Post Author: Darrell
God has given believers of Jesus Christ the promise of “a peace which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7). What a wonderful promise! This peace does not come from anything the world can give us. Rather, it comes from having a relationship with Christ, being forgiven, and knowing that our salvation is assured. In fact, our salvation as believers is so certain that God has told us we can approach the throne of grace with confidence (Heb 4:16).
While a member of the Mormon Church, I never experienced this peace. In fact, during my time as a Mormon I often wondered about my salvation. I wondered if I had done enough to merit God’s grace and if I would be able to spend eternity with Him in the Celestial Kingdom (Mormon version of what Christians call Heaven). Coming into a true relationship with Christ opened my eyes, and I now understand what is meant by the “peace that passes all understanding” because I have it!
My experience in Mormonism is not uncommon. Over the years I have had several LDS friends confide in me and their experiences are very similar. This is due mainly to the works based salvation that the LDS Church teaches. Mormonism teaches Christ’s atonement opened the doors for salvation to us; however, we have to earn the right to receive this salvation by our works… faith in Christ is not enough. In a 2001 Ensign article, James E. Faust, then counselor in the First Presidency of the Mormon Church, had this to say:
Many people think they need only confess that Jesus is the Christ and then they are saved by grace alone. We cannot be saved by grace alone, “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” . . . All of us have sinned and need to repent to fully pay our part of the debt. When we sincerely repent, the Savior’s magnificent Atonement pays the rest of that debt. [Emphasis Mine]
It is only after we do all that we can do and after we completely repent that Christ’s sacrifice comes in to help us. Since true, sincere, and complete repentance in required, what must one do to repent? LDS.org has this to say about repentance:
Although confession is an essential element of repentance, it is not enough. The Lord has said, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43). We must maintain an unyielding, permanent resolve that we will never repeat the transgression. . . . Full obedience brings the complete power of the gospel into our lives .
Until one completely forsakes a sin, they have not repented. I don’t know about everyone else, but I can think of several sins that, try as I might, I can honestly say I still struggle with. Sure, I may be able to point to the big sins (adultery, fornication, murder) and say I am okay. But what about the standard Christ set? He said if we get angry with someone unjustifiably that we have committed murder in our hearts. By this standard I think we can all say we are murderers. Christ also said that if we look upon someone to lust after them that we have committed adultery in our heart. Sounds like we are all adulterers!
Have you completely forsaken the sin of unjustified anger? Can you honestly say you won’t ever look upon someone of the opposite sex again? If not, then according to the Mormon Church, you have not sincerely repented and your sins are not forgiven. In fact, according to D&C 82:7, if you recommitt a sin you have supposedly repented of, all the times you have committed it return and you will be judged for each of them. Does this sound like a gospel that provides a “peace that passes all understanding?”
All praise be to my great God and Savior Jesus Christ! For He, and He alone, has atoned for our sins. Praise Him that we can know with confidence we have been forgiven!