The way of salvation according to Mormons refuted


Mormons teach that ‘Christ gave His life willingly and voluntarily for the redemption of mankind’ (James E. Talmage, A Study of the Articles of Faith, Salt Lake City, Utah (USA), 42nd edition, 1968, page 79). He ‘bore the weight of the sins of the whole world, not only of Adam, but of his posterity’ (Ibid., page 76). In other words, they teach that Christ offered Himself to make atonement for the sins of all. Talmage says: ‘The doctrine of the atonement comprises proof of the divinity of Christ’s earthly ministry, and the vicarious nature of His death as a foreordained and voluntary sacrifice, intended for and efficacious as a propitiation for the sins of mankind, thus becoming the means whereby salvation may be secured’ (Ibid., page 74).

At this point, however, it must be noted that Mormons teach two kinds of salvation, that is, general and individual salvation.

General salvation

General salvation is salvation from death through resurrection and comes to everyone, it is also called unconditional redemption for no condition needs to be fulfilled for a man to receive it. Joseph Fielding Smith gave the following explanation of it: ‘We need a little more explanation as to just what we mean by unconditional redemption. That means to restore us from this mortal state to the immortal state; in other words, to give unto us the resurrection. That comes to every creature, not only to men but also to the fish, the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field …. All of them had spiritual existence before they were placed upon the earth; therefore they are to be redeemed’ (Doctrines of Salvation, II, 10-11). Orson Pratt said about this kind of redemption: ‘We believe that through the sufferings, death and atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely and fully redeemed, both body and spirit, from the endless banishment and curse to which they were consigned by Adam’s transgression; and that this universal salvation and redemption of the whole human family from the endless penalty of the original sin, is effected without any conditions whatever on their part; that is, they are not required to believe or repent, or to be baptized, or do anything else, in order to be redeemed from that penalty …..The most righteous man that ever lived on the earth, and the most wicked wretch of the whole human family, were both placed under the same curse without any transgression or agency of their own, and they both alike will be redeemed from that curse, without any agency or conditions on their part’ (quoted by Talmage in A Study of the Articles of Faith, pages 477-478).

Individual salvation

Individual salvation means escape from hell and entrance into the highest heaven within the celestial kingdom (this salvation will be experienced at the end of the millennial reign and not immediately after death because according to Mormons at death those who have gained individual salvation go to paradise, which is not the celestial kingdom). For Bruce McConkie says: ‘Salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom’ (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1993, page 670). This salvation is called conditional redemption because it is obtained by man on certain conditions. Let us see then how one can receive individual salvation according to the Mormon doctrine. Articles 3 and 4 of the Articles of faith read as follows: ‘3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. 4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost’ (James Talmage, op. cit., page 1). Furthermore, a man must do the following things: he must receive endowment, which is ‘a course of instruction, ordinances, and covenants given only in dedicated temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, page 454); he must get married for both time and eternity in a temple ceremony; he must abstain from wine, coffee and tea; he must pay tithe, and keep all those precepts which command him to be honest and to love his neighbour as himself. A faithful Mormon must also be baptized for the dead and perform other ordinances on behalf of the dead if he wants to receive eternal life or to be exalted to the highest degree. As you can see, Mormons teach that one is saved by works, individual salvation depends on his merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel; Bruce McConkie wrote: ‘Conditional or individual salvation, that which comes by grace coupled with gospel obedience, consists in receiving an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God. This kind of salvation follows faith, repentance, baptism, receipt of the Holy Ghost, and continued righteousness to the end of one’s mortal probation …..Salvation in the celestial kingdom of God, however, is not salvation by grace alone. Rather, it is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel’ (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pages 669-670, 671). They affirm that since the transgression of Adam is infinite in its consequences, those consequences cannot be averted, except through an infinite atonement (cf. James E. Talmage, op. cit., page 479). They firmly reject the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone, for James Talmage calls this doctrine ‘pernicious doctrine’ and affirms that ‘the sectarian dogma of justification by faith alone has exercised an influence for evil’ (James Talmage, op., cit., page 480). Brigham Young was firmly opposed to the doctrine which says that a sinner may repent of his sins even just before death and receive eternal life through faith alone, for he wrote: ‘Some of our old traditions teach us that a man guilty of atrocious and murderous acts may savingly repent on the scaffold; and upon his execution will hear the expression – ‘Bless God! he has gone to heaven, to be crowned in glory, through the all-redeeming merits of Christ the Lord!’ This is all nonsense. Such a character will never see heaven’ (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8:61).

