A LITTLE WORK – A LOT OF PRESSURE
Five seconds are left in the basketball game. It’s not any game either – it’s the championship. Your team is down by one point. Your coach calls time out, looks down the bench to where you are sitting and motions you to check into the game. As you pass him, he pulls you aside and tells you to take the last shot. “We are counting on you. It’s all up to you.”
Talk about pressure. Especially if you have sat on the bench to that point. Few people would enjoy being in that situation. Few people would succeed in that situation.
But that’s the position a lot of Mormons feel that they are in. It is inaccurate to say that Mormonism teaches that people are saved by their works alone. No, it talks about God’s grace. But it doesn’t teach that people are saved by grace alone. “However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient.” (LDS Bible Dictionary)
Pause for a moment and think of the tremendous pressure that exerts on many Mormons. Imagine trying to live under that. Even if we think that we have to contribute only 1% to our salvation - that opens the door to a whole lot of worry. It’s like the sub coming off the bench being told that he has to make only one basket, the winning basket. But with one big difference. The pressure Mormonism places on many of its adherents doesn’t last just for a few moments – it’s there for an entire lifetime.
How much better is the biblical message of Titus 3:4-7: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” There’s no work for us there – and no pressure. God has done it all. To him be all the glory.