One important area where Mormonism differs from the Bible is in its view of the natural condition of the human race. It has a much more optimistic view of humanity.
This comes out in a number of ways. It talks about how just the fact that we are on earth is an indication of our faithfulness in the pre-existence. “You had the power to choose even before you were born. . .Your presence on earth confirms that you exercised your agency to follow Heavenly Father’s plan.” (True to the Faith).
At times, it describes people as “gods in embryo”. (See the quote in the last post.) That quote also is an example of how it teaches that people can become a God.
Lying at the foundation of all this is the idea that Adam’s and Eve’s Fall was good. “Some people believe Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, latter-day scriptures help us understand that their fall was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us. Because of the Fall, we are blessed with physical bodies, the right to choose between good and evil, and the opportunity to gain eternal life. None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden.” (Gospel Principles, p.33)
All of these things combine to give a picture of humanity that is quite optimistic. That stands in stark contrast to what the Bible says.
Instead of having the ability to choose between good and evil, God said: “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21). What is so striking about that is that God said that after the Flood – when Noah and his family constituted the whole human race! Even then God did not have an optimistic view of humanity. Instead of talking about an innate right to choose between good and evil, he said that even a person’s inclination is evil.
Other scriptures support this. “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back; they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 53:2-3.) That is all inclusive. None were seeking God – all have become filthy – none does good. Wouldn’t choosing the right be doing something good?
Because of humanity’s inherent evilness, we couldn’t do anything to become worthy and acceptable to Heavenly Father. Jesus had to do everything. And he did! He drowned my sins in the depths of the sea. He completely covered me with his perfection. I am saved, not by grace after all I can do as Mormonism teaches. I am saved by grace alone as the Bible teaches.