Posts Tagged ‘atonement’

Are Mormons Saved?

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The answer to the question, “Are Mormons saved?” is yes, but a simple yes doesn’t really answer the question. Mormons use the term “saved” a little differently and the answer might depend on your definition of the term. The Bible uses the word “saved” to mean many different things, all of which the Mormons, a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accept. To understand the Bible, we have to consider the way the scriptures fit together and not look at single scriptures in isolation.

The atonement of Jesus Christ mormonMormons believe that we cannot save ourselves. No one can live a perfect life—only Jesus Christ was able to do that. He met all the requirements of a Savior and was the only One who could save us. What does it mean that He saved us?

Mormons teach that the atonement has two aspects. Some portions of it are given freely to all, regardless of the choices they make on the earth. For instance, because Jesus atoned for our sins, died on the cross, and was resurrected, we all are resurrected and live forever—even the wicked receive that particular gift. (more…)

Do Mormons Believe in Blood Atonement?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons, recently issued the following statement:

The atonement of Jesus Christ mormon

Mormons believe we are saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

In the mid-19th century, when rhetorical, emotional oratory was common, some church members and leaders used strong language that included notions of people making restitution for their sins by giving up their own lives.

However, so-called “blood atonement,” by which individuals would be required to shed their own blood to pay for their sins, is not a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in and teach the infinite and all-encompassing atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes forgiveness of sin and salvation possible for all people.” (See Mormon Church Statement on Blood Atonement.) (more…)

Do Mormons Believe You Can Work Your Way to Heaven?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

mormonThis question is often asked by evangelicals, and is, in general, a misunderstanding of the Mormon teachings on what happens after death and how we control that.

Many evangelicals teach that a person gets to heaven by being “saved.” This involves the act of accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. At the same time, they teach that acts cannot get you into Heaven. The Mormons also believe that a person must accept Jesus Christ as His Savior in order to return to God’s presence after death. Both groups agree that at least one act is required of all of us in order to be with God.

The confusion over the number of acts required to be saved comes from the differences in terminology used by Mormons. Mormons believe everyone is saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, even if they never accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, grace and eternal life, to a Mormon, are not the same thing. To understand this complex issue, let’s look at several essential points.

Do Mormons Do Stations of the Cross?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Stations of the Cross is a Catholic tradition that grew out of a desire to replicate pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Today, they help Catholics remember the final days of the life of Jesus Christ as they move through a series of wooden crosses that have been blessed by a person with the authority to do so and pray. Some consider it reparation for the suffering and loneliness of the Savior’s personal Via Dolorosa. Pope Pius XI considered it an obligation for Catholics and John Paul II praised those who make an effort to stand by the endless crosses the Savior endures even today through abuse and mistreatment from those who do not honor the Sacrifices He made for them.

Although Mormons don’t participate in a formal ceremony, they do teach the principle behind it. As Pope John Paul II said, we must stand beside the Savior.

Crucifixion Christ Cross MormonIn the April 2009 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , whose members are often called Mormons, Jeffrey R. Holland gave a powerful talk on this subject, called “None Were With Him.” He spoke of how the Savior was abandoned during much of the challenging last days. He spoke of the abuse and denial not just of those who did not personally know and love Him, but also of the treatment from those within His personal circle, beginning with Judas, who knew Him, traveled with Him and taught the gospel. Peter, James, and John slept while the Savior atoned for the sins of everyone who ever had and ever would live, including those who slept outside the Garden after being asked to stay awake. In the final moments, Elder Holland wrote: (more…)

What Do Mormons Believe About Adam and Eve

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Mormons see Adam and Eve very differently than most of the Christian world. Rather than blaming Eve for all our problems, we celebrate her as the mother of all living and honor her for making the hardest choices. Through the scriptures of the restoration and modern revelation, we have learned more about these two first ancestors.

Adam and Eve MormonAdam and Eve were created by Heavenly Father and placed into a peaceful place to begin their lives. We can think of this as replacing the protected childhood of most people. Here they had everything they could want and only one request to obey. This allowed them time to settle into their marriage and the unfamiliar world in which they were placed, and they could have chosen to stay there forever, had they wanted to do so. However, their progress would be very limited if they did so. They would not have children or progress through a normal lifespan. This would also mean they could not fulfill the purposes for which they were sent.

