I recently read the following from a popular Mormon author. He was talking about mankind’s condition after the Fall. “No matter how noble his own efforts to overcome spiritual death, to love and serve others, or to keep the commandments of God, man will forevermore fall short of the divine standard. His works, though acceptable to God, will always be insufficient to save him.” (Robert Millet, Grace Works, p. 70)
Compare that to what Scripture says: “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:9-17)
There’s no indication there that God considers their works noble – that there works are acceptable to God. On that Scripture is consistent. As God said after the Flood, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21)
The most deadly types of cancer are the ones that don’t make the person sick. About this time last year I went to the doctor for a check-up. I felt good – it was just time to get checked over. In the course of the examination the doctor felt my thyroid and thought it was enlarged. A long story short – last December I had two surgeries because I had thyroid cancer. My point is that I felt great – even though I had cancer. In many ways, it would have been better for me to not feel so good. Then the doctor would have caught it earlier.
Sin is like spiritual cancer. Sometimes we see signs of it as it causes people to act badly. But many times it doesn’t cause people to outwardly act worse. In fact, it often causes people to outwardly act better! Scripture says that the devil loves to portray himself as an angel of light. He also loves to make people act outwardly better – because then they won’t realize that they are infected with the cancer of sin.
Contrary to what Mormonism teaches, our works, in and of themselves, are not noble. On the contrary they are sinful through and through. “For whatever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) People often need to see their desperate straits before they cry out for help. Instead of highlighting those desperate straits, Mormonism obscures them. That is another reason why it is so deadly.