05
Sep
08

Purpose of Life

 

     Mormons often ask Christians what they think our purpose is for being on earth.  Mormonism says that the purpose of earthly life is to be tested.  As one of their 12 apostles said; “We have trials to face because our Heavenly Father loves us.  His purpose is to help us qualify for the blessing of living with Him and his Son, Jesus Christ, forever in glory and in families.  To qualify for that gift we had to receive a mortal body.  With that mortality we understood that we would be tested by temptations and by difficulties.”

     As he says, Mormonism teaches that we have to qualify to live with Heavenly Father.  Part of that process of qualification is the overcoming of earthly temptations and difficulties.  That we are on earth to pass the test is a bedrock belief of Mormonism.  Most Mormons accept this without question.

     Therefore they have looked at me quite strangely when I said that I don’t agree with that purpose.  Most see that as a given.   They have continued to look at me strangely when I tell them that our purpose is to believe that Jesus has already passed the test for us – and then to share that awesome news with others.  Why am I on earth?  To be a light – pointing people to Jesus – his perfect life led for them – his sacrificial death for all their sins – his victorious resurrection as wonderful proof.  Life is not about passing the test.  Life is about celebrating the victory and salvation won for us by Jesus.

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5 Responses to “Purpose of Life”


  1. September 5, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    And I suppose you think Jesus does not ask anything of us?
    Is that it for you, just to believe in Jesus? Well it sounds nice and neat, but what you are forgetting is that that is the test these Mormon’s are talking about. If you deny Jesus you fall prey to disbelief and fail the test.
    Or is there something more you forgot to add to this post?
    -D

  2. 2 Sarah Bauer
    September 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    To your question, “D”…..Jesus asks us to believe. Mark wrote that in his post – “our purpose is to believe that Jesus has already passed the test for us.” Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. Throughout the Bible, Heavenly Father repeats this message. Take a look at John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Believing in Jesus Christ is the indispensable “work” God calls for – the one that leads to a life with Heavenly Father! John 20:31 says, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Life is Heavenly Father’s gift and He is “the life.” And here is a concise statement regarding how to achieve life with Heavenly Father: Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” So, yes, all you have to do is believe. It IS very nice and neat.

    Sarah

  3. September 5, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Mormons believe that “passing the test” is impossible without the Atonement.

    The test consists of one thing only – choosing God freely or not.

    Faith or works?

    You know, the reality is that this is a bit of cycle really.

    Faith can and will birth good works (as the Evangelicals typically claim). But good works will also give birth to increase in faith. It’s a self-reinforcing spiral upward.

    You can quote scriptures saying this spiral starts with faith. I can quote scriptures saying this starts with good works. But I think the reality is that you can start the process with either. It matters not whether you start your upward process with faith or with works. Either will be sufficient to get you started on the self-reinforcing loop. Of course, neither will be enough without the other.

    Evangelicals often criticize us for being prideful and not giving enough credit to God in the process. And there is some truth to that.

    But that does not mean that Mormon belief advocates denying God the glory. You can certainly be a humble Mormon while trying to perform the good works we are capable of (and calling on God to make us capable of them).

    Mormons often criticize Evangelicals of only mouthing “Jesus saves” while remaining indifferent to actually doing any good. And, there is some truth to that. I have personally encountered lay Evangelicals who use grace as an excuse for not even trying.

    But that does not mean that Evangelical belief advocates indifference to good works. Many Evangelicals are actually quite disciplined in their moral lives.

    But really, both of us need to realize that both ingredients: “grace” and “works” are essentially good and necessary for drawing nearer to God. And we should recognize that the seeds of both good ingredients are found prominently in both faith traditions.

  4. 4 Erin
    September 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Seth, what passages can you point to that the “faith/works spiral” starts with works? I am curious about that because the foundation of my faith is that it was ALL God’s idea. Including the seed of faith planted by the Holy Spirit, the works God prepared for me to do and my salvation.

    I agree that faith without works is dead. The very nature of faith produces works because the awesome love of God automatically demands a response. This response is natural. But we cannot look to our works or our subjective feelings to see where we are with God. Thankfully, he went first with His promises.

  5. September 8, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Sarah,
    …And if we Believe? Is there anything asked of us then?

    Does not this belief prompt us to love? And if we have love for Christ in which we place our Faith and Belief, we shall follow him. yes?

    Look at John 14:15

    -D


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