LDS Scripture fully supports a version of Religious Universalism. Despite many traditional exclusivist teachings from its leaders (going all the way back to Joseph Smith), its scriptures clearly teach a form of universalism. Teaching that Christ will eventually save all mankind (except for a select few who chose Satan’s plan of totalitarian manipulation and enslavement). And that sectarian religious membership on earth means very little in the larger scheme of eternal progression.
42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
44 Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—(D&C 76:42–44)
38 Yea, verily, [the son’s of perdition/satan are] the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.
39 For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
40 And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us— (D&C 76:38–40)
-In fact all those that do good will be resurrected (at the beginning of the Millennium) in the resurrection of the Just. [Including Joseph’s “Celestial & Terrestial” souls] Only those who do evil will be relegated to the resurrection of the unjust after the Millennium. [Including only Joseph’s Telestial Souls]
16 Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, concerning those who shall hear the voice of the Son of Man:
17 And shall come forth; they who have done good, in the resurrection of the just; and they who have done evil, in the resurrection of the unjust.
18 Now this caused us to marvel, for it was given unto us of the Spirit. (D&C 76:16–18. see v. 50-65 )
85 These [Telestial grade beings in hell] are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work…
103 These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. 106 These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work; 107 When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless…
-The same is true for the abode of the dead awaiting resurrection. The Book of Mormon teaches the Good go to heaven/paradise and the bad go to prison. It says nothing of church membership being requistie for heaven, but suggest paradise is for those who treat each other well.
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.
14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection. (Alma 40:11–14)
-Contrary to some LDS cultural teachings, the Doctrine & Covenants teaches that all religions and churches which are heading toward good, are part of Christ’s true church.
67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.
68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. (D&C 10:67–68)
-Mormon scripture teaches that in heaven’s eyes there are ONLY TWO CHURCHES. The church of Christ which as explained above is composed of ALL RELIGIONS who are repentant and moving toward good. And the church of the devil which is composed of those who fight against good.
10 And [The angel of the Lord] said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. (1 Ne 14:10)
-The Book of Mormon clarifies the above teaching, stating that only those who do evil and ultimately fight against good and god’s kingdom are part of the church of the devil. In other word’s the only churches, political organizations or religions that are ultimately part of the “church of the devil” are those those that do evil and fight against good. (see Re-examining what LDS scriptures say about the ‘Only True Church’ doctrine)
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. (Moroni 7:16–17)
-Mormons should show no ill will toward any church, except the church of the devil
20 Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil. (D&C 18:20)
-Although Joseph Smith and his followers did not seem to refer to himself as such, the Book of Mormon equates Joseph Smith with the Jewish, Islamic & Hindu concept of a Messiah (Anointed or Promised One. Synonymous to the words or concepts of Mahdi, Maitreya, Kalki of other traditions).
11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him [the latter-day servant] to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. (3 Ne 21:11)
Other 19th century modern prophets who claimed these titles like Siyyid Shírází (Founder of Bahá’í Faith), Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad (Aḥmadiyyah Muslims), Hong Xiuquan (The Taiping prophet), Jachanan Ben Kathryn (Messianic Judaism) who all claimed to have seen divine beings and have strong universalistic teachings might also be part of the same heavenly movement.
-Joseph Smith was one of multiple Holy Men God was working through history and especially during the restorationism movement (or second Great Awakening) of the mid 1800’s.
8 Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men that ye know not of. (D&C 49:8)
15 Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land.
16 This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them:
17 That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
18 And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them…
20 And verily, I say unto you again that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity that they know not of them….
22 And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching… (3 Nephi 15:17–24)
4 …And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of… (3 Nephi 16:1–4)
-The Book of Mormon supports the idea of many of the earth’s religious books and religious traditions as being of divine origin.
10 Wherefore, because that ye have [scripture] ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them… (2 Ne. 29:8–9)
-The Doctrine and Covenants teaches that the Jews will have their own Prophets in the Last Days. Also that John the Beloved was to work during the last day with assorted latter-day groups to help gather and restore scattered Israel.
14 Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.
15 Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation?
A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers. (D&C 77:14–15)
-LDS & Biblical scripture suggest that the Jewish religious system, the Christian religion and possibly all revealed religion and priesthood (as with Mormonism) is created to be a symbol, metaphor, type/archetype, shadow, light, ensign or example to the world of how divine beings relate to ALL of humanity. These symbols should not be confused for the greater realities they are symbolizing.
10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. (Hebr 10:1 NIV)
5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Hebr 8:5 NIV)
23 That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.
24 For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. (Hebr 9:23-24 NLT)
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter [type/symbol] kills, but the Spirit [meaning behind the symbol] gives life. (2 Cor 3:6 NIV, compare NLT)
16 Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order… (Alma 13:16)
13 …that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another—that which is earthly conforming to that which is heavenly… (D&C 128:13)
-The Doctrine & Covenants teaches that all Eternal Punishment or Damnation (latin damnare ‘to adjudge guilty; to condemn, blame, reject) is temporary. It is called “Eternal” only because it deals with the realm of God.
8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.
9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.
10 For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—
11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.
12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment. (D&C 19:8–12)
-See these articles for scriptures and arguments contesting traditional LDS views which go against religious our scriptures universalism. For example the idea that Mormons are the only one’s with priesthood, or are the only true church, or that the Great apostasy was universal, etc…
Article 1. Re-examining what LDS scriptures say about the ‘Only True Church’ doctrine.
Article 2. A Doctrinal Look at The Universal Priesthood of God & Its Relationship to LDS exclusive truth claims.
Article 3. Clearing up Misunderstandings in the LDS View of the Afterlife (The 3 Degrees of Glory and their support for religious pluralism)
Article 4. Re-examining the LDS adoption of the protestant fundamentalist view of the “Great Apostasy”.