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January 16, 2013

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This is also seems a potential way for Mormons to say, "See, this just more evidence that Mormonism and Christianity are really the same, so why do I need to forsake being a Mormon if I'm already a Christian anyway?"

Another good post by Amy.

Of course the "unconditional guarantee" isn't exactly unconditional since it is only available to people who have proved their worthiness. But once had, it's unconditional from then on out. So the concept of grace (in Paul's sense) is only vaguely available in Mormonism, and the concept of unconditional election is completely missing.

Sam, right. The only thing in common would be the idea of rest and security as a possibility. But they have to get it by being worthy. (And see my post tomorrow on Mormons and grace.) Unfortunately, I would suspect from reading what people have said about it that even Mormons who receive this are not fully at ease because they know they really are not worthy, and since it depended on their worthiness, they might still question it. So there are indeed huge differences.

But the interesting thing is that if they think of it as a possibility (which I never knew they did before), then they might be open to hearing what we have to say about how to get there. Whereas if they thought the whole idea was absurd and impossible, it would be harder to cultivate that hope and desire for it that might make them open to hearing good news about it.

T, it's something very few of them have, but many might think about and want. So if we can show them the huge difference between how one gets to that point in Mormonism and how one gets to that point in Christianity, they’ll hear the good news.

Now that I think about it, it sounds more like a version of eternal security than either grace or unconditional election.

BTW, Jehovah's Witnesses have a doctrine that is vaguely similar to unconditional election. They believe that the anointed class are unconditionally elected. It's in the April 1, 2009 Watchtower under an article titled "Born Again: What Does It Mean?"

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