For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

The Good News?

Our ultimate goal for you is to see you enter into saving faith in Jesus Christ. That by His Grace you might be found blameless before the Lord and dwell with Him eternally.  

How we do that is to share with you the good news of the Gospel.

As stated elsewhere on this site, it is not our primary purpose to try and point out errors or issues in Mormon history or doctrine.  However, the topic of salvation is part of the central theme of Christianity, and if we get that one wrong, then the rest of religion and spiritual life has little meaning.  Our salvation is one of the primary ways that God is glorified, and the only way that we can be with Him and enjoy Him forever.    

If you ask an LDS member if they know the Gospel, they will likely say "yes", and I would agree that they believe they do.  As a former LDS member, I thought I knew the Gospel.  I now realize that I did not.  The "news" that I had been taught was not good news at all.  

Let me explain.

The Book of Mormon teaches the following:  "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ." (Moroni 10:32)

Notice the "if-then" part of that doctrine?  Only if you deny yourselves of ALL ungodliness, is Christ's grace sufficient.  Do you know a single person besides Jesus that has been able to accomplish that?  Some of us do better than others, and some of us do better at times than we do at other times.  But I have never met or even heard of anyone completely abolishing ungodliness from their life.  If that is the case, then His grace is not sufficient for any one - including you, and no one is then perfected in Him.

I heard someone tell of numerous conversations with LDS people that when asked "How are you doing with that?" (referring to their efforts to keep ALL of the commandments, and deny themselves ALL ungodliness), they would almost always say something along the lines of "I'm trying", or "I'm doing my best."   He would then suggest that if they were required to climb a mountain, upon being questioned on the outcome, they would say "I climbed it!" if they were successful, but "I tried my best" would be an admission of failure. 

I want to point out that I am not cherry picking one or two verses to make my point here.  At the end of this page, I list additional references that confirm this as "official" LDS doctrine.

The gospel as recorded in the Bible paints a very different picture.  

Please read the following passages from the New Testament that summarize our predicament as hopeless sinners, justly deserving the wages of sin, which is death.  But in contract to LDS doctrine, also shows a loving and merciful God that did for you what you could never do for yourself.  Not in a thousand years of  "trying".

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:10.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31.

The Bible is filled with passages that consistently confirm this theme - that we bring nothing to the table in terms of our salvation.  A gracious God gives it freely to His people out of His love for us, and for His glory.  We do not suggest that you even slow down in your efforts to serve others, keep the commandments, and live a life patterned after Jesus.  We applaud those efforts, and should be found doing the same ourselves.  The message here is that the "good news" of the Gospel, which should be to all people, is that a Savior has been born.  Jesus paid the price for all your sins in full - past, present, and future -on the cross at Calvary.  He became sin for us, taking upon himself the full wrath of the Father.  He hung on that cross, taking the punishment that was rightfully yours.  And He did it because it was the Father's will that none of His people be lost. And then, in triumph He proclaimed "It is finished!".  He then went on to sit at the right hand of the Father - inviting us now to believe in Him, follow him, and trust in His saving grace.

It sounds a bit harsh perhaps, but if left to your own abilities, you would never be able to accomplish enough, be good enough, deny all ungodliness, and be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.  And neither would anyone else.  Our perfection is in Christ.  Jesus clothes us in His righteousness - we have none of our own.  We have been ransomed by His blood - bought with a price.  We are convicted by the law, but then set free through our faith.  If you believe in Him, then you are His, and He will never let you go. 

Salvation is His gift to us.  That is the good news!

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”  (John 6:35-40)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27)

Jesus wants us to live in the peace that comes from the assurance of our salvation through faith.  We will continue to sin, it is our nature, but we can walk within the promise of His redeeming blood, which gives us freedom from that sin, not in fear that one mistake, one unrecognized sin might condemn us to eternal separation from God.  That isn't good news at all.  

If you would like to learn more about this gospel as taught in the Bible, or would like to visit a local church where this gospel is taught, then please click on the button below and contact us. 

