From the Mailbag (1/3/2008)

On your repentance page quiz, everything you said about mormonism was correct and redundant. As a mormon I agree with everthing you said, your argument isn’t an argument, it’s barely even anti-mormon. It’s basically mormon. Thanks for getting your facts right and not saying crazy stuff, except you interperted the quote from The Miracle of Forgiveness wrong. You took it out of context and you know it, don’t lead your readers astray. Please fix it.

P.S. I’m not complementing you, I just want you to know that it was weird, you’re trying to be against mormons but when I read your page, as a mormon I was like “ya, that’s right on, how is that weird?”

Thank you for your email to Mormonism Research Ministry. I’m glad you found The LDS Repentance Quiz to correctly reflect the teachings of Mormonism. I appreciate your concern over the quote you believe has been interpreted incorrectly; however, the Quiz quotes The Miracle of Forgiveness 6 different times. I’m afraid I don’t know which quote you believe to be taken out of context. I’ve looked up each quote from The Miracle of Forgiveness and don’t see anything amiss. Please let me know which quote you believe has been misused and we can discuss it further.

I’m sorry that you were confused when you read The LDS Repentance Quiz. Mormonism Research Ministry is not “trying to be against Mormons” as you have said. Rather, our purpose, as stated on our web site, is this:

Mormonism Research Ministry is a missionary/apologetics organization that was organized to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to critically evaluate the differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity…

We at Mormonism Research Ministry resolve to accomplish the above in a manner that honors the Lord Jesus Christ. Our goal is not just to give compelling arguments that show Mormonism to be in error, but to be used by the Holy Spirit to see lives changed for God’s glory.

To that end, The LDS Repentance Quiz is not intended as an “argument,” but rather as a demonstration of the impossibility of a person being deemed truly repentant according to LDS requirements, which in turn results in the impossibility of a person receiving forgiveness of her sins — and salvation.Mormonism presents an “impossible gospel.” If I must rely on achieving sinlessness in order to be forgiven of past sins, if I must prove my repentance is sincere by never repeating my sin again (I can never “repent again”), if I can be reconciled to God only after all I can do (as stated in 1 Nephi 25:23) — and all I can do includes achieving perfection — it’s hopeless. Nobody ever reaches a point in their life when sin is no longer a problem. If the Apostle Paul couldn’t do it (Romans 7:13-24), who can? As the Quiz asks, “Why would you want to hold on to a system that only guarantees failure?”

The Bible presents a different Gospel than that found in Mormonism. The Gospel presented in the Bible says perfect righteousness is required by God; therefore, our hope for forgiveness cannot lie in our own inadequate, continually-in-need-of-repentance righteousness. Our hope for forgiveness lies in the mercy and faithfulness of Christ alone, which He offers freely to the unrighteous who approach Him in full awareness of their shame and their neediness (Romans 3:21-26; Philippians 3:8-10).

The Bible teaches that salvation (eternity in the presence of God) is based on the works and righteousness of Christ.

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).

This is a good news Gospel. Jesus can and did perfectly keep all the commandments. By His mercy, He has applied His righteousness to all who trust completely in Him. Those “in Christ” are forgiven–based on the love, mercy, and righteousness of Jesus.

So, to answer your question, The LDS Repentance Quiz doesn’t endeavor to highlight anything “weird.” It focuses on a crucial difference between Mormonism and biblical Christianity (the Gospel) and invites readers to

“experience the ‘peace that passes all understanding’ by knowing all of your sins are forgiven! If you would like to have the assurance of forgiveness that has been enjoyed by millions of Christians for centuries, we would like to talk with you.”

Please let me know if you would like to talk about it.

In Christ,


About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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66 Responses to From the Mailbag (1/3/2008)

  1. Jacob5 says:

    Well, then I guess I am confused. I would like to here from any of you as to what you believe is necessary for salvation. Perhaps if I could hear some of your views, it might easier for me to explain to you about our view.

    But just incase anyone may be confused about the LDS.
    We believe in 1) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2) repentance, 3) baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and 4) the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    We also define faith as following the commandments given to us by Jesus Christ and His prophets. So, that is one of the parts I refer to you with James to. We believe in showing our faith by our works. And we define works as the keeping of commandments. And the only benefit we believe our works brings is that we show our faith and devotion to God.

