Did God Really Give You a “Plan” of Salvation?

I didn’t realize how easy it was to get lost until after I got my drivers license. Driving to unfamiliar places without easy to follow directions often resulted in confusion and anxiety. When I lived in Germany for a few years my tendency to lose my way was exacerbated by the fact I couldn’t speak the language. I quickly learned to take a map with me whenever I was unsure of where I was going.

One day I went to visit a friend who lived in a nearby town. I had written down her address and had brought my trusty map along. But I soon discovered that even with the map, I was terribly lost. I knew what street I needed to get to, but could not find it. I saw a man walking down the street and even though I spoke very little German, I pulled over to ask him for help. I showed him my map and pointed to the street I was searching for. In my broken German I tried asking him for directions. Looking at both me and my map, he responded in English “Lady, you’re using the wrong map. That map is for a town twenty miles from here.”

This experience happened over 25 years ago but it came to mind when reading the Sunday School Teacher’s Manual for 12 & 13 year olds. The lesson explains the “Plan” of Salvation according to LDS prophets and scripture. An Enrichment Activity directs the teacher to display a road map and ask the questions:

“What is this? Why would someone use this?” The teacher is then told: “Explain that life is like a journey. Heavenly Father knew that we would need directions to help us find our way back to him, so he provided the plan of salvation as a kind of map for us to follow. How can we ‘read’ this map and know what we must do to reach our destination of living with Heavenly Father again? (Answers may include by studying the scriptures, following the prophets, and listening to our teachers and parents as they teach us about the gospel.)” (Preparing for Exaltation: Teacher’s Manual, Lesson 1: A Loving Father—An Eternal Plan, pp 1–7)

The lesson explains what must be done to live eternally with Heavenly Father: “Point out that the scripture names two things as God’s work–to bring to pass immortality and eternal life. Explain that these two words do not refer to the same thing. Immortality is a state of being resurrected, of being free from physical death. This blessing will come to all people. Eternal life is living with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom. This blessing—which is also called exaltation—comes only to those who keep the commandments and make the necessary covenants.”

The Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson “maps” out the same requirements. It explains that even though eternal life is the “greatest of all the gifts of God” you obtain it through your own works and effort: “We obtain this great gift, according to the Lord, ‘if you keep my commandments and endure to the end.” (Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual Lesson 1: “This Is My Work and My Glory” p. 4)

I remember when I once believed these words. Reading them today makes my heart cry out for all who are trying to obtain eternal life by following these directions. Today, I write these words to warn you that you are using the wrong map! The LDS Plan of Salvation does not come from God—it was created by LDS prophets. All who follow this “Plan” of Salvation will never gain eternal life!

In both these Lessons, the belief that God gave us a “Plan” comes from the book of Moses, which is part of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament. We can know that this “Plan” is false by testing its words against already revealed scripture. Doing so shows it is in direct conflict with the testimony of our Savior Jesus, as well as God’s prophets and apostles. While LDS scriptures have nearly 60 passages discussing this “Plan” of Salvation, the word “plan” isn’t even found in the KJV Bible. As well, the two Lessons I reference today don’t give a single Bible passage supporting the LDS “Plan” for gaining eternal life.

God’s prophets and apostles left us a “map” that truly leads to eternal life—the Bible. Here they testify that the work of Salvation is finished! It was by our Savior’s obedience that eternal life was obtained for us. God provides “Salvation” as an undeserved gift to all who believe in His Son. Jesus testified that eternal life truly is a free gift, gained the very moment you are brought to faith!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24).

This gift came because of Heavenly Father’s great love for you: “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.” (John 3:16) Believe it and receive it! “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47).

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)


  1. ckuhrasch said,

    February 19, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Thank you for sharing this in order that we may better understand our beloved LDS friends and neighbors. The commands to work for the “gift” makes me weep…

  2. wyomingwilly said,

    February 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    This gospel “plan” from Mormon apostles is also called a “system ” by
    some of these men, and it’s an elaborate system with a myriad of laws
    commands, rules, all said to be the “gospel ” of Jesus. Since we’re
    concerned about the right gospel , the good news of Jesus dying for
    us to redeem us and set us free from sins bondage and penalty, then
    we look at what those He picked to preach this good news taught , and
    this we can do by reading the New Testament . The gospel these men
    preached is’nt a very complex system at all , it was fairly simple —-
    1Cor.15:1-4 . Mormon apostles claim that they are personally directed
    by Jesus to proclaim His gospel , yet when we compare what they have
    offered since their appointment around the early 1830’s , we see a
    stark contrast between their gospel system and the gospel that Jesus’
    apostles taught in the N.T. Furthermore this so-called “restored” gospel
    of Mormon apostles has been unstable as what has been taught
    as necessary to establish a right relationship with God , it has been
    altered , revised , by these men . What they have advertised as gospel
    “truth” , as reliable spiritual guidance , is actually only their own ideas,
    the “precepts of men ” [ Gal.1:8-9; 2Nephi 28:14,31 ] on many vital
    doctrines . Their track record raises concern . and it should since we
    are warned in the N.T. about false prophets/apostles —Matt 24:24 ;
    2Jn 9; Rev.2:2 . It’s noteworthy to realize that not all false prophets
    are immoral or devious men, it’s the ones that are polite, and look
    and act like moral individuals that mislead the most people . No wonder
    we are advised to Beware —-Matt 7:15 , and test all who come as
    prophets —1 Jn 4:1 ; 2Cor 11:4,13 . May the precious Mormon people exchange their gospel and apostles and follow the ones who Jesus
    entrusted with His Good news , their message is in the N.T. for all to
    embrace .

  3. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 26, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Hi, ww,

    And, notice what it says in the 2 Corinthians 11 passage about Satan:

    “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

    I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the truth! Now I get to serve my Savior just because I love Him!

  4. catzgalore said,

    March 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    ww, you said… “It’s noteworthy to realize that not all false prophets
    are immoral or devious men, it’s the ones that are polite, and look
    and act like moral individuals that mislead the most people . ”

    Not all false prophets even KNOW that they are false prophets!! They think they are wonderful, worthy, moral, and righteous. I think very few Mormon leaders are intentionally deceitful; but since they point to “the priesthood” as the source of healing and blessing and not the LORD…. they are indeed false prophets.

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