Article of Faith Number 3 of the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints
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The Third Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints states, "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." While mainstream Christianity seems to want to deny this fact, this Article of Faith is stating that:
- Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind.
- That ALL mankind, not just a select few, may be saved
- That salvation comes through the Atonement of Christ and ones obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I will discuss these three points more in detail.
Jesus Christ Is Our Savior
Members of the LDS church believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior. In the Old Testament, Isaiah mentions that there will be a redeemer that would come and save mankind. Before Jesus's birth, Joseph had a vision from an angel in which he was told that "she[Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matt 1:21)
Christ did, in fact, pay the ultimate price for our salvation to take place. In Luke 22 we can read the account, as recorded by the author of Luke, of the Saviors experience in Gethsemane. According to Luke we read that the Savior actually had "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44)
LDS also believe that the Atonement of Christ did not end in Gethsemane, but that it continued to Golgotha and eventually through his resurrection. President Gordon B Hinckley said, "With stumbling steps He walked the way to Golgotha, where His wounded body was nailed to the cross in the most inhumane and pain-ridden method of execution that sadistic minds could conjure.
Yet He cried out, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
The hours passed as His life ebbed in pain. The earth shook; the veil of the temple was rent. From His parched lips came the words, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:46). It was over. His mortal life was finished. He had offered it as a ransom for all." (Victory Over Death, Gordon B Hinckley, April 1997) Through Christ's Atonement not only are awe able to overcome sin, but he also overcame physical death and was resurrected. Because of that all mankind will be resurrected. President Hinckley continued in his article by saying, "The miracle of that resurrection morning, that first Easter Sunday, is a miracle for all mankind. It is the miracle of the power of God, whose Beloved Son gave His life to atone for the sins of all, a sacrifice of love for every son and daughter of God. In so doing He broke the seals of death. All of us will die. But that will not be the end. Just as He in the spirit world taught those who were capable of being taught, even so shall each of us continue as individual personalities capable of learning and teaching and other activities. And just as He took up His body and came forth from the tomb, even so shall all of us enjoy a reunion of body and spirit to become living souls in the day of our own resurrection. We rejoice, therefore, as do many, and as should all mankind, when we remember the most glorious, the most comforting, the most reassuring of all events of human history-the victory over death."
Only through Christ can we achieve salvation. Although many enemies of the church will say otherwise, but that is the stance and position that LDS member take.
All mankind, not just a select few, may be saved
LDS believe that all mankind are spiritually brothers and sisters. We believe that God loves all of his children. Because of this all mankind can be saved. President Harold B Lee taught, "The Son of God ... had the power to make worlds, to direct them. He came here as the Only Begotten Son to fulfill a mission, to be as a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, to bring about salvation to all mankind. By giving His life He opened the door to resurrection and taught the way by which we could gain eternal life, which means to go back into the presence of the Father and the Son. That was who Jesus was in all His grandeur". Every single person that lives on this earth can take advantage of the saving power of the atonement. It troubles me when I talk to someone not of the LDS faith who believes that only select individuals will have the chance to be saved. I think that logic is absurd and fairly self-righteous. God loves ALL mankind. And all mankind will, at some point, be given the chance to be saved.
That salvation comes through the Atonement of Christ and ones obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever heard the attitude that once you believe then you are saved no mater what? Sound a little silly. If all we have to do is believe, then why would God give up laws to obey? This belief that many have comes from scriptures that state things like "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"(Ephesians 2:8). But what about the scriptures that talks of obedience? Again from Ephesians we read "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ". I did a count from the New Testament and came up with the following counts.
Obedience/Obedient: 16 times
Law: 83 times
Obey or obeyed: 25 times.
That is significant, we are told many time that we must obey. Christ himself taught that we must do certain things. He emphasized repentance and baptism, which for some reason many have seemed to forgotten.
This third article of faith is about Christ, his atonement and that man can acheve salvation. The LDS church believes that all may be saved, which is one reason we have temples and do lots of Family History work.
P.S. I couldn't believe it took me 8 days to publish this hub, at this rate it will take forever to produce all the Articles of Faith.
The views and opinions expressed here reflect only those of the author, and are not official views of the LDS church. The intent of this article is commentary.
About The Author
John Taylor has been a member of the LDS church his whole life. He is, in fact, an 8th generation member of the church. He is directly related with President John Taylor who was the third president of the LDS church.