  2. fistfullofsteel says:


    The only thing I detest is lack of understanding for LDS doctrine, when people believe that we are only saved by our works. It is not simple enough to say our works will save us. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and he paid the price for our sin, and will make our burden light if we come unto him, and follow his teachings. Do I believe you have to keep the commandments? Yes I do. But am I more inclined to follow his teachings when I have faith in his word? Of course. Do I believe that a simple confession of faith in Christ is all I need? Absolutely not. It is impossible for Jesus Christ to deny his word.

    Matthew 7:21-24

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity

    EvidenceM, the LDS church fits the description of the church found in the New Testament, because it is in fact the church of Christ restored again on the earth in preparation for his coming, and the doctrines of the church can be found throughout that sacred record.

  3. Rick B says:

    Jacob said

    I would like to here from any of you as to what you believe is necessary for salvation. Perhaps if I could hear some of your views, it might easier for me to explain to you about our view.

    Instead of giving my views, how about I show you what the Scriptures teach?

    We read in Acts, A slave girl with a demon was saying

    Act 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

    Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

    This girl was speaking the truth about Paul’s mission. That Mission was to shew the way of Salvation. Here is what Paul later said to the Jailer.

    Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Paul said Believe on Jesus. Nothing more to do.

    Romans 10:4 says

    For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    Christ is the end of the law, we no longer live by the law or under the law.

    Jesus said

    Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

    Mark 12:31 And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    Their is no other law/command we need to follow if we Love God and our neighbour, because if we/I love God and my neighbour I will not lie to them,

  4. Rick B says:

    Continued from above.

    try and steal or kill them, try and take another wife Etc. So no works are needed to be saved.

    We cannot be justifed by the law.

    Act 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men [and]
    brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

    Act 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

    Rom 3:27 Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

    Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

    Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

    Works and keeping the law cannot save us, this is taught in scripture. Rick b

  5. falcon says:

    Sorry Mormon friends but Mormonism is not the description of Christianity found in the NT. Mormonism is a creation of Joseph Smith’s very fertile mind. Brother Smith got the nature of God wrong and really after that the whole program goes south. His “revelations” concerning God’s nature aren’t found in the Bible. I can’t find anything in the NT that says that God is a glorified man, one in a long line of those humans who have moved on to godhood. So you can talk all day about faith vs. works and it doesn’t really matter because we’re talking about a totally different religion in Mormonism. So if you want to have a faith plus works system for salvation, have at it. If someone who is Dutch Reformed and someone who is Methodist have a discusion regarding eternal security, at least they’re in the same game. Our Mormon friends here are trying to apply the rules of golf to lawn darts. There’s really no basis for a discussion regarding the road to salvation.

  6. Rick B says:

    Read the Lectures on faith, JS said in that, that the Holy Spirit is the mind of God. So at one time JS taught only 2 separate Gods, God the Father and Jesus, he denied the Holy Spirit.

    Then you can say the Lectures is not scripture all you want, but the lectures claim that JS was teaching a school of prophets and raising them up. so was he teaching them false doctrine? yes he was, and I own a copy of the D and C with the lectures bound into them saying they were part of the D and C at one time making them part of the standard work, hence they were scripture at on time. Rick b

  7. Jacob5 says:

    And Christ is the Word of God. Sorry, argue all you want, but I see no discrepency in Joseph Smith said. Symbolic titles are what they are. Because if you compare it to the whole of his teaching you will find no problem with what he said and with everything else he said.
    You are right Falcon, we do have a totally different religion. Perhaps some of you feel that your religions had to be started because the previous religion had started going off the beaten path. We believe that the path was completely lost.
    The fact that we interpret the Bible’s teachings so differently makes it even more obvious. But don’t get it wrong. We do not do a “faith vs. works” argument. We merely say we show our faith by our works. There is no opposing force here. Just as if a man says he has faith in Jesus but does evil to his neighbor, he does not show is faith in Jesus. I say that to have faith in Jesus is to live his teachings, and follow his commandments.
    I own a copy of D&C too and I also study it quite a bit with the context of how and when it was given. But I will tell you that unless you study them with an honest spirit and faith in continuing revelation, you can find the true meaning as well. When you reject the revelator outright and merely read the scriptures and teachings with only a mind to find problems with it, you will never learn its true meaning.
    So, go ahead pick apart my words again. But I don’t care. My faith is not defined by whether or not you believe it to be true, because it does not come from the simple words of man but from years of personal study, and putting the words to the test, and all this being strengthened by the testimony I receive from the Holy Ghost.
    I know that I have a Heavenly Father. I know He sacrificed His Son so that, through following the commandments, I can return to live with Him again.
    I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I believe in the Book of Mormon as further scripture given from God. Amen.

