Salvation Mindmap #1

One of my favorite tools is a program called Flying Logic.  I use it in my business all the time.  It allows me to see cause-and-effect relationships clearly so I can effectively plan and analyze what I’m doing.

After a few conversations I’ve had with friends recently, I decided to create a logic diagram expressing the popular LDS view of salvation.

Now, obviously, this is an intricate doctrine and is much more nuanced than I put on this tree.  But I want to see if I got the basics correct, in your estimation.

Did I adequately express what you believe about salvation?  What do I have right?  What do I have wrong?

Please take a look, then let me know what you think in the comments section.

Again, I am not proposing that this is the final word on what we believe, nor am I saying it accurately describes the truth of this doctrine.

Instead, it’s my first stab at what I think the average LDS believes. I am trying to succinctly and correctly articulate what is a common (perhaps even the MOST common) prevailing belief among LDS regarding our views on salvation.

So I am more than open to correction of all kinds here.  That’s why I put it up.

So please click the link below to download and examine the PDF.

Salvation Mindmap

About Katie L

A doubter by nature, a believer by grace.

Posted on February 4, 2009, in Mormonism, Thoughts on God and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. WE develop faith? The place where this model remains on a superficial level of understanding is in this part of the model. Faith is a gift of the Spirit isn’t it? So maybe we begin our good works because we have a DESIRE to be happy, to draw closer to God. But we can’t stay there our whole lives. The Lord seems to bless our lives far out of proportion to anything we can actually DO. So maybe we start on that level, but then other things take over. I hope they do, anyway. I’ve lived on this superficial level for most of my life. It seems to me that works lead to the gift of faith (you gotta wanna, don’t you?) which then leads to works that stem from faith and commitment. From that point on, God is at the center of it all. Anyway, this seems to me where we often go wrong in the Church.

    Or maybe it’s NEVER us, even at the beginning. Maybe the Light of Christ even helps us to WANT to draw closer to the Savior. So that’s our first “work”. We want to be guided. Then the Spirit guides us a little bit because our openness and capacity for receiving is limited (by us). And so we’re on this road. We’re baptized and we are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This allows even more guidance and blessing, if we are open to it. But it’s not what we do here, but how we open ourselves the influence. The more guidance, the more the Spirit guides our actions, our works. As our heart unfolds and becomes receptive, the more He can lead us. I don’t know. I’m not expressing this very well.

  2. So to complete the thought. At some point, we stop relying on our own intellects and feelings and actions to move us forward and more and more the Spirit and the Savior guide us and direct us. The effect of all of this is to increase our intellect, our capacity for feeling (charity)and our ability to serve. Because with God all things are possible. Alone we are so limited. But it seems to be a choice in our lives. Do we try it on our own or do we team up with God?

  3. Pretty much, I like the flow chart. It’s basic and, for the most part, I believe fundamentally correct. I think some of the “flow” itself could be more fluid. Let me just list the things I might do differently.

    1. In order to make it to heaven, we need not be perfect. That’s the reason we’re there and why we will be surrounded by people with the same common interest and goals. However, rather than be perfect in our actions, thoughts, words, etc., I do believe we will be perfect in our desires–which is the most important part.

    2. I think the solution to the conflict should include something about our immortality and perfection to tie it all together. As it stands, to someone without our knowledge, it may seem like it doesn’t connect to the conflict.

    3. Not quite sure how the solution leads to the desired effect. That, to me, doesn’t seem to flow as well as it could. Maybe the precondition, conflict, and solution could be an underlying tone throughout the entire flow chart–something separate, yet involved throughout our entire existence.

    4. Regarding Mary’s comment, I’m going to refer to Alma 32. In verse 27 Alma asks the people to “exercise a particle of faith” but if they can’t do that, then to “desire to believe.” Either way, the seed is planted, and if we “do not cast is out by [our] unbelief, . . . it will begin to swell with [our] breast.” In 29, it says, “Now behold, would not this increase your faith?” I think God blesses us for any small step we take in His direction, and that blessing, in turn, increases our faith.
    So, in one sense, I’m agreeing with Mary that God is the one that increases our faith. But then again, we have to be the ones to initiate that relationship. Yes, we’re all blessed with the light of Christ which leads us in the right direction, but only if we heed it (which is pretty much what your flow chart says).

    5. As a side note, I believe those two actions, events, and the desirable effect should be in a circle rather than a straight line. We need to be constantly increasing our faith, repenting, renewing our baptismal covenants and have the Holy Ghost with us or else we end up on the wrong side. There’s no stagnation in Christ’s plan.

    6. I have to go to bed now, but I’ll finish the rest later.

    7. Andy says you’re a great writer . . . and he’s one that should know.

  4. This is actually Andy,

    I always thought of being saved by grace like this: Just as it says in Romans and in other places in the New Testament, all we need to do is accept Jesus as our savior, but accepting him means accepting and obeying His true gospel. Not perfectly of course, but continuously and progressively, relying on his merits to save us as we utilize the atonement. The logical implication being that if we don’t obey the gospel and we don’t do his will, we haven’t really accepted Jesus as a Savior in any way that will save us.

    Salvation is not an event; it’s a process of using grace.

  5. I thought you nailed things pretty well in it, Katie. The format left me wondering though. Is salvation and grace so straight forward? Probably not. But is the diagram useful? Probably. The real question: is there a way to diagram is that better reflects the individual nature of all our journeys?

  6. In my estimation, yes, this pretty much covers the basics.

    Where my opinion/understanding sways/differs(?) is near the end. “Desirable Effect; Through the grace of Christ, all are saved”. Like I’ve mentioned before, the idea of Grace (in my recollection) was pretty much never discussed in church in my youth. So rather than being saved by grace it was my understanding that I was saved by works, I was at the mercy of God. (Sorry if I sound like a skipping record here)

    And then again in the end “Goals” I would change the resulting “goal” for those that chose not to “listen” to a “Result”, not a goal. I don’t think it is many peoples ‘goal’ to achieve a lesser Kingdom, though it IS the result for them for not living the gospel and striving to become more attuned with Christ and his teachings.

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