I think it is incorrect to say that Mormonism teaches that we work our way into heaven, even though too many members (including leaders) see and talk about it that way. Mormonism teaches that faith and works are a balance - that works alone won't exalt anyone, but neither will work-less faith. Mormonism teaches that faith is a belief that motivates action - in the purest sense, the Biblical concept of bearing fruit by being connected to the vine. Mormonism also teaches that works would be absolutely pointless without the Atonement - that they would be "dead works". I think that last point is such an assumed given that it doesn't get addressed nearly enough, but it absolutely is there in spades.
As is the
case with most things, the extremes are easier, so too many people
gravitate to faith without works or works without faith - but I think
most members understand and would agree with what I just wrote,
especially if I had a chance to explain it to them in more detail.
Here in my waiting place
1 hour ago