Five seconds are left in the basketball game.  It’s not any game either – it’s the championship.  Your team is down by one point.  Your coach calls time out, looks down the bench to where you are sitting and motions you to check into the game.  As you pass him, he pulls you aside and tells you to take the last shot.  “We are counting on you.  It’s all up to you.”

     Talk about pressure.  Especially if you have sat on the bench the entire game to that point.  Few people would enjoy being in that situation.  Few people would succeed in that situation.

     But that is the position a lot of Mormons feel that they are in.  I know that because many of them have shared that with me.  I realize that it is inaccurate to say that Mormonism teaches that people are saved by their works alone.  No, it talks about God’s grace.  But it doesn’t teach that people are saved by grace alone.  “However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient.”  (LDS Bible Dictionary)

     Pause for a moment and think of the tremendous pressure that exerts on many Mormons.  Imagine trying to live under that.  Even if we think that we have to contribute only 1% to our salvation – that opens the door to a whole lot of worry.  It’s like the sub coming off the bench being told that he has to make only one basket, the winning basket.  But with one big difference.  The pressure Mormonism places on many of its adherents doesn’t last just for a few moments – it’s there for an entire lifetime.

     How much better is the biblical message of Titus 3:4-7:  “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  There’s no work – and no pressure.

     God saved us, not by our works, but according to his mercy.  He saved us by sending Jesus to do everything for us.  That is why Christmas is such a joyous time. May you experience joy and relief this Christmas knowing that Jesus came and took all the pressure off.



  1. 1 Echo
    December 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…”

    We don’t obtain mercy as a result of what we do or say. If we did, mercy just wouldn’t be mercy. Mercy is only for those who have done nothing or can do nothing, it is only extended to those who don’t deserve it…

    No unclean thing can enter God’s presence. Because of our sins, we are unclean. Thankfully in Jesus alone and because of his mercy alone, we have been made permanently clean!

  2. 2 Kent
    December 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Isn’t true that Mormons believe that single people, if they choose to remain single their entire lives, cannot ever hope to reach the highest level of exaltation in the celestial kingdom?

    I asked a Mormon missionary this and while he at first wouldn’t come out and say this is so he did end up saying that single people couldn’t be joined to themselves which means they are not sealed but that they could be in the celetial kingdom.

    So what does being sealed mean? Does it mean, as I asked, that they can never hope to reach the highest level, which I presume is becoming a god?

  3. 3 markcares
    December 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    You are right. Exaltation, the highest level of the celestial kingdom which involves becoming a god, can not be attained by a single person. The reason for that is that the essence of being a god is having spirit children – something that can only be done with a spouse. That is why they need to be sealed (married for time and eternity) in the temple.
    There is more pressure on men than on women to become married in this life. I have read some LDS church literature that comforted single women with the possibility of becoming sealed after death – an ordinance which would be performed vicariously by one of their descendants. On the other hand, the literature directed at young men gives the strong message that since it is their responsibility to find a wife, this life is their only chance.
    I think what the LDS missionary was referring to was the fact that single faithful temple worthy Mormons can still be in the celestial kingdom, not to become gods, but to be the ministering servants of the gods.

  4. 4 Kent
    December 20, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you Mark, interesting point as do you know who cannot be in the highest level of the celestial kingdom?

    Well there is no conclusive evidence that the apostle Paul was ever married so if he wasn’t, then he wouldn’t be there.

    More importantly though is since Jesus Christ Himself was never married, then wouldn’t it follow that He couldn’t be there either?

    I don’t know about everyone else but a heaven without Jesus wouldn’t be worth going to.

    From what I understand it is not the official doctrine of the Mormon church that Jesus was ever married and since they still use the King James Bible, and it says nowhere in its pages that Jesus was ever married, then how could he ever have been sealed like we are supposed to be?

    Conversely if He was never sealed in a temple marriage, then why should we have to be?

    Either way, it seems that the sealing in the temple makes no sense but I have something better, I am sealed by the blood on the cross that Jesus shed for me 2000 years ago in my place to take away my sins so I have a place in heaven with Him by what He did and not what I do!

    Mormons, do you know you are truly forgiven and do you feel that what you do never seems to be enough?

    You can know for sure by believing on the only name under heaven that can save you, Jesus Christ!

    John 3:16:


    Mark, I know this subject is off topic but I didn’t know where to post it.

  5. 5 Kent
    December 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Follow up to my last post:

    But if Jesus, according to the Mormon church, was married, then they are teaching something that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible hence they are teaching another gospel that is warned about in Galatians 1:8 that says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    So follow the true Jesus Christ of the Bible and truly know you are washed clean by His and His blood alone as we don’t want you to be accursed!

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December 2010

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