Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mormonism Does Not Teach That We Work Our Way into Heaven

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.


Anonymous said...

Have you asked them what they mean by "works," when discussing this issue? Most probably don't mean what you think they mean, and they don't understand that what they call "works" is not Mormonism. Start discussing the Ten Commandments and Love Your Neighbor stuff and they quickly start going into circles trying to excuse themselves from downplaying those.

Papa D said...

Anonymous, you obviously haven't read my blog. I am an active, practicing, believing Mormon, so "them" is me - and I have talked with WAY more in my lifetime than you have, I am sure.

Your characterization is grossly inaccurate, speaking generally. We struggle to live the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ as much as most, but disregarding or downplaying the Ten Commandments and the central commandment to love is not an issue in the LDS Church, again speaking generally. There are some people who are not loved as much as they should be loved, as a group, but that is true for you, as well, judging by your comment.

As directly as I can say this, condemning an entire group of people for not loving others is more than slightly hypocritical. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that includes Mormons - and that includes me, specifically. It also includes you. We are in the exact same boat in that regard.

Finally, my comment policy is clearly stated. I am leaving your comment in place in order to write this response, but I have no patience for sweeping condemnations and grossly inaccurate mischaracterizations - of anyone, not just Mormons. I welcome a clarification, if you read this comment and would like to clarify, but any more hyperbolic condemnations will be deleted without commentary, per my comment policy.