From the Missionary Guide – Preach My Gospel it says, “Our Father’s plan for us to be successful in this life and to return to live with Him is called the gospel of Jesus Christ, with Jesus’ Atonement at the center of that plan. He satisfied the demands of justice when he stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive eternal life if we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, are baptized by immersion for the remission of sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of hands, and strive to keep His commandments to the end of our lives.”
I agree with some of what is said. But, beyond exercising faith in Jesus Christ that He paid the penalty for our sins, nothing else is necessary or required of us to obtain eternal life.
The Guide also says, “In paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus did not, however eliminate our personal responsibility. We must show Him that we will follow His commandments.”
So, there is no assurance of having eternal life, unless you prove yourself worthy by working diligently to keep ALL, of His commandments?
Mormons also believe that, through the Atonement of Christ they can qualify for exaltation through obedience to all the laws and ordinances and first principles of the gospel. (Preach My Gospel)
Mormonism says that a person’s salvation must be earned. But this is not a biblical concept, in any way, shape, or form.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Paul validates that message in two of his epistles.
Colossians 2:13-15 and Ephesians 1:13-14
“And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
And then in Ephesians, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Paul is declaring that all sins – past, present, and future – are said to be forgiven, once for all.
The author of Hebrews says in chapter 10 verse 10 that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Verse 14 adds, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Note the emphasis on these verses: We are sanctified – made holy and perfect – through His atonement, when we accept Jesus as our Savior.
Please continue reading verses 15-18 in Ephesians chapter 1.
“Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”
But don’t you have to have good works in order to be saved?
Well, those good works come from the effects of the Atonement in our lives. When we accept Christ’s payment for our sins, we become new creatures in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
Paul goes on in verses 18-21, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Are you trying to say – the acts of our sinful nature are replaced with the fruit of the Spirit – which is love.
For a Christian, good works are done out of gratitude for the gift that has been received – the gift of eternal life.