Do Mormons believe Jesus, and only Jesus, can save them?

I don’t know much about Billy Graham. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but if I can assume that this article is referring to Mormonism, then he has some facts wrong about what Mormons believe. In the article he answers a question that asks “How do we know that the books we have in the Bible are the only ones that are supposed to be there? A man I work with belongs to a religious group that claims the Bible wasn’t complete until their founder discovered some additional books that God revealed to him.” Now, if that question isn’t referring to Joseph Smith and Mormonism, I’m not sure what it is referring to. Maybe there is another religion out there that it could match up with.

But where Graham gets it wrong is when he says “Without exception, these later so-called ‘revelations’ deny the Bible’s teaching about Jesus’ divinity, or say that He cannot save us.” In this case, he is making a blanket statement about any religion that claims to have scriptures other than the Bible, which certainly matches with Mormons, if not with any other religions. Graham may have it right when it comes to some other religion I don’t know about, but Mormons do not deny the Bible’s teachings about the divinity of Jesus, nor do we say that He cannot save us.

Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Nobody else is. Oh, we’re all spiritual children of God, to be sure, but only Christ had God as his father in this world. With a body created half by God and half by a mortal, Christ had powers none of the rest of us has. I suspect this power was necessary for him to perform the Atonement, when he suffered for all our sins, in that any fully mortal man’s body could not have withstood it. But Christ had power over death, and therefore could support the anguish of the Atonement without his spirit separating from his body, which is the definition of death.

Mormons certainly don’t say that Jesus can’t save us. If he can’t, who can? There is no one else Mormons look to for salvation other than Jesus Christ. There is no one else we can look to. As far as I understand, God himself cannot do for us what is achieved through Christ, although of course God does do it, but only through Christ.

But perhaps I misunderstand. Perhaps Graham is misinterpreting the Mormon belief that Christ cannot save us in our sins.  That is, Mormons believe that in order to be saved, one must do what God and Christ say is necessary to gain salvation. Some religions claim all that is necessary is to believe in Christ. If by “believe in Christ” they mean keep his commandments, follow him, be baptized in his church, and do everything else he tells us to do, then yes, we believe likewise. If they mean all one has to do is say the words “I believe in Christ” with no change of heart, no change of actions, no repentance, etc., then no, we do not believe Christ has the power to save such a person, because he himself has said that only those who do his will, which is God’s will, can be saved. And of course the person who says they believe in Christ but then does not do what he says they need to do is lying. But I’m not sure if I know what Graham is referring to or not. I’m just guessing.

Comments

  1. I will admit from the start that I am not fully acquainted with the mormon religion. I am concern about the people in the LDS religion if what I've heard is in fact true. I read the tenent of the faith of the mormons and it's not according to the scripture. But if you've been indoctrinated in the mormon religion you will have a hard time looking at your belief system objectively. You have to shake the core of your BS in order to understand the simplicity of the message of Jesus. Consider the following scripture and lets stay with in the limites of the 66 books of the canonized bible.

    Rv 22:18-19 says the following: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (NIV)

    This scripture refers the the entire bible, not just the book of Revalation.

  2. Do you as a Mormon believe that not all sins are covered by Jesus shed blood?

    • I believe the Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite. It is enough and to spare to cover all the sins ever committed. Whether an individual’s sins are forgiven is now up to that individual, depending upon that individual’s choices. I believe the Atonement also erases the sins of those who sin in ignorance.

      • What happens if an individual commits a sin is forgiven and further along his life he commits the same sin? Can he be forgiven a second time for the same
        sin?

        • How about Murder, Adultery, Idolatry?

          • As long as someone is capable of repenting I believe they’re capable of being forgiven. The Atonement has no limits, but if someone rejects the Atonement God won’t force it on them.

        • Christ told his disciples to forgive 70 times 7. I assume he would do the same for anyone who sincerely repents.

          • Can you explain this quote:Murder is condemned in latter-day scripture just as it is in the ten commandments and numerous other passages in both the Old and the New Testament. The Doctrine and Covenants declares that “thou shalt not kill” (D&C 42:18). The murderer “shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come” (D&C 42:18).

          • HOW about this Quote from Spencer Kimball : D&C 58:42-43:

            “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

            “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins – behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”

            Forsaking the sin does not mean “for a while” (however long) or “until the next time you do it.” In the 1984 tract Repentance Brings Forgiveness, Mormon Prophet Spencer Kimball explained the last verse this way: “The forsaking of sin must be a permanent one. True repentance does not permit making the same mistake again.”

            Failure to repent – to stop sinning and start keeping all God’s commandments – will result in the denial of grace, mercy and forgiveness, and require the infliction of sore and exquisite punishment (See, D&C19:15-18).

          • Your nose is growing Pinocchio

          • I believe this. True repentance is something that must be maintained. An individual may repent for a time, but then fall back into old ways. If he does, then he has not truly repented. But what of the person who is at the stage where they are living in a state of apparent true repentance? We do not know if they will return to the sin. They themselves may not know. In these cases we are commanded to forgive them 70 times 7. In fact we are commanded to forgive all men, regardless, and leave eternal judgments to God.

          • Salvation then by works? Jesus provides it on a conditional basis, but we must work to maintain it?

          • D&C is speaking to members of the Church (this is clearly stated if you include the entire verse, rather than just the section you quoted). Members of the Church have theoretically been taught how serious a sin murder is. If so, they have put themselves in a place where they do not have the ability to repent of such a sin. Other scriptures such as 3 Nephi 30:2 make it clear that those who kill in ignorance can be forgiven, since men are only responsible for those laws of God which they understand:

            “Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.”

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