Heartbreak of the Mormon Gospel

In a recent article on Mormon Times, LDS author Orson Scott Card wrote a column about books. Books he’s seen, books he’s read, and “Mormon books [he’ll] do without.” Much of the article was written a bit tongue-in-cheek, but Mr. Card got serious when he wrote about the LDS mission he served in Brazil in the early 1970s.

“There have been church books that changed my life. On my mission, I read then-Apostle Spencer W. Kimball’s ‘The Miracle of Forgiveness,’ which was so warm and open and real that it touched my heart and gave me great hope, as I realized that this was a part of the gospel I was in Brazil to teach.”

I, too, read “The Miracle of Forgiveness” when I began my mission to bring the Gospel to Latter-day Saints. And like Mr. Card’s experience, it touched my heart, as well. But not in the same way.

When I read “The Miracle of Forgiveness” my heart broke for the LDS people. If Mr. Kimball’s teaching is believed, Latter-day Saints live under a sin burden from which they can never escape.

“The Miracle of Forgiveness” says that gaining forgiveness for sins requires the successful completion of a six-step repentance process, which includes a permanent abandonment of sin and keeping all the commandments of God. In other words, to be forgiven one must reach a state of perfection:

“Eternal life hangs in the balance awaiting the works of men. This process toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection. Living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation through the perfection which comes by complying with the formula the Lord gave us… Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal.” (page 208-209)

“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.” (page 203)

“There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. Desire is not sufficient. In other words, it is not real repentance until one has abandoned the error of his ways and started on a new path… the saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. Trying is not sufficient.” (page 163)

Christian friends, is this not heartbreaking? The “gospel” Orson Scott Card was sent to Brazil to preach was that “the repentance which merits forgiveness” is found in one’s own work and worthiness. One must perfectly and completely abandon all sin, and then (as Moroni 10:32 in the Book of Mormon states) Christ’s grace is applied. This is an impossible gospel.

Furthermore, “The Miracle of Forgiveness” maligns the genuine Good News, the biblical Gospel of grace:

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (pages 206-207)

The Bible does not agree with Spencer W. Kimball. The Bible does not teach “that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). The Bible teaches that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). We do not earn or merit forgiveness by keeping the all the commandments of God; rather, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

The Good News is that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16). Indeed, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Pastor John Piper wrote,

“Forgiveness costs us nothing. All our costly obedience is the fruit, not the root, of being forgiven. That’s why we call it grace. But it cost Jesus His life. That is why we call it just. Oh, how precious is the news that God does not hold our sins against us! And how beautiful is Christ, whose blood made it right for God to do this.” (Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, page 37)

Yes, in the Gospel given to us in God’s Word there is much to rejoice over. Jesus came to remove our yoke of slavery and our burden of sin. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).


For Further reading:

The LDS Repentance Quiz
Bill McKeever’s review of The Miracle of Forgiveness

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.
This entry was posted in Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Repentance, Salvation. Bookmark the permalink.

157 Responses to Heartbreak of the Mormon Gospel

  1. Soy Yo says:

    I officially left the Mormon church about 6 months ago and still am hung up on the fact that it seems “too easy”. I understand the Christian point of view on this and that it is not “just say you accept him and then do whatever you want”. I am trying to leave behind my old thoughts of having to earn my way to Heaven but it has been a hard concept to grasp.

    I wanted to ask what was it that helped you make sense of it all. You say it took you a year before you accepted Christ, so what finally clicked?

  2. DJBrown says:


    You said, “there is no historical evidence for the BofM or BoA or all the rest.”

    That is very far from the truth, but is a topic for another discussion which I eagerly await!

  3. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I am glad that Berean has brought up the connection to Grace and Faith in Christ. This is and has always been the heart of the issue.

    Berean has given us the facts:
    “Grace in Christianity? It’s simple – our faith is in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). It’s a gift.”

    Thus, grace in Christianity is CONTINGENT. Upon what? Faith in Christ. He says it is a gift, but, according to his definition, an exclusive one. Exclusive to whom? Those who have faith.
    So, I would like others to chime in before we proceed. We must all agree on whether Grace is contingent upon something or not. Berean says it is faith. Does everyone else agree? Most all other posts have been to the contrary (that grace has no contingencies)

    Obviously, if grace has no contingencies, then this crowd would not have to worry about me (false gospel and all) because it would be universal given . Of course, if it were a free universal gift, then everyone would have it (Grace). And since, according to Berean, grace and faith are inseparably connected, if one has grace they must have faith in Christ. Since I am being charged with worshiping a false Christ, a logical conclusion would be that I do not have faith in Christ (evidence that grace is contingent on something) since I allegedly do not have it. So how and to whom is this gift bestowed? (Please stick to the scriptures)

    As far as forgiveness. Again, any contingencies? According to this crowd there is nothing we can do, right? That’s what Berean says, but then summarizes everything in direct contradiction

    “For Christians? It’s simple once again. WE CONFESS OUR SINS and He is faithful and just to cleanse us from our sins and ALL unrighteousness”.

    Which is it? Contingent upon our confession or is it nothing? Confessing sounds like something to me. This is the heart of the issue. You must decide. Do the scriptures offer grace and faith freely to all without requiring anything of us?

  4. truthseeker says:


    Thanks for sharing that. I felt the same. To easy? Why would the beauty of the Gospel need to be difficult. If the Lord say’s what needs to be done in the Bible, we have His word!


    I can’t wait for for you to show historical evidence of the BOM or the BOA. Nothing has ever been found from the BOM to exist. The BOA has been proven to be a fraud. See this link and do your own research also. God bless you DJ.


  5. jackg says:


    This is so tiring. Once again, our works do not earn us anything, but are evidence of our faith and genuine conversion. Why you try to confuse the issue is beyond me. If you want to believe in a Christ that saves in response to your works, go ahead. I will believe in the Jesus Christ who saved me while I was still a sinner, whose grace touched my life even when I was a Mormon espousing false doctrines and heresies, whose grace still touches my life, and whose grace will always touch my life. I truly believe you think you are wise in your obstinance and determination to prove that you can somehow work your way into God’s favor. We worry about you because you do not accept the free grace offered you, believing that you must earn something through what you consider to be your own righteousness. We are made righteous because Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us by an act of grace. Confession is in response to God’s grace. I pray that you will reach the depths of humility required to understand God’s grace He is offering to you at this very moment. Scoff at my words if you want; I’m preaching to you the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Soy Yo,

    I understand exactly where you are because I was there myself. For me, it was when I understood that God’s grace was in my life even before I understood what the word truly meant. The offering of your life as a living sacrifice to God is your response to His love, mercy and grace in saving you; such a life comes after justification and not before. Stay the course; the Holy Spirit will strengthen you, guide you, and enlighten with God’ truth and even more grace.