When you get to the place of proclaiming Jesus as your Savior, you Lord, your King, and your great High Priest, you will find such rest and peace in knowing that your sins are forgiven, and you are accepted as an adopted son or daughter of God.  You will have an assurance of salvation in Christ.  Continue in your efforts to be like Him, but do it for His glory, and to show your love for His eternal gift of amazing grace.

   

References for the LDS requirements for entering the Celestial Kingdom

“We go to our chapels each week to worship the Lord and renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. We thereby promise to take His name upon us, to always remember Him, and keep all His commandments. Our agreement to keep all the commandments is our covenant with God. Only as we do this may we deserve His blessings and merit His mercy (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.442 - emphasis mine).  

How exactly do we "merit His mercy"?  Mercy is - by its very definition - something that is given by one in authority to one that is the offender, and rightfully deserves punishment for the offense.  God extends to His people His mercy because He loves us, and is a merciful God - not because of anything we have done to merit His mercy.

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked” (Alma 34:31-35)

According to this, we must perfect ourselves during this life.  The idea that we can simply do our best and then we can continue improving after we get to the other side is not supported by LDS scripture, which makes clear that our repentance must be complete in this life in order to make it to the celestial kingdom.

“The fallacy that Jesus has done all for us, and live as we may, if on our deathbed, we only believe, we shall be saved in his glorious presence, is most pernicious. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, has given us the means whereby man may obtain eternal happiness and peace in the kingdom of our Father, but man must work out his own salvation through obedience to the eternal principles and ordinances of the gospel. For centuries men have been blinded by the false teaching of ‘belief alone sufficient’; and today there is manifest on every hand the sorry plight into which this and other perverse doctrines have thrown the pseudo-Christian sects. The world is in sore need at the present time of the gospel of individual effort—the gospel of faith and works. He who will not grasp this means provided him, will sink beneath the waves of sin and falsehood” (Gospel Ideals, p.8).

This is wrong on multiple fronts.  

First of all, it shows a common misconception about the idea that faith without works is dead.  That is a true statement, but it does not suggest that the works are what saves us.  There is an old saying that where there is smoke, there is fire.  That doesn't mean the smoke IS fire, or that the smoke is what is required in order to burn something.  It means that the smoke is a tangible sign that there is in fact a fire.  Without it, you would have to question if the fire exists.  In the same way, if there are no works, then you have to question whether there is truly saving faith.  But it is clearly taught in the Bible that our works do not save us, and are considered "dirty rags" (Isaiah 64:6-7).  The Bible also teaches that it is God that performs any good work through us, they are not of ourselves.  So any truly good work is credited to God, not us, so it couldn't help in our salvation anyway.  The Bible also teaches that a truly converted Christian, will in fact begin to obey commandments more, and in general become more like Christ because of the rebirth and regeneration of the soul that is promised through the Holy Ghost.  

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10: 27). 

It doesn't say they can "choose" to follow Him, it says "they follow Me".  

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27).  

This does not mean perfection, but that a true Christian will not receive salvation and then continue in serious sin -  because they are a new person born in Christ, and have God's Spirit within them.

Second, Jesus taught that even if someone comes to faith in their last day of life, it is the same as if they did it when they were 12.  The parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) explains it.  If salvation were due to our works and righteousness, then I can see how that would sound unfair, but Jesus teaches us that since we are His - purchased by His blood - He can save whom He will save.  His righteousness can be applied equally to all of His people, and His grace is sufficient for all - regardless of how "valiant" we might have been.

Third, and maybe most importantly, the words "The fallacy that Jesus has done all for us" is the most disturbing part of this passage.   That statement goes against the very heart of the Gospel.  "When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:30).  Notice He didn't say "Ok, I did my part, now you do yours"?  

"And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10 ESV)

 Jesus did do it all!  The good news of the gospel proclaims that you can be saved, and live with God forever, despite yourself.  And along with that great gift from a loving Father, you will also receive the promise of a fuller, more joyful earthly life.  You will keep the commandments more fully, love more completely, and serve more diligently.  But you will do it because of the Spirit that will dwell inside of you - not as some kind of futile test of your righteousness.  You will do it to God's glory, and for His sake.

                    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9