by Dudley Ross Spears
When Mormon authorities talk about salvation it is imperative that what they teach be understood in terms of Mormon Doctrine. It is quite easy to be misled by what they have to say about salvation due to a failure to understand what fundamental Mormon doctrine teaches. As you will see as you read further it is different from that which God revealed in the Bible.
The official Mormon doctrine comes neither from the Bible nor from the Book of Mormon. You can read the Book of Mormon until you are blind and not find their doctrine of salvation in it. The source to which they appeal for salvation is known as, Doctrines and Covenants. There are a few other official pronouncements by Mormon officials that deal with their doctrine, but the Book of Mormon does not teach Mormon doctrine. Bruce McConkie, an alleged “apostles” to the time of his death, wrote a book titled Mormon Doctrine.
Mr. McKonkie left no doubt as to the Mormon concept of what salvation means to faithful Mormons. Their official doctrine divides salvation into at least two categories. There is “unconditional or general salvation.” Then there is “conditional and individual salvation.” The former comes to all men and is synonymous with immortality. The latter comes only to those who obey the alleged and imaginary “restored gospel” of Mormonism. (Mormon Doctrine, Page. 669).
The plan of salvation one must accept to be a faithful Mormon comes only through “knowledge of the true principles of Mormonism.” Read what Mr. McConkie wrote.
“Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and all true principles. Many conditions must exist in order to make such salvation available to men. Without the atonement, the gospel, the priesthood, and the sealing power, there would be no salvation. Without continuous revelation, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit, there would be no salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." (Emphasis added, drs) (Ibid. page 670)
Mormon Doctrine affirms salvation and being a faithful member of the LDS organization are the same. They claim to have an exclusive corner on salvation and outside the Mormon religion, nobody can be saved. Nobody, according to their doctrine, can be saved without being a faithful Mormon, according to one of their very own alleged “apostles.” The consequences of these words, coming from an alleged “apostle” of Mormonism, make it mandatory to be a Mormon to be fully saved. But let me add, this is not a doctrine found anywhere in the Book of Mormon, a book they tout as being another Testament of Jesus Christ! I challenge any student of the Book of Mormon to find this alleged “plan of salvation” anywhere in that book. I repeat the challenge to any Mormon alive. Find the Mormon plan of salvation in the Book of Mormon for me.
All who are saved through this attainment of knowledge, truth, and righteousness, along with accepting all the principles of Mormonism, are given a special treat that none, other than Mormons, receive. Mormon Doctrine holds that there are three different kinds of compartments of heaven. Though they discredit the Bible as a fully accurate revelation of God’s will, it is likely they base their fanciful concept of heaven somewhat loosely and erroneously on Paul’s statement that he was caught up into the “third heaven.” (II Corinthians 12:2). They label these imaginary “heavens” as Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial.
The Celestial heaven is supposed to be the place reserved for all who pass a severe test in life and remain faithful to the principles of Mormon Doctrine. They also must be exalted and exaltation is further explained as, “obtaining the highest of these three divisions.” A professor at Brigham Young University has written a commentary on one of their other so-called “inspired books,” Doctrine and Covenants. He explained this matter as follows:
“In addition to the requirements for entering the celestial kingdom itself, one must also be faithful to the covenants of celestial or eternal marriage. Those who are exalted become gods, and therefore must be prepared to carry out the work of a god - creating and populating worlds -- hence, the need for an eternal marriage relationship." (Doctrines and Covenants, Our Modern Scripture, Richard O. Cowan, Brigham Young University Press 1978). (Please note he called Doctrine and Covenants “Our Modern Scripture.”)
That there is no such thing as an “eternal marriage,” nor deity to be bestowed on mortals is evident from what Jesus said. When the Sadducees questioned the Master about marriage in the resurrection, Jesus told them they erred, not knowing Scripture and added, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:29-30). But, apostle McConkie also set out the idea of eternal marriage as directly related to full salvation. He wrote:
“Salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom. With few exceptions this is the salvation of which the scriptures speak. It is the salvation which the saints seek. It is of this that Joseph Smith, Jr. had the Lord saying, “There is no greater gift than the gift of salvation.” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:13). This full salvation is obtained in and through the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and those who obtain it are gods.” (Op. cit.)