Faith in Jesus Christ and faith in Joseph Smith. It must be noted that even though Mormons speak of faith in Jesus Christ, faith in Jesus and faith in Joseph Smith their prophet must go together. For Joseph Smith, ‘the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it’ (Doctrine and Covenants, 135:3). Do you know what did Joseph Smith do? He restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why, according to Mormons, a man must believe in Joseph Smith. Unless a man believes in Joseph Smith, he cannot be saved. Here is what Brigham Young affirmed: ‘No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith … every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansions where God and Christ are – I cannot go there without his consent … he reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity and calling, as God does in heaven’ (Journal of Discourses, 7:289) and here is what Joseph Fielding Smith declared: ‘No salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth … then this knowledge is of the most vital importance to the entire world. No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the Kingdom of God’ (Doctrines of Salvation, pages 189-190)

Water baptism. Mormons teach that water baptism is absolutely necessary for the salvation of both the living and the dead. Here is what James Talmage says: ‘Baptism is necessary for salvation; for, inasmuch as remission of sins constitutes a special purpose of baptism, and as no soul can be saved in the kingdom of God with unforgiven sins, it is plain that baptism is essential to salvation …. And, as baptism is essential to the salvation of the living, it is likewise indispensable to the dead. This was known by the saints of old, and hence the doctrine of baptism for the dead was taught among them’ (James Talmage, op. cit., pages 128, 149). The Bible verse cited to support the baptism for the dead is 1 Corinthians 15:29. Therefore, the living may be baptized as substitutes for the dead – that is, for those who died without a knowledge of the ‘restored’ gospel. If the dead accept the baptism performed for them, this baptism is credited to their account, as if they had acted for themselves. You may ask at this point: ‘How can the dead hear the ‘restored gospel’ and thus believe in it?’ Well, you must understand that there are Mormon missionaries in the afterlife who goes into the spirit prison (which is a temporary hell) where the dead are temporarily kept and preach the ‘restored gospel’ to them so the dead have the opportunity to repent and believe in it!! We read in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism as follows: ‘As part of his redemptive mission, Jesus Christ visited the spirit world during the interlude between his own death and resurrection, and from among the righteous, He organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness – in other words to the spirits in prison ….. Thus, the gulf between paradise and Hell that is spoken of in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) was bridged by the Saviour’s ministry in the spirit world. This bridging allows interation among the righteous and wicked spirits to the extent that the faithful present the gospel to ‘those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets’ (D & C 138:32). Latter-day Saints believe that preaching the gospel in the spirit world continues today and will continue until every soul who wishes to do so and repents properly will be released from such imprisonment. Repentance of imprisoned spirits opens the doors of the prison, enabling them to loose themselves from the spiritual darkness of unbelief, ignorance, and sin. As they accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and cast off their sins, the repentant are able to break the chains of hell and dwell with the righteous in paradise’ (vol. 3, page 1406). It must be said, however, that baptism for the dead is not sufficient to enable the dead to obtain the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, for the living must also receive the laying on of hands for the dead, they must receive endowment in the Mormon temple for the dead, and last but not least the living (husband and wife) must be sealed to each other for both time and eternity in a temple ceremony for the dead. At this point, if the dead accept all these ordinances performed for them, they will gain exaltation!!

I would like to point out that even though Mormons teach that water baptism is administered for the remission of sins, actually the actual remission of sins comes through the laying on of the hands for we read in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: ‘While water baptism symbolizes purification and rising from death to life, the actual cleansing or remission of sins comes by obedience, and as a gift from God, ‘by fire and by the Holy Ghost’, by which the individual is born of God, having become a new creature’ (vol. 2, page 557). In other words, remission of sins is received through the laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost (called also baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost): ‘Among the most important spiritual blessings associated with the gift of the Holy Ghost is the sanctifying or cleansing power of the Holy Ghost, whereby men and women are born of God’ (Ibid., page 543), Joseph Smith remarked that ‘baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the baptism of the Holy Ghost’ (vol., 1, page 97).

