A Summary of Mormon Salvation
Are you worthy? Have you done all you can do?
Have you done all you can do?
Former Prophet Spencer W. Kimball wrote, a book dealing exclusively with sin, repentance, and forgiveness.
Many Church writers have included the subject as part of a more comprehensive work. (MOF p. xi) None have covered it so completely. I will quote mainly from LDS scriptures and his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness. (MOF)
There are two general requirements in the LDS method of salvation according to official Mormon sources. These general requirements are well summarized by the following verse:
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23)
A. The first requirement is to believe in Christ; which should be most obvious for anyone claiming to be a Christian. As easy as this may sound, the problem comes because we must determine from all the people and organizations out there in the world that have defined Christ, which Christ is the true one to believe in. We have a good example of this problem in Matthew chapter 16:13-20, Who do people say the Son of Man is? Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. What about us? Who do you say I am? Among the true facts about the true Christ are that he was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, performed many miracles, lived a sinless life, died on a cross as payment for our sins, and rose again as a sign in fulfillment of prophecy on the third day. Those who invent or re-define what Jesus did and said, have invented and defined false Christs.
B. The second LDS requirement is to be reconciled to God. Repentance is the LDS key to reconciliation with God. Repentance is for every soul who has not yet reached perfection. (MOF p.33) To regain a right standing with God, involves repentance of all former sins and then keeping all the commandments, performing all the proper ordinances, and continuing to the end. According to LDS scriptures, and most LDS Prophets, authorities and scholars, the following items are required (after belief in Christ) for becoming worthy of salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God.
What is true LDS Repentance?
This involves doing all you can do. According to LDS scripture, scholars and Prophets, it is possible to keep all the commandments perfectly.
the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. (1 Nephi 3:7)
- The first part of repentance is keeping all the commandments and ordinances of the gospel in this lifetime.
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. Alma 34:32-33
Repentance Takes Time - Repentance is inseparable from time. No one can repent on the cross, nor in prison, nor in custody. One must have the opportunity of committing wrong in order to be really repentant. The man in handcuffs, the prisoner in the penitentiary, the man as he drowns, or as he dies such a man certainly cannot repent totally. He can wish to do it, he may intend to change his life, he may determine that he will, but that is only the beginning. (MOF p.167-168).
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 34:34-35
Kimball further explains on page 203, In connection with repentance, the scriptures use the phrase, 'with all his heart' (see D&C 42:25). Obviously this rules out any reservations. Repentance must involve an all-out, total surrender to the program of the Lord. That transgressor is not fully repentant who neglects his tithing, misses his meetings, breaks the Sabbath, fails in his family prayers, does not sustain the authorities of the Church, breaks the Word of Wisdom, does not love the Lord nor his fellowmen. A reforming adulterer who drinks or curses is not repentant. The repenting burglar who has sex play is not ready for forgiveness.
God cannot forgive unless the transgressor shows a true repentance which spreads to all areas of his life.
Little reward can be expected for a tiny effort to repent, for the Lord has said that it must be a total repentance 'with all his heart' and the error must be forsaken fully and wholly, mentally as well as physically. The 'filthy dreamer' of the day or night, or an adulterer who still has desires toward the object of his sin, who still revels in the memories of his sin, has not forsaken it 'with all his heart' as required by holy scripture. (MOF p.333).
If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God. D&C 14:7
- The last part of repentance is to stop all sinning and endure perfectly to the end with no repetition of any sins.
The Lord cannot save men in their sins but only from their sins, and that only when they have shown true repentance. (MOF p.166).
By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins--behold, he will confess them and forsake them. D&C 58:43. conviction of sin, the renouncing or abandoning of sin, the confession of sin. When these things are done there remains the requirement of restitution. He must restore that which he damaged, stole, or wronged. (MOF p. 191).
The Lord will indeed forgive, but he will not tolerate repetitions of the sin. (MOF p.357 ) (Refer to Eth 2:15)
But will one receive eternal life on the basis of his good intentions?
Samuel Johnson remarked that [the road to] 'hell is paved with
good intentions. (MOF p.8).
Dangers of Delay Because men are prone to postpone action and ignore directions, the Lord has repeatedly given strict injunctions and issued solemn warnings. Again and again in different phraseology and throughout the centuries the Lord has reminded man so that he could never have excuse. And the burden of the prophetic warning has been that the time to act is now, in this mortal life. One cannot with impunity delay his compliance with God's commandments. (MOF p. 9-10).
Spencer W. Kimball said, The curse of the earth is sin. It covers every area. but when not repented of [even minor sins] will still keep us from eternal life. (MOF p. 39)
incomplete repentance never brought complete forgiveness. (MOF p. 212)
For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved. Alma 42:24
We Can Do What We Will - While changing one's life from evil to good is admittedly not easy, we cannot emphasize too strongly that every person endowed with normal faculties can do it. (MOF p.175-176).
Since immortality and eternal life constitute the sole purpose of life, all other interests and activities are but incidental thereto. And since those objectives are the work and glory of God, they are the proper work of man also and are the major reason for his coming to earth.
It thus becomes the overall responsibility of man to cooperate fully with the Eternal God in accomplishing this objective. (MOF p.2).
But if the term 'salvation' means returning to the presence of God with eternal progression, eternal increase, and eventual godhood, for this, one certainly must have the 'grace of God,' as it is generally defined, plus personal purity, overcoming of evil, and the good 'works' made so important in the exhortations of the Savior and his prophets and apostles. (MOF p.207-208)
Kimball explains the repentance that merits forgiveness. It is that the former transgressor must have reached a 'point of no return' to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life. Surely this is what is meant, in part at least, by being pure in heart! , (MOF p.354-5). To be sorry is not enough. (MOF p.153).
On page 7 his tract/ booklet, Repentance Brings Forgiveness, (RBF) President Spencer W. Kimball stated, The forsaking of sins must be a permanent one. True repentance does not permit making the same mistake again. The Lord said, 'Go your way and sin no more; but unto that soul who sineth shall the former sins return.' (D&C 82:7) As quoted in (RBF p.7) President Kimball continues in (MOF p. 170). To return to sin is most destructive to the morale of the individual and gives Satan another hand-hold on his victim. Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load. Thus when a man has made up his mind to change his life, there must be no turning back. Any reversal, even in a small degree, is greatly to his detriment.
It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To 'try' is weak. To 'do the best I can' is not strong. We must always do better than we can. This is true in every walk of life. We have a companion who has promised: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' (Matt. 7:7). With the inspiration from the Lord we can rise higher than our individual powers, extend far beyond our own personal potential. (MOF p. 164-165).
And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father. 3 Nephi 27:17
The standard according to Mormonism, is complete perfection. The only way to be worthy to receive grace in Mormonism is to completely cease all sinning, even the smallest sin. Since it is impossible to do all you can do and none of us can ever be perfect, it is impossible to ever become worthy of Grace in Mormonism. Mormonism teaches an impossible, false gospel. We need to choose the true biblical gospel where it is possible for man to be saved; that gives God's grace freely to sinners. Ephesians 2:8-10. God's true biblical grace saves sinners in their sins. Luke 18:10-14 & Luke 23:43.
All scriptures have been italicized.
Marshall Almarode - (509) 582-5627