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What are the "Required Beliefs, Necessary for Salvation"?


cinepro

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We learn a lot at Church. We learn doctrine. We learn how to store food. Sometimes people say things that are true, sometimes they're mistaken.

In other discussions, people have sometimes explained disagreements over certain teachings (and the suggestion that Church leaders and publications are perpetuating misunderstandings) by explaining that it's OK because certain things aren't "Required beliefs, or necessary for salvation." This would mean there are some things in the Church that are negotiable, and others that are not.

Since I have never seen a comprehensive list of "Required Beliefs, Necessary for Salvation", I thought it would be beneficial to see what people think.

What are the non-negotiable, absolutely required things that all LDS must believe in, and about which the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles cannot be in error, and for which lack of belief makes one ineligible for exaltation?

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Here's my list:

- Everything in the Articles of Faith

- Belief in the Temple Ordinances

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Like the Tao, the non-negotiable, absolutely required doctrines of Mormonism cannot be codified.

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What are the non-negotiable, absolutely required things that all LDS must believe in, and about which the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles cannot be in error, and for which lack of belief makes one ineligible for exaltation?

That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that Joseph Smith was his prophet, and that Thomas Monson is his prophet today.

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Beyond faith in Christ I'm not sure there are any. I expect that the required necessary things are as varied as there are people on the planet. I know there are tidbits of doctrinal belief I have that some think are of no consequence but without them I would not have gotten as far as I have.

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That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that Joseph Smith was his prophet, and that Thomas Monson is his prophet today.

This seems a nice summary, and a bit parallel to the basic Muslim confession of faith.

To test its boundaries, though, suppose there were a life-long faithful Latter-day Saint who could not, because of some personal encounter, accept Thomas S. Monson as God's living prophet; but then (however incongruous this may sound--people have believed stranger things) after Thomas S. Monson died was able to accept the next church president as a true prophet? Suppose this person dies during the next prophet's tenure. Does this man lose his exaltation for having not believed that Thomas S. Monson had been God's living prophet during that time? Or, given that everything else in his life is in place, does he obtain it?

If he is exalted anyway, then what if he had died during Thomas S. Monson's administration? Would the timing of his death make all the difference between his being exalted and his being 'damned'?

Note that the issue is not the coherence of believing that Thomas S. Monson was not a prophet but that his successor is. Perfect rationality is not, so far as I'm aware, a qualification for exaltation! If anything, such ability would presumably make one more accountable--where much is given, much is expected.

Don

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This seems a nice summary, and a bit parallel to the basic Muslim confession of faith.

To test its boundaries, though, suppose there were a life-long faithful Latter-day Saint who could not, because of some personal encounter, accept Thomas S. Monson as God's living prophet; but then (however incongruous this may sound--people have believed stranger things) after Thomas S. Monson died was able to accept the next church president as a true prophet? Suppose this person dies during the next prophet's tenure. Does this man lose his exaltation for having not believed that Thomas S. Monson had been God's living prophet during that time? Or, given that everything else in his life is in place, does he obtain it?

If he is exalted anyway, then what if he had died during Thomas S. Monson's administration? Would the timing of his death make all the difference between his being exalted and his being 'damned'?

Note that the issue is not the coherence of believing that Thomas S. Monson was not a prophet but that his successor is. Perfect rationality is not, so far as I'm aware, a qualification for exaltation! If anything, such ability would presumably make one more accountable--where much is given, much is expected.

Don

I would say that that is a rather crazy proposition if you accept that Priesthood keys are passed on. Now if you didn't like President Monson but still accepted that he had the keys that would make sense. I know of no commandment that we have to personally like our leaders.

