One of the pamphlets LDS missionaries hand out is entitled, “The Plan of Salvation”. As it title indicates, it summarizes Mormonism’s plan of salvation. Interestingly, when it deals with eternity, it only mentions the LDS three kingdoms of glory. There is no mention of hell or outer darkness. Rather it states: “After you are judged, you will live in a state of glory. Because everyone’s works and desires vary, heaven includes different kingdoms, or degrees of glory.” (p.14)
Note, as that states, the kingdoms are all part of heaven. With that in mind listen to whom, according to Mormonism, inhabits the telestial kingdom, the lowest kingdom in heaven. “Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom.”
Did you catch that? People who continue in their sins – people who don’t repent – will be in heaven! By making that claim and then by reinforcing it with no mention whatsoever of hell, this pamphlet removes all urgency to believe in Jesus. Instead it flatly says to all who read it: “After you are judged, you will live in a state of glory.” According to this pamphlet, which is designed to introduce Mormonism’s plan of salvation to interested people, sin has no eternal consequences.
What a deadly message that is. That is far deadlier than telling someone that arsenic won’t kill them or that cancer isn’t serious. Think of the lawsuits that would fly if a doctor would be so foolish to make such claims.
But arsenic and cancer can only kill people physically. Sin kills people eternally. Any and all sin. Jesus made this point when he said, “but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Mt. 5:22) Because sin can result in people suffering the eternal fires of hell, it is far, far worse to diminish sin’s consequences than it is to diminish the effects of poison or cancer.
And if you diminish sin’s effect, then you greatly lessen people’s desire to be saved. Again think of poison. If you thought it would only make you mildly sick, you wouldn’t be desperate to receive an antidote. So also with sin. If, no matter what, “you will live in a state of glory”, why be so concerned about Jesus? As one LDS missionary recently told one of my friends, going to the telestial kingdom is like being invited to a beach party instead of a formal dinner. What’s so bad about that?
The sobering truth is that there are two sides to eternity: heaven and hell. Even more sobering is the fact that there will be many people who will spend their eternity in hell. “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” (Matthew 7:13) Jesus is clear. We all won’t live in a state of glory. That’s difficult to hear. But that’s essential to know.
There is only one way to escape sin’s eternal consequences. And that is by fleeing to Jesus and trusting only in what he has done. Friends, see the seriousness of sin – all sin. And then abandon all trust in what you do and trust only in what he has done for you. Then, and only then, will you live in a state of glory for all eternity.