Mormon Fog Obscures Christ’s Judgment
Daniel C. Peterson, a well-known professor at Brigham Young University, recently wrote an article entitled, How Will We Be Judged?” It deals with Judgment Day. Even though he says he “wonders on what basis the ultimate Judge will decide”, he goes on to state quite clearly what he thinks.
He writes: “I’m serenely optimistic about the fate of people, whatever their creed or lack thereof, who genuinely sought to do good, to find and serve the truth, to be faithful to what truths they knew or sincerely thought they knew. They’ll be fine.” Earlier he had talked about how any spiritual deficiencies they have “can and will be fixed in the next life, and via the work of the temples in this one.”
Through all this, there is not one single mention of the importance of trusting in Jesus. Peterson does not mention it in the entire article! Talk about the clear biblical message being obscured.
Nothing, for example, could be clearer than John 3:18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe in him stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Peterson even talks about Hitler. “I really can’t say what went into making him the genocidal monster that he was, and it simply isn’t my role to declare his ultimate fate. I leave that to the Lord.” In classic Mormonism, Hitler will be in the lowest kingdom of heaven, the telestial kingdom. But, he will still be in heaven!
Articles like this are like a fog enveloping Mormons, obscuring Jesus’ judgment. It does it in two ways: First, it drains any sense of urgency from many. Mormonism basically teaches that particularly everybody goes to heaven. Furthermore, people will have time in the next life to continue to work at being worthy. Therefore, Mormons are often puzzled over our sense of urgency.
(As an aside, it’s interesting that a large percentage of Mormons, even though they know they can go to one of the two lower kingdoms of heaven without much effort, aren’t content. Many feel as if they will have failed if they don’t earn a place in the top kingdom, the celestial kingdom. For many, it’s celestial kingdom or bust.)
Not all Mormons, however, think like this. Their consciences won’t let them rest. In spite of what Mormonism teaches, some are worried they will end up in hell. They realize they can’t become perfect – they know they aren’t doing all they can. Mormonism, however, gives them no relief. By obscuring Jesus’ judgment and not talking about how he acquits all those who trust in him, they see no way out. They think they are doomed. By not sharing the wonderful news of God accepting people entirely on the basis of Jesus’ work for them is the second way Mormonism obscures Jesus’ judgment for Mormons.
Articles like this rightly anger us as they so warp biblical teaching. But I pray they also spur us on to grab hold of every opportunity to shine the light of Christ and pierce the fog. Our Mormon friends and family desperately need to see it.