It seems that Mormons have the idea that it is faith plus works (Jesus Plus) that gets you into heaven. This is a blatant contradiction with non-Morman Christians (I don't know enough about Catholicism but I think this sentence should also say non-Catholic Christians, but like I sad, I am not sure). Edits in Red. Thanks to those of you who have helped me understand the beliefs in the Mormon church. I certainly don't want to offend or hurt any who practice Mormonism I simply want to learn more.
I know this topic is heavily debated amongst various churches. My only position is that any church or view that is works based is 100% wrong (read Galations for clarification). I do not claim to know that Mormons believe works in the currently life get you to the afterlife or adhere to legalism while on earth. Rather I want to learn more about the debate.
It is important to note that even though Mormons use Christianese, many of the significant theological terms have completely different meanings (This is true with Islam as well...It can take 45 minutes of using a term in a conversation to realize that the meaning is completely different). It is difficult to fully comprehend the differences when you are used to hearing terms used in one context, but once you grasp some of these ideas, you will see some extremely significant differences. The entire gospel in one of these religions is not only different but the exact opposite of the others. Here are some theological vocab examples.
Repent – Mormons believe that repentance is turning away from, and never sinning again.
Non-Mormon Christians believe that after we repent we will sin again and that Christ’s grace is sufficient to cover all, even individual sin, regardless of our actions. This can be seen in Romans 7:15.
Doctines and Covenants 58:42-3 the term forsake means to completely give up. How was Jesus forsaken? Repent means to stop your sinning completely. This contradicts the heart of non-Mormon Christianity.
Moroni 10:32 This verse has the if/then clause that “if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness…then his grace is sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” which takes us back to the idea that you must be perfect first.
2 Nephi 25:23 states that “we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Heaven – these viewpoints are discussed in my Eternal Progression post in the chart. "Jesus Christ Is the Way" talks about salvation and the role that Jesus Christ plays in the church.
Lets look at some key points from this article on LDS.org:
The first paragraph says that “the scriptures say that His Spirit cannot be with us if we are sinful.” This is talking about how must repent and not be sinful. We are cleansed of our sins when we reach perfection.
Physical death is the first death where you go to one of two places depending on whether you believe in Jesus. Your perfection determines in part where you go after here. One of these options is understood as the Mormon hell. For more information see my Eternal Progression chart and my Eternal Progression blog post.
Spiritual death is the second death (see Eternal Progression) where we will either go to eternal damnation (non-Mormon Hell) or have the opportunity to “be resurrected just like Christ was and live forever in perfected [by our own works] bodies after we leave this life.”
Mormon salvation is what everyone experiences because of Christ after physical death. But we “must do our part to overcome spiritual death.”
From my research, Mormon forgiveness is based on the “need to repent [fully by never sinning again] and increase out faith in Jesus Christ throughout our lives. We will not be saved simply because we get baptized or say we believe in Jesus Christ. It takes work…”
Am I missing something? Can any Mormons out there explain some of this to me? Why does it seem that Jesus not enough? Thanks in advance guys! And thanks for the great responses since this post. There have been some very insightful responses.
I don't know a lot about the Mormon church and I realize that there is misinformation all over the place. Please share your views below. Especially if you disagree...That is the only way to learn. I am certainly not anti-Mormon.