  6. Andrea says:

    Soy Yo,
    This is difficult for me to answer -not because of the nature of the question, but because of the circumstances by which I was saved. I would be happy to discuss this in length with you by email ( [email protected] ) but here’s the short version. I was going through a very difficult time and was utterly depressed with no idea how I was going to get through this and function again so I turned to a book I had bought a few months back about God’s Promises (I believe that is the name of the book). On each page is a passage of scripture and then a snippet expounding on the passage, written by notable Christians. I was reading a particular essay about how Jesus suffered not only every sin, but also suffered and felt every hurt, every sorrow, every pain, every moment of despair that we would ever feel. In that moment I understood that He already knew and had willingly taken on this pain that seemed like it would kill me so that I didn’t have to suffer alone. My beautiful Savior truly suffered all the sins of all the world, and all I had to do was believe it. Wow, what a moment that was! Like I said, if you want to talk further email me…

    DOF, I think we need to define “contingent” first. 1) dependent for existence, on something not yet certain 2)happening by chance or without known cause. By these definitions, no grace is not contingent as it is available for those who believe. It is not chancey or uncertain. But in order to receive the grace, we must accept Christ. I see what you’re saying about “doing” anything -to confess our sins is an action, but what we are trying to say is that there is no work one can do to offer up to God and receive salvation for it. You ask “how and to whom is this gift bestowed?” My answer is John 3:16 “whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life”. I think the question really is ‘what does that belief require? What does it really mean to believe in Christ?’

    Peace out; this is my 3rd post for the day.

  7. Arthur Sido says:


    “Let me do a little Biblical translation for the apparently illiterate”

    Now that was just hurtful! BTW, what you are doing is interpretation, not translation. Biblical translation requires expertise in the original langauges and I will admit I am not an expert in Greek or Hebrew (or Reformed Egyptian for that matter) Actually what you are doing is not even proper Biblical exegesis, but rather eisegesis, i.e. taking mormon doctrines and trying to make Biblical prooftexts fit and support those false doctrines. As mentioned above, you ignore context.

    “No testimony = no belief in Christ. Who are the real Christians now? Obviously, someone with a testimony!”

    We have been down this road before. You have a testimony. I have a testimony which you can read by clicking the link on my name. Your testimony and my testimony are diametrically opposed. So we can’t turn there, unless we just arbitrarily reject one testimony or the other. So that leaves the Scriptures, and the Scriptures do not support the notions of man-centered salvation that is promulgated by mormonism.

    Soy Yo,

    It sounds easy because unfortunately many Christian pastors, in their zeal for evangelism, have reduced the Gospel to a simple appeal for a decision. That doesn’t mean mormonism is right of course, but it does indicate a watering down of the Biblical doctrine. What is hard about the Christian Gospel is not what we do to earn our salvation, because the answer is nothing. What is really hard is the need to submit to Christ as Lord and recognize that we have nothing to brag about in salvation, because it IS 100% Christ, that we add nothing to salvation and indeed He saved us not because of who were are and what we do, but IN SPITE OF who we are and what we do. A conviction of our own sin and helplessness needs to precede salvation, and that recognition eliminates any boasting or reliance on self.

  8. falcon says:

    Your first couple of sentences gets at my earlier post regarding “learning”. Why is DOF having trouble even repeating accurately what has been said regarding the Christian position on grace? I need to discover what this is because it’s essential to evangelism and outreach to Mormons. I haven’t even moved into expecting the “understanding” level of the learning process here. I just want to see if we can accomplish level one which is “knowledge”…..simply to know.

    Can you help me out on this? Why aren’t you getting it? Is it on purpose, just to run the Christians around the mulberry bush for the fun of it. I do like your use of the word CONTINGENT. As a behavioralist (see BF Skinner) we always talk of contingencies in behavior modification. Simply, a contingency is; “this” is dependent on “this”. When I would write a behavioral plan for a student I would outline the contingencies. What is God’s grace contingent on? It’s contingent on nothing. It flows from God. It has nothing to do with us. God has a friendly disposition from which His kindly act proceeds; it is God’s graciousness, loving-kindness, good will. Grace is free and universally given. It is a display of God’s redemptive mercy and the pleasure or joy He designs for the recipient. When a person receives God’s grace there is a sense of the favor bestowed, a feeling of gratitude.
    So do you want to accept the gift of eternal life that God, through his grace is freely offering you, or do you want to depend on your own attempts at righteousness to be saved? God extended His grace to me before I was a believer. When I came to the conclusion that I was a lost degenerate sinner and needed the redemptive act of Jesus to save me, I repented of my sin and received, through faith, the gift of eternal life which God offered me. I’ve been set free from the law of sin and death because God imputed His righteousness to me. A righteousness I could never hope to achieve on my own.

  9. Ralph says:


    OK, I understand what you mean and I can agree that it is a good explanation. You asked what LDS think/teach about it. This is my understanding of our teachings. We teach that Adam and Eve were like little children, not knowing good from evil and very believing/trusting in things. We also teach that ”the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father (Mosiah 3:19)”. “For they are carnal and devilish, and the devil has power over them; yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil (Mosiah 16:3).” Notice that it says Satan beguiled them – he tricked them by pandering to them and their ‘fancies’. We see it with children these days, when given a choice they usually take the ‘fancier’ presentation, the one that appeals to them even if they know it’s wrong. That is the natural man and it starts from birth, which is also why we believe that children under 8 are sinless even if they do the wrong thing – God in His mercy allows them time to learn before holding them accountable for their wrong doings. This is what we teach/believe about Adam and Eve. So from what I can understand, this also can fit into your description about Adam and Eve trusting Satan’s word over God’s. Satan gave the ‘better’ more enticing presentation with all the lollies and cakes they could eat and won them over for a time. Hopefully this is understandable.

  10. Ralph says:


    There may have be a difference between the way the Australian Anglican church ran things and the way the American one did even back then, I don’t know. But that is what my father said about his experience as he was growing up. And if he remembers the change-over and difference between the two recitals then I believe that he was pretty much a good church goer at that time. I don’t know for sure about that as I haven’t asked him. About differences in the American Anglican church and the Aussie one, what do you think about the ordination of the openly gay ministers/priests in the American diocese? There is a big argument going on here in Australia that in the past threatened to split the Aussie diocese but has cooled down a bit now over whether or not to ordain openly gay ministers/priests. So far the main part of the church, including the Primate and most (not all) of the major leaders are against it. I do know that the Uniting Church (comprising Methodists, Presbyterians and the Congregational Union) has started doing this and it’s really had an impact on their church.

    Your last comment about my father ”Not meaning to be disrespectful but it doesn’t sound like he was too staunch of an Anglican to begin with” is one that many LDS say about those who leave our church too. And if you ask any of the ex-LDS on this site how they feel when someone says that about them, I’d bet they would say they felt offended regardless of whether you are trying to be disrespectful or not. But it is a valid observation, and I would hazard to say that some point in time in the ‘de-conversion’ process where a person becomes less staunch about their faith and readily accepts outside influence, otherwise they would stay where they are most of the time.

  11. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Maybe we should do an inductive Bible study of Romans chapter 4. The whole first part of Romans goes all through these subjects but when Paul is ready to present an example he goes way back to father Abraham.

    For those unfamiliar with the term, “inductive” is a THOROUGH and awesome method of studying a text (in this case the Bible). You could use it with the BOM I suppose but it would be hard to do word studies from the Reformed Egyptian (ha!).

    Anyway…the discussion of faith in that chapter is right on target for our purposes here. He even brings David into the mix (hey..at least I haven’t committed adultery and then had someone killed to cover it up!!). I come away from reading that chapter fairly certain that works DO NOT figure into the equation.