This apostle of the Latter Day Saints Church contradicts the very words of an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read from a true apostle to whom Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would be sent to safely guide the true apostles into all truth (John 16:13). Since Mormon doctrines cannot be found anywhere in that truth, it is obvious that McConkie and the other apostles of the Mormon religion are false apostles.
One of the conveniences of Mormonism about salvation is that if you miss out on it in this lifetime, you will allegedly have another chance to do something about it. This flatly contradicts what is taught in the Book of Mormon. The false doctrine of a second chance is certainly not in the Bible. The sole source of this error is in the doctrinal disclosures of their fantasy about “continuing revelation” and Doctrine and Covenants. Once more, in McConkie’s book, he writes about a plan of salvation for the dead! Listen to him:
“The great principles and procedures whereby the saving truths of the gospel are offered to, accepted by, and made binding upon the departed dead, comprise the doctrine of salvation for the dead. (Emphasis added, drs) Pursuant to this doctrine the principles of salvation are taught in the spirit world, leaving the ordinances thereof to be performed in this life on a vicarious proxy basis. By accepting the gospel in the spirit world, and because the ordinances of salvation and exaltation are performed vicariously in this world, the worthy dead can become heirs of the fulness of the father’s kingdom. Salvation for the dead is the system whereunder those who would have accepted the gospel in this life had they been permitted to hear it, will have the chance to accept it in the spirit world, and will then be entitled to all the blessings which passed them by in mortality.” (Page 673).
It is incredible to think that an apostle of the LDS could conclude such a view. Supposedly he would have read the Book of Mormon. Please recall, Mormon Doctrine is not taught in the Book of Mormon. Mormon Doctrine completely and flatly contradicts very plain statements of the Book of Mormon. If you have a copy of the Book of Mormon please read 2 Nephi 9:38:
“And in fine, woe unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God and behold his face, and remain in their sins.” (How is this possible if they have the chance to be free from their sins after they die? Shades of Socrates!)
The Book of Mormon teaches there is no end to the punishment of those who die in their sins, i.e., those who miss the celestial kingdom for not becoming members of the Latter Day Saints Church (which they aver is the only place of salvation) is clear from another Mormon “scripture.”
“And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the word God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire; prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end” (2 Nephi 9:16).
Please read further from the book called, Alma. This passage tells of an interesting exchange taking place between a character called Amulek, a prophet of God, and a very unscrupulous individual named Zeezrom. Zeezrom was very sly in his speech. He tried to get both Alma and Amulek to make a mistake. Alma turned on this wily fellow and made the following statement. The Book of Mormon presents a view of eternal punishment that in no way can possibly harmonize with this “second chance” falsehood.
Zeezrom asked Alma and Amulek for an explanation of the resurrection of the dead and of eternal destinies. Alma replied and explained.
“And they that will burden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until then know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” (Alma 12:11).
And later, in the same context, Alma continued:
“And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second death which is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.” (Alma 12:17).
The doctrines taught by Mormon apostles is not the biblical doctrine of salvation, and is not the doctrine taught in their very own alleged “other testament of Jesus Christ.” When Joseph Smith, Jr. dreamed up this false doctrine of eternal progression from eternity, to humanity here, to exaltation in a mythical celestial kingdom of various compartments, he had to dream up also a plan of salvation to fit it. That is what is wrong with the Mormon plan and that is another error made by this alleged apostle.
There is but one plan of salvation. It is only in the name of Jesus Christ, not Joseph Smith, Jr. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, where we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life that leads one to salvation here and heaven hereafter (John 14:6). I urge anyone who has been deceived by this false religion known as Mormonism, to abandon it now. Take your Bible and read it, study it and it alone and find what it teaches you to do in order to be saved.