Salvation… Exaltation… Eternal Life
Only God can have eternal life, only God can have an eternal family
This exaltation to god-hood is known as attaining “eternal life”.
“Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life that God lives… We can become gods like our heavenly father. This is exaltation. (Gospel Principles Manual)
General salvation: That which comes by grace alone without obedience to the Gospel law and consists in the mere fact of being resurrected.
(comes to all except sons of perdition)
Individual salvation: That which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
Historic Christianity Teaches:
Romans 9:30-10:5 works versed faith, Romans 6:23 gift or works?, Romans 11:6 works or grace, Galatians 3:2-3, 6, 10-14 Galatians 2:16
Matthew 5:48 Be perfect is in the present tense (be holy now) yet your current condition is described in James 2:10… Ephesians 2:1-3… so how do I get holy?
Answer… Hebrews 10:14 By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. (Christ has done it all if you’ve trusted in Him) Hebrews 10:17-18
Eternal Progression: The goal continues beyond this life on earth.
Joseph Smith said… Here then is eternal life-To know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to god, the same as all gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation.
Historic Christianity Teaches:
Isaiah 43-48 How many gods are their? Does He know any others? Who does he say you are? What is exaltation if not attaining godhood?
Eternal life is a present condition of those who have believed in Jesus Christ and placed their faith in Him. It’s not a goal to be attained too. John 6:47, 1 John 5:11-13
Eternal life / exaltation is always portrayed as something received by faith in Christ.
John 3:16-18, 6:28-29
Read Ephesians 2:8-10 Notice verse 9 No Boasting
Heaven is not what we have done… But what He (Jesus) did for us!
Acts 16:31 John 3:15 John 5:24 John 11:25 John 12:46 John 20:31
Children of God? (Conception or Adoption)
Romans 8:15-17, Galatians 4:5-6, Ephesians 1:5
Why do we need to be adopted?
(Believers become “God’s children by the new birth…John 1:12)
Gospel principles… We must keep all our covenants with exactness, if we do, our Heavenly Father promises us that we will receive exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom.
Spencer Kimball…only he who obeys the law is free… The forsaking of sin must be a permanent one, true repentance does not permit making the same mistake again… There can be no holding back. If the sinner neglects his tithing, misses his meetings, breaks the Sabbath, or fails in his prayers and other responsibilities, he is not completely repentant.
James 2:10 verses Ephesians 2:8-9
Sin & Atonement
Sin in the LDS faith is defined as: wrong judgment, a mistake, an imperfection, or an inadequacy.
Yet even the B.O. M. says that “He (God) showed unto all men that they were lost because of the transgression of their parents [Adam and Eve]” (II Nephi 2:21). It also says, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam” (Mosiah 3:19). Thus, the B.O.M. says men must “be born again” and become sons of God (Mosiah 27:25). The P. of G.P. also says that from the time Adam and Eve listened to Satan, men “began to be carnal, sensual, and devilish” (Moses 5:13). President Joseph Fielding Smith also declared that “mankind (is) carnal, sensual, devilish by nature”
(D. of S., Vol. II, p. 280). But, most Mormons deny that they are sinners by nature and think of themselves as gods in embryo.
Ephesians 2:3, John 8:44, Romans 3:10-18, 23
Jesus’ role in salvation…
In the Mormon belief Jesus simply overcame physical death for us. “He opened the door of immortality for all of us to walk through. He paid the price for us to rise from the grave”. (Church News 18, march 1989)
Salvation essentially means resurrection to the Mormon Church and this is why good works are such a big deal. It’s not enough to be resurrected… but you must make it to heaven by what you add to Jesus’ work. “Because our savior has done His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and prove ourselves worthy of exaltation”. (Gospel Principles)
Historic Christianity Teaches:
Jesus came to provide a substitutionary atonement (the payment for sin) on the cross and the gift of eternal life to all who would believe. Once man has committed any sin, he is unable to undo or remove that sin, no mater what he does in his life. That’s why Jesus came as the perfect (sinless) Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world for all who believe.
John 12:27, Matt.26:28, Matt. 16:25, John 3:16, to keep from Matt.10:28, Luke 16:2-28.
Matt.20:28, Luke 19:10, John 3:17
John 1:29…picture of how Christ would be the sacrifice that would atone (take away) the sins of the world. (Isaiah 53:7)
Places Mormons are opposite of Historical Christianity:
Mormons believe God created out of existing material
Historic Christianity believes God spoke everything into existence (from nothing)
Fall of man:
Mormons believe it was a fall upward and the rebellion was necessary the fulfill Gods purpose.
Historic Christianity believes it was sin…and caused a curse and a sinful nature in man
Nature of God:
Mormons believe he is a man, born a spirit child to some other god, lived a life on an earth like planet, died and became a glorified Man or God for us.
Historic Christianity believes God has always and will always exist. God is spirit, He knows of no other gods, He is self existent, all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at once. God is not a man.
Nature of man:
Mormons believe “as man is, God once was, and as God is, we may become” they believe God and man are the same species. Men are literal sons of God. Mans nature is Gods nature which is good and must learn sin.
Historic Christianity believes we are the creation of God…”Potter to the clay” We are sinners by nature (Gen.3).and that God supplies all that we need and chooses to adopt us as sons upon believing in Him.
Jesus: man or God:
Mormons believe he is our eldest brother, same species, that he was chosen by God to insure our resurrection. He has died and by obedience become an exalted man or God.
Historic Christianity believes Jesus is God, not a god, but one with the Father. He has always existed, and will always exist. He is the creator of all that was created, He is self existent, he is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere at once (except when He submitted to the Father and took on flesh to pay our debt). He is the only way to the Father.
God: many or one:
Mormons believe in gods without number…three in this world so far…Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. By the time you get to judgment Joseph Smith will be a glorified man (god) and will judge you.
Historic Christianity believes in one God. Eternally existent in three persons. (Father – Son – Holy Spirit)
Works vs. Grace:
Mormons believe you are exalted by grace after all you can do. You are required to live under laws and ordinances.
Historic Christianity believes you are exalted / saved by grace through faith, not of works so there is no boasting only glorifying what God has done for us.
Organization or organism:
Mormons believe that the LDS church is the organization that will change the world through its teachings and bring in the kingdom of God on earth.
Historic Christianity believes the church to be the “called out ones”. They are to be a “body” or “branch” a living organism, and that at the coming of Christ for his church, there will only be a remnant of true believers on earth.
Religion or relationship:
Mormons believe you are exalted by doing good works and keeping the law. You working your way to Him.
Historic Christianity believes God has finished all work for your salvation, and now wants a personal relationship…”to know” you.
Mormons believe in the need for a modern day temple. A place to meet God and to do good works to earn your way to Him.
Historic Christianity believes we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and have no need for a building because we are that spiritual house.
Church lost or always here:
Mormons believe that the true gospel was lost and corrupted and needed to be restored by the modern day prophet Joseph Smith
Historic Christianity believes that the church will always have a remnant until Christ’s return. Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against it.