Latter-day Saint Life

Settling the Grace Vs. Works Debate: It's Far Simpler Than We're Making It


Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of doctrine that we don't step back and realize things are far simpler than we make them out to be. Case in point: the debate of whether we are saved by grace or by our works.

If you’re a Mormon, you’ve most likely had another Christian say or insinuate something to the effect of, “You Mormons think you can work your way to heaven.” It’s just bound to happen. Many times, the person saying this to you is either quoting their pastor, or something they might have read in a book somewhere. If you’re smart enough not to take offense at the accusation, you’ll have the great opportunity of entering into what is known as the great debate over whether or not our works mean anything in this crazy life.

The funniest thing about this timeless argument is the fact that both parties think they’re disagreeing with each other…when in fact, they are actually agreeing. It’s the strangest thing!

Nowhere in Mormon doctrine does it teach that we are saved by our works. We’ll just get that out of the way up front. What we do believe is that we are rewarded according to our works! Our works are critical to our progression, but worthless without our Savior. Without Christ’s atonement, we have absolutely no chance. No chance at all!

Lead image from Greg Trimble.
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