  8. falcon says:

    I think you would do well to go back and study the NT from, let’s say, Acts to Revelation and see if you can find the doctrine of the restored Gospel there. If you have done this with your intensive study I would like to see your evidence for the restored gospel, especially progression to godhood. You see, the bottom line is that we don’t worship the same God. Your god is a glorified man, mine is not. Your hope is to become a god. Mine is not. You doworks and perform rituals in the hope that you can obtain this brass ring of godhood. This is why Mormonism is not considered a Christian religion. All that you have studied and believe in makes sense within your own system. I have a testimony also confirmed by the Holy Spirit. It is diametrically opposed to your’s. I challenge you, when you share the restored gospel, lead with the testimony that you hope to become a god someday. I’m up front with people about the hope that is within me. Mormons can’t risk being that blunt.

  9. Jacob5 says:

    Well, again. We are different. I teach what I believe is the truth. I have modern revelation that tells me it is true. This is not just what I hear from my prophet, but what is personally revealed to me. I say you should open up with people by saying that God no longer speaks to us today. He has said all He needed to say. There are no more things for Him to say. Mankind has all the help it needs from God. But I don’t expect you to follow my words, because they are just my words. Work out your salvation with God. I will work out my salvation with God as well. If it is that, in the end, we meet in the same spot, or different places then we shall find out.
    I will just say that as my earthly father hoped for the best for me, I believe that my Heavenly Father does so as well. It is His work and His glory to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man.

  10. Rick B says:

    Jacob, since you admit you have a different Gospel then let me say two thing.

    1. Either we are Christians and your not, or you are and we are not, but we both cannot be believers and have a different gospel.

    2. Gal 1:8-9 comes to mind with the Gospel you teach. Rick b

  11. Ralph says:

    RickB, I think I am beginning to understand your point of view. Although you may not like it, from my understanding you do believe similar (NOT the same) to LDS. You believe that your works/actions are an outward showing of your faith, but theyt are not necessary for salvation. But no matter how much you say you believe, if you do not have these works/actions then you do not have true faith, and thus you are not saved. Is this correct? However, LDS say that we want to do the works because of our faith, and without the works the faith is not a saving faith – which is what you see as the difference. Is this also correct?

    Lautensack, I still do not understand your view point. From the last comment you made “I explain those passages by saying that those passages are speaking of a lifestyle debauchery and not slipping and falling once or twice. One who is living a lifestyle such as defined in those passages is probably not saved.” it seems that if I truly believed in Jesus and have the saving feeling/comfirmation, then if I murder one or two people in my life time (and not make a habit/lifestyle of it), then I am still saved. Or to go a little less drastic – if I lived with my girlfriend without getting married for a few years (ie fornication) then get married, I would still be saved – its not a habit as I am with the one girl, not sleeping around. Am I correct in saying this? If so, then yes your belief is far different from the LDS belief. If its not what you believe then please describe it a bit more.

  12. Lautensack says:

    Yes, my belief is very different than the LDS belief, why, because I believe that God “saved us not because of works done done by us in righteousness but according to his mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” The difference between my belief and the LDS belief, that I can see, is they combine Salvation and Justification with Sanctification. It seems to me that in LDS theology your place in heaven, no rather which heaven you go to, is not the work of Christ, but of your own sanctification. You are Sanctified therefore you are able to be Justified. Where as my belief is that the day you are saved, if you truly are saved, you are Justified with God, and that same verdict will be given to you on Judgment day. You are Justified therefore are able to be Sanctified. Now sanctification is something that will happen through out the life of a believer, by the Spirit, but no matter how little or great the sanctification is your salvation is complete in Christ, for it is the work of Christ. Therefore yes I have met couples who lived together prior to marriage, living in sin, professing Christians who perhaps were not truly saved at that time, however when the time was right, God called them back to Himself for Himself, were married, and they became very strong Christians. I also know professing Christians who live in sin, and I pray that God might grant them repentance, however if when Judgment day comes they are cast away from Christ, it is because they were never saved, never Justified to begin with.


