Little Known Propaganda: 2 – No Salvation Without Joseph Smith

13 Jan

This is my second response to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1

FACT #2. Mormonism teaches there is no salvation outside the Mormon Church and no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this statement:  “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670)

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches salvation is in Jesus alone:  “Neither is there salvation in any other [Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

 

First, Mormon Doctrine is not an official source, as the compiler of the list claims. It is the independent work of Elder McConkie. You can read the report by David O. McKay that lists several things that the church did not sanction which the book contains.

However, that is incidental to the point being made. The obvious claim here is that the LDS place a greater emphasis on Joseph Smith than on Christ. While it is true that we believe one must accept Joseph Smith as a prophet to be saved, we also believe that one must accept Moses as a prophet, and Abraham, and Peter, and Paul, and all the other prophets. We can’t reject any prophet sent by God and expect to be saved.

Now if we read the entire quote from Mormon Doctrine we see a list of things that are needed for salvation. The very first one on the list is the Atonement of Christ. Others include the gospel, priesthood, miracles, angels, and other things mentioned frequently in the scriptures.

Salvation is made possible through Christ, and there is no one else who could have satisfied the law and brought about a forgiveness of sin. But a man cannot be saved in ignorance (D&C 131: 6) or without faith (D&C 63: 11; Heb. 11: 6). When there is faith there are miracles and angels (Moroni 7: 37), and where there is knowledge there is the priesthood (D&C 84: 19; 128: 11). So, all of these things must be present for salvation to be possible, but all of it hinges on the atonement.

Earlier in his book Elder McConkie makes an entry on the atonement, where he says “it is the most important single thing that has ever happened” and that “it is the foundation upon which all truth rests.” (pg 60).

Furthermore, in the Book of Mormon (much more official than Mormon Doctrine) it states “…that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” (Mosiah 3: 17) This is stated three other times in the Book of Mormon, though in different words: 2 Nephi 25: 25; 31: 21; Mosiah 5: 8. Every single one of these verses is cross-referenced with Acts 4: 12, which is the verse the compiler uses to try and prove our doctrine wrong.

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2 Responses to “Little Known Propaganda: 2 – No Salvation Without Joseph Smith”

  1. shematwater January 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    My Response to Cleancut

    On this Cleancut again seems to try and divert the issue into a problem of semantics, and yet doesn’t really explain anything. Yes, the LDS do have a different definition for the term salvation; or, to be more accurate, we have multiple definitions for it. If you are going to claim the problem is one of definitions than you need to provide the corrected definitions. To this end I offer the following.
    Salvation means to be saved from some painful or unwanted condition or state of being. In church doctrine all those born on this earth will be saved from physical death in the resurrection. Also, the vast majority of those born on the earth will be saved from hell. A much smaller portion will with saved from spiritual death, or separation from the Father; and an even small portion will be saved from eternal stagnation (this is also called exaltation, as Cleancut says). The first two forms are available to all, regardless of their religious beliefs. The last two are available only to members of the LDS church.
    The rest of what Cleancut says I have repeated in a different way in my initial post.

  2. shematwater January 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    My Response to Damon

    This time Damon does address some of what Cleancut said, but in doing so seems to be trying to twist much of it to present things in the worst possible way he could manage.
    For instance, in response to the statement that we use different vocabularies, Damon responds with “All cults redefine Christian terms.” This assertion is not actually, true, but does turn things into an accusation. The real truth is that the LDS use most words simply as they are meant to be used by the language, without trying to narrow them for the purpose of doctrine. The term salvation is a great example, as I have given above.
    Damon does the same thing with the comment that we don’t believe every verse of the Bible, and that it is in our canon. Actually, on this point he is somewhat justified, and Cleancut should have been more clear in his statement. However, Damon is also misleading, as we do believe the Bible, and it is part of our canon.
    Lastly, Damon rightly states that there are other quotes to support the original idea, but then offers a quote that has nothing to do with the issue. To his credit he does offer other quotes as well, but without an explanation of them it is misleading. Both put Joseph Smith in the same capacity that Moses filled for Ancient Israel, and nothing more.

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