Spiritual Sundays: Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage

Sunday, April 08, 2012

I'm not going to write a real review of this book -- I'm not even going to say much at all, because I have been so sick for the last few days that I think my brain is severely deprived of oxygen and I can't form coherent sentences. However, I am excited to have reached my goal of reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage between the Christmas season and Easter. In case you missed that post last November, I decided to read this 800+ page monster by reading six pages daily to make it last from late November (the day after Thanksgiving) until Easter, to help me understand the life of Christ better.

Jesus the Christ starts with Christ's life in the heavens before his advent into a mortal body and ends with prophecies of his second coming and millennial reign. Every statement is supported by scripture or commentary about Jewish life during the time of Christ's mortal life. I loved the detail -- while I've read the New Testament many times, there were so many details that I had missed that were pointed out to me in Jesus the Christ. I think one of the main things I took away from this book was the human-ness of Christ. That can be taken in a negative way, so please bear with me as I explain why this is a good thing. I already strongly believe in his godhood and the Atonement and Resurrection. However, at times it all seems a little distant to me -- Christ can seem like this huge, untouchable, great being that I can't relate to. Reading in this book about the details of Jewish life during Christ's lifetime helped me to feel closer to Christ on a personal level. He is this huge, powerful, glorious being -- but he also lived a mortal life, close to the people around him, touching them and healing them and having personal friendships with them. While he isn't a person that I can see, because of his love for me and for all humanity, I can still have that personal relationship through learning to emulate him and accepting his atoning sacrifice for me.

The author of this book, James E. Talmage, was one of the twelve apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church for short) during his lifetime. The purpose of that role in the church is to witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ, that he lived and was resurrected and redeems us all through his Atonement. This book was a very powerful testimony and witness of that fact. While James E. Talmage passed away in the 30's, there are always twelve living apostles in the LDS church who dedicate their lives to providing a witness of Christ. The video below is from one of the apostles living today, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I loved the talk that this little video was taken from, and just thought I would share it for Easter.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter, whatever your traditions are! I also hope that you got some chocolate. :) Happy Easter!


  1. I love hearing your thoughts on this book. It is taking me much much longer to get through it than I'd like. But definitely worth it.

    1. Part of me wishes I'd read it slower -- I think some day I am going to go through it and look up all of the scriptures and footnotes in addition to just reading the book. I read the notes at the end of each chapter but not the notes at the bottom of the pages.

  2. I love that talk by Elder Holland too. Congratulations on reaching your goal. I am reading Jesus the Christ this year with the same idea in mind--to try to get to know him better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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