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Beyond faith in Christ I'm not sure there are any.
I wonder if Nehor isn't right--that from a scriptural and doctrinal perspective saving faith is centered only in God and Christ. The Lectures on Faith discuss saving faith and argue that it presupposes or includes certain beliefs about God's nature and the Atonement. But I know of no inherent doctrinal reason why one must have faith in anything beyond this. The Book of Mormon does, I believe, say that those who reject it will be damned. So, that might provide an argument that one must have faith in current revelation.But given Mormonism's greater emphasis on orthopraxy over orthodoxy, I'm not sure that one need actually believe anything beyond God and Christ, so long as one's life is in accordance with all the commandments, past and present. Of course, the logical question again arises, why would one follow the commandments through latter-day prophets without believing them to be prophets? But, again, I'm not aware that coherence of belief is anywhere established as a requirement for salvation. Thus, arguably, saving faith is centered only in Christ, though one must also live in a certain way. Yea, yea? Nay, nay?BTW, I can't remember how to change the quote after my signature, which I need to do. Any pointers on that would be appreciated!Don
I would say that that is a rather crazy proposition if you accept that Priesthood keys are passed on. Now if you didn't like President Monson but still accepted that he had the keys that would make sense. I know of no commandment that we have to personally like our leaders.
I accept that it is a crazy proposition. But the question would remain. Would this crazy person be exalted?Don
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I accept that it is a crazy proposition. But the question would remain. Would this crazy person be exalted?Don

I doubt it. Sounds like they can't forgive President Monson for something. However, I have no idea. I'm only scratching the surface of what the requirements for my exaltation are.

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It's not necessarily believing, but being. The world challenges us to know something. The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something. Trivial issues like how old a rock in the sky is can be learned rather simply when all the data is in. Other things like "schooling one's passions" can take longer.

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To test its boundaries, though, suppose there were a life-long faithful Latter-day Saint who could not, because of some personal encounter, accept Thomas S. Monson as God's living prophet;

Hi Don, it's great to see you around these parts!

Even as I was writing the OP, I was struck with the obvious problem presented by "relative" doctrines; there are many things that while we wouldn't consider them individually "necessary", they get bundled together with other doctrines into a "necessary" package. For example, someone who rejects the Word of Wisdom and tithing obviously has deeper issues that will probably keep him from being exalted. But so far, we haven't suggested those might be "necessary" beliefs in-and-of themselves. So those might be doctrines that can logically be surmised as being "essential", even when they are never stated as such.

Your example reminds me of the saying I've heard that "how you feel about Thomas S. Monson (or the living prophet of your day) shows how you would have felt about Joseph Smith, and how you would have felt about Joseph Smith shows how you would have felt about Jesus had you lived in his day."

Using this reasoning, rejecting President Monson is tantamount to rejecting Jesus, which would certainly contradict a "required belief." But would I say that someone who has been a devout lifelong member but for some reason just can't raise their arm to the square and sustain President Monson has just forfeited exaltation on that basis alone? I don't know.

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What are the non-negotiable, absolutely required things that all LDS must believe in, and about which the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles cannot be in error, and for which lack of belief makes one ineligible for exaltation?
The reality of a worldwide flood. I think that is the only one.

T-Shirt

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We learn a lot at Church. We learn doctrine. We learn how to store food. Sometimes people say things that are true, sometimes they're mistaken.

In other discussions, people have sometimes explained disagreements over certain teachings (and the suggestion that Church leaders and publications are perpetuating misunderstandings) by explaining that it's OK because certain things aren't "Required beliefs, or necessary for salvation." This would mean there are some things in the Church that are negotiable, and others that are not.

Since I have never seen a comprehensive list of "Required Beliefs, Necessary for Salvation", I thought it would be beneficial to see what people think.

What are the non-negotiable, absolutely required things that all LDS must believe in, and about which the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles cannot be in error, and for which lack of belief makes one ineligible for exaltation?

-------------------------------

Here's my list:

- Everything in the Articles of Faith

- Belief in the Temple Ordinances

To attain exhaltation one must be sealed in the temple; to become sealed in the temple one must have a testimony of everything that got you to the altar :P .

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Hi Don, it's great to see you around these parts!

Even as I was writing the OP, I was struck with the obvious problem presented by "relative" doctrines; there are many things that while we wouldn't consider them individually "necessary", they get bundled together with other doctrines into a "necessary" package. For example, someone who rejects the Word of Wisdom and tithing obviously has deeper issues that will probably keep him from being exalted. But so far, we haven't suggested those might be "necessary" beliefs in-and-of themselves. So those might be doctrines that can logically be surmised as being "essential", even when they are never stated as such.

Thanks Cinepro! It's been a while...

I think you make a good point here. The distinction between faith and practice may be somewhat artificial, since few will keep the standards without believing in their basis.

On the other hand, there are people who feel that smoking, alcohol, etc. are wrong and avoid coffee and tea (e.g. my mom as a non-LDS teenager) quite apart from belief in the Word of Wisdom. Must one believe that these things are wrong and avoid them because the Word of Wisdom says so?

