Mormon Doctrines of Salvation

A photo of two elder missionaries teaching a family.“True doctrines are always found in the Lord’s true Church, because the channel of communication between God and His people is open” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., 204).  The truths of salvation include the teachings of the true scriptures, plus the principles of pure religion revealed directly from God to His prophets. The gospel has been restored in order to reestablish lost truths of the gospel and to confound false doctrine.

“The true doctrine of Christ is that all men must come unto Him, gain faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in faith to the end in order to gain salvation” (McConkie, 204).

“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me,” the Savior proclaimed.  “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:16-17).

“They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men” (2 Nephi 28:14).

It is because of the confusion introduced by the precepts of men—many of them sincerely trying to do their best, but lacking the certainty of direct revelation from God—that the Lord has brought about a restoration of the true gospel.  A summary of the true, restored gospel is contained in the Articles of Faith which outline Mormon doctrine.

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A photo of a Mormon family kneeling in prayer.Prophet Joseph F. Smith said, “I have no fears in my heart, or mind, that that which is called “Mormonism”— which is indeed the gospel of Jesus Christ—will not bear the scrutiny of science and the researches of the learned and literate into all truth.  The gospel of Jesus is founded in truth.  Every principle of it is susceptible of demonstration beyond any just reason for contradiction.  The Lord is doing His work and will do it, and no power can stay it….We are willing to receive all truth…for truth will stand, truth will endure.  The truth must be at the foundation of religion, or it is in vain and it will fail of its purpose.  Truth entirely permeates this great work of the Lord that was established through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, the prophet” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 1).

Joseph F. Smith, in his writings, elucidated on many of the Mormon doctrine and core truths of the restored gospel:

  • Gospel principles are eternal; the Plan of Salvation was established before the world was.
  • Man is immortal; God is unchangeable.
  • Continuing revelation is necessary to keep men on the path to salvation.
  • The free agency of man is an eternal, incorruptible principle.
  • God is a glorified, perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing, resurrected man; Christ is His first-born in the spirit, and His Only Begotten Son in mortality; Christ is a separate, corporeal being; the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit and does not have a body.
  • Man is created in God’s image and has the potential to become like Him.
  • The first principles of the gospel are faith, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  • The Church is led by a prophet and organized according to the original Church of Christ, with twelve apostles and assisting groups of seventies.
  • Priesthood authority—the authority and power to act in God’s name—has been restored to the earth.  This priesthood authority is the only authority on earth that has this gift.  All other churches operate under the authority of men; their ordinances are bound on earth, but not in heaven.
  • Wherever the true authority of God is manifest, the spiritual gifts follow.  All spiritual gifts are found in the true Church.
  • Obedience is a foundational principle of the gospel, bringing light and freedom to the followers of Christ.
  • Personal prayer is a right and a privilege granted by God.  Sincere prayers are always heard and answered.
  • Faithful members of the True Church are always charitable.  Obedience to all other gospel principles avails nothing if charity is not at the center of one’s efforts.  Tithing and offerings are meant to build up the kingdom of God and support the poor.
  • Followers of Christ should be temperate and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  • The family is the center of life on earth.  Through eternal covenants made in Holy Temples, husbands and wives and their families can be sealed together throughout eternity.
  • Once a person has a testimony of and an understanding of the tenets of the true gospel, he has a responsibility to warn his neighbor.  Thus, missionary work is an important aspect of the True Church.
  • Missionary work is also done among the dead, in the “Spirit
  • World.”  Mormons have a responsibility to act as proxies for the dead in receiving gospel ordinances which can only be performed with a physical body.  The dead have the agency to decide whether or not they will accept those ordinances.
  • The atonement of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth.  According to Mormon doctrine in what is called the Plan of Salvation, all men who repent and come unto Christ can partake of the blessings of the atonement.

