- We are “saved” when we sincerely declare or confess that we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that we have been saved after we participate in the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. These acts allow us to return to God, meeting the basic requirements of entrance into His kingdom.
- To Latter-day Saints, the words saved and salvation in this teaching signify a present covenant relationship with Jesus Christ in which we are assured salvation from the consequences of sin if we are obedient. Every sincere Latter-day Saint is “saved” according to this meaning. We have been converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we have experienced repentance and baptism, and we are renewing our covenants of baptism by partaking of the sacrament.
President Oaks points out that there are six meanings that he will discuss in this talk but makes it very clear that each of these can only happen because of the sacrifice that the Savior made for each on of us.
- As Latter-day Saints use the words saved and salvation, there are at least six different meanings. According to some of these, our salvation is assured—we are already saved. In others, salvation must be spoken of as a future event or as conditioned upon a future event. But in all of these meanings, or kinds of salvation, salvation is in and through Jesus Christ.
He points out that we are not saved in our sins, but saved from our sins when we accept Christ, repent, and renew our commitment to always remember him. We do this weekly through the ordinance of the sacrament.
- We are not saved in our sins, as by being unconditionally saved through confessing Christ and then, inevitably, committing sins in our remaining lives. We are saved from our sins by a weekly renewal of our repentance and cleansing through the grace of God and His blessed plan of salvation.
He speaks about the term "born again" and what that means to members of the church.
- We were born again when we entered into a covenant relationship with our Savior by being born of water and of the Spirit and by taking upon us the name of Jesus Christ. We can renew that rebirth each Sabbath when we partake of the sacrament.
Prophets present and past have taught that each of us will inherit some type of kingdom or glory after we are judged by our Savior. In this light, we will all be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ. President Brigham Young taught:
- “Every person who does not sin away the day of grace, and become an angel to the Devil, will be brought forth to inherit a kingdom of glory.” This meaning of saved ennobles the whole human race through the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this sense of the word, all should answer: “Yes, I have been saved. Glory to God for the gospel and gift and grace of His Son!”
Terminology from outside the circle of our church can be confusing and sometimes misleading. It is important that we understand what others mean by the terms that they use so we can determine what their questions are when when asked about our faith. I have always believed that I was "saved" since I have accepted my Lord and Savior into my life. But as President Oaks points out, we need to understand the thoughts that they have when asking us that question. It is great that our prophets and apostles help us understand what things mean so we can be better member missionaries to our friends and family.