Come On and Take a Free Ride?

August 28, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 7:13 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

In my last post I brought up the point that we as a church spend nearly all of our energy helping people (both non-members and inactive members) become active members of the church. That is a worthy effort, to be sure. My concern is that I hear very little talk about the gap between being an “active” Latter Day Saint and a Celestial-natured person worthy of exaltation. So the question of this post is whether there really is a gap between being (and remaining) Active and being Exalted.

Active until Death = Exaltation?

Kim Siever suggested some interesting things:

We have a tendency to think that if someone is active (i.e. paying tithing, going to church, attending the temple, going home teaching, etc), then they will receive exaltation for their obedience.

He may be right that Mormons tend to think this. But is this an accurate doctrine? I have serious doubts. My primary doubt has to do with my understanding that in order to be Celestial persons we must live the Celestial law. As far as I can tell, that includes actually consecrating 100% of our time, talents, and everything else to the Lord. While one needs to be an active member to do that, very few of us active members actually keep our promise to live the law of consecration as far as I can tell. Therefore I seriously doubt that simply being an active member until death will automatically lead to exaltation.

The Old Grace vs. Works Debate

Those that are big on grace might disagree. Mormons in what I’ll call the Grace School of thought would probably say that all we need to do is stay active and committed and Christ will do all the heavy lifting for us. They might say that all we have to do is meet the basic requirements of discipleship in the true church and the atonement will exalt us from there. The modern Parable of the Bicycle preaches this; most Protestants preach this; and many Mormons like our dearly departed ‘naclite Jon Max Wilson was very fond of bringing up the parable of the laborers to support this position.

Others (and I am among them) in what I’ll call the Works School of thought favor the position described by Elder John A. Widtsoe:

It is clear also that, as with every other being, the power of God has resulted from the exercise of his will. In “the beginning” which transcends our understanding, God undoubtedly exercised his will vigorously, and thus gained experience of the forces lying about him… We may be certain that through self-effort, the inherent and innate powers of God have been developed to a God-like degree. Thus, He has become God… Self-effort, the conscious operation of will, has enabled man to attain his present high position. However, while all progress is due to self-effort, other beings of power may contribute largely to the ease of man’s growth. (Rational Theology, 25-27)

In other words, it is self-effort that leads to exaltation and the atonement is primarily in place to help us in that repenting and changing and improving process. In this theological view the atonement primarily enables us to progress if we choose to do so.

The Ammo

The ammo of the Grace School includes the scathing remarks by Paul against those that thought grace was unnecessary for salvation and that strict obedience would do the job for them. Further, they appeal to the burnout that most Mormons inevitably face as they try to be perfect Mormons and realize that doing so is an impossible task.

The Works School responds with lots of modern scriptures and say that they know one cannot be saved without grace, but grace enables our repentance and that without repentance grace has no effect. Further, many in the Works School believe in some form of progression between kingdoms after this life. Therefore they contend that the goal of this life is to repent and leave more God-like than we entered. That trajectory will then help us in the progression possible in the eternal worlds to come. Therefore the actual goal is not necessarily to be perfect now, but to make as much progress toward perfection here so we can have “so much the advantage in the world to come.” As many modern prophets have said, the goal of the church is to “make bad men good and to make good men better.”

Logical?

If the Grace School were right, it would admittedly be logical to assume that all one must do is become an active member and stay that way until death and, as the Parable of the Bicycle preaches, after one thus save up a few pennies Christ does the rest and voila! — Exaltation.

As a Works School guy I don’t buy it. And beyond that I think this is a risky model to follow.

Risks

Interestingly, one of the primary complaints that many in the Grace School levy against the idea of progression between kingdoms is that it removes the useful fear-based incentive to avoid procrastinating the day of one’s repentance in this life. They point out that if progress is possible after this life then we might procrastinate repenting until some future eternity. (There are lots of things I could say about that, but I will save that for another time.) But do they realize that the same basic complaint could be levied against their model?