  13. falcon says:

    Thank you for your honest response. I am at least gratified to know that you understand that your restored gospel is not found in the Bible, but was obtained via a “revelation” from a god. On a related subject, Mormons make a mistake when they proclaim that Christians don’t believe God reveals Himself today. He does all the time. The major difference between our religions is that the God I worship and serve doesn’t change His mind on things related to doctrine. I see Mormonism as a kind of a free flow stream of consciousness as far as scripture is concerned. As Christians we do believe that the cannon of scripture is closed, however many of us believe that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are operational today which includes the prophetic. I don’t mind telling people that the cannon of Scripture is closed however. The deal is, are you going to believe the Bible or your prophets, who I might add, have made some very interesting proclamations over the last 170 years. Many of which I’m sure, Mormons are more than a little embarrassed by.

  14. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    if you do not have these works/actions then you do not have true faith,

    Ralph, I believe the same as lautensack stated up above. I do not believe works play any part of our salvation, if you want to use the word (Work) then as Jesus said in John, the only Work we must do, is Believe on the Son.

    As a Christian, I believe a Man or Women can live life with out Jesus and even commit Murder on a large scale like Hitler or Stalin, then minuets before Death really confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour and go home to heaven with Him.

    They never did one single work, yet they are saved because Jesus died for them. Yet in Mormonism, these guys cannot be saved because they commited Murder and never did any works.

    we could use another example also, A man or women gives their life to Christ on a certain day, they leave the Church to go home, they get killed in a car accident, were they saved because they never did a single work? Or they get put in a coma for ten years, then wake up, they cannot walk or move a single limb, they can only blink their eyes and barely talk. they live like that for about 5 years then die. They hardly knew the word because they could not move, they did no works, are they saved. In confessing Jesus as Lord enough? Yes it is. Rick b

  15. fistfullofsteel,
    I never said that the LDS believe they are saved by their works. I only asked what that would look like. At this point, I’m not sure if you are avoiding the question or if I am just not clear enough.

    Let’s put Mormonism aside for a second. What would any religion look like that taught that individual works were necessary in order to be saved?

  16. Jacob5 says:

    What does it look like to be saved? I don’t know. What does it look like for a man to have faith in Christ? You will see him showing it in word and deed. He would show his love to his fellow man in service and kind words. He would follow the commandments such as not lying or stealing or committing other unchristlike acts. When he does messup and commit a sin, he honetly strives to fully repent of it. Wonderful thing forgiveness is.
    Ralph B: My belief is mine and your belief is yours. The fact that we are of a particular faith does, even in a small way, state that we follow that certain path because we believe all others are wrong. Even if you say other churches are the same because they have certain similar beliefs. What is it that made you ascribe to your faith family, geography, or faith that it is true? What makes your church more important to you than say the guy down the street? Because once you join a faith, you do cross a metaphorical line in the sand. I crossed my line and I don’t obscure my faith with saying that, “Well, they believe certain things that I believe in, so, they are obviously true as well.”
    As far as Galations 1:8-9, There is nothing else that states that my church is as such other than you believing your faith is true. But that is the nature of faith isn’t it.
    Falcon: I hate to dissappoint you, but the Bible is apart of our church cannon. We believe that through continued restored revelation we can understand more about the teachings of the Bible. As far as whether or not my statement that other religions don’t believe in revelation today, I would like to know who do you recognize as revealing God’s word today? If God still does speak, to whom does he speak, or as it were who is it that yet reveals God’s knowledge to us? Because when I say we believe in revelation we state right up front that from Joseph Smith on down to Gordon B. Hinckley we yet receive the word of God.

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