QUESTIONS FOR LDS ON THE IMPOSSIBLE GOSPEL OF MORMONISM — A Verse-by-Verse Presentation from LDS Scripture
Christians who believe in the sufficiency of faith alone in Christ for salvation are often frustrated when they quote Ephesians 2:8-9 (“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” **) to a Mormon only to find him agreeing that “general salvation” (resurrection to eternal life) is a free gift given to everyone without works. They may wonder, “Is there much difference between the Mormon Gospel and the Christian Gospel?” While Mormons believe that faith in Christ grants the first level of salvation (i.e., resurrection), they believe that good works (such as marriage for eternity in an LDS temple) are required to earn the highest level of Heaven. Quoting James 2:20: “…faith without works is dead” and other passages that speak of rewards granted in Heaven, many Mormons feel that the Christian Gospel is “too easy.” They believe that while Christians have “some truth,” the LDS religion is the only one that contains the fullness of the everlasting Gospel.
Is the Christian Gospel too simple? Is faith in Christ all that matters, or does one need to perform righteous deeds to earn a higher position in Heaven? What is the LDS Gospel Plan? Can mankind be exalted to the highest level of Heaven by obedience to its requirements? You be the judge as we examine the Impossible Gospel of Mormonism using only official LDS Scripture books (The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the King James Bible):
1.) 2 NEPHI 25:23: “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.”
- Have you done “all” you can do for salvation? Isn’t there something else you can think of that you haven’t done for salvation? At what point have you done enough to be sure that you will be saved?
2.) ALMA 5:27-31: “Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life. Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless. And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions? Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!”
- Have you walked blameless before God? Are you sufficiently humble, stripped of pride and envy? Would it be honest to admit that you have not done “all” you can do for salvation and that you are “not prepared to meet God”? If you were to die tonight, would you have “eternal life”?
Note: Trying is not sufficient. Either you are “prepared to meet God” or you are not prepared. Either you are “stripped” of envy and pride, have repented of all of your sins and are thus walking “blameless before God” (without sin), or you are not blameless. There is no middle ground. Spencer W. Kimball (former LDS Apostle and 12th Prophet of the LDS Church) explained it this way: “There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. …The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. …Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin. …To ‘try’ is weak. To ‘do the best I can’ is not strong. We must always do better than we can.” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 163-165
3.) MORONI 10:32: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”
Have you denied yourself of “all ungodliness”? Since Jesus’ grace is not sufficient for you until you have cleared “all ungodliness” out of your life, how can you be “perfect in Christ”? How can you receive His “grace” for salvation, if you haven’t stopped sinning and are not walking “blameless before God,” being sufficiently humble, stripped of pride and envy? Can you honestly say you have done “all” you can do for salvation?
4.) 1 NEPHI 3:7: “…for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
Do you believe that God does not give you a commandment that you can’t keep? Have you kept ALL of the commandments? What about the 10 Commandments listed in Exodus 20?
1. Have no other Gods before the one true God.
- Is serving and worshipping God your first thought each day? Do you put Him first with daily Scripture reading and prayer?
2. Make no graven images.
- Do you love God over any person or thing in your life?
3. Do not take God’s name in vain.
- Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word?
4. Keep the Sabbath Day Holy.
- Have you ever shopped or worked on God’s day of rest?
5. Honor your parents.
- Have you ever disrespected your parents in word or deed?
6. Do not murder.
- Jesus said that if you have ever been angry with your brother without a cause or called him a “fool,” you have committed murder in your heart (Matthew 5:21-22). Have you ever been unjustifiably angry with your brother or insulted him with mocking names?
7. Do not commit adultery.
- Jesus said that if you look at a woman with lust, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Have you ever looked with lust?
8. Do not steal.
- Have you ever cheated on a test or taken something that belongs to someone else?
9. Do not bear false witness.
- Have you ever told a lie? Revelation 21:8 warns: “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
10. Do not covet.
- Have you ever wanted something someone else owns or been jealous of a privilege or reward that someone else received?
5.) DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 25:15: “Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.”
Do you keep God’s commandments “continually?” What part of the word “continually” allows for an occasional act of disobedience to God’s commands? If 1 Nephi 3:7 is true that God doesn’t give you a command that you can’t keep, why don’t you keep the commandments “continually”?
6.) ALMA 45:16: “…for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.”