Let me explain. If someone believes that becoming an active Mormon and staying that way until they die will lead to exaltation as a free gift from Christ, that person has little or no incentive to continue repenting and improving after meeting the minimum requirements to be considered an active Mormon. In other words, a deep belief in the grace model engenders the pernicious “all is well in Zion” attitude that Nephi warned against. That means the grace-focused and other no-progression-between-kingdoms models could lead to procrastinating repentance at least as much as the various progression between kingdoms models do.

If the “endure as an active Mormon doctrine until death and Christ will exalt us” doctrine is not a true doctrine (and clearly I think this is the case) then it is a dangerous doctrine. It causes the Saints to think they have arrived at their desired destination long before they actually have. It potentially leads to spiritual stagnation and apathy for those that think that doing the basics – holding a current temple recommend, paying 10% tithing, doing an adequate job in their church assignments, etc. – will lead them to exaltation.

Conflating arguments?

I have focused on the Grace School vs. the Works School and made the assumption that most in the Grace School lean toward “no progression between kingdoms” and most in the works school lean toward “progression between kingdoms”. This is admittedly not an assumption I can defend very well. It just anecdotally seems that way to me. If you are a crossover person please let us know and explain why that works best for you.

Well done thou good and faithful servant

I will say that being “active” is not enough to be exalted as a result of our efforts in this life. However, I also believe that each soul is in a different phase of eternal progression. For many saints, being active may be a major act of faith and repentance and soul-improvement. As the parable of the talents teaches, the trajectory one takes in this life is the most important factor. For others, being simply “active” is the equivalent of burying their talents. They must be much more than active in order to hear those beautiful words “well done thou good and faithful servant”.

In my next post I’ll talk about what I think some of that additional work might entail and what the current organization does to help even those born with five talents to turn them into ten.

35 Comments »

  1. This is great, Geoff. Exactly what I’ve always thought about the issue. A few supporting comments:

    Re: the burnout appeal. I’ve always found this claim odd, because those who make such claims appear to be missing the point altogether. It’s as if they see perfection as a laundry list of activities that must be accomplished on a daily basis as opposed to a Christ-like state of being. In reality, becoming more Christ-like eases our burdens, it doesn’t make them heavier. As they say, the road to heaven is heaven.

    I also think this “active is good enough” idea is a pernicious one. While it compels us to run the mile, it does not compel us to run the extra one. What value is there in making great sacrifices for others when what we’re doing is good enough? I also think this idea that all we need to do is not fall away is part of what leads elderly couples to sail off into retirement in cabins, boats and vacations instead of missions. What’s the point of making the sacrifice to go on a mission when what you’re already “enduring” as you are?

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 28, 2005 @ 8:45 pm

  2. Excellent comments Eric. Thanks. (I was afraid this post was so long no one would read it.)

    I appreciate your point about getting burned out trying to do the wrong things. I was thinking about making a similar point but it didn’t make the cut. That is a great line “the road to heaven is heaven.” I think the burnout comes from obsessing over administrative details and tasks. But Life Eternal is to know God. Revelation might be temporarily tiring, but it is hugely empowering and rejuvinating too. That is the opposite of burnout.

    Your example of older couples phoning it in really drives the point home too.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 28, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

  3. How about c) exaltation by the power of the priesthood? From a historical perspective, having ones election made sure (and thus exaltation) seems a function of ones faithfullness and relationships. Even though exaltation is not “merited” per se, it is bestowed as a gift for the meager efforts of a faithful life.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 28, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  4. J,

    I am even less fond of that model than I am with the Free Ride model. At least the two models I mention in the post rely only on self-effort and/or God for exaltation. Your model brings in the necessity of somehow knowing the right people in the earthly organization in order to get called up to receive the Second Anointing. I can’t help but see that process much like J Golden Kimball saw the process of receiving high callings in the church:

    Some people say a person receives a position in this church through revelation, and others say they get it through inspiration, but I say they get it through relation. If I hadn’t been related to Heber C. Kimball I wouldn’t have been a damn thing in this church.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 28, 2005 @ 10:49 pm

  5. as long as home/visiting teaching isn’t done; no one has a claim to having consecrated 100% of their time/talents/efforts.

