As special witnesses to the world of the divinity of Jesus Christ, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared their testimony of Christ by recording excerpts from the original document, 'The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.' Originally published on January 1, 2000, the document commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago.
The video recording begins with the most recently called apostle, Elder Ulisses Soares, and then continues in sequence of seniority. The video concludes with Church President Russell M. Nelson (see “Apostles Testify of Jesus Christ in Rome,” Newsroom, March 12, 2019). The five living apostles who signed the January 1, 2000 document include: Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, Henry B. Eyring, M. Russell Ballard and Jeffrey R. Holland.
The video recording was set on the grounds of and inside the Rome Italy Temple. Members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participated in the dedicatory services from March 10-12, 2019. It is believed to be the first time in Church history that all 15 leaders have gathered in one location outside the United States.
Emphasizing the importance of 'The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles' is not something new for President Russell M. Nelson. At the Saturday morning session of the April 2017 general conference, he explained why testimonies of Jesus Christ are imperative for both leaders and members:
“The importance of the Savior’s mission was emphasized by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who declared emphatically that ‘the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.’”[Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 49].
“It was this very statement of the Prophet that provided the incentive for 15 prophets, seers, and revelators to issue and sign their testimony to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the Lord’s birth. That historic testimony is titled ‘The Living Christ.’ Many members have memorized its truths. Others barely know of its existence. As you seek to learn more about Jesus Christ, I urge you to study ‘The Living Christ’” (“Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2017).
Through such words and by his example while at the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple, President Nelson is strongly encouraging members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to study and reflect upon the following apostolic document:
“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.
“He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3).
“Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness.
“He ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead.
“He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
“He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice.
“He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross.
“He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.
“We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.
“He rose from the grave to ‘become the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His ‘other sheep’ (John 10:16) in ancient America.
“Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: ‘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 110:3–4).
“Of Him the Prophet also declared: ‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“’For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
“’That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God’ (D&C 76:22–24).
“We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—‘built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’ (Ephesians 2:20).
“We testify that He will someday return to earth. ‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.
“We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
“God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”
First Presidency: Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, James E. Faust
Quorum of 12 Apostles: Boyd K. Packer; L. Tom Perry; David B. Haight; Neal A. Maxwell; Russell M. Nelson; Dallin H. Oaks; M. Russell Ballard; Joseph B. Wirthlin; Richard G. Scott; Robert D. Hales; Jeffrey R. Holland; Henry B. Eyring