What is required for salvation - is Faith alone sufficient - or are works required?
Do we Earn our way to heaven?
Does requiring Works, i.e. baptism, laying on of hands for holy ghost etc. obedience to the commandments mean that an individual is actually "Earning" their way to heaven?
Let us talk about the term "Earn". If I am to say that I can Earn my way to heaven.. then what I am really saying is that by my own efforts, my own actions, and through my own capability I can receive the reward of living in the presence of God.
If this were so... we would be denying the atonement of Jesus Christ and its importance in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If this were so... we would be denying that all mankind are in a fallen state, that all are fallen, that all are lost, and would forever be lost were it not for the atonement of Jesus Christ.
We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the Laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
Were it not for the atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind would be in a fallen and a lost state.
For all have fallen short of the glory of God and all have sinned.
Thus all are under the penalty of the breaking of the commandments of God, which penalty is death and separation from God.
Therefore, it is impossible for any man to earn his way to heaven... for they have all sinned.. and as such are under the penalty of the law! (Save Jesus Christ!)
The justice of God cannot be denied... anyone who is unclean may not return to the presence of God.
No man having committed sins and being of the seed of Adam and thus temporal and going to die can save himself and cause himself to return to the presence of God... save it be through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
No man can earn his way to heaven... since this would deny the justice of God in punishing the sinner.
No man can claim the right to be in the presence of God having committed Sin... being unclean!
It is through the atonement of Jesus Christ ALONE... that an individual may receive a remission of their sins, as well as be resurrected and be redeemed from the consequences of Adam's transgression.
Therefore, when an individual is said to qualify himself to receive a remission of sins... that same individual cannot claim that he has earned the right to return to the presence of God. For were the atonement of Jesus Christ not in effect, the acts and deeds of the individual attempting to qualify himself to receive a remission of sins would be in vain and of null effect!!
Rather, because God has commanded that all men everywhere have faith in his Son, exercise that faith by repenting of all their sins, and by being baptized, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.. and if they do so they will receive a remission of their Sins. Because God has commanded/promised this... and because these requirements were put into effect by him and are taught to his people through prophets and scriptures... then the man who is obedient to the commands and words of God can lay claim on the blessing that is thus promised to him. This man who is obedient, who obeys God's word, and who actually does what God has commanded may lay claim to the blessing, the receipt of a remission of ones sins... and justly so!
Did he earn it? No... for he is under the penalty of sin and is thus damned.. and Justly so (were it not for the atonement).
Did he qualify for a receipt of a remission of sins? Yes... for he was obedient to what he had been told to do to receive this blessing!
Is he forever and eternally indebted to the atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan of God that allowed him to receive a remission of his sins and once again return to God's presence? Yes...
Oh... the greatness of the Plan of God.. the mercy and the knowledge of him who is mighty to save!
Can we say to much concerning Jesus Christ and his atonement!!
Can you not see that it is through his Grace that we are saved?
Can you not see that it is our obedience to his commands that qualify us for salvation, and that this does not discount or diminish the grace given to the sinner by God and his Son?
Can you not see the mercy... and the justice of God in punishing the sinner and rewarding the righteous for their deeds in being obedient to God?
Can you not see that this truly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ... that it is taught in the scriptures and that it is fair, just and merciful to all?
How awful is the doctrine of Salvation through grace and faith alone... no requirements at all... save some confession. This denies the justice of God and claims that there is no requirements for salvation save a confession of belief only. The devils only believe and are damned because they have no works.
(with works following... perhaps... if the individual is so inclined... And even worse the once saved always saved doctrine!!)
How awful is the doctrine of damnation to all who do not accept Jesus Christ in this life. (What an unjust God to damn those who know not anything concerning him or his plan!)
How awful is the doctrine of nullifying the accountability of mankind for their own actions and sins because they are "Saved" and need not fear. (Thus allowing sin to go unpunished and thus nullifying sin and its consequences)
How awful is the doctrine of no pre-existence and the creation of man from nothing with no eternal nature / characteristics of the individual... for if God created us this way... is he not then responsible for the actions of his creations... how then is agency truly free? Would we not be made in the way God wants us... and as such are not we merely doing as we have been created? (Pre-destination!! and the destruction of agency)
2 Nephi 9:5-40... please read this... it is such a wonderful representation of the absolute and complete necessity of the atonement of Jesus Christ and the reason why it is through Jesus Christ that any man is saved! not by any earning of his own... And yet there are requirements for this gift of grace that must be completed before the law allows a remission of sins to be granted.
Are there requirements for salvation?
Some have said "I do not see how it is biblical in any sense of the word to state that Baptism is required"
Does it not clearly state:
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
How more plain can it be... does anyone discount that these verses speak of Baptism? If so... show me for I can get no other interpretation out of them than that. Furthermore, these are not the only scriptures concerning the necessity of baptism and the commandment to be baptized... It is not a doctrine based upon a select few scriptures... as some would state concerning baptism for the dead. How can we discount the evidence that it is a requirement?