    Comment by lyle stamps — August 29, 2005 @ 5:16 am

  6. I disagree with you guys. I’m a grace kind of girl.

    If you do the best you can, that’s the best you can. And nobody can decide that but you and God. You guys don’t know what it is.

    For some, it might be just getting up every day. For others, it’s being the prophet when you’re 90.

    God isn’t comparing us against each other, He’s with each of us on our own.

    I think you guys are all out to lunch. Relax, it’s going to work out okay.

    Comment by annegb — August 29, 2005 @ 7:09 am

  7. I’m a grace guy, myself. And I fully endorse Annegb’s wise remarks.

    I think we make a mistake when we think of repentance as a work. It’s not a work; it’s a change of heart and a relationship with God. Furthermore, being led to desire repentance is a divine, miraculous change of heart (see, for example, the King Benjamin and the Nephites episode, the Alma the Younger episode, and the two Lamanite king episodes). We can’t take credit for repenting. For one thing, it isn’t that hard. For another, God’s Spirit leads us to do it. For a third, we’re immediately blessed (with peace and God’s love) in compensation for doing it.

    I also think it’s a mistake when we take credit for our other efforts, such as home teaching, tithing, missionary work, etc. God works through us when we accomplish good. Hence, God is the one who deserves the glory; when He shares it with us, that’s grace again.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 29, 2005 @ 7:57 am

  8. Anne,

    You are actually agreeing with the things I wrote in the last two paragraphs. The primary difference between the models has to do with what happens after this life. Some are indeed ahead of others here. My point is that we do need to do the best we can so we can get ahead in the eternal progress we can continue to make in the worlds to come. My complaint is against the idea that we will not continue to have opportunity to progress in the worlds to come. I disagree with the Free Ride crowd on this subject. Because they think that this probation is the only chance we will have for progress they are forced to believe that Christ will do all their work and changing and repenting for them. This, I believe, is not correct.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 29, 2005 @ 8:03 am

  9. RT: We can’t take credit for repenting.

    I think you are wrong here. Repenting is a form of the only thing in life we actually can take credit for. It is an act of our free will, and our free will is the only thing that is truly ours to give to God. Elder Maxwell was fond of reminding us of that.

    In conclusion, the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! (Neal A. Maxwell, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 22)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 29, 2005 @ 8:19 am

  10. I’m not interested in being perfect now. All I want to do is qualify for the Celestial Kingdom. To qualify I understand that I have to worthy to have the Holy Ghost in my life today. If I’m worthy of the HG then I qualify.

    I’ve always appreiciated the point that progression is more important than perfection. It’s not where on the road to perfection I’m at right now, what matters is I’m on the road and making progress. If I can look back and honestly say that I’m more Christlike this year than last year, this month than last month then that’s all that is required.

    One other part of the whole discussion that I think is almost always missed is the Millenium. We’ll have 1,000 years without Satan, with Christ to learn and live to perfect ourselves. How much progress do we make in becoming Christlike can we make in 60 years with all the Telestial/Satan problems of this earth life? I think we will be Celestial beings by the time the Millenium is over….we won’t need another try at earthlife.

    Comment by don — August 29, 2005 @ 10:18 am

  11. Don,

    By chance I happened to be searching the scriptures just yesterday on this Millenium subject. In my cursory overview I found nothing in the scriptures to support the theory you have presented here (and elsewhere). What is it that makes you think “We’ll have 1,000 years without Satan, with Christ to learn and live to perfect ourselves.” I just don’t see that in the revelations…

    Honestly, I started realizing that 1000 years is scriptural code for “a really long time”. Part of me has to wonder if the description of the millenium is a mirror of our picture of the pre-mortal life:

    -We live a really long time in the presence of God
    -Then a war breaks out (Satan — which is a title — is loosed for a little while)
    -Then it is on to the next phase of eternity

    Just a thought… (Hopefully not too much of a threadjack)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 29, 2005 @ 10:46 am

  12. [...]