  12. Ralph says:

    This is LDS doctrine from our scriptures, it gives our view of faith and salvation. What Pres. Kimball has written in his book is just assisting in the clarification of what needs to be done as a part of faith in Christ. As I keep saying, our works/actions come from our faith in Jesus, which is what you are saying about your works/actions. The only difference I can see is the ‘timing of grace.

    D&C 20:17-36 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him. He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them. He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father; That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved … And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true; And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength.

  13. JessicaJoy says:


    How can a FREE GIFT be contingent on anything we do? The only appropriate response to the amazing and incomprehensible grace of God is to simply believe and receive the gift with gratitude (Jn 1:12 “to as many as receive”, Rom. 5:17 “they which receive”). It clearly does not apply universally to all as we can see from Scripture that people (even religious ones) will go to outer darkness for not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for their justification.

    I would say it is contingent on knowledge which is why we are commanded to preach the gospel to those who are lost. Jesus said “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32)

    Here’s one truth He gave us: “ye are from beneath, I am from above, ye are of this world, I am not of this world” (Jn 8:23).

    Here Jesus clearly states the differences between us and Him. We were not spirit children together in any “pre-existence.” He is God and He declares this throughout His earthly ministry (so that the Jews picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy and later people were so confused by His assertions that various sects have been formed to try to explain how Jesus could be God when the Bible declares there is only one God). Whether or not we understand how God is one and yet in three persons, this is clearly seen from an inductive study of the Scriptures and this is why Christians of various denominations agree on the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Jesus said “if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (Jn 8:24). So, from this verse, we see the critical importance of getting straight who Jesus is.

    Ok, that was a slight detour. Back to grace…

    Anyone who truly comprehends the depths of their own detestable, sin-sick nature & the truly good news of the gospel of grace cannot help but drink gratefully from this marvelous cup of grace and then feel compelled by the love of Christ to spend the rest of their temporal life here on earth worshiping,


  14. JessicaJoy says:

    (cont from last post)…serving, and loving Jesus and telling others about Him. It’s such good news!!!

    You had mentioned when you brought up this subject that you wondered if all the non-LDS people would be in agreement…

    Well, looks like we are. That’s because the Bible is so crystal clear on this matter (it’s also crystal clear on the matter of who Jesus is).

    As my brother LDSSTITANIC has pointed out, the Bible should be studied inductively – without inserting pre-conceived ideas into the text. It can be studied like any other literature: observe what is being said, who it’s being said to, note the genre (narrative, prophetic, poetic, etc), and it’s really not that fallible of a guide…

    If it were fallible, you would see more disagreement among the Christians here from such a wide variety of denominations (it sounds like we have quite a spectrum – from Armenian to Calvinist) and yet we agree on the gospel because the Bible is so clear. I consider myself non-denominational and I enjoy fellowship with a variety of Christians of different backgrounds because we agree on the basics of Bible doctrine – who Jesus is, who I am, what He did, what I must do (i.e. respond in gratefulness by receiving His free gift of grace). Sure, there are differences in interpretation of many other matters that the Bible is not so crystal clear on, but in the gospel the Bible leaves no room for doubt.

    Someone mentioned earlier that Christians on here do not seem joyful. I am filled with joy which overflows from my gratitude for what Christ has done for me. My compassion for the Mormons I know (who do not seem particularly joyful, btw) is what motivates me to try to understand Mormonism and why I ventured onto this site in the first place.

  15. GRCluff says:

    GRCluff <—- NOT ignoring context:

    1 Cor 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

    CONTEXT BEING SET: TESTIMONY OF GOD. Clearly set context? Yes in think so.

    Cor 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    I have a testimony = I have felt the demonstration of Spirit and of power spoken of by Paul

    INTERPRETATION, not translation. BUT IN CONTEXT.

    Here’s another interpetation.

    We don’t like the real context, so we travel backwards, grasping at straws until we find something, anything that can loosely be iterpreted as an alternative context. Ahh — here we are Christ = the power of God. NOW, we don’t have to have a testimony, not of the holy spirit anyway.

    Pretty sad. Convoluted.

  16. GRCluff says:


    Sorry about the accusation of illiteracy, just venting a bit, didn’t mean to be hurtful. You are tough – come on you can handle it.

    We really need to get our diametrically opposed testimonies together to duke it out.

    The Holy Spirt of God speaks to our hearts in a still small voice, and would never tell you anything different than he has told me.

    One of these two tesimonies is a fake… a substitution, born of imagination and wishful thinking. Perhaps the effect of a frenzied mind?

    This I can tell you. It won’t be mine. The force is strong with this one. The power of God is real. Tells me about Christ and him crucified. Makes me a real Christian. Now does’nt that make you feel better?

  17. LDSSTITANIC says:

    GRCluff…now your ending comment to Arthur sounds more like Paul. Do you read letters from loved ones starting in the middle? I’m saying read a book at a time and start at the beginning…if you wish to call that travelling backwards I suppose that’s your right. I’ll go back even further and pick up my point in Romans chapter 1. In verse 16 Paul hammers it home again…he says he is not ashamed of the Gospel…and why? IT IS THE POWER OF GOD unto salvation. Preaching of the cross…Gospel…Jesus…it’s all the same thing my friend. But in context here he is saying your faith should stand in the power of God (the Gospel) and not in the wisdom of men.

    As I have heard other teachers say…a verse without a context is a pretext…cross-referencing is especially vital to Paul’s letters…Blessings till tomorrow!

  18. Berean says:

    (Part 1)

    It has been established that all of the Christians here (non-Mormons) are in agreement on what the meaning of grace is. Isn’t that ironic? Did we all conspire before blogging to come up with a uniform answer? No. Isn’t it also ironic that probably most of us come from different denominations within Christianity but somehow all have the same answer on what grace is? Mormons should think about that.

    How can we compare the Mormon’s view of grace to the Biblical view of grace? Earlier in this thread DJBrown brought up a subject that I would like to elaborate on. This is the parable of the bicycle as taught by Mormon apologist Stephen Robinson in his book “Believing Christ”. It goes like this:

    Robinson’s daughter wants a new bicycle. He tells her to work really hard, do extra chores and save up for the bike and that is what she does. She saves money and puts it in her piggy bank. The day comes for her to go get the bike and they go to the bike shop. She picks out this super-girly, tricked out bike. They get up to the check-out counter and she dumps out her piggy bank. She has saved up $20 but the cost is $300. At this point Robinson pulls out his wallet and ADDS to what she has saved – ADDS to her efforts so that the bike can be purchased.

    This is what Robinson says it’s like with God. Jesus brings us up in what we cannot do. Robinson’s famous line is: “Mormons do their best, Jesus does the rest.” There is another part of this that Robinson doesn’t talk about and that is the Mormon now owes Jesus or in the case of the parable of the bike the girl now owes her father for the balance he paid. There is a debt that is now owed to Jesus. (see “Gospel Principles” pp.75-77)

    What is the Christian/Biblical view of this parable? A man has a daughter who wants a new bike. She works really hard and saves up her money. They go to the bike shop and she picks out a beautiful bike. They go to the check-out counter and she dumps out her piggy bank. (Cont’d)

  19. Berean says:

    Part 2

    When the girl dumps out her money she discovers that she has no money. Her money has rotted away to nothing. Her money was worthless. All that dropped out of the piggy bank was a slip of paper that said “SINNER” on it. At this point Jesus steps in and takes the slip of paper and rips it up. He now takes out his money and pays for the bike in full. On the money bill is his picture. It’s the picture of the king. He paid it with his life – his blood.