What then of the requirement of repentance - there is a commandment to repent - every one of us that we may receive a remission of sins.
Salvation is a process and that process has been clearly defined:
- Jesus Christ Pays the penalty of our sins - through his atonement
- When an individual accepts the atonement they can receive a remission of their sins
Faith in Jesus Christ
Baptism by immersion - by one having authority
Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost - by one having authority
- This is the way and the means by which a remission of sins is granted
- There is no other way
If an individual has not follows this path - has not accepted Jesus Christ and followed the covenant path to receive a remission of sins through this pattern. They will not receive such. Eventually all will do so.
For every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ. There will come a time when everyone save the sons of perdition will accept and receive a remission of sins to accept the glory in their resurrection. Some to exaltation, and others to the glory they were willing to receive after having received salvation through Jesus Christ
If grace alone is sufficient why then did Moroni teach otherwise: Moroni 10:32
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
It can be no clearer than that - they must do, they must receive, they must fulfill the law before the blessing of that law can be applied through the grace of Jesus Christ.
Note the words "by keeping the commandments" they are washed clean. It is a requirement before they are saved - not as some sort of after effect of being saved.
A Requirement - comes before the blessing not after the blessing is given. i.e. if I were to not obey and yet have perfect faith I would not be saved. In fact that is the state of a Son of Perdition, and the devils. They know - and yet are not saved because of their disobedience and choice to not obey.
It is a dangerous slope to say we need not obey and that "Grace" alone is sufficient. it is not. It is through our obedience that we are cleansed of our sins. For it is through obedience that we put ourselves in a state that the law applies to us.
Remind students that while we are saved only through the merits, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ, the prophets in the Book of Mormon taught what we must do to access the Savior’s redeeming power. Mosiah 4:6–8,2 Nephi 25:23
“‘After all we can do’ includes extending our best effort. It includes living his commandments.....
After all we can do’ means leading chaste, clean, pure lives, being scrupulously honest in all our dealings and treating others the way we would want to be treated” Ezra Taft Benson
works come before salvation.
Where does it show that repentance is required before forgiveness:
That's called repentance - repentance is a requirement for a remission of ones sins - it occurs before he forgives us.
John 3:3,5, D&C 19:15-20, D&C 76:51-53, D&C 59:21, D&C 58:43, D&C 58:42, Moroni 10:32-35
John 3:3,5 - except a man be baptized he cannot enter - a work
True repentance, followed by baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, brings forgiveness. Such repentance is impossible without faith in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we choose to repent - and turn our hearts fully to the saviour then he will heal us spiritually.
When we repent “with full purpose of heart,” “immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about” in our lives. The Savior will heal us. (After we repent)
Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for our sins so we can be forgiven if we sincerely repent. As we repent and rely on His saving grace, we will be cleansed from sin.
Because God has commanded that all men everywhere have faith in his Son, exercise that faith by repenting of all their sins, and by being baptized, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.. and if they do so they will receive a remission of their Sins. Because God has commanded/promised this... and because these requirements were put into effect by him and are taught to his people through prophets and scriptures... then the man who is obedient to the commands and words of God can lay claim on the blessing that is thus promised to him. This man who is obedient, who obeys God's word, and who actually does what God has commanded may lay claim to the blessing, the receipt of a remission of ones sins... and justly so!
i'm not a fan of faith only, no requirements based salvation. as stated above :) My God is a God of law, and of order, and of requirements and of blessings and of cursing.
If faith alone is required why do we teach our christian friends?
Just another thing to think about - all of our evangelical friends, and Christians of any other belief system, catholic, protestant, 7th day Adventist or what have you - must by this doctrine be saved and have no need of baptism, or the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. They surely have faith in Jesus Christ, and surely believe that it is through him that they are saved! I'm sure that each and every one of them has "Called upon the name of Jesus Christ to be saved". Why then do we send missionaries to them?
How many works must we do to be saved?
Why you have to do the works that he has required: There isn't some sorta quota - nor are we earning our salvation - thus to quantify how much is required is not a valid question. Yet we must do as he has commanded, and through our obedience and repentance we become qualified to receive his forgiveness.
the gift of grace or mercy is received as a believer repents, enters into the specified covenants, and receives the Holy Ghost. This action of acceptance on our part opens the door for the process of justification (remission, or pardoning, of sins) and sanctification (cleansing from sin) to work in us—something we may refer to as being born again:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Justification and sanctification are accomplished by the grace of Christ, which grace is a gift to man based on faith. But our moral agency is also a necessary element in this divine process. We must will to repent and act to repent. We must elect to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and we must elect to remain loyal to our covenants thereafter. To receive the gift we must act in the manner He has ordained.