    In my last post, the second in this series on our nearly exclusive focus on helping everyone become [...]

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  13. Geoff, I’ve always liked that quote from Elder Maxwell. However, I find it meaningful in a somewhat different light than I think you do. To me, this is poetic hyperbole expressing the surrender involved in developing a relationship with Christ. It isn’t, to me, a statement claiming that there is positive virtue in our decisions (all decisions involve free will, so this argument would be equally applicable to any decision). This would strongly contradict Benjamin’s final sermon and other canonical sources. I consider these first-order theological sources, whereas Elder Maxwell’s poetic discourses have to take second place, in my view, to canonical discussions.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 29, 2005 @ 5:41 pm

  14. RT,

    What parts of King Benjamin’s sermon are you specifically talking about? I don’t rememeber any parts of that that would lead me to believe that “We can’t take credit for repenting” or that Elder Maxwell really didn’t mean what he said…

    Comment by Geoff J — August 29, 2005 @ 5:49 pm

  15. Geoff: oh. that makes more sense. I haven’t read The Parable of the Bicycle, so that leaves me without context. Also, I don’t read carefully.

    Although, the days when I study and pray and don’t cuss and “do the checklist” are the days that I feel very secure in my righteousness and chances. Not that I do it often.

    I want to “phone it in.” I want to sail off into the sunset. I’m tired. Maybe I did all I could do. Who’s to say?

    Comment by annegb — August 29, 2005 @ 8:06 pm

  16. Ha! Well I’d say you probably ought to talk to God and be sure he is cool with it before you start phoning it in, Anne… Who knows — maybe you could talk him into letting you do it.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 29, 2005 @ 8:17 pm

  17. Mosiah 2:21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another–I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

    Mosiah 2:22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

    Mosiah 2:23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

    Mosiah 2:24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

    Mosiah 2:25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.

    ——

    This is what I have in mind. It may mean something different for you than it does for me. But to me it says what I said above.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 29, 2005 @ 8:54 pm

  18. Hmmm… This looks too easy… Before I go into all sorts of counter arguments I think I had better try to understand your position a little better.

    You said earlier that repentance is easy and we can’t take any credit for it. I assume you say this because you believe God causes our repentance rather than us? Does that mean God also causes our wickedness so we cannot take credit/blame for that either? If we cannot take credit for changing our hearts or for repenting (the change of heart causes the repentance) then what can we take credit/blame for?

    Comment by Geoff J — August 29, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

  19. Geoff,

    We either accept a redeeming relationship with God or we don’t. That’s the choice, I think, we have. If we accept the relationship and go along for the ride, God gets the credit for what we become–after all, He is the one who remakes us. If we reject that relationship, we remain unchanged as fallen, sinful types.

    The Mosiah material above shows that literally nothing we do can help us accumulate merit in the divine economy. We have no merit of our own, nor can we. There’s nothing we can take credit for, in my perspective.

    The only thing we can do is either let God’s Holy Spirit work within us or not. If we do, we’ll eventually be exalted–because that’s the project. If we don’t, then we will have rejected that gift. This is how the gospel makes sense to me.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 30, 2005 @ 7:11 am

  20. RT,

    I think that King Benjamin speaks of “taking credit for” in terms of pride. We ought to remain in constant remembrance that it is through Christ that all is possible in the first place. But Benjamin is not saying there is nothing we can credit to ourselves in the literal sense. If that were the case, then there would be no responsibility.

    You mention letting God’s spirit work within us, implying that it is our choice to do so. That choice would be something that we alone must make and we alone are responsible for it. Christ cannot make that choice for us and he cannot make us chose it. If we chose against it, he is powerless to do anything about it. Our choice to accept him or reject him on a daily basis is something that we are fully responsible for and thus take full responsibility for.

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 30, 2005 @ 8:08 am

  21. Eric,

    King Benjamin actually never uses the words “take credit for.” He says that, no matter how much effort we put forth, we’re always unprofitable servants. We’re inevitably and perpetually in the red. To refer to the title of this post, the ride had better be free–because not a single one of us has a penny to spare.

