What do Latter-day Saints believe a person must do to be saved?
Joseph Smith wrote in 1842: "We
believe that through the Atonement of Christ,
all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3).
Gospel of Jesus
Jesus Christ and his apostles and prophets have repeatedly announced
the "good news" or "gospel" that by coming to Christ, a person may be
saved. The Father is the author of the gospel, but it is called the gospel of Jesus Christ because, in agreement with the Father's plan, Christ's Atonement makes the gospel
operative in human lives. Christ's gospel is the only true gospel, and "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; cf. Acts 4:12)."
Converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have
various motivations for their initial interest in the Church, and many factors influence
them in the conversion process.
The First Principles of the Gospel
The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are
"first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by
immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost (Articles of Faith)
Plan of Salvation
Latter-day Saints believe that God, in his infinite wisdom
and never-ending mercy, formulated a plan whereby his children could experience mortality and then return to live in his presence in eternal
felicity and glory.
The Plan of
Our Heavenly Father
The first of the missionary discussions that were used by LDS missionaries prior to the current "Preach my Gospel" system, focused on Our Heavenly Father's Plan for his children to gain a body, be tested, and return to his presence after death.
of Jesus Christ (Second Missionary Discussion)
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan of salvation. It
embraces all of the laws, principles, doctrines, rites, ordinances, acts, powers,
authorities, and keys necessary to save and exalt men in the highest heaven hereafter. It
is the covenant of salvation which the Lord makes with men on earth." Elder Bruce
R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine
Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
When Latter-day Saints speak of the "restoration
of the gospel of Jesus Christ" they refer primarily to the restoration that has
occurred in the latter days, establishing the dispensation of the fulness of times (Eph.
1:10; D&C 27:13). However, there have been a number of restorations of the gospel over
the history of the earth.
in Jesus Christ
Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the
gospel of Jesus Christ (A of F 4). One who has this faith believes him to be the living
Son of God, trusts in his goodness and power, repents of one's sins, and follows his
Repentance - the process by which humans set aside or overcome sins
by changing hearts, attitudes, and actions that are out of harmony with God's teachings,
thereby conforming their lives more completely to his will.
"Latter-day Saints believe, as do many Christians, that baptism is an
essential initiatory ordinance for all persons who are joining the Church, as it admits
them to Christ's church on earth (John 3:3-5; D&C 20:37, 68-74). "
Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost
Born of God
"Baptism of fire and the Holy
Ghost refers to the experience of an individual who receives the ordinance of the laying
on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
It is the second in a two-part sequence following baptism by immersion in water through
which a repentant person committed to Christ and his gospel is born of God or born
"Born of God or "born again" refers to the personal
spiritual experience in which repentant individuals receive a forgiveness of sins and a witness from God that
if they continue to live the commandments and endure to the end, they will inherit eternal life."
"From its beginnings to the present day, the Church has had a strong
missionary orientation. It teaches that conversion is essentially a process of repentance
and personal spiritual experience."
"Like many other Christians, Latter-day Saints believe that only the
transformational discipleship of those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ leads to a
fulness of joy and peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come."
Enduring to the
"Enduring to the end, or remaining faithful to the laws and
ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout life, is a fundamental requirement for
salvation in the kingdom of God."
"The divine archetypal covenant, of which Abraham's covenant is an
example, is the everlasting covenant of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By accepting the
gospel, humankind can be redeemed from the doom of death and the blight of sin to enjoy
eternal life with God."
"The gospel dispensation of Abraham includes the patriarchal order of
the priesthood and the eternal marriage covenant (D&C 131:1-4; 132:28-30; see also Marriage: Eternal Marriage), by which the Abrahamic Covenant is perpetuated from generation to
generation among the faithful."
God established a covenant with Abraham, reaffirming it with Isaac
and Jacob and then with the children of Israel. In the LDS view, this covenant has been
renewed repeatedly and then breached, because God's people, after receiving his commandments and promises, have fallen into apostasy and disbelief. Today, as prophesied
anciently, this covenant has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and
is included in the new and everlasting covenant of the gospel (D&C 22:1; cf. Jer.
The Elect of God
"The elect of God are those who are heirs to all that the Father has."
The Last Days
"The term "last days" refers to the current period of time,
the preparatory era before the second coming of
of the Gospel
"'Dispensations' are also time periods in which the Lord placed on
the earth the necessary knowledge, priesthood, and keys of authority to implement his Plan of Salvation for his children."
Fullness of the
"The phrase "fulness of the gospel" refers to the whole
doctrine of redemption demonstrated and taught in the ministry and life of Jesus Christ."
Points of My Doctrine
Noel B. Reynolds explains what the Book of Mormon teaches
about the six-point formula or message of the gospel (about what men must do if they will
"The mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to
invite everyone to come to Christ. This includes a mandate to proclaim the gospel of Jesus
Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people."