    Grace isn’t topping off what somebody does. Grace is realizing that despite anything you ever do you will never contribute one thing to your salvation. You realize that you have a debt that you could never attempt to pay and at that point Jesus steps in and pays the debt in full with no remaining balance due to you. He pays it in full with his life – his blood.

    Grace in the Bible is God’s love that is not conditioned on anything we do. No matter who we are and what we do, God loves us. We don’t deserve anything but outer darkness on our own. We accept the GIFT that He has freely given to us by receiving His Son’s payment in full.

    Mormons only understand conditional arrangements. There has to be a contigency – efforts and work on their part to add to what Christ has fully done:

    “When he became our Savior, he did his part to help us to return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.” (Gospel Principles, p.19)

    “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved AFTER ALL WE CAN DO” (2 Nephi 25:23)

    “The phrase ‘after all we can do’ teaches that effort is required on our part to receive of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with him.” (True to The Faith, p.77)

    “This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation AFTER THEY HAVE EXPENDED THEIR OWN BEST EFFORTS…grace cannot suffice without TOTAL EFFORT on the part of the recipient.” [Emphasis mine](LDS Bible Dictionary, p.697

  20. Berean says:

    Mormons have grace AFTER they deny themselves of all ungodliness (Moroni 10:32); AFTER they are perfect by their own efforts (3 Nephi 12:48); AFTER they have done all they can do (2 Nephi 25:28); AFTER they obey ALL the commandments (1 Nephi 3:7; D&C 1:32; D&C 25:15); AFTER they are out of their sins (Alma 11:37); AFTER they have forsaken and abandoned ALL sin (D&C 58:42-43); AFTER their former sins have not returned (D&C 82:7. Where is Jesus?

    The Mormon gospel is based on conditions. Often I think about the Book of Mormon that is passed out by missionaries. On the front it says “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. I ask them, “Who died for the Book of Mormon?” This puzzles them a great deal. Let’s go to Hebrews 9:16-17.

    “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testimony is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”

    What is a testament? It’s a covenant. There are two types of covenants in the Bible: conditional and unconditional. Conditional covenants were in the Old Testament (Ex 19:5). You can tell a conditional covenant by the “if” and “then” in the verse. The New Testament is an unconditional covenant.

    What kind of testament is the BoM? It’s a conditional covenant: “IF ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, THEN is his grace sufficient for you” (Moroni 10:32). If the BoM is in fact “another testament” between God & mankind, then it has to be one or the other. The Old testament covenant was validated with the death & blood of animals. The New Testament covenant was validated with Christ’s death & blood.

    Who or what died and bled to validate the BoM? If the Mormon testament really is different from the New Testament, does that mean Christ’s death & blood validated two covenants? That contradicts scripture. What does the Mormon testament gain the believer when forgiveness and eternal life came with the New Testament?

  21. falcon says:

    I thought two of our exMo contributors here made an excellent observation yesterday when they discussed how difficult it was/is for them to fully understand the simplicity of the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think Berean in his above posts has captured the essence of why this concept of God extending his grace to us unconditionally is so difficult for Mormons to comprehend. Mormons are conditioned to believe in a religious system based on contingencies. So when they hear that salvation is God’s gift that we 1) don’t deserve and 2) can’t earn, it runs contrary to what they’ve been conditioned to think/believe. The whole Mormon system is one giant hoop-jumping program. It’s all contingency related.
    But, within their system, it all makes sense. It’s all about getting to the next level. My guess is that at some point, most Mormons mentally throw in the towel, and accept a lower level of heaven in the Mormon system. It’s kind of a self-selection, self-elimination program. If the premise for the Mormon man is that he’s going to become a god and his wife/wives are going to be procreating spirit children to populate their own planetary system, then a works related program makes sense. Let’s face it, Mormons are not going to inherit eternal life as a god. They have to earn it.
    The other thing that the Mormon contingency program does is keep everyone on their toes, striving to get that next merit badge. Built into the whole program also is uncertainty and lack of any assurance of their standing before God.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but about the only thing that’s going to send a Mormon to outer darkness is jumping the Mormon ship. So actually someone could settle for the lowest level of heaven and just sin away. Why not?

  22. jackg says:


    I’m going to be respectful and merely say that I understand where you are coming from. However, the BOM text you present raises a whole lot of other issues that are not along the same lines as this thread. I’m sorry, but I can’t accept the BOM, D&C, and PGP as authoritative in any way, shape, or form. I’m not trying to make any attacks on this matter, but I must express my position with regard to the LDS canon. Hope you can understand that.


    Beautifully and logically expressed, my brother! May the grace of our LORD, Jesus Christ continue to be manifest in your life!

  23. germit says:

    DOF and others: I hope our ‘definition’ exercise has been helpful to you; let me clean up a small potential problem. My earlier posts were accurate, but incomplete, although they’ve been admirably filled in here by many others. COMMON GRACE (and, yes, that is a title not found in the Bible, but it is useful) is contingent on the nature of God, nothing else. God is giving by nature and purpose, HE needs no other reason to give except HIS nature takes HIM there, and because HE is love, it’s just an extension of that, no other reason necessary (contingent). For HIS grace to be SAVING GRACE, we, as humans accept the FREE gift with empty hands of FAITH. You might, correctly, call that a contingency: our FAITH, in fact, gives us new eyes to see that we have, in fact, NOTHING to offer in payment for that FREE gift, and that previous efforts to win that gift, or pay, even in part, are not only not needed, they are offensive to a holy God. Without the FAITH that tells us that our ‘serious moral effort’, as Lewis put it, gets us exactly nowhere, we are left trying to pay for part of the bicycle ourselves. FAITH tells us this will never work, and thru FAITH, we accept the deal on God’s terms, not ours. And so we often see the phrase ‘saved by grace through faith’ throughout the NT. If you want to call that a contingency for salvation, I’m fine with that, except to note that


    As usual, God did not wait for us to give in order to give back, He took the initiative, even when we were in opposition to HIM. Even when we were HIS enemies, while we were UNRIGHTEOUS (1xtPeter3:18)

    I hope all this helps, DOF, but my ‘gut’ tells me that if there is a ‘hard way’ to interpret all this, you will find it. That is the habit of all works oriented people. I fear that you will beat a path to James 2, just as fast as your feet will take you. Don’t make this harder than GOD HIMSELF MAKES IT. GERMIT

  24. Jeffrey says:

    Part 1

    I just wanted to throw in a little different perspective. “To go along with becoming saved seems to easy” – I would agree, that it is easier than LDS authorities teach you to believe. I would say its as easy as the Bible says. However, on the flip side, “staying saved” isn’t so easy.

    The heartbreak of the Mormon gospel comes from teachings (especially Kimball’s) that make it impossible to even become saved in the first place. You MUST perform all these rituals, be a good person, abandon sin entirely, or deny yourself of all ungodliness (to try is not good enough) and “then and only then is his grace sufficient for you.”

