Question #5: Are you saved?
I’m convinced that sometimes people ask us if we believe we are saved only to watch us stumble all over ourselves. Ask a Mormon if he is saved, and you are likely to get a long, rambling answer as he tries to sort through the three degrees of glory, explain the characteristics of each, and explain that while all of them are far better than this life—bathed as they are in great light, knowledge, and glory—it is the celestial kingdom he seeks, and it is not certain yet that he will obtain it, but he hopes to, and if it’s a lesser kingdom, he’s not really sure if he’ll be happy about it or not.
If you ask a fellow Christian of another faith if he is saved, he will say, “Yes.”
We need not worry about answering the question of whether or not we are saved. The traditional and general definition of the word saved is one who has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, has felt the Holy Spirit in his life confirming the power of Christ to bring about his salvation, and who therefore has a bright and lively hope (see 1 Peter 1:3) of his eventual resurrection into a kingdom of glory beyond anything he can now comprehend.
All of which sounds like good Mormon doctrine to me.
The short answer: “Yes, and isn’t it wonderful? I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and am doing my best to live by His teachings. And when I fall short, I know that His grace will keep me from being cast off.”
There are, of course, nuances to this doctrine and biblical scriptures that emphatically teach that becoming “saved” must be more than a one-time experience in the life of a Christian. Consider Peter’s condemnation of the backsliding believer: For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
Matthew 10:22 He that endureth to the end shall be saved . . .
Ephesians 2:8–9 By grace we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast . . .
2 Nephi 25:23 We know it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do . . .
Moroni 10:32 Deny yourself of all ungodliness and love God . . . then is His grace sufficient for you . . .