Christ assures us of the positive result of His pleading. He told the Saints, “Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am . . . your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.”[xvi] Christ also taught in Kirtland that He ransomed mankind. In translating the book of Matthew, Joseph Smith was inspired to write that the sacramental bread is taken “in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you.”[xvii]

Christ remembered the loneliness of His Atonement

Christ also taught deeper insights into how alone He felt as He completed the Atonement. He said that at His glorified coming, an angel will declare for all to hear, “The Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone.”[xviii] Joseph Smith was told not only that the angel would speak of His aloneness but also that the Savior would remember and declare for all to hear, “I have trodden the wine-press alone . . . and none were with me.”[xix] He will also proclaim, “When I came unto mine own, no man among you received me. . . . When I called again there was none of you to answer.”[xx]

Christ taught of His willingness to forgive sin

Christ underscored His total forgiveness based upon the sinner’s repentance. He clearly explained, “I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.”[xxi] Christ also demonstrated the extent of His forgiveness as He said, “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”[xxii] The Savior indicated that mercy also plays a role. He said, “I . . . am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts.”[xxiii] He also explained that His own suffering enabled Him to forgive. He said, “I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.”[xxiv]

Christ teaches of His post mortal life

The Savior finished His perfect Atonement with His death and resurrection, but His mission was not yet complete. He assured His Latter-day Saints that He will return to earth. He declared, “I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels.”[xxv] As to when He will return, He said, “The Son of Man . . . cometh in an hour you think not.”[xxvi] He indicated, however, “The time is soon at hand.”[xxvii] Because of the uncertain time of His coming, He cautioned, “Be watchful and be sober . . . for . . . the Son of Man . . . cometh in an hour you think not. Pray always . . . that you may abide the day of his coming.”[xxviii] The words of the Father give emphasis and added certainty to Christ’s promise: “I, the Lord God, have spoken it; but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes.”[xxix]

The Savior affirmed His supremacy as He declared that He possessed “all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world.”[xxx] Christ taught, however, that Satan will not yield to him without a fight. He said there will be a “battle of the Great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all.”[xxxi]

[i] Mark 12:30; Matt. 22:37; Deut. 6:5; Luke 10:27; Moro. 10:32; D&C 59:5

[ii] Doctrine and Covenants 19:23; 32:1; 58:1

[iii] Doctrine & Covenants 18:33–34

[iv] Exodus 33:11; Doctrine & Covenants 76:14; 110:1–10; 137

[v] These statements, insights and teachings are modified from a more complete coverage in chapter 5 of Karl Ricks Anderson, The Savior in Kirtland, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012], 95

[vi] Doctrine & Covenants 101:9


[viii] Doctrine & Covenants 42:45

[ix] Doctrine & Covenants 133:52

[x] Doctrine & Covenants 133:53

[xi] Doctrine & Covenants 133:53

[xii] Doctrine & Covenants 38:4

[xiii] Doctrine & Covenants 38:4

[xiv] Doctrine & Covenants 62:1

[xv] Doctrine & Covenants 45:4–5

[xvi] Doctrine & Covenants 29:5

[xvii] JST, Matthew 26:22

[xviii] Doctrine & Covenants 88:106

[xix] Doctrine & Covenants 133:50

[xx] Doctrine & Covenants 133:66–67

[xxi] Doctrine & Covenants 64:7

[xxii] Doctrine & Covenants 58:42

[xxiii] Doctrine & Covenants 61:2

[xxiv] Doctrine & Covenants 19:16

[xxv] Doctrine & Covenants 45:44

[xxvi] Doctrine & Covenants 61:38

[xxvii] Doctrine & Covenants 34:7

[xxviii] Doctrine & Covenants 61:38–39

[xxix] Doctrine & Covenants 49:7

[xxx] Doctrine & Covenants 19:3

[xxxi] Doctrine & Covenants 88:114