    So do I think you can sin all you want and still inherit eternal life? No. But understand this…

    Salvation is not a matter of actions, but of your heart (and only God knows whats in your heart). One person may struggle with certain sins more than another, but the person who is in God’s good grace is the one who is truly repentant of them. How can man’s eye get an idea if one is repentant? You will see the Grace of God work through them in an effort to stop committing that sin. So His grace has already been given to the man, which the man received through faith in Jesus Christ, and he uses that grace to help him overcome sin.

    Now on to my own personal thought about “Why we shouldn’t commit sins” and “Why do good works?”

    The question may arise “Why if we are all sinners anyway and guilty of it all, why even bother trying to not commit sins?” – I personally believe God doesn’t want us to commit sins because in all His wisdom, he knows that sin will trap you and continue to lead you further away from God, hearden your heart, bolster your pride, and eventually lead you away from Him. It’s not about abandoning sin entirely because that is impossible, its about ultimately relying upon your Redeemer, and using his grace to overcome the trials in your life that could possibly have you let go of Christs hand….

  25. Jeffrey says:

    Part 2

    Christ is always offering you his hand, its up to you if you want to take it, and its up to you if you want to continue holding onto it. By his saying “keep my commandments,” I believe he is saying hold on tight, do not let go and keep your eyes fixed upon me.

    The question may arise “Why do good works if they are not necessary for our salvation?” – I think this one is simple. Because you will naturally want to. To give thanks to the Holy One. And you will see the blessings come into your life from obeying God’s commandments. It’s a natural law that hard work and passion provides good results. Then you can thank God for all you have received. All glory ends up belonging to God.

  26. Andrea says:

    Ralph said, “I would hazard to say that some point in time in the ‘de-conversion’ process where a person becomes less staunch about their faith and readily accepts outside influence, otherwise they would stay where they are most of the time.”
    Not always. Take for example Jim and Judy Robertson, authors of the book Out of Mormonism. They were devout commandment-abiding Mormons but God was working in their lives and one day while reading a Bible verse (1 Tim 1:4 “neither give heed to endless genealogies”) she began to question. Usually, it’s just a matter of a growing pile of things not adding up and contradicting each other, then someone begins to seek truth and try to make sense of it all. Tal Bachman gives a GREAT description of how true-believing Mormons are able to maintain a “spiritual dissonance” and ignore/explain things that others see as detrimental to their faith.

    Back to the topic at hand, I would like to quote Flyleaf who said “all my efforts to clean me leave me putrid and filthy” -and Casting Crowns, who put it best when they said “Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.”

  27. falcon says:

    Oh Jeffery, Jeffery, Jeffery.
    Did you say “staying saved” isn’t so easy? I think you did but I don’t think you developed that theme. I sense the red letters of the moderator ready to pounce and probably for good reason. Growing up Catholic, I was always losing my salvation. I just couldn’t hold on to it. Very frustrating. I used to go through this sin analysis procedure almost constantly. Finally, for a lot of reasons, I just said forget it when I was twenty years old and went merrily into sin. It was wonderful. I was suddenly free from the mental torture of sin and death. I stayed that way until I was twenty-six. Then God began working on me and I understood what it meant to be in right standing before Him based on what Christ had done for me. I wasn’t losing my salvation every fifteen minutes. I did change my “walk” however, but the motivation was no longer to avoid hell. In some ways sin can be alot of fun. I have a friend, who’s a committed Christian, say to me one time, “Life was a lot easier when I was a drunk.” He laughed and then said, “When I was a drunk, I had no conscience.” So is it difficult to “stay saved”? Speaking for myself, not really. I may have some sinful desires, but I have no desire to act on them. It’s difficult to explain, but I just pretty much rely on God to maintain my salvation.

  28. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Falcon…I don’t know Jeffery so this might be presumption on my part…I think the idea he is getting at is that “becoming” a Christian is easy whereas “being” a Christian is very hard. Jesus talked of taking up our cross and denying ourselves DAILY. Even in his summary commandment regarding loving our neighbor as ourself…I fail at that pretty much weekly if not daily. We certainly still struggle with sin and temptation and in flat out NOT doing things we know we should.

    However…we endure the trials and stumbles because of the deposit of the Holy Spirit in us that promises our salvation is secure and our future glorification (resurrection) is guaranteed.

    I think it was just a bad choice of words unless he is in a camp of Christians that don’t accept eternal security…in which case we will take him out back to the woodshed (ha!).

  29. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Ralph…I guess my point was that your father might have questioned the doctrine of the Trinity on a personal level but it has never been up for debate in the Anglican tradition and even further back to the Roman tradition. Christianity has been Trinitarian for centuries unabashedly.

    As far as the Australian liturgy…they relied on the Book of Common Prayer provided by the British church (which has remain unchanged since 1662). Only in 1978 did they begin trying their hand at new liturgical expressions. So I remain baffled at how your father thought anyone was trying to sneak something new into the service. Beyond that he must have hated the season of Pentecost…the first Sunday after the Sunday of Pentecost is specifically designated Trinity Sunday (ha!). The liturgical cyclical calendar all of us Anglicans follow also has ancient roots so if he attended faithfully he would have celebrated many Trinity Sundays!

    I don’t want to get derailed on this too much but let me simply answer your question…yes indeed there is quite the battlefront here regarding ordination and blessing of unions. We even have bishops from Africa and South America taking over parishes and dioceses here in the States!

  30. GRCluff says:

    falcon said:

    “Built into the whole program also is uncertainty and lack of any assurance of their standing before God.”

    I can buy some of the rest of your comments in that quote, but this one is dead wrong.

    Most Mormons (I’m including myself on this one), but not all we insist that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is often present and evident in their life. You know, the comforter that Christ spoke about? That influence does in fact reak of certianty and re-assurance. So much so that we HAVE to stand up and witness about how certian we really are every month in testimony meeting.

    Come on you know about testimonies. You are contrdiction yourself now. Testimony is all about CERTIANTY and ASSURANCE, and all born of the Holy Spirt.

    Come on now, you can’t have it both ways.

  31. falcon says:

    Let me try it this way to see if you get it. What do you testify to as to your certainty and assurance? If you could tell us that, then we could have a meaningful discussion. Let me see if I can guide you. Do you have assurance as to your standing before the Mormon god? Do you know for certain, where you will be in eternity, specifically? How do you achieve your level of heaven?
    The Mormon testimony is a rote repetition i.e. Joseph Smith, BoM, LDS church. In fact, Mormons are told that if they don’t have a testimony they should just keep repeating it until they have one. I don’t see the Holy Spirit in that. It’s like me repeating the “Hail Mary” when I was a kid in Catholic School. Or for that matter someone doing a rote repetition of the Apostle’s Creed. I don’t think your testimony is born of the Spirit. Maybe the Mormon spirit, but cetainly not the Spirit that Biblical Christians claim. You’re in a different religious system. You have an exhalted man for a god, you have a created super hero for a Jesus, the Mormon spirit isn’t a person, the Bible is a corrupted text, and the BoM, that is the favored scripture by Mormons, is not historical, but is a work of fiction. So there is basically no comparison between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity.
    My testimony is that I was a lost, degenerate sinner on the way to hell, but God through His grace reached out to me and in faith I received Jesus as my savior and the gift of eternal life through h
    His sacrifice on the Cross. God filled me with His Holy Spirit and I was born again, regenerated, justified based on what Christ did for me. God looked at my faith and counted it as righteousness. The life I lead now is through the power of God’s Spirit.