Celestial marriage. As I said before, in order to receive the fullness of exaltation a man must have a wife, and a woman must have a husband, and a couple must be sealed to each other for both time and eternity in a temple ceremony. Here is what Bruce McConkie wrote: ‘Marriages performed in the temples for time and eternity, by virtue of the sealing keys restored by Elijah, are called celestial marriages. The participating parties become husband and wife in this mortal life, and if after their marriage they keep all the terms and conditions of this order of the priesthood, they continue on as husband and wife in the celestial kingdom of God …. Celestial marriage is the gate to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world …. The most important things that any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever does in this world are: 1. To marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority; and 2. To keep the covenant made in connection with this holy and perfect order of matrimony – thus assuring the obedient persons of an inheritance of exaltation in the celestial kingdom’ (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1993, pages 117-118). Therefore those who get married for both time and eternity will be gods in the life to come, their union will last forever. On the contrary, those who were married for time – that is, not in a temple – will be single in the life to come (thus their marriage will be dissolved by death), and will there live as angels, not as gods.

The millennium and the final state of man. In order to understand fully the doctrine of salvation taught by Mormons it is necessary to explain what they teach about the resurrection from the dead. Now, Mormons believe that Christ will return to earth to set up His millennial kingdom. He will reign personally upon the earth. They believe that there will be two resurrections: one at the beginning and one at the end of the millennium. At the beginning of the millennium the believing dead will be raised; these shall be caught up to meet the returning Lord in the air, and shall descend with Him. At this time the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet Him. Among those who are raised at this time will be included the heathen who were groping for the light, but did not hear the Gospel. This resurrection is called ‘the first resurrection’. As the millennium begins, all the wicked shall be burned as stubble, that is to say, they will be put to death. During the entire millennium the spirits of the wicked will remain in the prison-house of the spirit world. Here they will be able to repent and to cleanse themselves through the things they shall suffer. A great era of peace will now be ushered in. Satan will be bound, and his power will be restrained. At the end of the millennium all the wicked will be raised. This will be the second resurrection. Also at this time Satan will be loosed and will again assert his power, some of those living on the earth will follow Satan in his last attempt to deceive the nations, and will thus become Sons of Perdition. The hosts whom Satan will gather will include some from the inhabitants of the earth, and some from among the wicked dead who have just been raised. A last great battle will be fought, in which Satan and his hosts will be defeated. At the end of the millennium the earth will be renewed and will become a celestialized body fit for the abode of the most exalted intelligences. Now, let us see what the final state of man will be. Mormon theology assigns beings in the final state to four different groups.

The first of these groups consists of the so called Sons of Perdition. There are two classes of Sons of Perdition; the first class consists of the devil and his angels, while the second consists of human beings whose sins have also placed them beyond the present possibility of repentance and salvation. These are people who, having full knowledge of the power and purposes of God, rebelled against Him, putting Jesus Christ to open shame. Their transgression is also described as the unpardonable sin. The Sons of Perdition are a small portion of the human race and will be permanently consigned to hell. Their torment will be endless. The Sons of Perdition constitute the only group which shall not be redeemed. Those who are redeemed, however, will spend eternity in one of three different kingdoms. Beginning with the highest of these kingdoms, they are as follows:

1) The Celestial Kingdom. This kingdom will be located on this earth after its renewal and ‘is reserved for those who receive a testimony of Jesus and fully embrace the gospel, that is, they have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, are baptized by immersion by one having authority, receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and endure in righteousness. All who attain this kingdom shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever’ (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 1, page 368). Most of those who enter this kingdom receive full exaltation and are gods. Those who receive full exaltation will live forever with their spouses and shall continue to procreate children in the celestial state.

2) The Terrestrial Kingdom. ‘The inhabitants of the terrestrial kingdom are described as the honorable people of the earth who received a testimony of Jesus but were not sufficiently valiant in that testimony to obey all the principles and ordinances of the gospel. Also, those of ‘the heathen nations’ who died without law, who are honorable but who do not accept the fullness of the gospel in the postearthly spirit world, are candidates for the terrestrial glory’. In the hereafter, they receive the presence of the Son, but not the fullness of the Father’ (Ibid., pages 368-369).

3) The Telestial Kingdom. ‘Those who on earth are liars, sorcerers, whoremongers, and adulterers, who receive not the gospel, or the testimony of Jesus, or the prophets, go to the telestial kingdom. They are judged unworthy of being resurrected at the second coming of Christ and are given additional time in ‘hell’ to repent and prepare themselves for a later resurrection and placement into a kingdom of lesser glory. During this period, they learn to abide by laws they once rejected (….) At the end of the millennium they are brought out of hell and are resurrected to a telestial glory. There ‘they shall be servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end’. However, they do receive ‘of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial’ (Ibid., page 369).


