3/6/16 Ben, Priscilla mid 20's
Is there more than one Gospel? Paul thought so, as he wrote about false “gospels” in Galatians 1:8 – “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” So what could this false Gospel be, and is it still preached today? Of course when there is one right answer, there are an infinite number of wrong answers possible. There are many false gospels.
Yesterday, I came across one of those false gospels in a coffeeshop conversation with a young man named Ben and his fiancé’ Priscilla, both Mormons who have completed their two years of missionary service. Mormonism is known to sound close to the Christian Gospel – that “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (in Jesus) —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” So what is the Mormon version? The Book of Mormon reads “…we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,” (2 Nephi 25:23). It takes the original Gospel of Grace and adds an impossible requirement – “after all we can do”. To the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we must add perfect repentance, obedience and love for others to attain salvation.
Ben and Priscilla seemed sincere in their belief that they can reach this perfection and add to Jesus’ sacrifice to attain salvation. They may well be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. The Book of Mormon is said to have been delivered to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, through an “angel” called Morani. Just as Paul warned of in Galatians, it did preach a different gospel - but it was no angel from heaven.