  32. Jeffrey says:

    Sorry for the confusion on “staying saved isn’t so easy.” I should have worded it “being saved isn’t AS easy.”

    For myself, I haven’t ever gone so deep into a sin in which I start deny Jesus Christ’s work on the Cross or even the existence of God.

    The reason I think it is difficult is I realize how bad a sinner I am. Because I have committed my life to God, I am held up to a higher standard in life. Sins I would commit when I had no commitment to God were easily dismissed, but now every time I sin there is this emotional/spiritual pain that goes through me.

    As I sit here this morning with my 1 year old daughter in my lap, it makes me think of an analogy between me and her, and God and myself. She is innocent in my eyes because I understand her condition (young undeveloped mind). Even though she throws some awful temper tantrums and screams in anger and frustration, I still love her and still continue to show her grace. There is an obvious trust (faith) she has in me to help her “make it.” (feeding, holding). Even if she tried to make it on her own, she wouldn’t make it.

    Point here is that without me, or mommy, she wouldn’t continue to live. Whatever she thinks she can do wouldn’t be good enough to make that happen. Because I love her and she trusts me to take care of her, I do the work for her, 100%. I don’t/can’t expect her to make herself a bottle because she couldn’t possibly. And the reason she comes close unto me and cuddles/kisses is because she knows I love her and I will take care of her, not because that ensures I will continue to help her live.

    I think LDS believe they have to qualify for the grace God gives them through works. But it seems that we are all like babies on earth, unable to save ourselves, and that is why we should have 100% faith in God, for He loves us!

  33. GRCluff says:


    I can’t testify about my final status before God because that hasn’t happened yet by design. I can’t and won’t know until judgement day.

    I do know what the Holy Ghost has testified and that part is quite clear. It is quite rote and consistent from person to person, just because the witness of the Holy Spirt is all about truth -truth that is relevant for us now. That truth is absolute, does not change from person to person.

    It always goes like this:

    1. There is a God in Heaven who answers prayers.
    2. Jesus is the Christ who paid the price for my sins.
    3. Joseph Smith was a true prophet who restored the Kingdom of God to the earth.
    4. The Kingdom of God is still on the earth today in the form of the LDS (not FLDS) church.

    That is what the Holy Spirit always says.

  34. falcon says:

    Here’s the problem you have. You need to go back to the founding of Mormonism. What is the spiritual foundation of the religion? Joseph Smith was guided by a spirit to establish Mormonism. I don’t think there’s any question about this. What did Joseph Smith draw on (the medium, means, practices) to contact his spiritual witness? Will the spirit of Mormonism provide spiritual experiences and messages to those who follow him. I believe he will. One of our Mormon posters has testified to seeing the spirits of dead people while participating in temple rituals. I believe he did see spirits. Can the spirit of Mormonism provide emotional highs and physical chills? Absolutely. Are the Mormon god, Jesus, and the spirit anything like that found within traditional historical Christianity? No.
    You have a clear choice set before you.

  35. DJBrown says:

    The foundation of Joseph Smith’s work is revelation, the rock Christ spoke of when talking to Peter. Such is always the foundation of His kingdom on earth. It all started with the first vision- seeing God and Jesus Christ and speaking with them. This either happened or it didn’t.

    So a question- independent of Joseph Smith’s claims, do you believe God could/would do such a thing- appear unto a man in our day to reveal truth?

  36. LDSSTITANIC says:

    DJB…don’t you find it interesting then that other early leaders in the movement (Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, William Smith, and even Joseph Smith in his Personal Writings) all agreed that he was visited by a messenger (angel) and not the Lord himself?

    I’d say that’s a pretty big jump to what the current story of the vision says!!

  37. GRCluff says:

    falcon said:
    “Are the Mormon god, Jesus, and the spirit anything like that found within traditional historical Christianity? No.”

    Change that to a YES please.

    The witness of the Holy Spirit is evident, and that influence continues to run thoughout the operations of the Church today. That, to start, is consistent with historical Christianity.

    I will venture to say the the Mormon God is the real God. The unknowable god called Trinity is exactly that– unknowable. The Nicean creed was wrong, so it is traditional Christianity that worships a false God.

    Your closed mindedness, has limited you to a fraction of the blessings God will grant the world in this age.

    The HS continues to witness beyond God and Christ. He witnesses clearly and completely about the restoration of the kingdom of God on earth.

    The boat is leaving and you are not on board.
    The train has left the station. You still don’t have your ticket.
    The plane is already on the runway. Sorry you missed it.

    What are going to do when you discover I am right?

  38. Berean says:


    As much as you want Falcon to check the box “yes” that the Mormon god, jesus and spirit are the same as it is in Christianity, Falcon can’t do that. Must we list the side-by-side differences between the two faiths again and again? Please do some basic research on your own. I would like to recommend that you get your information about Christianity from sources outside of the LDS. After all, don’t you want us to get our information on Mormonism from Mormon sources?

    Christians know a lot about the God of the Bible. I would “venture to say” more than the Mormons know about the Mormon god. On the other thread we were told that the FIRST PRINCIPLE as outlined by Joseph Smith somehow found Hinckley clueless and DJBrown didn’t seem to know a lot about it. If Mormons can’t understand the beginning part on who the Mormon god is how can they put the microscope to us because we can’t explain the Trinity with the limited range of our fallible, human minds? Just because you say the Nicean Creed is wrong doesn’t make it so.

    If traditional Christianity worships a false God as you say it does, then why did you want Falcon to check the box “yes” that it’s the same with Mormonism? Again, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

    The big difference between Falcon and you is that he is perfect and you aren’t (read this whole thread again). Falcon has eternal life – you don’t. He is happy and joyful – you aren’t. You stated:

    “And why does every article have to mention my plan to become a god. I am so very far away for that condition at the moment all that does is make me depressed. Oh well, to reach the treetops we have to shoot for the stars.”

    In Mormonism, you have damnation right now. I would be depressed too. The boat, plane and train have not left yet. You can still get on – just not with a Mormon ticket. We don’t want you to wait to find out that you were wrong because there are no second chances. You can’t blame it on Joseph Smith if you don’t make it.

  39. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Germit did a great job summarizing the point I was trying to make. Falcon, no hidden thrills or word play. Germit suggested we agree on some defintions and obviously this was sorely needed.

    Germit says “For HIS grace to be SAVING GRACE, we, as humans accept the FREE gift with empty hands of FAITH. You might, correctly, call that a contingency: our FAITH”

    This is what I have been trying to clarify. The chief accusation has been that we are trying to earn grace. This is not correct. We are trying to earn SALVATION.

    “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.” Please note, GRACE is not obtained after all we can do, it was always there. SALVATION is granted after all we can do. Why? Because through our Faith, it has become Saving Grace (Germit’s words)

    We all agree that God freely OFFERS grace. But for that to save us there has to be something on our end. It seems to me the major confusion has always been that Christians believe Mormons are trying to attach contingencies (works) to grace. We are not, we are attaching contingencies to SALVATION. What is the contingency? FAITH in Jesus Christ. The same contingency that Germit has described.

