LDS, Do you believe that Jesus died for our salvation?

Why would Jesus die for our salvation if it was going to be lost in an apostasy soon after He ascended into heaven?
How do you justify Joseph Smith not lying?
How do you know that the vision he had was a Holy vision, and not from something bad?
You believe what the scriptures say, so why then do you not confess your sins someone in your church?
Why do you not ask Mary or saints to pray for you, do you not believe you all make up the Body of Christ?
Why do you choose to have a picture of Joseph Smith in churches and not Mary, Jesus’ Mother?
Do you think Joseph Smith is more important than Mary?
Why don’t you believe Jesus is God when he says in the bible so many times that he is?
Why do you baptize the dead?

always wondered about these questions!

Yes, we do believe that Jesus died for our salvation. The apostasy does not take away from anything Jesus Christ did for us. We accept the First Vision on faith, as well as the fruits that have come from it (including the greatest one, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ). This is similar to the acceptance of various Marian apparitions. Joseph Smith and Mary each played different roles in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It isn’t really about one being “better” than the other. Confession can take many forms, including going to God directly, as well as in various meetings with our bishops. We don’t believe in the confession theology of the Catholic Church however. Some chapels have paintings of various Biblical and/or Book of Mormon scenes (typically not in the main chapel), as do our temples. If Mary is portrayed, it is usually in some way related to Jesus, as her importance is directly related to Christ. We believe that Jesus is part of the Godhead, and is therefore God, however, as stated many times, He is separate from the Father and Holy Ghost. They are three beings, united in purpose, not in being, and we believe the Bible demonstrates this.

Many of your questions have actually had lengthy threads on here, you may want to look those up as well.

Lamb of God Girly,
I had written a long response, but somehow it didn’t take, and since I’m tired of this format anyway, I would answer an email if you want to know more about your husband’s church in answer to your questions. (Click on your “name”.)

I think your church meets your needs and wants well, but probably not his. Peace and God’s blessings to you and him.

I think the more appropriate Mormon answer would be that they consider Jesus to be A god. One of many Mormon “gods”.

The way in which you have framed these questions suggest that you do not really want to find out the truth about our beliefs. You just want to tell us how wrong we are. And I for one am not interested in answering those kinds of questions. If you are sincerely interested in finding out what we believe and why we believe it, then I suggest that you rephrase your questions in such a way that suggests genuine interest, instead of just wanting to tell us how wrong we are, and I will be happy to answer them for you.

You might also consider asking these questions from your husband, or from members of his family who are active in the Church.

zerinus

As a former Mormon I can testify that Mormons believe that Jesus died for our salvation. That is the basis of their beliefs. They believe that Jesus’ atonement even atoned for original sin so that people are automatically redeemed from Adam’s sin without baptism.

Then what is the purpose of Mormon Baptism?

To wash away sins that occur after birth, specifically after the age of eight. It washes away sins for which one is personally guilty, not Adam’s sin. Christ took care of Adam’s sin with his atonement. Adam’s sin did not result in inherited guilt for everyone according to Mormons. Jews and Eastern Orthodox don’t believe in inherited guilt either – that is a concept of Western Christianity following Augustine.

But Original Sin isn’t the same as inherited guilt, it’s just a common misconception.

Then what is it? This is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 403:

Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul”.291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.

If Adam transmitted it to us it certainly sounds like it is inherited.

Inherited guilt or sin would mean that we are somehow responsible for the sins of an ancestor. We are not. Because of Adam’s sin, we are born with a tendency or propensity to sin, that tendency is the “stain” that we receive from Adam, but the actual sins that we are accountable for are those we commit, no one else. We do not inherit guilt.

Yes, it’s a fine line between the two, but the line does exist. Most people who argue against original sin just don’t actually understand it, at least in my experience.

Does baptism erase that tendency to sin? What does baptism do for us as an infant if some sort of guilt is not being wiped out? I am not arguing against the need for infant baptism, but it does seem to me that its purpose is to wipe out some sort of inherited guilt otherwise it wouldn’t seem necessary. The only other reason I can see for justifying infant baptism is that it is a means of infusing some sort of grace into the infant which otherwise would be missing.

No, we can still sin after baptism, that’s part of our nature. We are imperfect and we live in a very imperfect world. Babies are baptized to wash away any stain as well as to leave the permanent mark on the soul of Christ. We don’t inherit guilt.

Baptism is needed for salvation, which is why many babies are baptized within the first few weeks or months, not because they personally have sinned, or because they are conscious of any guilt, but because they need baptism for salvation. Your “infusion of grace” ~ via the indelible mark on the soul of Christ ~ is apt.

There have been a few arguments here & elsewhere about the fate of babies that die before baptism and the precise answer is that “we don’t know”. I personally believe that a merciful God would not consign them to Hell, so ultimately there’s really only one other choice of destination for them. That’s not CCC tho’.

I think as Catholics we would be better off arguing from the standpoint that infant baptism is needed to impart the “indelible mark of Christ” rather than wiping out some stain of original sin. That is certainly the Eastern Orthodox take on infant baptism. And my opinion is that little children are ultimately saved with God in Heaven.

Back to the original question here though, I think one of the arguments Mormons have that they are Christian is their belief that Christ’s atonement was absolutely necessary for salvation. It is too bad they don’t follow the strong arguments in the Book of Mormon for the Trinity as the Community of Christ does. Then there would be no doubt.

The thing is, we believe that the Book of Mormon does not discuss a belief in the Trinity, and that our belief in three distinct personages united in purpose is not refuted by the Book of Mormon. Just because the word “one” is used in the Bible doesn’t automatically mean one in substance, anymore than “do this in remembrance of me” in the Bible automatically makes the Last Supper a memorial service and not a Real Presence service, to provide a Catholic analogy.

What does “one in substance” mean to you?

In some ways, I think baptism is how a person becomes a part of a particular denomination. In the Catholic Church, you become a Catholic very close to your birth.

In some Protestant churches you need to be of an age where you can make a choice, whether or not you want to be baptized in Jesus’ name, (or born again). Sounds like the Mormons wait until a child is at the age of accountabilty, where they know the difference between wrong and right to be baptized.

I suppose that if the child is baptized later than infancy, they still belong to the church their parents attend, but are they aren’t “officially” of that denomination until baptism. Or maybe I’m wrong - just an idea!

one in substance means that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have the same essence, are consubstantial, and are co-equal.

What does that mean to you?

I don’t have a CCC citation, but I understand that the position of the Catholic Church (not trying to be provocative here, just accurate) is that there is only ONE Church ~ the Catholic Church ~ Latin Rite. Other Christian faiths that have some part of the Truth, but lack the fullness of Truth found in the Catholic Church are technically “sects”, not churches. As Christ has only one body, so to the Church can be only one, because WE are the Body of Christ.

Whenever anyone is baptized using the proper form and matter, regardless of the Christian denomination, they are brought into the Body of Christ, the Church. Some faiths the purport to be Christian do not use the proper form and matter, or have other theological defects, so their baptisms are not effective. It is important to note that the Church is not a building, or an organization. WE are the Church. When you’re baptized, you’re a member. After that, it’s up to you.

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