Plan of salvation

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    Plan of salvation

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.


Some Christians claim that the LDS doctrine of a "premortal existence" is pagan, unchristian, or unbiblical, and therefore false. (Click here for full article)

  • When are children capable of sin?
    Brief Summary: The Bible is claimed to contradict the Book of Mormon teaching that children cannot sin under eight years of age. The Bible is claimed to place sin at the point of conception. Critic Walter Martin writes, "Anyone who thinks that children under age eight cannot sin has not visited the classrooms of today's schools." (Click here for full article)
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  • Original sin
    Brief Summary: Why don't Latter-day Saints believe the doctrine of "original sin" like the rest of Christianity? Do Mormons believe that the Fall of Adam was a "fortunate event?" Is the Church wrong to teach that little children are free from the taint of original sin? (Click here for full article)
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  • Birth control
    Brief Summary: What is the stance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on birth control? The General Handbook of Instructions states: "Husbands must be considerate of their wives, who have a great responsibility not only for bearing children but also for caring for them through childhood…. Married couples should seek inspiration from the Lord in meeting their marital challenges and rearing their children according to the teachings of the gospel." (Click here for full article)
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  • Do we need a church in order to gain salvation?
    Brief Summary: Can we achieve salvation on our own without being a member of a church? (Click here for full article)
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  • Deification of man
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the doctrine of human deification is unbiblical, false, and arrogant. Related claims include: 1) that Latter-day Saints believe they will 'supplant God', 2) that belief in theosis, or human deification, implies more than one "god," which means Latter-day Saints are "polytheists," and 3) that the Mormon concept of "human deification" is a pagan belief derived from Greek philosophy. (Click here for full article)
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  • Angels
    Brief Summary: Some Christians reject the Mormon concept that angels were once mortal, claiming that angels are a special creation of God and that humans can never become angels. They quote Psalm 148:2 and 5: "Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts...Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created." (Click here for full article)
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  • Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven
    Brief Summary: Some Christians attempt to use 1 Cor. 15:50 to demonstrate that a resurrected being with a physical body cannot enter into heaven, therefore excluding a God with a body as well as resurrected mortals, however, the early Christians interpreted this scripture to mean something very different than modern traditional Christians do. (Click here for full article)
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  • Salvation of non-members
    Brief Summary: Since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims to be "the only true Church," does this mean that the LDS believe that everyone else will be damned? And, since the Church teaches that the dead will have the opportunity to hear the gospel preached to them, doesn't this imply that the witness given to those "after death" will be so compelling that virtually everyone will become "a Mormon"? (Click here for full article)
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What do Latter-day Saints believe regarding the "Three Degrees of Glory?" (Click here for full article)

  • Concept of Hell
    Brief Summary: Some manage to mangle the Christian view of Hell as badly as they do with the correct, authentic and original Christian view of Heaven. They don't start off well, confusing both the New Testament concepts of Hell in the sense of "hades" or "sheol" (spirit prison) and "gehenna" (everlasting burning)-terms with completely different meanings-and using the terms interchangeably, blissfully ignorant of the distinctions LDS (and the Bible, and most other Christians) make between the two. While it is probably true that, as they say, "...many [Latter-day Saints] find the [Biblicist] view of hell (eternal punishment with no second chances) to be both unfair and offensive," what offends us even more is that such an oversimplification is not Christian doctrine. Oddly enough, they are not even representing normative Protestant doctrine when they fail to make a difference between hades/sheol and gehenna. (Click here for full article)
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  • History of the belief in a three-part heaven
    Brief Summary: A look at what Jews and early Christians really believed. (Click here for full article)
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  • Meaning of "telestial"
    Brief Summary: What does the word "telestial" mean, as used in Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon's vision (see DC 76:) of the post-mortal worlds? (Click here for full article)
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  • Not biblical
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the doctrine of three heavens has no basis in the Bible. However, the Bible makes clear that all mankind will be "judged. . . according to their works." (Rev. 20:12) And if so, won't everyone's rewards be different one from another? Jesus insisted that in His "Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2), and Paul wrote that in the judgment a person's works might be added to his reward or burned up, but either way he might still be saved. (Click here for full article)
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  • Progression between kingdoms
    Brief Summary: Is there progression between the three degrees of glory? There is no official pronouncement on this question. Some leaders of the Church have, however, expressed deep skepticism about this idea. (Click here for full article)
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  • Emanuel Swedenborg
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith derived the idea of "three degrees of glory" in the afterlife from Emanuel Swedenborg's book, Heaven and its Wonders and Hell From Things Heard and Seen (1758). Critics also claim that Joseph Smith's practice of plural marriage was similar to Swedenborg's philosophy of "spiritual wifery." (Click here for full article)
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FairMormon is sometimes asked various questions about the "Sons of Perdition." This set of articles addresses specific questions. (Click here for full article)

  • Can women be "Sons of Perdition"
    Brief Summary: re there women who would be among those cast into outer darkness? Are there female 'Sons of Perdition'? FAIR is not aware of any official Church position on this issue. There is some evidence against the idea. The idea that women cannot become "sons of perdition" likely comes from DC 84:40-41: "Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come." (Click here for full article)
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  • Eventual fate
    Brief Summary: Today in our Sunday School class an individual expressed the belief that the sons of perdition would be given another chance to achieve celestial glory. Could you direct me to any specific reference on this topic? (Click here for full article)
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  • Will sons of perdition be resurrected
    Brief Summary: Will sons of perdition be resurrected? There are multiple citations from Church leaders indicating that sons of perdition born into mortality will be resurrected, since "there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead" (Alma 40:4). (Click here for full article)
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  • Foreknowledge of God
    Brief Summary: In Sunday School today somebody said that Jesus Christ knew from the pre-existence who would return to Heavenly Father's presence. Some class members disagreed with that opinion and we couldn't reach a final answer, and we were unable to find a scripture to confirm that comment. The person said that "Jesus knows everything, from the beginning to the end, and therefore he knows who will be returning to God's presence." Could you help me with this issue? (Click here for full article)
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  • Latter-day concept of grace versus works
    Brief Summary: How do Latter-day Saints see the relationship between works and grace? (Click here for full article)
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  • Free will in Mormonism
    Brief Summary: Science demonstrates that all interactions of matter--including all events in the human brain--are sufficiently caused by previous events. If we know enough about the laws that govern these interactions and the current state of the universe, we would be able to exactly predict any future event. Does this mean that the doctrine of "agency" or "free will" is false, since all human choices are predetermined by the laws of physics? (Click here for full article)
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