Op-ed: The Mormon restoration and the meaning of grace

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  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 24, 2017 6:52 p.m.

    The authors have provided a thoughtful, well-informed commentary on a subject that deserves careful pondering. I feel as though my own views have moved to a higher level thanks to their insights.

    I'd like to offer the following idea with the hope that it doesn't sound trivial or nit-picking: The more we appreciate the fabulous gifts that come to us through grace, the less inclined we are to voluntarily give out of a sense of duty (or a quid-pro-quo) but the more inclined we are to give because that is where our heart directs us. We are becoming a bit more like He who gives to us. And we find ourselves yearning to give because it makes us feel good. Hence, instead of saying "Because I have been given much, I too must give" I'd prefer to say, "Because I have been given much, I desire to give."

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2017 3:43 p.m.

    @Kolob1, In speaking to Joseph Smith, God didn't call Christians or their churches abominable--he called their creeds abominable because they were not based on revelation but on the reasoning and philosophy of men. No Catholic will ever say that the creeds are revelations, and we LDS agree with them.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 21, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enjoys a restored, first-century appreciation of grace."
    ____________________
    There was never a consensus on grace in the first century. It was a contentious issue right from the start.

    If grace cannot be earned, as Paul proclaims, why is it contingent on the faith of one who receives it, much less required ordinances? The inherent contradiction in that is obvious. There have been religious dissenters who believe in universal salvation but that concept is alien to Christian orthodoxy.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2017 9:49 a.m.

    No Names.."Nothing like an article providing one LDS view of a complex subject to bring out all the anti-LDS posters."

    And just why wouldn't someone who disagrees with Mormon theology post to this thread?

    You say it's complex, then chastise those who argue a different view of the complexity.

    Interesting and revealing. It's analogous to the current conservative idea that disagreeing (especially vehemently) with your idea is "shutting down" free speech and or not honoring your opinion.

  • sword of truth South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 10:25 p.m.

    @ Toucan Sam:
    “...the word of our God shall stand forever”
    If God never changes what he tells his children, why aren't you following the Mosaic law? It was clearly commanded in the O.T., so are you sinning by not following it? No—because Christ fulfilled the law with his atonement, & gave his apostles a higher law.

    “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”
    Why would J.C. build His church on “one” man who would be dead in a few years. Christ's church is “built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, J.C. himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Eph. 2:20). The “rock” is revelation. Does God love you less than he did his children in Biblical times (O.T. & N.T.), whom he provided many prophets & apostles for? Or maybe you're more righteous than his children in biblical times, & don't need his mouthpiece to guide you? We're ALL sinners, incl. his prophets & apostles. He is the only perfect man to ever live on earth.

    “Pick up your bibles...& read them like a baby”
    I don't know any baby who can read the Bible. Paul said “When I became a man, I put away childish things...[for] now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Cor. 13:11-12).

  • Valiant1 Lehi, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 6:44 p.m.

    Joseph Smith laid out the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel very clearly in the Articles of Faith; Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost. Grace isn't one of them.

    We need to be careful not to usurp these basics with Grace, which is very hard to define as shown by the recent Deseret News articles on Grace, and means different things to different Mormons and denominations. It is a freebie to some Christians and nothing else is required. Mormons require living principles and completing ordinances.

    Perhaps the infatuation with Grace may have to do with the fairly recent movement over the last 20 years or so of giving out participation medals to everyone. We all get a medal so we all feel good about ourselves and maybe this helps us feel empowered.

    So, we all get Grace! Now, what are we going to do with this "medal" around our neck? Have more Faith? Repent? A good start.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 2:58 p.m.

    Nothing like an article providing one LDS view of a complex subject to bring out all the anti-LDS posters.

    I wonder if these negative-nancy posters realize how much LDS material they are consuming just so they can make derogatory posts about LDS beliefs, Mormon culture, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    As an analogy, I can't imagine watching a bunch of porn just so I could post detailed critique of smut. I simply avoid what I consider to be pornographic. But there are a few diehards who read and comment on virtually every article or column dealing with LDS doctrines, beliefs, culture, or practices. And yet, they continue to get so very much wrong. "Ever learning and never coming to understanding."