Universal redemption is not scriptural

Does the Scripture talk about the universal redemption of the Mormon theology? No, it doesn’t. The Scripture speaks of the universal resurrection, that is, of the resurrection of the just and the resurrection of the unjust, but this resurrection is never called universal redemption nor unconditional redemption, because only the righteous will obtain the redemption of their body, even though the unrighteous also will be raised from the dead. Let me explain this concept through the Scripture. Paul says to the Romans: “Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23 – NKJV). However, these words apply only to those who repented of their sins and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to all men. That this full redemption applies only to the sons of God is evident from these other words that Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14 – NKJV). The Italian Bible Riveduta Version reads “fino alla piena redenzione di quelli che Dio s’è acquistati a lode della sua gloria” that is, “until the full redemption of those whom God purchased to the praise of His glory”. As you can see, only those who were purchased by God will be redeemed or will receive full salvation. The righteous will be redeemed when they are raised from the dead and transformed (those saints who are alive and remain till the coming of the Lord will be changed in a twinkle of an eye without tasting death), therefore at the resurrection.

As for the unjust, they also will be raised from the dead and will get a body which will not die any longer. However that body will not be glorious because they are to be cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, where they will be tormented forever. They will rise to be condemned. But their resurrection can by no means be called salvation because they are to be condemned. How could we say that the wicked will be saved from the first death in order to be condemned to the second death? Don’t you think that this would be a contradiction? As things are, it is wrong to call the final resurrection of all men ‘universal redemption’ because the Scripture speaks of the redemption of the body only in relation to the righteous.

What shall we say about the redemption of the fish, the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field? Nowhere does the Scripture say that they also will be raised, for only human beings will be raised from the dead.

Salvation is by grace and not by works

As we have seen, according to Mormons, salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom and those who will obtain it will become gods and will be able to procreate children. However, such a meaning given to the word salvation is foreign to the teaching of the Holy Scripture. When the Scripture says that one has been saved and obtained eternal life does not mean that one day he will become God and will be able to procreate children in the celestial state, rather it means that he has been delivered from this present evil age and he has the assurance that he will live with the Lord in His Kingdom forever. What must a man do in order to obtain salvation? He must repent and believe in the Gospel. For Jesus preached to the multitudes: “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15 – NKJV). And Paul exhorted both Jews and Gentiles to repent and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation. Therefore, according to the Scripture, salvation is obtained through repentance and faith in the Gospel. Thus Mormons are greatly mistaken when they affirm that in order to be saved faith is not sufficient. Their salvation is based on good works, while the salvation of which the Scripture speaks is based on faith. Therefore, a dying man can be saved if he repents of his sins and calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for it is written: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 – NKJV). What did one of the thieves do on the cross just before his death? Is it not true that he acknowledged his guilt and admitted that he deserved to be put to death for his sins, and he asked Jesus to have mercy on him? And is it not true that he was saved, for Jesus said to him: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43 – NKJV)?

A man can be saved through faith alone and not through good works, and therefore we are saved by grace alone apart from the good works. The following Bible passages support this important doctrine.

● “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31 – NKJV). Note that Paul and Silas did not say to the prison keeper of Philippi that besides believing he had to do something else as Mormons teach, but they told him that in order to be saved he had to believe in Jesus Christ.

● “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation, therefore, is something that believers have for they received it freely from God through faith. Where is boasting then? It is excluded by the law of faith. Believers have nothing to boast about before God for they have been saved by faith and not by works.

● “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Therefore anyone who believes is saved through the Gospel at once, without doing any good works but by faith alone.

● “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13). These words are very eloquent: we are saved through faith by the grace of God. This is what a man must do in order to be saved: he must believe in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and call upon His name. No other thing is required in order to receive salvation. That’s the Good News we preach to men.

In the light of these Scriptures, therefore, Mormons are greatly mistaken. Indeed they have perverted the way of salvation. Yes, they talk about grace, but, as we have seen, they give another meaning to it. They are like the Roman Catholics who talk about the grace of God and say that a man is saved by faith, but when one examines carefully their doctrine about salvation he finds out that according to their theology a man actually is saved by works and not by grace.

In order to be saved it is absolutely necessary to believe in Jesus Christ alone

Mormons have believed in Joseph Smith (who was a false prophet) rather than in Christ; that’s why they can’t affirm that they have been saved and their sins have been blotted out by the blood of Jesus. Of course, they talk about Christ, they talk about God, they say they are Christians, but their Christ is not the Christ of God, their God is not the God of our Lord Jesus Christ but another God. Their purpose is only one: to deceive us and thus to lead us astray. There is no doubt about it. Mormons missionaries announce another Christ and another Gospel, which cannot save people from their sins and eternal damnation, so beware of them. They are like those false apostles who were in the Church of Corinth, of whom Paul said the following things: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

As for us, we have believed in the One who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), that is, in Jesus Christ, and we will continue to proclaim that only Jesus Christ saves, only through Him a man can enter the Kingdom of God. He is the door, anyone who enters by Him will be saved. But he who believes in Joseph Smith “the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 – NKJV).