Covenants

Eternal covenants are binding agreements between God and His children. God gives the covenants through revelation to His prophets. We, with our moral agency, can agree to and enter into these covenants if we are worthy. There are many covenants and ordinances within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Mormons can participate […]

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Do Mormons Believe in Being “Saved”?

Yes. “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3; emphasis added). The Difference Between “Salvation” and Exaltation Friends of other faiths should be informed that the vocabulary Mormons use can differ considerably from the vocabulary used […]

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Do Mormons Believe in the “End Times”?

If “end times” means the prophesied events that will occur preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the inauguration of his millennial reign on the earth, yes indeed, Mormons believe in the “end times.”  In fact, God restored His ancient church because we are in the end times right now.  He has established His […]

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Do Mormons Believe in the Resurrection?

Yes, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrection of all mankind—a literal, physical, glorifying resurrection that reunites the body and the spirit eternally. Resurrected beings are no longer subject to death or decay. For some people, the concept of resurrection seems inconceivable or difficult to accept. For this […]

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Faith

Faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the governing principle in applying the Atonement to our life. We learn that it is impossible to please God except with faith (see Hebrews 11:6). Faith, then, becomes that which we must possess not only in order to gain eternal life in the world […]

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Foreordination

In pre-mortal life many children of God were “foreordained” (appointed and assigned) to future assignments prior to their coming here upon the earth (see Jeremiah 1:5; Alma 13:3-7; Doctrine and Covenants 138:53-57; Abraham 3: 22-23). Those foreordained had exhibited exceeding faith and good works (see Alma 13:3-7) in the pre-mortal existence, sometimes called our “first […]

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Grace and Works

Mormon Beliefs: Grace and Works Before we can initiate a discussion on the relationship between grace and works in Mormon doctrine, some Mormon vocabulary needs to be explained.  First of all, Mormons perceive three meanings for the word “salvation.”  The first is resurrection, which is a free gift to all mankind from Jesus Christ through […]

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Holy Communion (Eucharist) in Mormonism

In the Bible, in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 11:24-29 we read the following: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had […]

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Knowing God

There are many people, of various religious denominations and faiths, who profess to believe in God, but the true measure of a person’s faith does not solely rely on knowing that there is a God, for as the Apostle James told the saints, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils […]

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Miracles

Mormon Beliefs: Miracles Mormon doctrine holds that miracles have occurred on earth as long as there has been a people who fear and serve God.  Miracles follow faith.  Where miracles have ceased, faith has already disappeared. Miracles embrace all those events which are beyond the power of any presently known physical power to produce.  They […]

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Mormon Ordinances

Ordinances are extremely important in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They are more than milestones in our path toward God, but most are outward symbols of covenants that make us more like Christ and lead us back into His presence. In the LDS Church, babies are given a name and a blessing […]

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Mormonism Answers: How to Pray

Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, is quoted as once having said, “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depths of our hearts.” President Abraham Lincoln must have been keenly aware […]

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Mormons Believe We All Can Be Saved

Mormons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, find several scriptures in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants (a collection of modern revelations) that indicate that “salvation is free.” The Book of Mormon Speaks of Salvation In 2 Nephi 2:4 it says, …for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, […]

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Prayer

Mormon Beliefs: Prayer Mormons believe in personal prayer.  Prayers are spontaneous and prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Prayers are only written out before delivery in the case of temple dedications.  Mormons pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.  Mormons believe that all prayers are heard and answered. We are all children […]

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Sin and Repentance

Mormon Beliefs: Sin and Repentance The Apostle John taught: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, [Jesus Christ] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9).  All people […]

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The Agency of Man

Mormon Beliefs: The Agency of Man The Plan of Salvation instituted by the Lord before the foundation of the world guarantees man his agency.  The choices we make determine our destiny and our place in the eternal kingdom of God. “All of us commenced an awesome and vital journey when we left the spirit world […]

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The Reality of Satan

Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as the Ward Mission Leader in the Annapolis, Maryland Ward.     In the Bible, in John 10:10 are recorded these words, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am […]

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