In order to understand the differences between Being saved in Christianity vs being saved as Mormonism describes it, we must define the word salvation, according to how the LDS church defines the word.
In the book, Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, we read under the title, Salvation, page 669-670. There are two forms of salvation.
1st. General Salvation.
In short, it means every one will be raised from the dead.
That which comes by grace coupled with gospel obedience, consists in receiving an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God. This kind of salvation follows faith, repentance, baptism, receipt of the Holy Ghost, and continued righteousness to the end of one’s mortal probation. (D and C 20:29;2 Ne. 9:23-24.) All others are damned, for as Amulek said: “How can ye be saved except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven?” Futher: Christ “shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else. Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.” (Alma 11:37-41.) Even those in the celestial kingdom, however, who do not go onto exaltation, will have immortality only and not eternal life. Along with those of the telestial and terrestrial worlds they will be “ministering servants, to minster for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.” They will live “separately and singly” in an unmarried state “without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity.” (D and C. 132:16-17.)
3. 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 which the Lord says, “their is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.” (D and C. 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. (D and C. 131:1-4;132.) 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 angles, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirt, 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. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol 2, pp. 1-350.)
Now, according to this view of salvation, I have a few problems. Bruce admits that not all will be saved. He does not say they will go to hell, but that not everyone will be saved. He states that in order to enter the highest heaven, which is truly salvation, you must be married. This is not merely his own opinion, but it is a teaching of the LDS church. Read the book, “Achieving a Celestial Marriage.” It also states this idea. So all the LDS who die before being married and sealed in the temple, I guess there goes your salvation! Here is something that really should bother anyone, even a faithful LDS member: Bruce said,
If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation.
If the restoration were really True, then it would be because of the Lord, not Joseph Smith. Lets not place Joseph Smith on any sort of pedistal. He was a mere man like everyone else. The other thing that bothers me is,
There is no salvation outside of the LDS church.
I suppose if this is true, then not ALL will be saved. How could they? Let’s look at some verses now.
1 Ne. 6: 4
4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.
1 Ne. 13: 37
37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb.
1 Ne. 13: 40
40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.
1 Ne. 22: 31
31 Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.
2 Ne. 2: 9
9 Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
2 Ne. 6: 12
12 And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfill his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.
2 Ne. 9: 23
23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
2 Ne. 10: 24
24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.
2 Ne. 25: 13
13 Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
2 Ne. 25: 20
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.
2 Ne. 31: 15
15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
2 Ne. 31: 16
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
2 Ne. 31: 21
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
2 Ne. 33: 12
12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.
Jacob 6: 4
4 And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long; and they are a stiff necked and a gainsaying people; but as many as will not harden their hearts shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
Mosiah 4: 8
8 And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.
Mosiah 12: 33
33 But now Abinadi said unto them: I know if ye keep the commandments of God ye shall be saved.
Mosiah 13: 32
32 And now, did they understand the law? I say unto you, Nay, they did not all understand the law; and this because of the hardness of their hearts; for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.
Mosiah 16: 13
13 And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?
If hell is not real, then when these verses speak about being “saved,” I must ask, what are we saved from? Also, reading the verses I posted from the BoM, I must say, they do not fit the context of salvation according to Bruce McConkie. What I mean by not fitting the context is this: these verses say we cannot be saved if we don’t repent or believe on Jesus Christ. So how does that fit with being “saved” being nothing more than rising from the dead, or that we must be married to enter the 3rd heaven.
Now here are more verses from the LDS scriptures that mention eternal hell or damnation.
Jacob 7: 18
18 And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the devil. And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment.
Alma 42: 16
16 Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.
D&C 19: 11
11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.
D&C 76: 44
44 Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment
We also read in the Book, “Miracle of Forgivness,” that no one on their death bed can repent. How can they be saved if they are not allowed to repent? What about people who commit murder?
Doctrine and Covenants 42:18 says, “…he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.”
Joseph Fielding Smith taught, “Murderers Denied Vicarious Ordinances…we do not have the privilege of performing the ordinances for murderers who shed innocent blood, nor for those who take their own lives…If we find in our record one of this kind, we should pass him by and not attempt to do the work for him…” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:192)
If people who commit murder cannot be forgiven, then I guess not all can be saved.
The Prophet Spencer Kimball Achieving a Celestial Marriage manual pg 30 makes it very clear we must do certain things to enter the temple to be saved. He gives a list of 6 things called (TEMPLE RECOMMEND INTERVIEW). It says When you are interviewed for a temple recommend you will be asked about,
1. Church attendance
2. Payment of tithes and offerings
3. Loyalty to Church leaders.
4. Moral cleanliness.
5. overall faithfulness and worthiness.
6. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.
Notice it says “Obedience to the Word of Wisdom.” Yet Many LDS members do not follow this. Also we read in Gospel Principles pg 125: WE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. To make our repentance complete we must keep the commandments of the Lord (see D and C 1:32). we are not fully repentant if we do not pay tithes or keep the sabbath day holy or obey the word of wisdom. We are not repentant if we don’t sustain the authorities of the church and don’t love the lord and our fellow man. Yet again many LDS do not meet this requirement.
If we do not do these things, we cannot be saved. Now you can read all of the book of Acts and all of chapter 16, but here is the easiest and simplest way to be saved.
Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Now you decide, do you want to be a Mormon and follow all these rules and still never know if you are saved? Or do you want to simply call out to Jesus and be saved?