The Only True Security in Life is Living the Commandments?

There has been some discussion recently about things we can be absolutely certain about. Christiangirl said that she has “absolute certainty that God is who he said he is (all powerful, creator of earth, loving, just, redeemer, shepherd, no beginning and no end, etc), and the certainty that what Jesus did on the cross for me is sufficient to cover all of my sins.” I am thankful that she has shared her testimony and I agree with her wholeheartedly. I know with every fiber of my being that I have been saved—not because of anything I have ever done, but solely through faith in my Savior whose blood has washed me clean.

A few years ago in Conference a General Authority testified to Latter-day Saints that their only path of safety was in keeping the commandments. He talked about an “80:20 principle” and claimed that keeping the commandments only 80 percent of the time is not acceptable: “There are precious blessings that come only from the complete yielding of one’s heart to God.” The blessing he is talking about is “being saved”:

President Heber J. Grant said: ‘There is but one path of safety to the Latter-day Saints, and that is the path of duty. It is not a testimony, it is not marvelous manifestations, it is not knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, … it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith was His prophet, that will save you and me, but it is the keeping of the commandments of God, the living the life of a Latter-day Saint.’ Now, young men and young women, as you begin to set your priorities in life, remember, the only true security in life is living the commandments.

If you were listening to this talk in General Conference four years ago, did you rest in the certainty that your works were sufficient to earn your Salvation? Or, did you squirm when you heard these words? How does it feel knowing that your “certainty for being saved” rests on your own shoulders—your ability to keep the commandments?

If I had heard these words while I was LDS, I would have been completely stressed out. I was well aware of my inability to keep God’s commands. Today, reading these words I am so very thankful that the Holy Spirit has opened my heart and eyes to the truth. I bear witness to you that these words are false! No one will be saved by following the path that Mormon prophets have set you on—no one will be found righteous by keeping the commandments. The only “path of safety” lies in having faith in Jesus!

I know that President Grant was a false prophet and you can know this too—simply by testing his words with God’s prophets and apostles, found in His holy scripture:

The prophet Isaiah testified:
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Is 61:10)

His salvation is forever:
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” (Is 51:6)

Not according to our works:
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” (2 Ti 1:7-10)

Saved through faith—NOT by works:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

NOT by works of righteousness, but according to his mercy:
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not 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; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Tit 3:4-6)

What must I do to be saved?
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Ac 16:30-31)

Believe and you will be saved:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Ro 10:9-10)

Whoever believes in Jesus HAS eternal life:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (Jn 3:15-18)

The Gospel of Christ is the power that saves–through belief:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Ro 1:16)

The message of the Cross is the power that saves:
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Co 1:18)

The LORD gives salvation:
For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.” (Ps 149:4)

With King David, I confessed my sins to God, and have devoted my life to teaching transgressors about God’s ways. I pray daily for God to restore to me the joy of His salvation—so that many sinners will be converted to Christ:

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest… Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Ps 51:1-13

Link to General Conference talk:

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3 Comments

  1. shematwater said,

    June 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

    It is our faith in Christ that saves us. However, we cannot have faith without works, as James tells us so plainly in the second Chapter of his Epistle. So, while we are enjoying the faith of Christ, let us not neglect to do the works, for without them our faith availeth nothing (just ask James).

    As to President Grant, why do you assume that is discounting Grace or Faith? Why must his words mean that it is all on our shoulders?
    This is not what he meant. He meant exactly what James meant. That no matter how strongly you believe, if you lack the works your faith cannot save you.

    Paul even agrees with this, for in Ephesians 2: 10 he states “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Thus Paul is confirming that, although it is through faith and grace that we are saved, we must still walk in all good works in order to secure it.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    June 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Shem, its so nice to have you around still. I thought you had said you were leaving us for awhile.

    You wrote: “As to President Grant, why do you assume that is discounting Grace or Faith? Why must his words mean that it is all on our shoulders? This is not what he meant. He meant exactly what James meant. That no matter how strongly you believe, if you lack the works your faith cannot save you. Paul even agrees with this, for in Ephesians 2: 10 he states “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Thus Paul is confirming that, although it is through faith and grace that we are saved, we must still walk in all good works in order to secure it.

    James was stating that if a person has no works, that is evidence that he really does not have a living faith. President Grant stated that our faith cannot save us, only our works will save us. Two completely different beliefs.

    Please, go to my newest blog post written today explaining for you exactly what a living faith means. Faith alone saves–but faith is never alone! And, I love what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2 verse 10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    It is God who does all our works in us, these works were created by our faith in Jesus–we are not saved by our own works, it is through our faith that God saves us–faith that all the works of Jesus are sufficient to save us. To Him be all glory, honor and praise!

  3. shematwater said,

    June 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

    LDSWOMAN

    In all truth it is the same doctrine, just using different words and definitions to explain it.

    If a living Faith is what is required, which will show the works, than the works are required as without them we do not have the living faith.

    The only difference is that you believe in two types of Faith: One that just believes, and one that produces works. While we believe that Faith is Faith, and that for you faith to availe you it must be accompanied by works.

    So, the only real difference in our doctrine is that, according to you, if we have faith God will cause us to have works, while we believe we must choose to do the works.
    It is, in truth, a minor difference. The fact remains tha both of us truly believe that works are necessary.


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