Works

21 Jul

Last night I had a good conversation with a couple of women who belong to another Christian faith. They were very kind and their motives were good, but I’d like to address here some of the things they said and why I feel differently.

These women began the conversation by asking me where I thought I would go if I died today. I explained to them the Plan of Salvation, what I know from the scriptures about the Spirit World.

They then explained to me their beliefs–that Christ paid the price for our sins and that we don’t need to perform works in this life to try to win salvation. They believed that I, along with all Mormons, was in a state of anxiety, uncertain about whether I had done enough to be saved.

What I wished I could have explained to them is that when I perform works, it’s not any kind of payment. I don’t believe that I can earn anything from my Father in Heaven–especially without the grace of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that I am indebted. I have accepted Christ as my Savior and I have experienced the power of the Atonement firsthand. I perform works because that is what my Savior taught me to do in order to follow him and partake of the gift that He has offered.

Repeatedly, the Savior taught “Follow me.” In order to follow the Savior, we do as He did. The Savior performed countless acts of kindness and service and I just want to follow Him. These women advised me to avoid doctrine that does not align with the teachings of the Bible. James, however, teaches us plainly that “faith without works is dead“.

Joseph Smith taught:

a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation (Lectures on Faith, 69).

I understand where these women were coming from; they don’t want to believe in a God who would make them wait in anxiety for a day of Judgment. But I don’t want to believe in a God who expects nothing more from me than faith. I believe in God as a loving Father who encourages me to always be reaching higher and trying harder so that I can fulfill the potential that He sees in me.

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One Response to “Works”

  1. Sister Smoot July 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Thanks for writing about that, I strongly believe that God always wants us to strive to become better and not settle for the “natural man”. Our faith combined with His grace we can achieve anything!

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