Salvation: Broken down into two categories: Individual or personal salvation (more correctly termed “exaltation“) and general salvation that everyone receives through the Atonement and grace. According to tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Salvation is twofold: General – that which comes to all men irrespective of a belief (in this life) in Christ- and, Individual – that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:134).
The road to individual salvation begins with a belief that Joseph Smith was a true prophet sent by God. Smith stated that there is “No Salvation Without Accepting Joseph Smith” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:189). Exaltation requirements include living a life of good works and temple participation. Keeping the whole law is absolutely essential, as Smith said, “Those who gain exaltation in the celestial kingdom are those who are members of the Church of the Firstborn; in other words, those who keep ALL of the commandments of the Lord” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:41). General salvation, otherwise called salvation by grace, was obtained through the death of Christ and is nothing more than universal resurrection, which occurs to all people regardless of their beliefs or lifestyle.
In the Bible, salvation is only obtained by trusting Christ. A person must recognize himself as a sinner and trust in Christ alone to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Salvation and exaltation are synonymous terms. Those who receive Christ as Savior will be resurrected unto eternal life while those who refuse will be resurrected to damnation (John 5:29) and be eternally separated from God. Trusting in the fact that Christ paid the complete penalty for man’s sins warrants salvation. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).
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