Saved or Damned: Tracing a Persistent Protestantism in Early Mormon Thought

Saved or Damned: Tracing a Persistent Protestantism in Early Mormon Thought
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Saved or Damned: Tracing a Persistent Protestantism in Early Mormon Thought

Author Grant Underwood

The idea that only people who believed in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and were baptized by proper authority could be saved from hell permeated early Latter-day Saint thought, as it did in some other Christian religions of the 1800s. A sharp line could be drawn between the saved and the damned. For modern Latter-day Saints accustomed to extolling the vision of the three degrees of glory as the antidote to such confining polarities, the idea seems foreign indeed. Yet it is the purpose of this article to trace within Mormon thought the persisting lineaments of traditional salvationist rhetoric and to demonstrate that the vision of the three degrees of glory did not begin to alter such notions until the end of the Nauvoo period.