    Jeffrey, You said, “So His grace has already been given to the man, WHICH THE MAN RECEIVED THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, and he uses that grace to help him overcome sin.

    That is LDS Doctrine! When it comes to doctrinal discussions you always seems to state the gospel as I understand it. Hard for me to see why you aren’t a member.

    Berean: Contingencies: Do you not agree with Germit about Saving Grace tied to Faith?

    If we all agree that Saving Grace is contingent on Faith. Then we can finally talk. The only issue then becomes What is TRUE Faith in Christ. Finally, at the foundation, where we should be.

  40. DefenderOfTheFaith says:


    It might give you some comfort that Berean and Falcon (mostly) are really Zoramites. Preaching the false concept of election (predesination). In other words, they have eternal life, God has preselected them and they will thank him all the day long while all the rest of us perish. This blog is their Rameumpton. Mormon included the Zoramite belief for a reason to expose the enemies of Christ. It will also comfort you to know that this Calvinistic teaching causes severe division among existing Christian sects. I was just talking to a local minister and he all but denounced those adhering to Calvinistic thought (which suprised me).

    Quote regarding Arminianism (from Wikipedia) “Nonetheless, they (Calvinism and Arminianism) are often viewed as rivals within Evangelicalism because of their disagreement over the doctrines of predestination and salvation (How can they not agree on this?).

  41. falcon says:

    What is the foundation of the Mormon religion and the Mormon god? You won’t address that. The Biblical God has nothing in common with the Mormon god. The Mormon god has his origin in the mind of Joseph Smith and in the occult and magical world in which he lived. Joseph Smith, along with his homies, used second sight and scrying with magical rocks to see into the ground for elusive burried treasure. This is in direct violation of what God commanded in the Bible. It’s pretty evident that there is a spirit of Mormonism that guides the religion and is very capable of giving spiritual experiences both individually and corporately to those that give themselves over to its power and influence. I cite the experience often of the Mormon contributor here who saw the spirits of dead people while participating in the occult temple rituals of Mormonism.
    You boys are so deep into this occult based religion that I doubt very much if you can see your way clear of it.
    My hope here is for those Mormons who visit this site daily and who are responding to God’s leading and prompting to come to Him for forgiveness of sins and the free gift of eternal life which He is offering. Eternity is way too long to trust it to an occult based religion that claims to be able to make someone a god, but can provide nothing but outer darkness that is reserved for Satan and his angels.

  42. Berean says:

    Defender (Footdoc)

    Have you been given revelation today from the Mormon god on what camp regarding different views in Christianity on election (Calvin, Ariminian or neither) that I fall into? The Mormon god can’t reveal anything from the ficticious planet of Kolob so if you would like to know what view I hold all you have to do is ask. When you assume things and put it in writing you lose credibility.

    Germit, my brother in the Lord, can use the word “contingent” if he chooses. You are getting confused on the words “grace” and “salvation”. If you would have read my earlier posts I said that “faith” is what is required – nothing else. It’s all about what you believe. See John 6:47; John 3:16,18&36; Ephesians 2:8-9. Grace is given to the believer because of his faith. Salvation is a gift.

    Mormons have already stated correctly that they are trying to purchase salvation. Christians are not. We receive that gift based on our faith in Christ and nothing else. That is far from the Mormon view that teach a man-centered, works-based religion that has them doing “after all they can do”. Christians aren’t trying to do “after all we can do”. You know what the Christian view of 2 Nephi 25:23 is? We are saved by grace BEFORE WE COULD DO ANYTHING!

    Read my earlier posts. The New Testament is an unconditional covenant. It’s not based on “IF” you do this, “THEN” God will do that as it clearly states in Mormon scriptures. As much as you want grace to be by faith only in Mormonism it is not. Grace given by Christ in Mormonism is AFTER you have denied yourselves of all ungodliness (Moroni 10:32) etc., as I have stated again and again in this thread.

    I know it’s difficult for you to grasp this simple fact because it goes against everything you are told in Mormonism. It’s all about your efforts for everything. Jesus does his part and you do the rest, right? You now owe Jesus and are working to pay him back, right?

    Grace comes by faith. Salvation is a gift. Simple.

  43. germit says:

    DOF and others; just to be clearer, I’ll accept the word ‘contingent’, but only as connected to salvation, and only in the sense of ‘dependent upon’ NOT in the sense of PAYMENT FOR, OR EARNING. There is a big difference. I empty my hands of all my self striving and efforts to stretch out these empty hands and receive the free gift. If my hands weren’t empty (an action done by faith), I could not accept the free gift. There is no ‘paying for’ or ‘earning’ in this scenario. Quite the reverse: faith tells us that our own righteousness is futile and impossible. Hope this helps, I would appreaciate the mormon take on this, and on C.S. lewis’ quotes earlier. THANKS

  44. falcon says:

    This is way off topic, but one of our Mormon friends asked me if I thought Jesus would appear to someone. Are you kidding me? I went to Catholic school in the 1950s when things were still pretty hardcore. I grew up on this stuff. Mormons are way out of the loop when compared to Catholics when it comes to this sort of thing. Just do a quick trip over to Wikipedia and look-up “Our Lady of Fatima”, “Bernadette of Lourdes”, “Our Lady of Quadalupe”, and the “Sacred Heart of Jesus”. The Virgin Mary appearances make Joseph Smith look like a rank amateur. And sacred underware? Forget about it! I wore a Saint Christopher’s medal and a Scapula. If you don’t know what a Scapula is, look it up.
    Oral Roberts claimed to see a 50 foot, 100 foot, 200 foot whatever….Jesus. And Oral was told to build the City of Faith in Tulsa, OK. I could go on and on. How about this. A wolf is terrorizing a village. Saint Francis, who was really good with animals, went out and spoke to the wolf and the wolf stopped his unfriendly antics towards the villagers. It happened! I saw the representation of the event in a picture in a Catholic hospital. When I saw the Chaplin, I told him, “Father, I’ve got to be honest. I don’t believe the wolf story.” He thought I was pretty funny. Didn’t call security or anything. So Mormon friends, you don’t have a corner on this stuff. Story goes that one of Martin Luther’s compatriots gets thrown into prison. Jesus appears to him and says he’s there to help him. The guy says, “Show me your nail scarred hands.” The “Jesus” disappears. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    This whole thread is about God reaching out and offering forgiveness to those of us who will seek Him in faith. God gives us salvation as a free gift based on what Jesus did for us on the Cross. Mormons have no such assurance but must depend on their own works to get them to an exhalted state of being a god. What an insult to our Savior, after all He has done for us and offered us eternal life as a free gift.

  45. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Foundation of the “Mormon God”? I have stated this repeatedly. It is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Article of Faith #4. Isn’t that your foundation?

    Here’s the difference. Our definition of FAITH is vastly different. I don’t want to tell you what you believe, so what is Faith to the Christian. This is where our roads diverge. So please chime in.

    I believe we have established that Salvation is a contingency (you can call it dependence, reliance, or whatever) it requires something of the recipient. I am not taking about payment or earning just a simple equation. The promises salvation if certain requirements are met. You say “empty your hands by faith” (well said, but not you are doing something). Our differences are simple. What does faith really mean? What does it mean to “receive the gift”. We define these things completely different.

