Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

3
Aug

Mormonism’s Road to God: Rituals and Rules

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in Mormonism

Your Path to Heavenly Father

The July 2016 issue of Friend, a Mormon periodical for teaching children, includes an article entitled “Your Path to Heavenly Father.” The article presents a game to teach children to recognize the “necessary steps” to salvation or to going back to Heavenly Father, and to distinguish those steps from other mundane activities such as biking or reading. Here is the list of “steps to salvation”:

  1. Premortal life
  2. Get a body
  3. Be baptized
  4. Receive the Holy Ghost
  5. Take the sacrament
  6. Keep the commandments
  7. Go to the temple
  8. Be sealed to your husband or wife
  9. Be resurrected

Strikingly, the list says nothing about repenting of one’s sins or putting faith in Jesus Christ as one’s Savior. Instead, the “steps” are all about undergoing rituals and following rules. Read the rest of this entry »

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21
Jun

What Does the Atonement Actually Accomplish?

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in Mormonism, theology

This past week, Mormons throughout the world were studying the subject of atonement in chapter 12 of their doctrinal manual Gospel Principles. I offer a counterpoint in my response to chapter 12, another installment in IRR’s Gospel Principles Scripture Study Guide.

Perhaps one of the most interesting issues pertaining to this subject is the question of what the atonement actually accomplishes. As I argue in my response to Gospel Principles, LDS theology does not view the atonement as actually accomplishing what the word atonement means—namely, reconciliation with God the Father. The atonement in LDS theology does not reconcile us to God; it does not eliminate spiritual death; and it does not even eliminate the debt we owe because of our sin. Instead, as I try to show in that article, LDS theology views the atonement as merely making it possible for us to repay the debt, overcome spiritual death, and become reconciled to the Father by our good works. If you’re a Mormon, you might find my description of LDS doctrine surprising or even shocking. That’s okay—I was rather taken aback myself. Read the article and see for yourself.

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This is the first post in an occasional series that will appear on this blog, dealing with frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the doctrine of the Trinity. This series will not be providing an overview of the biblical teaching concerning the Trinity. For such an overview, please see my outline study on the Trinity, which cites about a thousand pertinent biblical references. If you have a question on the Trinity not addressed in that outline study and that you would like to see answered here, please email us with your question, and we will consider it for inclusion here. You can find our email address by visiting our ministry’s home page and clicking on “Email” in the upper right corner.

The first question I will address is perhaps one of the most popular objections to the doctrine, even though it does not address the positive evidence for the Trinity in Scripture. Here it is: If belief in the Trinity is essential for salvation, why is the doctrine not clearly or plainly set out, in so many words, in the Bible? Why does the Bible never say “God is a Trinity” or “There are three persons in the one God,” or something equally explicit as an affirmation of the doctrine? And if no such statement is there in the Bible, how can belief in the doctrine be essential for salvation? Read the rest of this entry »

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