It gets dizzying, and I suppose really doesn't matter. Mormonism is a very practical faith rather than a hair-splitting theological one. If someone has faith in Christ's atonement and actually keeps the commandments on some moral or spiritual basis, I think under LDS theology they would be exalted.

I doubt, by the way, that it would be necessary to believe everything in each Article of Faith, particularly since the history of these suggests that they were not intended as a sort of creed for believers but as a proselytizing tool.

Don

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What are the non-negotiable, absolutely required things that all LDS must believe in, and about which the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles cannot be in error, and for which lack of belief makes one ineligible for exaltation?
That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that Joseph Smith was his prophet, and that Thomas Monson is his prophet today.

That puts all doctrine on the required/necessary list. If any are absent, then you do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, or the JS was a prophet, or that TSM is the prophet today.

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In order to enter into the CEL kingdom you have to have your Calling and Election Made Sure... Anyone have that? lol I know I know you wouldn't say, and I know you don't agree with that either. But it's true!

Salvation starts at the TEL kingdom....

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We learn a lot at Church. We learn doctrine. We learn how to store food. Sometimes people say things that are true, sometimes they're mistaken.

In other discussions, people have sometimes explained disagreements over certain teachings (and the suggestion that Church leaders and publications are perpetuating misunderstandings) by explaining that it's OK because certain things aren't "Required beliefs, or necessary for salvation." This would mean there are some things in the Church that are negotiable, and others that are not.

Since I have never seen a comprehensive list of "Required Beliefs, Necessary for Salvation", I thought it would be beneficial to see what people think.

What are the non-negotiable, absolutely required things that all LDS must believe in, and about which the teachings of the Prophets and Apostles cannot be in error, and for which lack of belief makes one ineligible for exaltation?

-------------------------------

Here's my list:

- Everything in the Articles of Faith

- Belief in the Temple Ordinances

Hmmm. This is a new thought to me. There are the obvious ones, which you named. I'd also add a testimony of the BoM and everything in the recommend interview questions. But I don't see it as a defined list, but more of our own relationship with God and obedience to his commandments, which includes repentance through the atonement. I don't know about everyone else, but I kind of know how I stand with God from day to day, and don't usually assess how I'm feeling about any of the "requirements".

I do see what you're referring to, and IMO, the more important thing is that we have faith. That we follow the prophet and stay true to the complete Gospel. When Noah started building that ark, all the science in the world screamed against it. Yet he built it anyway. That's faith.

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The world challenges us to know something. The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something.

LoaP has it. The gospel teaches us that believeing/knowing and becoming are two sides of the same coin, and that ultimately we are saved by coming to know God by communing with Him. Belief does not have final meaning by itself and there is no "orthodoxy checklist" required for salvation. Rather, orthodoxy is expressed in a Christlike life that involves both mind and behavior. If the behavior is missing then so is the knowledge of the things of God. This concept of cognition-implementation is ultimately expressed in places like Alma 32 where Alma gives the minimal requisite for this sort of transformation: we are to "give place" in our lives for the good seed of the gospel to grow. I believe that nugget of faith is the universal minimum and the fount of everything else. Thereafter, the "requirements for salvation" become individualized and are measured by the degree of correspondence between Godly knowledge and Godly behavior within the person.

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LoaP has it. The gospel teaches us that believeing/knowing and becoming are two sides of the same coin, and that ultimately we are saved by coming to know God by communing with Him. Belief does not have final meaning by itself and there is no "orthodoxy checklist" required for salvation. Rather, orthodoxy is expressed in a Christlike life that involves both mind and behavior. If the behavior is missing then so is the knowledge of the things of God.

That is a round about way of admitting an "orthodoxy" requirement. A knowledge of the things of God is knowledge of the doctrine. A knowledge of the doctrine makes you more accountable for your behavior. You can't have it both ways. You can't tell people that there are no requirements while adding requirements at the same time. There is no need to sugar coat.

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Here is what I think.

Being called by God to salvation through Christ.

Choosing to accept this call.

Living in accordance to his purpose.

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Which she does :P

In all my years, I've never heard a word spoken among LDS membership doubting a universal flood. I mean, this was Primary 101. Where have all you skeptics been hiding?

Oops, this may help derail the thread. There are enough flood threads to cover this.

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