    Notably, those who leave other churches to join the LDS Church almost always speak favorably of their former churches. They express gratitude for what they were taught and the good people there even as they are now grateful to have add that former goodness added upon. In contrast, those who leave the LDS Church tend to be perpetually negative and nasty.

    The former behavior seems far more Christlike to me than does the latter.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Dec. 20, 2017 2:34 p.m.

    Mormons believe that grace, or charis, is freely given out of God's love for us. Unlike many right wing protestants, however, Mormons do not then proceed to degrade, belittle, and denigrate the individual -- as being "unworthy," " by nature evil", "totally depraved," " miserable sinners," etc, or maintaining that everything we ever do is "filthy rags."

    ToucanSam, The great majority of the human race, throughout history, has had no opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ due to their being: (1) born in areas where the gospel of Christ was not yet established; (2) living in times when the gospel was not on the earth; or (3) dying in infancy or early childhood and thus not being able to learn of the gospel for that reason. Are you suggesting that all of those (probably billions) of people are summarily condemned to suffer in eternal hell for no fault of their own? (And you call THAT a religion or a God of love?)

  • ToucanSam Aurora, CO
    Dec. 20, 2017 12:50 p.m.

    I didn’t finish my sentence when I said we have one chance, we have one chance here on earth.The Bible says nothing about having a second chance once we have died

  • ToucanSam Aurora, CO
    Dec. 20, 2017 12:38 p.m.

    Restoration? Isaiah 40:8 The grass and flower fadeth :But the word of our God shall stand forever. Matt 16:18 And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it..1Peter 1:24-25 says about the same thing. Are we to believe IS 9:6 Wonderful,Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace or a sinful man. Also Hebrews 9:27 tells us it is appointed unto men once to die; but after this the judgment...We have one chance, and today is the day.Pick up you bibles (not the LDS inspired ones) and read them like a baby, and be set free

  • ToucanSam Aurora, CO
    Dec. 20, 2017 12:38 p.m.

    Restoration? Isaiah 40:8 The grass and flower fadeth :But the word of our God shall stand forever. Matt 16:18 And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it..1Peter 1:24-25 says about the same thing. Are we to believe IS 9:6 Wonderful,Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace or a sinful man. Also Hebrews 9:27 tells us it is appointed unto men once to die; but after this the judgment...We have one chance, and today is the day.Pick up you bibles (not the LDS inspired ones) and read them like a baby, and be set free

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 12:23 p.m.

    This piece ignores the obvious economic depredations of the present. The world's wealth is concentrated into few hands like NEVER BEFORE. The super wealthy have received "gifts" of fantastic proportions. Do they owe anything in return? A socialist like myself would say yes, but the writer would not I suspect, being lost in religious lala land.

  • fatenews Lehi, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 11:06 a.m.

    "Certainly the Savior’s infinite gift cannot be earned, merited or even repaid."

    Nice try. Yet another very simplistic angle of a broad, comprehensive and even compartmentalized subject.

  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 10:48 a.m.

    For the Mormon Restoration to be genuine all of the previous abominables must have perished. And chief among them was the Catholic Church. In 2012 The Catholic Church gave $179 Billion dollars to charity. That's a lot of money to have been labeled an abomination and thus 'restored away'.

  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 20, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    I hate to burst your pious bubble but the origin of Gratia was a referrence to a Goddess, a sexual symbol of purity and grace as in demeanor and attraction'. By your attributing an innocent descriptive word of womanly attraction to a religious theme for the purpose of your article demeans the essence of God's gift of pureness in spitrituality and thought. Religions are notorious for capturing early words and deeds (ie: marriage) for their own altruistic reasons. Like stating that the origin of the D & C was in 1833 rather than centuries of other religion's use and misuse.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 20, 2017 9:37 a.m.

    I respect Bro. Welch too much to disagree with him. But this definition sounds a bit legalistic to me (to be expected from a person of Bro. Welch's background). I think there should be a little more emphasis on the parent-to-child aspect of grace. Like Heavenly Father, I have grace for my children not because of some covenant relationship, but because I love them more than I can say. I believe grace is Father's infinite love for us. I see in the word "charis" the root of "charity," the pure love of Christ.
    Nevertheless, Jack Welch is a brilliant soul and I love him.