The story of Adam and Eve really begins long before their birth. Prior to the creation of the world, God createdspirits. These spirits had the form of the people who live on earth today, but did not have bodies. They did, however, have personality, talents, and the right to make choices. Each developed in his own way, becoming something of the person he would be on earth. (more…)

Do Mormons Abstain From Meat on Fridays?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Catholics teach that Christ died on Friday, and for that reason, they follow special penitential observances on Fridays, willingly suffering as He suffered, and traditionally, this has required the sacrifice of the eating of meat, something many people enjoy. They use Friday as a special time to draw closer to God, to become aware of their sins, and to work to overcome them. Although the bishop’s counsil suggests this is now voluntary, but encouraged, Catholics are still asked to use Friday as a day to draw closer to God and can substitute other penances. (Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence A Statement Issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops November 18, 1966)

Mormons do not abstain from meat, but there are other ways in which they too and focus on seeking forgiveness of and abandonment of their sins.

Mormon ChurchOne such method is the weekly taking of the Sacrament. Mormons are baptized for the remission of their sins at age eight, which Mormons consider the age of accountability. Thereafter, sins are repented of as they occur. Each week, during the Sacrament Service (the basic worship service), Mormons partake of the Sacrament of bread and water, in remembrance of the death of the Savior. At that time they renew the covenants they’ve made with him. While they needn’t be perfect to partake, they are expected to prepare themselves for the taking of the Sacrament by having examined their lives and repented of their sins. (more…)

Do Mormons Have Mass?

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Catholics have mass to show adoration to the Savior. They teach Jesus offered Mass at the Last Supper and that the bread and wine offered during mass are literally transformed into the Savior’s blood and body.

Mormon Church MeetingMormons have a similar celebration, called the Sacrament. It is offered during a weekly Sacrament Meeting, which is the primary worship service. There are differences between the Catholic and Mormon service, however.

Mormons use bread and water in the Sacrament. Although wine was used when Christ held the first Sacrament, Mormons teach that the bread and water only represent the blood and body of the Savior, rather than being transformed into the actual blood and body, and therefore, it is not important that water is used instead. (more…)

What does the Sacrament mean to a Mormon?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Personal Response by Bethany

To a Mormon, the Sacrament is very personal because it provides an opportunity for members to think about the great life, ministry, and Atonement of the Savior and how it applies and affects their individual lives. As written in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “the Sacrament focuses attention on the sacrifice for sin wrought by the Savior and the need for all those who have been baptized to maintain their lives constantly in harmony with his teachings and commandments.”  The word “Sacrament” refers to the Lord’s Supper in which Christ used emblems in similitude of the sacrifice He was soon to make.  Christ met with His Apostles and instituted the sacrament as written in Luke 22:19-20:

Mormon Sacrament19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which    is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The broken bread reminds Church members of the Savior’s body, His suffering, and that through His mercy everyone will be resurrected and given the opportunity to obtain eternal life.  The water is symbolic of the Savior shedding His blood in suffering and anguish which started in the Garden of Gethsemane and ended on the cross. (more…)

Why do Mormons believe in baptism by immersion?

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

In Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, he stipulates that Christ’s true church should have “One Lord, one faith, one baptism”; the particular form of baptism he is referring to is baptism by immersion. How do we know this? Well, we can infer that Paul’s instructions held a particular regard for baptism by immersion, mainly because it is the only form of baptism the gospels tell us about and the only form Christ himself participated in and subsequently approved of. Let’s take a look at Matthew 3:16 which recounts the event, and indicates immersion specifically:

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.”(Emphasis added)

Mormon BaptismBecause Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, and “went up straightaway out of the water”, we know that John was performing his baptisms by immersion. 1 Peter 2:21 instructs “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”. This scripture, in conjunction with John 3:5, inform the sinner that in order to receive re-birth and salvation they must first be baptized, in the same manner that the Savior received the ordinance. Romans 6:3-5 further clarifies the point, giving specific instruction on how baptism is to be performed: (more…)

How do Mormons view grief?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Personal Response by Karen Merkley

The lights aren’t always green. The bread isn’t always fresh. Tires go flat. Bills mound. People take ill and die at every stage of life. People struggle. Others starve. Wars go on.

Jesus Praying Gethsemane MormonGrief is part of the human experience. Opposition is necessary for growth, according to the Mormon view of our mortal experience, revealed by the Lord through modern prophets. It can, however, be lifted through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Mormons believe that the Savior not only died to pay for our sins but also to take upon Himself our sorrow, grief, and infirmities (Alma 7:11-12). (more…)