    I was at the local fair and my good Baptist friends were displaying the “3 steps to salvation” Accept, Believe, Confess. Very catchy. I said I have done all 3. Am I set? Yes, was the answer. And what Church do you go to? My friend replies. No church, I don’t need one. I have met the 3 conditions and am set. No problem, they reply, but if you would like a church please come to us. Turn to me, “And what about you?” I am Mormon. To bad, you are damned unless you repent. I reply that I have also met the 3 conditions above. And now you have changed your formula, adding step four “repent”. I have done that as well. He doesn’t want to talk anymore because I am not the elect anyway. He starts off offering a somewhat contingent plan, to full blow contingency in one breath. And what is the final accusation? That I am making salvation a contingency plan.

    The gospel from beginning to end is a contingency plan. That is why we teach it. That is what the scriptures are all about.

    I am in the process of compiling a vast array of NT scriptures that show we are in good company with the ancient apostles and prophets in regard to this.

  46. germit says:

    DOF and others: thanks for your efforts to get at clarity with what we both believe. If Peter didn’t mind repeating himself occasionally, I should not either, but I would comment that at this point, anything I say about GRACE is probably either a restatement, or quoting someone, Phil Yancey or Max Lucado maybe, who communicate better than little ol’Germit. To show the linguistic trouble we’re having: I’m not at all convinced we’ve even reached an agreement on ‘contingent’, but I’ve done what I can on this end to explain that the way I understand it. Interesting to me that the ‘vast array of Christian groups’ represented here at MC are very united in the views held by salvation, and I think to a man and woman, the only ‘contingency’ I’ve seen typed about is FAITH. Some don’t want to call that a ‘work’, perhaps, which I understand, but it seems you (DOF) are seeing 30 versions of ‘by grace through faith’. This agreement among believers is what I mean when I talk about the ‘organic nature of the church’. the church is NOT an organization or institution, it is a group of born-again, saved ones, those who have entered into a relationship, by grace thru faith, with the LIVING GOD. For those willing to accept the EMPTY hands part and believe in the REAL Jesus, God is not so picky on denomination, and HIS children are scattered about here and there. Strange how the LDS and JW’s get lost in the idea of a ‘true organization’, as if having some collection of right rules and formulae was the winning ticket. Reminder: before you launch into FAITH: repeat what YOUR stance is on GRACE. Thanks. GERMIT

  47. Rick B says:

    DJB said

    So a question- independent of Joseph Smith’s claims, do you believe God could/would do such a thing- appear unto a man in our day to reveal truth?

    For the most part, the answer is NO!

    You could argue that since God can do anything he wants to he could appear to us, but then that would go against His word.

    Here are some things Jesus Said, that tell me He will Not just simply appear to a man in our day.

    Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not.

    Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect

    Mat 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

    Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not.

    So DJB If you knew the Bible and Belived it, you would have known Jesus said this, But I know you, you and the other LDS will find a way to make this verse not true.

    Then if you read All of Matthew 23, you will read how Jesus said that the religious leaders were killing the prophets God sent to them, the LDS are not killing us, but we are prophets (mouth piece’s of God) and we use and quote and give the word of God, and like with Jesus and the religious leaders you reject what we say. But like Jesus said to His disaples, the people do not hate and reject you, they hate and reject me.

    Now DJB, Let me ask you something, You believe Jesus did appear to JS and you believe the Mormon prophets are mouth pieces of God, so how come they as someone pointed out in the newest topic are not clearing up the issues for us today, but leaving it to the (LAY) mormons to do that, and how come the LDS prophets cannot agree on scripture? Rick b

  48. Eric the Red says:

    This has been a great post and I have enjoyed reading comments from both sides. Yet, one thing perplexes me. Why are the LDS contributors arguing for a position that they themselves do not hold? Why try to argue that faith and repentance are works, therefore making salvation conditional, when you do not believe these two things even come close to being sufficient to merit Full salvation in Mormon Theology? By the way, realizing that someone is giving me a gift, and accepting the gift do not give me the right to say that I merited the gift.

    I keep hearing about conditions for salvation, but does not Mormonism have a more extreme concept of salvation than they accuse evangelicals of having? Gospel Principles states “Because of [Christ’s] atonement, everyone born on this earth will be resurrected… All people who have ever lived will be resurrected “both old and young, both bond and free both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous (Alma 11:44” (p 74) “The restoration through the atonement restored all the human family to life. And this provision [the Atonement] applies not only to the living, but also to the dead, so that all man who have existed in all ages, who do exist now, or who will exist while the earth shall stand, may be placed upon the same footing… “ (Doctrines of the Gospel, Student Manual p 25). “Unconditional salvation or general salvation, that which comes by grace alone without obedience to gospel law consists in the mere fact of being resurrected” (Mormon Doctrine p 669). So, am I not correct in saying that Mormons believe that salvation by grace is something we all get automatically? We don’t even have to believe! So why are you saying that salvation by faith is extreme? Why are you arguing for preconditions? There are no preconditions to Mormon salvation. It doesn’t even require obedience. Yes, I am aware that “Full” salvation in Mormonism demands all kinds of obedience (Mormon Doctrine p 670). But the basic, general salvation, which Jes

  49. Eric the Red says:


    which Jesus bought with his blood, automatically affects everyone. So basically, Christ’s death gave us an equal playing field, but where we go from there depends upon our obedience and faithfulness.

    To add to Berean’s bicycle analogy, I would say that we don’t even want the bike our father is offering us. We are out in a salvage yard foraging through the trash for our own means of transportation. Our father has to come to the dump, draw us away from the filth, and show us the bike that he has already provided for us. As C.S Lewis once said, we are making mud pies, and when God has already prepared for us a banquet feast. Jer. 2:13 For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

    Much of this seems to be the old “Foot in the door” tactic. If Mormons can get Evangelicals to admit that faith and repentance are works, then they can justify all their priesthood ordinances, temple rituals, and good works as essential for returning to God.

  50. DJBrown says:

    Nobody commented on my analogy which I think very well demonstrates our belief on faith/works. Anybody see the movie “The Ultimate Gift?” Very good movie. In it is a great story that mirrors our belief on this topic. A billionaire oil tycoon is dying and does not trust his greedy sons and daughters with his fortune and businesses. He has a grandson who has fallen from the family and is living a riotous lifestyle. The grandfather knows the grandson has the potential to be a great person and one he could possibly trust with his fortunes. He sets up a list of 10 things the young man must do in order to receive “the ultimate gift.” These include service to others, learning to work hard on a ranch, giving up all his earthly possession, etc. Basically, he is tortured through a series of lessons that in the end make him a better person.

    This young man initially believes he will receive a million dollars or something equivalent. Through his experiences completing his grandfather’s list of requirements, he eventually forgets about himself and starts loving other people. Then, in the end he receives the “ultimate gift”-being an honest, loving, hard-working person, and the one upon which his grandfather bestows his entire fortune (tens of billions of dollars).

    Back to the issue- the grandson does not earn the fortune in any respect. It is given to him. But he had to do certain things before receiving it. Very much like our belief on faith and works. I am not saying we have a list of things to check off. We must follow Christ and become what he wants us to become THROUGH HIS ATONEMENT. His grace lifts and helps us through this process and of course in giving us “the gift.”

    No matter what is posted here, people insist on repeating the same “talking points.” Minds are closed.

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