Within Mormonism the term exaltation is synonymous with the term salvation or eternal life (Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, p. 294). "Salvation in the celestial kingdom of God, however, is not salvation by grace alone. Rather, it is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. (Third Article of Faith)... Immortality comes by grace alone, but those who gain it may find themselves damned in eternity... Eternal life, the kind of life enjoyed by eternal beings in the celestial kingdom, comes by grace plus obedience" (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 671).
"It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings must be earned." (Thomas Monson, "An Invitation to Exaltation," Ensign, May 1988, p. 53)
"'Salvation is free' (2 Ne. 2:4), but it must also be purchased; and the price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." (Bruce McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 3:462)
The "repentance which merits forgiveness"
Personal worthiness and valiance
Mormonism teaches that the atonement of Christ secures the joy of eternal life for no one. Rather, it merely secures the future, physical resurrection of all people. Whether or not one spends eternity in the Telestial of Terrestial Kingdoms weepings and gnashing their teeth, suffering, or pining in regret is up to one's own ability to be worth enough of the Celestial Kingdom. Rather than serving as a penal substition for sins by faith alone, the atonement is merely something that opened a door for us to prove our own righteousness.
- See main page: Atonement
Rather than focusing on the cross, Mormonism puts most of the focus of Christ's atoning sacrifice at the Garden of Gesthename. Here, Mormonism teaches that Christ superhumanly suffered actual physical pain for every sin, sweating drops of blood.
- See main page: Cross
Mormons believe that marriage can be bound on earth and in heaven for eternity. Further, it is believed that this, and not the worship of one God, is the greatest goal. An enormous emphasis is placed on maintaing the nuclear family unit after death. This is at the core of Mormonism's understanding of eternal life. This is often the main "selling point" given by missionaries and literature of the mainstream Mormon sect. Eternal marriage is seen as a crucial part of the purpose of life and thus the attempt to find a husband or wife while on earth puts a strenuous amount of pressure on members of the Mormon church.
- See main page: Marriage
- Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “A periodic review of the covenants we have made with the Lord will help us with our priorities and with balance in our lives. This review will help us see where we need to repent and change our lives to ensure that we are worthy of the promises that accompany our covenants and sacred ordinances. Working out our own salvation requires good planning and a deliberate, valiant effort” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 15; or Ensign, May 1987, 14).
- Eugene England remarked that it was a "popular Mormon heresy that we are saved by works and must 'perfect ourselves' to enter Christ's kingdom and inherit Celestial glory... [W]e Mormons too often cut ourselves off from that power or delay its effects by overreacting to the traditional Protestant emphasis on 'grace alone' and trying to do it all by ourselves." - Eugene England
- "We may rest assured that all things are controlled and governed by Him whose spirit children we are. He knows the end from the beginning, and he provides for each of us the testings and trials which he knows we need. President Joseph Fielding Smith once told me that we must assume that the Lord knows and arranges beforehand who shall be taken in infancy and who shall remain on earth to undergo whatever tests are needed in their cases. This accords with Joseph Smith’s statement: “The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth.” (Teachings, pp. 196–97.) It is implicit in the whole scheme of things that those of us who have arrived at the years of accountability need the tests and trials to which we are subject and that our problem is to overcome the world and attain that spotless and pure state which little children already possess." - Bruce R. McConkie, “The Salvation of Little Children,” Ensign, Apr 1977, 3
- ↑ LDS-PHIL mailing list. January 18, 1999.
- What does God Require? (DOC) - "What must I do to gain salvation?"