In the words of 13th LDS President Ezra Taft Benson,

“This is not just another Church. This is not just one of a family of Christian churches. This is the Church and kingdom of God, the only true Church upon the face of the earth…” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 164-165).

I will not beleaguer the question. I want it to be as simple, and direct as possible. I would also like to receive answers and comments in the same manner. No requirement of sources, other than LDS canon, or sentiments of LDS prophets, presidents or original founders, if there is a difference.


Dan 12:1-3  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

(2)  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

(3)  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

There is a great divide between those who have everlasting life, and those who receive everlasting shame and contempt; damnation.

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Or whatever you interpret these words to mean.

"Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls."

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, see pp. 45-46

If there is a way to make it clearer, it eludes 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." (The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10)

Ok now, if there is a way to make it clearer, it eludes me.

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    What do you mean by salvation? I could, for example, write an answer that describes a bunch of various points of LDS doctrine related to the Plan of Salvation, saving grace, being saved from sins, redeemed from the dead (resurrection), the Atonement, kingdoms of glory ... but you want a simple and direct discussion, so... what is it you are asking, specifically?
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 5:31
  • Please try to write better, your orthographical error and usage of misleading words (for instance beleaguer) makes it difficult to read and understand.
    – Leandro
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:58
  • I'm sorry, my orthography, and vernacular are outdated by a hundred years. I'm also a conscientious objector of the extreme paradigm shift, we call the English language. I see that you are from Brazil, Is Portuguese your native language? I will keep your constructive criticism in mind,. Thank you sir. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 17:15
  • It seems clear enough that the question is asking for the LDS perspective on this issue. I have therefore added that to the title. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 11:47
  • @LeeWoofenden thanks, that was my intention yes. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


“Salvation” and “saved” are used in the scriptures in multiple contexts with several different meanings.

In one context, all of God's children will receive Salvation from Physical Death. Whether they are LDS, of some other Christ-professing faith, or any other faith - including atheists. Every person born to earth has kept their first estate, will be resurrected, and will live on the Earth after it has received it's paradisiacal glory. We were saved before we were born, our births are a testament of this, we have all been saved from physical death.

In another context, there is Salvation from Sin. To be cleansed from sin through the Savior's Atonement, an individual must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:37-38). This is only possible through membership in Christ's restored church, which is the Church that bears his name and his priesthood, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Christ revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820 that not one Church on earth had the proper priesthood authority to baptize in his name, that the priesthood had been lost during the great apostasy. That authority was restored through Joseph Smith, and the restored Church is the only church through which a man can be baptized and receive Salvation from Sin.

What is meant by "first estate" and "second estate"?

It's the difference between Salvation, and Exaltation.

To be brief, we all lived as spirits in the presence of God as Spirits before the creation of the Earth. We refer to this time as the preexistence. When God presented the plan of salvation there were two who offered to fulfill the role of Saviour on earth. The first was Jesus Christ, the second was Lucifer. They presented their plans for redeeming mankind and The Father chose Christ's plan over Lucifer's. Lucifer was angry, rebelled against God, and led many spirits away when God cast him out of his presence (see Abraham 3:22-28). Those who chose to stay and accept Christ's plan where those who kept their first estate, and would be privileged to be born on earth, receive a physical body, and be resurrected. Those who followed Lucifer (Satan) did not keep their first estate, and shall remain as spirits forever and dwell in eternal darkness after the earth has received it's paradisiacal glory.

Those who have kept their first estate have been born on earth or will be born someday and face the trials of mortality. Those who are baptized and have receive the Holy Ghost through the proper priesthood authority are conditionally saved from sin. In this sense, salvation is conditional, depending on an individual's continuing in faithfulness, or enduring to the end in keeping the commandments of God, also referred to as keeping their second estate. Those who keep their second estate shall receive Exaltation, and be exalted with our Saviour Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.

Abraham 3:22-28

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.

There are few exceptions who will not live on earth, but instead will be cast out to dwell in outer darkness with Satan and those other fallen angels. They are those who deny the Holy Spirit, which is not something the average man can do. Very few have been identified as committing the unpardonable sin. One we know of is Cain, who slew Able, another is possibly Judas Iscariot. Both men knew God, walked in his presence, and denied him to his face.

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    (+1) You have answered my Q as I would expect from you, direct and honest. By '...saved from physical death.', I think there is only one logical way to interpret your intention here. The dead will be raised to a state of reward and all who were born into physical bodies will receive a physical body, at the Resurrection, regardless of their particular reward? I don't want to mistake you in this part. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 5:31
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    @Abstractioniseverything. That is correct. Everyone born on earth will receive a reward in heaven, but their reward will reflect the life they chose to live. There are varying degrees of glory, "bodies Terrestrial, and bodies Celestial" as well as different tiers of heaven as Paul alludes to when speaking of the third heaven. The sinners will still receive a perfected body, and live in paradise for eternity, but their progression in the life hereafter will be limited, ergo "damned". Those who are exalted will be rewarded with unlimited progression, there will be no limit to their joy.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 16:38

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