What is salvation?

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
User avatar
PiperAlpha
Posts: 176
Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 05:14

What is salvation?

Post by PiperAlpha » 08 May 2011, 07:31

As I study the scriptures, it seems the message is that our mistakes in this life require a savior to save us, or all eternity will be painful and a disappointment, as we will be damned from progressing.

But like most things I'm learning, the more you dig into that idea, the more it seems to unravel. I start to think we really know less about thenext life literally then I think we are taught. I start to think it becomes less about judgement and assigned kingdoms, and which rituals I participated in under proper authority, and more about judgement of what kind of person I will become and if I have love in my heart and how well I used my time to build relationships.

That makes me wonder about the doctrine of salvation??? Is that teaching just something to give me fear and create an urgency to join a church? Or is there something of value in it? How do I make sense of salvation doctrines and how they apply to my journey?
“As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs. Our lives become gospel centered.”
Elder Ronald E. Poelman, General Conference Oct 1984

User avatar
DevilsAdvocate
Posts: 1387
Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 12:56
Location: Utah

Re: What is salvation?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 08 May 2011, 19:54

PiperAlpha wrote:As I study the scriptures, it seems the message is that our mistakes in this life require a savior to save us, or all eternity will be painful and a disappointment, as we will be damned from progressing...But like most things I'm learning, the more you dig into that idea, the more it seems to unravel. I start to think we really know less about thenext life literally then I think we are taught. I start to think it becomes less about judgement and assigned kingdoms, and which rituals I participated in under proper authority, and more about judgement of what kind of person I will become and if I have love in my heart and how well I used my time to build relationships...That makes me wonder about the doctrine of salvation??? Is that teaching just something to give me fear and create an urgency to join a church? Or is there something of value in it? How do I make sense of salvation doctrines and how they apply to my journey?
To me, salvation simply means freedom from the consequences of sin whether lasting guilt or divine judgment so it's still worth hoping for. Of course, the problem is where do you draw the line as far as who really deserves to be forgiven or condemned? I was always baffled to hear Baptists say they were saved as if it was a already a done deal whereas we are taught that we are "saved by grace after all that we can do" and that we need to endure to the end. This uncertainty about salvation made me discouraged because I thought what good is it to do half of what you need to in order to "earn" salvation and not quite make it? In that case, you have wasted a significant amount of effort that will never pay off.

Now I don't worry about salvation too much anymore because I don't have much confidence that anyone really knows for sure what exactly any hypothetical afterlife will be like. Claiming that eternal rewards or punishments hinge entirely on what we do in this life sounds way too convenient to me as a scare tactic to raise the stakes of listening to ministers/clergy so they can manipulate people so it's hard for me to feel very motivated about anything that mostly depends on what happens in the next life in order to justify the inconvenience of it.
"Truth is what works." - William James

User avatar
HiJolly
Posts: 471
Joined: 11 Feb 2009, 21:25

Re: What is salvation?

Post by HiJolly » 08 May 2011, 20:59

I most often feel that salvation is not some rational, theological principle, but just the feeling written of by King David of old -- Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

My salvation is knowing God will not leave me in hell.


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

doug
Posts: 799
Joined: 23 Sep 2010, 07:37

Re: What is salvation?

Post by doug » 08 May 2011, 21:48

...
Last edited by doug on 14 May 2011, 19:40, edited 1 time in total.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

User avatar
PiperAlpha
Posts: 176
Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 05:14

Re: What is salvation?

Post by PiperAlpha » 09 May 2011, 08:25

doug wrote:Personally, my view is that we know nothing about anything, and that much of what we are taught is taught simply because it's traditional to do so.
Does that scare you? ...not knowing?
“As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs. Our lives become gospel centered.”
Elder Ronald E. Poelman, General Conference Oct 1984

doug
Posts: 799
Joined: 23 Sep 2010, 07:37

Re: What is salvation?

Post by doug » 09 May 2011, 09:45

...
Last edited by doug on 14 May 2011, 19:40, edited 1 time in total.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

User avatar
Tom Haws
Posts: 1245
Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 06:57
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: What is salvation?

Post by Tom Haws » 09 May 2011, 14:00

Being free is salvation
Letting go is salvation.
Forgiveness is salvation.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

Roy
Posts: 5807
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What is salvation?

Post by Roy » 09 May 2011, 14:56

Tom Haws wrote:Being free is salvation
Letting go is salvation.
Forgiveness is salvation.
For me salvation is being loved, being accepted. It is knowing that God sees through my exterior and my persona. He passes through to the fleshy, quivering, vulnerable parts and he loves me. He doesn't love me because of how great/good/not totally screwed up that I am, but rather because of his great capacity and the relationship he has with me.

As long as I have this love everything else will be OK. If my merciful loving Father feels I would be best suited in the Telestial or Terrestrial spheres, I will trust in His wisdom. If he feels I should be a ministering angel, I will be a ministering angel in the family of God. Wherever I am sent and whatever I may be asked to do there, I will always be my Father's son.

I love the idea of eternal families, but somewhat reject the idea that if I am found unworthy my kids will become spiritual orphans unless they can be sealed into another man's family by virtue of their faithfulness. If I become the Celestial kingdom janitor and my children become as Gods, I will love them and support them and beam with pride. I can't imagine that they will forget me in the hereafter, nor that they would be prohibited from talking to me because of my lowly position.

It is theoretically possible that there is no hereafter and that we cease to exist when we die. This does not change the fact that I feel my Savior's love, I endeavor to share this love with those around me, and in so doing to create a community of love - a community of salvation. I don't always feel the love as clearly (I get discouraged too), but when I do feel it - it is glorious.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
PiperAlpha
Posts: 176
Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 05:14

Re: What is salvation?

Post by PiperAlpha » 11 May 2011, 08:36

Roy wrote:As long as I have this love everything else will be OK. If my merciful loving Father feels I would be best suited in the Telestial or Terrestrial spheres, I will trust in His wisdom. If he feels I should be a ministering angel, I will be a ministering angel in the family of God. Wherever I am sent and whatever I may be asked to do there, I will always be my Father's son.
I LOVE this idea. Well said, Roy.

But what if...(here I go again... :roll: )...what if your eternal place for the rest of eternity could be waaaaayyyyy better in the Celestial Kingdom and you could become like God and create other worlds and have posterity, with just a little tiny extra effort in this life to pay tithing and avoid coffee and go to the temple?

Does that make sense that salvation works like that? I think that's the church's sales pitch, isn't it?
“As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs. Our lives become gospel centered.”
Elder Ronald E. Poelman, General Conference Oct 1984

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16627
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: What is salvation?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 May 2011, 09:25

The Church's doctrine is to do everything you are capable of doing - which, in and of itself, is a really, really good doctrine. It's when, "and that includes XYZ without fail and constantly and without exception and . . ." that it gets trickier. It gets even trickier when perfectionists obsess over it as a guilt-inducing club. It gets even more difficult when cultural stuff gets included along with "commandments" (and figuring out what is culture and what is "pure divine command" . . .)

As multiple speakers mentioned in General Conference last month, love is the great commandemnt upon which all the law and the prophets hang. If we aren't becoming loving people, all the "things / works" we do won't "save" us (or "exalt" us, to use that term). If we are becoming loving people, all of the things we really should and need to do will be done in the end.

It really is that simple, imo.

As for the title question, I wrote the following talk recently that dealt with the difference between "savlation" and "redemption":

"My Talk Last Sunday" (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2243)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Post Reply