One of the common conversations that Mormons will have with Christians surrounds the concept of being saved by grace through faith alone. You will find that, depending on the LDS Member you are speaking with, you will get many different viewpoints on this subject. One of the viewpoints that puzzles me the most are the LDS who insist that Mormonism does NOT teach that works are required for salvation.
Let’s look at a couple of things that I believe will firmly establish that the LDS Church DOES IN FACT teach that works are necessary for salvation. In addition, I think you will find that living the works they believe are required is virtually impossible.
First, a key Book of Mormon Scripture Moroni 10:32 says:
“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…”
The LDS member who is seeking Christ’s grace must do two things BEFORE grace kicks in…
1) Deny yourselves of ALL ungodliness (in otherwords stop sinning entirely!!)
2) Love God with all your might, mind and strength
I ask those LDS Members who are reading this… how many of you have denied yourselves of ALL ungodliness? Have you lied? Had an impure thought? Thought poorly about your neighbor? Gossiped? Gotten angry at your spouse? Children? Neighbor? Have you sworn? If so, then you have NOT denied yourselves of ALL ungodliness and according to your church’s theology Christ’s grace does not apply to you!!
Let’s look at another point… the third article of faith of the LDS Church says:
“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS and ordinances of the Gospel.” (emphasis mine)
Those who are not familiar with the Mormon Church might ask… what laws are they talking about? There are several laws that the LDS Church teaches… the law of Chastity, law of Tithing, etc. There is one law that is not discussed that much which is taught in the temple. It is called the Law of Consecration and says…
“…you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.”
In order to be saved under LDS Theology you must be “obedient to the laws of the gospel” and this law says that one must consecrate (give) their time and talents NOT to God…. but to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In order to consecrate your time there are an awful lot of things (WORKS!!) that you must do…
- Do your Home Teaching
- Visiting Teaching
- Magnify your calling
- Attend all your church meetings
- Missionary work
- Go to the temple
- Genealogy work
- Build up your food storage
- Pay a full tithe
- Partake of the sacrament weekly
Etc, etc, etc
Are you doing ALL of these things? Have you fully consecrated your time and talents to the Mormon Church? If not, Christ’s grace has not kicked in.
My question is this… can ANYONE possibly do all of this? Can anyone of us say that we have denied ourselves of ALL ungodliness? Can any Mormon say they have fully consecrated themselves to the LDS Church? NO!!
That is one of the reasons I truly love the real Grace of Jesus Christ. It is not based upon my own worthiness… it is a gift from Christ!! “For God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 Praise be to my Lord, Savior and God, Jesus Christ!!