    I agree that we have to make a choice to accept Christ or not. But what Benjamin teaches us is that, even if we make the better choice, we haven’t earned anything. Discussions of responsibility are, in a way, beside the point. I agree that we’re responsible for choosing either to accept Christ and the Holy Spirit or not. But my point is that, if we choose to accept Him and the gift of exaltation, we still haven’t earned anything.

    When you’re given a Christmas present, you are free to accept it or reject it. Do you earn the present by accepting it?

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 30, 2005 @ 8:18 am

  22. Eric is right. If we can indeed take credit for the choice then we must also take some credit for the result. If I am resposible for pulling the trigger then I am also responsible for whatever damage the bullet does. It is true that I did not invent or manufacture the gun and that I am not responsible for the laws of nature, but I am responsible for the my choice and the natural consequences of it (unless I have absolutely no understanding of the natural law involved of course — thus little children are shielded from such responsibility). I do indeed merit the credit or blame for my free choice.

    So even in your example you support the points I made in the post. The atonement enables and empowers us to move toward exaltation through our free choice to accept and obey God or not. Therefore we do in large part merit the reward or punishment that results from our choices. As the old saying goes: “You can’t pick up one end of the stick without picking up the other”.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 30, 2005 @ 8:35 am

  23. To refer to the title of this post, the ride had better be free-because not a single one of us has a penny to spare.

    Just because we don’t come out with a profit does not mean it is free. If the cost of our eternal mansion is the equivalent of $1,000,000 and I pay all that I can (say $100,000) with someone else picking up the rest of the tab, I am still deeply in the red. But it is anything but free to me. And who’s to say that eventually I will not be asked to pay off the entire price in the eternities to come? (See my imperfect Parable of the Mortgage)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 30, 2005 @ 8:43 am

  24. RT: When you’re given a Christmas present, you are free to accept it or reject it. Do you earn the present by accepting it?

    This can be a great argument for free gifts (like the gifts of the Spirit for example). However, exaltation has never been a free gift. Life eternal is to know God. Yes, God wants us to know him and helps all he can, but he does not magically make us know him. That must be accomplished, as Elder Widstoe noted, through self-effort. And the task is so big it will not all happen in this life.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 30, 2005 @ 8:51 am

  25. Yes, but as you would predict, I disagree with Elder Widtsoe and would probably prefer the available counter-quotes from the other perspective. Widtsoe’s quote is a great expression of your point of view, but his opinion isn’t binding.

    As I mentioned previously, Benjamin’s speech makes clear that we don’t earn anything from good acts or good decisions. He states the reasons for this–but the point is clear. No earnings, zero, negative even because of immediate blessings, from each good act. Hence, to pay even a part of the cost of our eternal mansion is impossible for us. That’s my perspective.

    Hence, exaltation has to be a free gift. Otherwise none but Christ and God would qualify.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 30, 2005 @ 11:24 am

  26. You have me confused, RT. How is exaltation free if we have to do something to attain it? You said in #19 that we must choose to conform our wills to the will of God. That requires a gargantuan effort of will and only those that exert themselves and actually shed the natural man will be exalted. How is that then free? If it was actually free, like the resurrection, everyone would get it… for free.

    You seem to be extending the meaning of those King Benjamin verses far beyond what they actually say. Nothing there says exaltation is free. Rather it points out that our Father in Heaven has offered us a sweetheart deal to give us every opportunity and incentive to progress through our own choices and effort. He gives us every thing (tuition, room and board as Nibley put it) and then every time we make a correct choice he immediately rewards us further. He asks that we put off our natural inclinations and choose to become like him. King Benjamin does make it clear that we are shockingly well-paid for our service to God (perhaps because we are His children?), but he never says exaltation is free. No repentance = no reward.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 30, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

  27. BTW — You are still conflating earnings and profits in your arguments. In business the word earnings is sometimes used to mean profits, but at other times it means total revenues.

