Discussion 6 – Membership in the Kingdom
There are six principles the missionaries discuss in this lesson, they are:
“The Roles of Jesus Christ in the Plan of Salvation”
“Exaltation Through Christ and his Church”
“The Mission of the Church: Perfecting the Saints”
“The Mission of the Church Proclaiming the Gospel”
“The Mission of the Church: Redeeming the Dead”
“The Strait (sp?) and Narrow Path”
In the first principle Jesus is given many roles, among them is judge. The discussion states:
“Jesus Christ will be our Judge. When our mortal life is over, he will judge us by our works and desires. He will be our advocate with the Father.”
Okay, first there are two judgments spoken of in the Bible. Believers are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12). This isn’t to determine their salvation, it’s for the believer to give an account to the Lord of their service to him.
The second judgement is for unbelievers called Great White Throne of Judgment. These individuals have rejected Jesus Christ. Revelation 20:12 says they will be judged on what is written based on what they have done. In other words, they are the ones who will be judged on their “works”.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we aren’t judged on our works, because we have been saved by grace through our faith. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. No work we do can compare to what was already done on the cross.
Exaltation is the way Mormons become gods in the next life. Many Mormon leaders have taught that salvation/eternal life only comes through membership in their church.
This discussion teaches:
“We call this gift exaltation, eternal life, or salvation. It is given to those who are worthy and have prepared themselves for it during this life. To become worthy of exaltation, we must be freed from spiritual death through the atonement of Christ.”
Mormons believe in a sort of universal salvation, in that everyone will receive some degree of glory. (Remember the three heavens, or degrees of glory spoken of in a previous lesson?) Everyone, no matter how they lived while they were on earth will receive some glory, but only Mormons who have received their temple endowments will be exalted.
Becoming worthy of exaltation is a process. You may have heard Mormons talk about “eternal progression”, well progressing to godhood is what they are talking about.
Mission of the Church
Working for the Salvation of Others
In Mormonism they refer many times to the “threefold mission of the church”, which is:
Perfecting the Saints
Proclaiming the Gospel
Redeeming the Dead
The Church perfects the Saints by giving the members opportunities to serve others in and out of the Church. Church leaders serve by leading, and guiding the members as they give counsel and administer to them. (Remember: Mormons believe their leaders are called by God to lead them, so they would never lead them astray, right?)
The second way the Church fulfils its mission is by sharing the Mormon Gospel to anyone willing to listen. Once you become a member of the Mormon Church you have an obligation to share what you’ve learned with your family and friends, and invite them to listen to what the Missionaries have to say.
Once you have become a member of the Church it’s up to you to begin your family history work, and attending the temple so you may be baptized by proxy for you dead relatives. The Church teaches that once you have received these so-called salvation ordinances it’s up to you to perform these same ordinances for those who have died.
Once you have been baptized into the Mormon Church, “you will have started on the path that leads to perfection and eternal life with our Father in Heaven. “
After baptism, Mormon leaders will place their hands upon your head to tell you to “receive the Holy Ghost”. After you have received the Holy Ghost you must live worthy have the Holy Ghost’s guidance with you always. This means you must:
Repent of your sins
Keep the Commandments
Serve in the Church
Obey the Word of Wisdom
Attend the Temple
And so on….
Mormons are very concerned about remaining worthy to attend the temple, there is nothing more important to them. In doing so they miss out on what Jesus has done for them. He died on the cross so that we wouldn’t have worry about working toward perfection and salvation. As we learn in Romans 3:10, “there is none righteous, no, not one:”.