Depending on whether or not you are familiar with the LDS Church, you may have been shocked by the title of this blog entry. Mormons… liberal?! Except for Harry Reid, “liberal” is not usually a word that is used to describe Mormons or their theology. Many look at members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as ultra conservative, exclusive, and secretive. As a missionary, I had many people exhibit anger toward me saying that “Mormons believe that they are the only ones that will be saved”. In reality, that statement could not be farther from the truth. Let me explain…
With the exception of a few very evil people called the son’s of perdition, Mormons believe that every single human being will be saved. They espouse the words of Paul to the Corinthians when he said “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” 1Cor 15:22
That means bad people, good people, and indifferent people will be saved to one degree or another. When I say, “to one degree or another”, I mean “one degree or another.” Mormons believe that we are all no doubt “judged according to our works” Rev 20:12 and based on that judgement, we’ll be sent to a place that God has prepared for us. Jesus spoke of this when he said that there were many mansions in heaven and that he’s preparing a place for us. John 14:2 Paul described those varying degrees of glory as the glory of the moon, the stars, and the sun, 1 Cor 15:40-42 and talked about a man he knew in Christ that was caught up to a “third” heaven. 2 Cor 12:2-4
Mormons don’t believe in the classic mainstream belief in one heaven and one hell. They have the most liberal theology on salvation of any religion. They don’t believe that if Johnny committed one more sin than Cyndi and both were on the dividing line between heaven and hell that Johnny is eternally cast off and Cyndi enjoys eternal bliss. Mormons believe that even those that don’t confess the name of Christ will be saved. Crazy huh. Even those wayward children of bishops that went to Church their whole life but decided to turn away from the Church and from Christ. Saved. Even more crazy huh! They will be “saved”, but yet will need to suffer for their own sins making the Atonement of Christ ineffective in their lives. How about the heathen that grew up never ever hearing the name “Jesus Christ”? Damned? No! Saved! Yes! Why? Because Christ’s resurrection is universal. What about Christ saying that you must confess His name and be baptized to be saved? The heathen didn’t do either. 1 Cor 15:29, 1 Pet 4:6, 1 Pet 3:18-19 all answer that question and it’s explained here.
Mormons by and large are striving to attain the “glory of the sun”, or the “third” heaven spoken of by Paul. In doing so, they claim no exclusivity on this degree of glory. They want all to be there…which is why they zealously trade in their baseball bats, surfboards, and scholarships for a nerdy little helmet and a mountain bike. However, if someone chooses not to worry about it, Mormons believe that Christ “has prepared a place” for them also and they will be comfortable and happy about it. In fact, it will be glorious.
The LDS prophet Joseph Smith is quoted as saying, “Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive”.
This is actually one of the most exciting things about the religion and yet the most misunderstood. No other religion that I have ever studied (and I’ve studied a few) is as liberal with salvation as is the Mormon Church which seems really weird when you think about it. No one will probably believe this when they read it but it’s true…and cool.