Many have asked me what Mormons believe about “works”, and how we reconcile those beliefs with the notion of being saved by grace, through the mercy of Christ and His atonement.
Indeed, Mormons believe that our salvation is made possible by the mercy of Christ, and were it not for his everlasting Atonement, we could not be saved. For man is carnal, mortal, and imperfect, and as such, will inevitably sin. But the atonement of Christ makes it possible for us to be forgiven for our sins by paying the demands of justice if we will repent.
For as the scriptures tell us, God is Just, and it is always required that the laws of justice be satisfied, for there are consequences for sin (as we read throughout the scriptures). But if man will repent, the Lord will intercede with the demands of justice, having paid the price already himself. Such is mercy.
But if man will not repent, he cannot be saved, for no unclean thing can dwell with god. And not only must we repent of our sins, but we must strive to live the gospel and keep the commandments, and there are certain things we must do in order to earn our salvation.
Baptism, for instance, is required for salvation. So is obedience. For why would God give men commandments if he did not expect them to be obeyed? And why would he require men to repent, or why would his servants, the prophets, so continually preach repentance, if repentance were not necessary for salvation, or if obedience were optional and there were no consequence for disobedience?
Hence we believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel (1st article of faith).
The following are just a very few verses I’ve selected from the Bible that help provide the scriptural basis for these beliefs. But the burden of proof of this doctrine of works is not upon Mormons, for the scriptures I reference here (among many others) are clear and present. Rather the burden is upon those who believe contrary to this scripture, to come up with some alternative explanation for these and other verses.
Revelation 20:12-15 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
Hebrews 5:5-10 “He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Romans 2:13-16 “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”
2 Thessalonians 1:1-10 “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
James 1:22-25 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Romans 2:5-11 “And revelation of the righteous judgment of God: Who will render to every man according to his deeds…”
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 16:27 and Revelation 22:12-15 “For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father, with His angels, and then He shall reward every man according to his works.”
Luke 6:46-49 “And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
John 7:16-17 “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine…”
John 14:15-21 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Acts 1-:34-36 “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
Titus 3:8 “That they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.”
1 John 1:6 “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.”
Revelation 22:14-15 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life.”
1 Samuel 15:22 “To obey is better than to sacrifice”
Matthew 7:15-20 “Ye shall no them by their fruits”
Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”.
Galations 5:20-23 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest…of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
James 2:14-26 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have no works? Can faith save him?… For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
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