7.) DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 1:31-32: “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”
Since the Lord cannot look upon sin with the “least degree of allowance,” what have you done to eradicate sin in your life? If you have not fully repented by putting an end to sin and keeping God’s commandments “continually,” how can you claim to be forgiven by the God?
8.) ALMA 34:32: “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”
- Since “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God,” how can you claim that you have time after death to eradicate sin in your life?
9.) DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 58:43: “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”
At Sacrament meeting each week, do you renew your covenants to keep God’s commandments? Since you are continually breaking God’s commandments, doesn’t this make you an unrepentant covenant breaker? After all, if you truly did repent the first time by forsaking your sins, you wouldn’t need to continually repent again and again, would you?
- Note: Joseph Smith said: “Repentance is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression and daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God.” —Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 148
10.) DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 82:7: “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.”
Have you ever repeated a sin after asking for forgiveness? What do your Scriptures say happens to the soul who continually sins? How can you be forgiven if you are held accountable for your former sins? Since you have not stopped sinning, would it be safe to say that you have “procrastinated” the day of your repentance?
11.) ALMA 34:33-35: “And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”
What does this Book of Mormon Scripture say happens to the person who “procrastinates” the day of his repentance until death? Since “the same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that you go out of this life… will have power to possess your body in the eternal world,” how can you repent (i.e., stop sinning) and be forgiven after you die? If after death, you are “subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his,” can you see why Alma 11:37 says that the Jesus of Mormonism “cannot save” you in your sins?
12.) ALMA 11:37: “And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.”
Since “ye cannot be saved in your sins,” and you have already admitted that you have not repented of ALL of your sins because you have not stopped breaking the commandments, how can the Jesus of Mormonism save you? If Mormonism cannot promise you forgiveness, what does your Church have to offer me?
NOTE: If you are a Latter-day Saint, I am sure you take sin very seriously, but at this point you may be feeling completely overwhelmed by the impossibility of salvation within the LDS Gospel. You may be tempted to excuse away the evidence presented here by saying, “This is just your interpretation of these verses.” If you are thinking this way, you must acknowledge that you are no longer sustaining your Church leadership. You must therefore repent! Because they have all affirmed that a person must abandon sin before he or she can be forgiven. Consider the following quotes from official LDS Church publications and leaders:
“Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held accountable for their former sins.” —Gospel Principles, 1995ed., p. 253
“There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin….The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. …Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin. …To ‘try’ is weak. To ‘do the best I can’ is not strong. We must always do better than we can. …Discontinuance of the sin must be permanent…. the former transgressor must have reached a ‘point of no return’ to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin — where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, 1969, Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 163-165, 176, 354-355
“Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness for our sins through sincere and complete repentance. … Abandonment of Sin. Although confession is an essential element of repentance, it is not enough. The Lord has said, ‘By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them’ (D&C 58:43). Maintain an unyielding, permanent resolve that you will never repeat the transgression. When you keep this commitment, you will never experience the pain of that sin again.” —True to the Faith – A Gospel Reference, 2004, pp. 70, 134-135
13.) ROMANS 11:6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Is Jesus sufficient or is He just a necessary step for salvation? If Jesus is sufficient, why do we need to add works to His saving grace? Can you see how believing that you must do “all you can do” for salvation is a disgrace to God because you are saying that His “gift” (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9) of Jesus Christ is “insufficient” to save you to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25)?
14.) JAMES 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Since we cannot keep the “whole law,” can you see why salvation has to be granted by grace alone apart from works of the law (Romans 3:28; 4:4-5), and why God cannot accept your filthy rags of pride to merit Celestial glory (Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2:9)?
15.) JAMES 2:17-18: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
The context of James 2 is contrasting the difference between a dead faith that cannot save and a living faith that is evidenced (i.e., shown) by works. Just as a fruit tree is proved alive by its fruit, so true living faith will be proved alive by the fruit of Christian works (John 13:34-35). These works will indeed “shew” that the true living faith that justifies a person is alive within the heart. Rewards given in Heaven are not done to merit a higher level of eternal life. Rather, these rewards are given to be thrown down at the feet of Jesus in gratitude and worship because He is the only One who is worthy (Luke 17:9-10; Revelation 4:10-11).
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** All Bible Scripture is quoted from the King James Bible Version because this is the most accepted version among LDS.
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