    (If profits were required for continued business I suspect there would be no Web for us to have this discussion on. Businesses often run in the red for years on end before becoming profitable.)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 30, 2005 @ 12:38 pm

  28. You guys have lost me a little with the paycheck stuff.

    We could be quibbling over what constitutes repentance. I know when I exhibit the slightest, the very slightest notion to rehabilitate myself, it seems like God falls all over Himself trying to help me. If I pray and even THINK I could do one thing better, there He is next to me urging me on.

    It’s all individual, according to our motives and experience. My salvation is not based on what you do, on what you’ve been through, it’s entirely my own. So God may deal differently with me than you. :) Eat your hearts out.

    Comment by annegb — August 31, 2005 @ 8:49 am

  29. Good point Anne. That has been my experience with repentance too.

    My quibble with what RT was saying is that free means it happens whether we want it or not. The other point I was trying to make was that while God enables us to change the moment we choose to do so, that is not the same as him magically turning us into exalted beings or “gods” at the end of this life. I think that this process of God helping us repent as soon as we choose to will continue after this life — or in other words that there is the possibility of progression between kingdoms. Thus we should not expect a free ride to exaltation that is any different than the process you just described.

    It could take a long time with the “enabled repentance” process until we really are just like Christ, but hey, we’re eternal in nature right? Time is one thing we have plenty of. Exaltation cannot be cheap no matter how much we wish it to be so sometimes.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 31, 2005 @ 10:16 am

  30. Geoff, of course I don’t mean that exaltation happens whether we want it or not. It seems that you’re putting words into my mouth when you say that.

    My point is that exaltation happens if we want it. That’s what we have to do–want it. I think that God does a lot. I think He changes us if we don’t interfere. I think he’s payed for this gift and all we have to do is accept it. I think that’s why the scriptures say salvation is free (bearing in mind that the scriptures often use “salvation” to mean “exaltation”).

    I know Geoff wants to earn his exaltation. Best of luck! My experience of what God wants, expects, and offers is different.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 31, 2005 @ 11:48 am

  31. I know Geoff wants to earn his exaltation. Best of luck!

    Cute, RT.

    My quibble is with your use of the word “free”. I can accept it the way you are using it though because you clearly don’t really mean free. You mean salvation is available upon conditions. In your case you define the condition vaguely as “wanting it”. Of course if we polled everyone in the world I think that nearly everyone would repoert that they want salvation instead of damnation, so that nebulous definition is clearly not going to cut it. Thankfully the scriptures have a sure test of whether someone really wants salvation or not — that is if they actually repent or not. Those that repent may take full advantage of the atonement and those that don’t must pay for their own sins (see D&C 19).

    So perhaps we agree after all on the subject? What you call free, I call repentance (aka work).

    Comment by Geoff J — August 31, 2005 @ 12:51 pm

  32. Interesting comment, chris (even if it did come off as a bit rambling). I agree that “Celestial” has everything to do with the actual character of a person. I think the work we must do in life is primarily to repent and improve our characters. I sounds like you have found some saints with Celestial characters in Brazil. Good for you and them.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 6, 2005 @ 11:51 am

  33. “What then is the law of justification? It is simply this: ‘All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations (D. & C. 132:7), in which men must abide to be saved and exalted, must be entered into and performed in righteousness so that the Holy Spirit can justify the candidate for salvation in what has been done. (1 Ne. 16:2; Jac. 2:13-14; Alma 41:15; D. & C. 98; 132:1, 62.) An act that is justified by the Spirit is one that is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, or in other words, ratified and approved by the Holy Ghost. This law of justification is the provision the Lord has placed in the gospel to assure that no unrighteous performance will be binding on earth and in heaven, and that no person will add to his position or glory in the hereafter by gaining an unearned blessing.” – Bruce McConkie. Quoted in Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, Religion 430 and 431, p. 50.

    Comment by Aaron Shafovaloff — September 14, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  34. Dude, Aaron, you are missrepresenting things here as well! Check out my reply to your comment at the BTimes.

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 14, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

  35. I agree Stapley.

    Aaron – When you misquote your sources it makes you come off as a… well… liar.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 14, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

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