Neither water baptism nor the baptism with the Holy Spirit purifies man from his sins

Water baptism was instituted by the Lord, however it is not through water baptism that a man is cleansed from his sins, for it is not “the removal of the filth of the flesh” (1 Peter 3:21 – NKJV) – thus, sins are not cleansed by the water in which believers are immersed – but “an appeal to God for a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21 – NASB). To confirm this I remind you of the following words Peter spoke in Jerusalem concerning the purification of the hearts of the Gentiles worked by God: “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8-9 – NKJV). Peter did not say that God purified their hearts by water baptism (even though those Gentiles received water baptism, as it is written: “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” Acts 10:48 – NKJV), but by faith in Jesus Christ because remission of sins is obtained through faith as Peter said to those Gentiles: “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43 – NKJV). Therefore, to sum up, since faith precedes water baptism and remission of sins is obtained through faith alone, water baptism cannot blot out sins from man’s conscience.

Let me say now something about the baptism with the Holy Spirit, because as we have seen, according to Mormons it is necessary to obtain remission of sins. For Joseph Smith said that “Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the baptism of the Holy Ghost’ (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York-Toronto 1992, vol. 1, page 97). The baptism with the Holy Spirit is not necessary to receive remission of sins because as I have just showed remission of sins is obtained only through faith in Christ Jesus. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is necessary to be endued with power from on high, for Jesus said to His disciples: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you ….” (Acts 1:8 – NKJV), and not: ‘You shall receive remission of sins when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’ And since the Holy Spirit, once He has come upon a believer, enables him to speak to God with another tongue (cf. Acts 2:4), or with several tongues (if the believer receives the gift of different kinds of tongues), the baptism with the Holy Spirit enables a believer to pray to God and to give thanks to God with another tongue.

The baptism for the dead is useless

Those who died in their sins can by no means be saved because they are lost forever. Here are some passages taken from the Holy Scriptures which confirm what I have just said.

Jesus said to the Jews: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24), and also: “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5). Jesus said to Nicodemus: “He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18 – NKJV), and to His disciples He said: “He who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 – NKJV). John the Baptist said: “He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 – NKJV).

Therefore, when those who have refused to repent and to believe in the Gospel die, they will go to hell to be tormented. This is why Paul said to the Corinthians: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 – NKJV), because he knew that after death there is no possibility for sinners to be reconciled to God.

There are many other Bible verses that confirm that sinners go to hell (and there they will be waiting for the judgement day) and thus they have no chance to be saved after death. Here are some of them.

“For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life?” (Job. 27:8 – NKJV);

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17);

“They spend their days in prosperity and suddenly they go down to Sheol” (Job 21:13 – NASB);

“Whoever desires to save his life will lose it” (Matthew 16:25 – NKJV);

“He who loves his life will lose it …” (John 12:25 – NKJV).

In the light of all the above mentioned scriptures we affirm that water baptism can by no means save those who are in hell.

As for the words of Paul quoted by the Mormons to show that the early Church administered the baptism for the dead, I want to say the following things. Paul through them did not teach the Corinthians to be baptized for the dead. For if you read carefully his words, you will notice that he mentions the baptism for the dead in relation to the resurrection from the dead, that is to say, he mentions that baptism which was practiced by some in the Church of Corinth in order to ask the Corinthians why then some of them were baptized for the dead if the dead don’t rise at all as some affirmed. However, Paul did not say that those who were baptized for the dead did a good thing nor did he encourage the Corinthians to be baptized for the dead. Anyway, the meaning given by the Mormons to the baptism for the dead practiced by some Corinthians is absolutely wrong. If things were as Mormons say, there would be no need to preach repentance and the cross to the sinners, and it would be useless to pray for them so that God may save them, because there would be for them after death another possibility to be saved.

As for us, knowing that the doctrine of a second chance for sinners to be saved after death is a damnable heresy, we will continue to proclaim to men what Peter said to the Jews on the day of Pentecost: “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40 – NKJV) and to pray for them that God may save them.

