“Have you been saved?” You’ve probably heard that by more than one preacher on the street, on TV, or some other advertisement.
The problem is Mormon’s and Mainstream Christians have different definitions for salvation. While they agree on the need for salvation and how it brings us back into the presence of God, they differ on the substance of what salvation is.
There is nothing we can do ourselves to cross this chasm of sin and death. No amount of righteous works will get us to the other side, these Christians claim, because “our works were made as filthy rags” (see Isaiah 64:6).
Salvation was only made possible by Jesus Christ through the Atonement. He created a “bridge” to God and made it possible to return to Him through grace.
So, to most Christians, salvation is a destination. It is very black and white for them; you are either saved, or you are not. If you are saved you are going to Heaven. If you are not, you are punished in the fiery, burning pits of Hell for eternity. With no reprieve. Ever. That doesn’t sound like a very good God.
But, all we have to do to avoid that is to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts. Right? That claim only creates more problems than it avoids. What about a Muslim baby who dies and goes to Hell because of original sin? What about an Atheist child who dies young and goes to Hell because of her own sins, never having the chance to hear the name of Jesus.
Is God so evil that he would condemn someone just for the crime of being born to the wrong parents?
There is a third option. Jesus describes Himself as the way, a path to follow.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
That sounds like a journey, which is exactly the way Mormons view salvation. It is not a destination, but a bridge to travel across.
Mormons ARE saved. They are with Jesus, following his example across His Bridge, doing the works that He asked them to do. They will stay saved as long as they don’t go back, or jump off the bridge (also known as enduring to the end).
- Protestant Christians will say we are saved by grace without works.
- Mormons say we are saved by grace and REWARDED for our works.
So, how do we get on this Bridge of Salvation? We must enter at the gate.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
The Book of Mormon tells us what this gate is, it is a cleansing of our spirits, a remission of our sins, and it can only be done through Baptism.
For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 31:17)
This is a true remission of our sins, not just a justification of our sins through faith, like other Christians have redefined to fit their theology. The justification that Protestants teach is an avoidance of the punishment for our sins. If that is true, then Orenthal James Simpson was justified in killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown. Simpson avoided his punishment, that is the justification these “Christians” preach.
So, the difference in what Salvation does for us is relevant. When Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, he believed! He had more than just faith, he had knowledge. He also still had sins. After Ananias healed Paul’s blindness he told Paul, “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (see Act 22:16)
When we are baptised, we become clean. Our sins are forgiven.
Baptism not a Requirement
Even then, baptism is not always a requirement. The Book of Mormon says little children have no sin.
the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them (Moroni 8:8)
So, babies and little children of other faiths are NOT going to Hell. The ancient prophet, Mormon, tells us that original sin and infant baptism is wrong. It is only the “sick” that need a “physician”, only once we sin that need to become clean again. That cleansing is done through baptism, immersed in water, performed by someone with the authority to do so.
It is also why Mormons perform baptism by proxy for those who have died. Those who did not have the chance in this life to hear of Jesus’ plan will have that “first chance” to accept it on the other side of the veil.
This amazing doctrine, taught only by Joseph Smith during his day, is more evidence WHY he was a prophet. It’s the only way that makes God good and just
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