One approach includes a wide variety of methods and techniques. Whether Muslim, Taoist, Buddhist, Zen-Buddhist, Wiccan, New Age, Hindu, Mormon, Sikh, Shaman, Jew, Confucian, Shintoist, Jain, Baha'i, and every other . . . attempt to reach God or "Paradise" . . . relies on the either total or partial WORKS of the aspirant/seeker.
The other approach . . . is by God's grace alone.
Similar to Islam, Mormon doctrine teaches that you are saved by grace through faith AFTER you have done all that you can do.
"To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward," (Surah 5:9).
"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, BY OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS AND ORDINANCES OF THE GOSPEL." (L.D.S. Article of Faith 1:3)
From the L.D.S. magazine "New Era" . . . we read, "To gain eternal life, we need both grace and works . . . . Besides repentance, our works also include receiving ordinances, keeping covenants, and serving others. While these works are necessary for salvation, they aren’t sufficient."
I can tell you from a life of experience around and among Mormons that many, if not most, of them are seriously burdened with guilt and insecurity concerning their salvation. OR, they are full of pride. Neither one of these conditions is desirable or natural to the true Christian life.
It is a sad thing to observe how they try so hard "to be good" . . . burdened by the hundreds, if not thousands (there are reportedly over 4 thousand "laws and ordinances", all told, for the would be "perfect" Mormon to follow, if they could) of "laws and ordinances" expected of the "good" Latter Day Saint, and it is no (marvelous work and) wonder that Utah is a leading state in the statistics of suicide and anti-depressant usage. ["The rate of suicide among females in Utah for females between the ages of 15-44 is four times the national average . . . . For the past four decades now, Utah has ranked in the top ten for numbers of suicides in the nation." reports the U.S. gov. CDC.
On the other hand, there are those (in "the church") who believe they follow most, if not all, of the "laws and ordinances" . . . and so . . . are just a few wives away (in the hereafter) from BEING GODS with their own planets to rule! You can imagine--and I have witnessed first hand--the incredible self pride of such individuals who . . . consider themselves nearly on par with Jesus and God the Father, where it's only a matter of little more time and a few more "good works" and they will be Deity's equal!
But, for most, they realize they are nowhere near following all the "laws and ordinances" . . . and so, must worry whether they will be with their families in one of the heavens (there are three degrees of glory in Mormonism) . . . or, they are to be excluded.
The bible believing Christian however, is FREE of such impossible demands, which are but a gilded form of slavery to man (to Joseph Smith).
We read and believe as it is written that Jesus came to "end the law of righteousness to every one that believeth."--Romans 10:4. Jesus railed on the scribes and Pharisees who burdened the people with laws and works because they did not recognize that He was the FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW.--Matt. 5:17.
Mormons usually have a canned, knee-jerk response to this charge--when you point out to them that biblical teaching CLEARLY states that "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."--Eph. 2:8-9.
They will say something like, "oh, so once you are 'saved' now you can do anything you want?"
Anyone who says this simply shows that they do not have a personal, real relationship with Christ. For when you finally, truly find Jesus (when He finds you, actually)--it naturally follows that you WANT to keep His commandments, to please Him. And not through YOUR own works and ability do you start to change, but HE begins the transformation process upon you.
Usually, but not always, slowly . . . but surely . . . your old self begins to fall away, through HIS grace and power, and NOT by your own works, lest you should end up boasting . . . or, worse yet, imagining yourself potentially righteous enough, through your own ability . . . to become a god, just like Him!
He or she who has found the ONE WAY TO GOD--that unique and merciful approach, which differs from ALL of the other religions on the planet--realizes profoundly . . . that there is nothing good . . . in the corrupt, fallen self and that there is NOTHING we can do to reach God or paradise EXCEPT that we "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ . . . and be saved."--Acts 16:30-3.
It may be that God leaves a thorn in your flesh
What does Mormon doctrine have in common with every false religion and teaching in the world?
That through your own works, you can achieve salvation.
What sets apart biblical Christianity--the Way of The Master from EVERY other "approach" to God? The revelation of His saving grace. There is only ONE approach to God and Paradise which is guaranteed to succeed! By faith in Jesus Christ, the person, alone. Not works, not by "being good", not through rituals, secret handshakes, ceremonies, laws, covenants, ordinances, ascetic practices, meditation, yoga, having multiple wives, magic masonic underwear, a living "prophet", tithing, works for the dead . . . .
No. The GOOD NEWS and FREEDOM is found in the person Jesus, His graceful mission.
If you believe, like all the other religions do, that you must also WORK your way to Heaven, then you call Jesus a liar.
Are you comfortable calling Jesus a liar? Can you be a Christian and call Jesus a liar?
When Jesus said, "It is finished," . . . apparently, according to Mormon doctrine . . . it wasn't quite . . . just yet . . . finished. So, either Jesus was a liar or a fool?
Perhaps there is more to be found . . . to do . . . in Joseph Smith's re-translation and ADDITION to the bible--the one where he wrote himself into Holy Scripture. Yeah, you see, God wasn't able to preserve His Word, so Joseph Smith re-wrote a better version of Genesis and included a prophecy depicting himself as a "seer" named "Joseph" . . . who would come to restore the Gospel . . . .
One thing Joe Smith was not--and that was . . . lacking in chutzpah!
Anyway, it is clear to anyone with even a half-way clear and honest head . . . that the whole Mormon story and teaching is a mess and a con and NOT Christian.
Though, this ought not be considered a demeaning charge--at least the "NOT Christian" part . . . as early Mormon "prophets" and other prominent church leaders actually did not mind being DISTINGUISHED from "Christianity", typified by a comment from President/Prophet Taylor: "What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing...Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God." (John Taylor, JI) 13:225)
Or, "Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.177)
Or, "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the "whore of Babylon" whom the lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness." (Pratt, The Seer, p.255)
It is not surprising that any compassionate student of the bible might seek to expose Mormon doctrine for the burdensome and enslaving concoction it is, similar to the other onerous WORKS-BASED religions and doctrines throughout the fallen world . . . .
Praise God, as your eyes have opened and the scales fallen away!
Brigham Young proudly wearing his Masonic pin, below the necktie there..:
Fun quotes from Prophet Brigham:
"Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).
"...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).
"What man or woman on earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? The success which has attended me in my presidency is owing to the blessings and mercy of the Almighty . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 127).
"Some of you may ask, 'Is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with? Is there one of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that he will excuse them from obeying?' Not one, no matter how trifling or small in our own estimation. No matter if we esteem them non-essential, or least or last of all the commandments of the house of God, we are under obligation to observe them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 339).
"The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood -- was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Note: the late Bruce McConkie who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy stated "There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events..." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).
"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).
"Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken -- He is our Father, and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50)