How could Paul think that the baptism for the dead could save those who had died in their sins when he taught that water baptism could not save the living? How could Paul preach the baptism for the dead when he said that Christ did not send him to baptize (even though he baptized some believers), but to preach the Gospel (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:17)?

Celestial marriages are unscriptural

As we have seen, according to Mormons to obtain eternal life means to become God, and in order to obtain it a man must do many things because eternal life is given by God to those who keep the commandments of the Lord among which we find the commandment to get married for time and eternity in one of the Mormon temples.

Let us begin by saying that such a definition of eternal life is wrong because according to the Scripture to receive eternal life does not mean to become God. For according to the Holy Scripture, when one receives eternal life he receives this grace, to live with the Lord in heaven after death, that is to say, to live in paradise without his body. Then at the resurrection his soul will return to his body, which will be glorious, incorruptible and immortal. It must be said, therefore, that he who has eternal life is a mortal being and does not yet posses immortality because immortality will be given to him when he returns to live in his own body made by God immortal. However, the fact still remains that he has an immortal soul inside his body which at death will depart from it and go to heaven to be with the Lord. As for those believers who will not see death because when Jesus comes they will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, they, having eternal life, will receive an immortal body and with that body they will live with the Lord forever. Therefore, they also will obtain immortality when Jesus comes from heaven.

How does a man receive eternal life? By faith in Christ. Here are some Scriptures which attest this: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36), “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16), “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). As things are, therefore, eternal life is obtained freely from God and cannot be earned by good works: this is why it is written that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 – NKJV).

Now, let me say something about celestial marriages. They are contrary to the sound doctrine for Jesus said that “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:30 – NKJV). I remind you that Jesus said these words to the Sadducees, who said there is no resurrection (cf. Matthew 22:24-28). Therefore, according to the words of Jesus, every marriage is dissolved by death. This is confirmed by the following words of Paul: “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Romans 7:2-3). It should be noted that Paul says that if the husband dies, the woman is released from the law of her husband, thus she can remarry. This means that death puts an end to marriage and enables the spouse who is alive to remarry lawfully. Such a thing could not happen if marriage were valid even after the death of a husband or wife. In the light of these Scriptures, therefore, we affirm that the mormon doctrine of celestial marriages is a false doctrine.

If marrying for time and eternity were absolutely necessary to obtain the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, that is, eternal life, it should be recommended to all both by Jesus and the apostles. Do we find such a recommendation in their teachings? Not at all, for according to their teachings one is not bound to get married. For instance, Jesus said that those to whom it has been given are able not to marry (cf. Matthew 19:11) and some have made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matthew 19:12), not condemning at all those who make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. Now, I say: if Jesus, who came down from heaven and spoke the words of His Father, had known that in order to enter the kingdom of God (and obtain the highest degree of glory, according to Mormons) celestial marriages were absolutely necessary, would He have ever spoken those words? I don’t think, because with those words He would have hindered some of His disciples from obtaining the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom! Why did He speak those words then? It is simple, because He did not believe that His disciples were bound to get married (nor did He believe that they had to get married for eternity) in order to receive eternal life.

Now, let us come to the apostle Paul. He wrote to the Corinthians: “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that” (1 Corinthians 7:7), and also: “Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife” (1 Corinthians 7:27), and the same apostle says about the man who has to decide whether to give or not his daughter in marriage: “So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better” (1 Corinthians 7:38). Now, if we say that Paul wrote for our own profit, as he himself said, and if it were absolutely necessary to get married (even for eternity) in order to gain the highest degree of glory in the Kingdom of God, would Paul have written those words about marriage? Certainly not, because in that way he would have put a leash on us. Therefore, the fact that even Paul did not teach believers to get married for eternity proves that the doctrine of celestial marriage taught by Mormons is a false doctrine.

In conclusion, I want to say this: if things were as Mormons say, I can’t understand how the 144.000 men who did not get married (in that they are virgins) can follow the Lamb wherever He goes and how they can be firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, as it is written: “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4). For if we assume for the sake of argument that celestial marriage is absolutely necessary to receive the highest degree of glory in the Kingdom of God, how is it that those men who were not defiled with women follow Christ wherever He goes and thus in the ‘highest level’ of the celestial kingdom? As you can see, the Scripture does not support celestial marriage. Therefore, I urge you to reject this heresy taught by Mormons.

Giacinto Butindaro

About giacintobutindaro

I am a minister of the Gospel, living and serving God in Italy
This entry was posted in Apologetics, heresies, Mormons, Salvation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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