In response to many people being confused with the title of “Father” given to the savior in the scriptures, I looked for an answer and found a great talk on LDS.org. Before finding that, I stumbled by accident on Ether 3:14. I have read the Book of Mormon many times, but never had noticed this scripture. It seems to suggest at least one reason for Christ deserving the title “Father”–He gave us life.
Download the PDF, Why is Christ sometimes called the “Father?”
(you might also be interested in this Christ’s burial infographic)
Breakdown of Ether 3:14
“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.”
So lets break this down…
Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people.
The first line reminds us that this was all part of the plan. Jesus was chosen to save us way before we were even born.
Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son.
This line clearly gives the title Father AND Son to Christ. We already have a Heavenly Father. Why would Christ also be called “Father”? The next line gives us a clue.
In me shall all mankind have life,
Interesting line. Through Christ, everyone will have life. Now think about your earthly father. Why do you call him a father? He is a father because he gave you life. Did Christ really give us life? Let’s think about this. We are all subject to death, right? Christ overcame death when he was resurrected. It is a free gift to everyone.
and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name;
This is part of the previous sentence but is now referring to Eternal Life. He clarifies that in contrast to his previous statement that “all mankind” would get life, those who receive Eternal Life are a different group. These are people who “believe” in Christ, follow him, and strive to be righteous. But the main point is… Christ gave us Eternal LIFE! A giver of life is called a “father”!
and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
Those who strive to be righteous shall be called Christ’s “sons and daughters.” The important words here are “shall become”, implying that this hasn’t happened yet. Although the entire world has qualified for new life through the free gift of resurrection, their are many that have not yet qualified for Eternal Life. Those who have Eternal Life will be called Christ’s sons and daughters.
Christ gave us life
Christ saved our lives in more way than one. He gave us a new life. He gave us life through the resurrection. He gave us life through the redemption by overcoming spiritual death.(sin) Even when we are baptized it’s called being “reborn.” Christ deserves the title Father.
Christ created the world
Many mortals have received the title “father” by things they have created or contributed to. Newton is known as the “father of calculus” and Alexander Graham Bell the “father of the telephone.” Christ created the world!! Surely he deserves the title “father of the world.”
So Christ is the Father because he gave us new physical and spiritual life and he created the place we live!
What about Heavenly Father?
Is Heavenly Father less of a Father because Christ has the same title. Of course not! Think about this… Is Heavenly Father a God? Is Christ a God? Yes and Yes. So, does Christ having the title “God” somehow take away Heavenly Father’s role? Nope! It’s a title. Same with “Father”. They can both have that title too.