The Facts on The Mormon Church (Harvest House, 1991) p. 21
What do Mormons teach about salvation and life after death?
Mormon teaching on salvation presents different kinds of salvation leading to different kinds of heaven.
First there is a general salvation which Mormons call “salvation by grace.” Mormonism affirms this occurs to all men. But, this general salvation is restricted to resurrection from the dead and immortality; it does not decide a person’s specific residence or degree of glory in the next life. This is decided by the second category of Mormon salvation, individual salvation. Individual salvation determines which one of three “heavens” one goes to, and whether or not one earns true “eternal life” (Godhood).
General salvation is said to be based on grace while individual salvation is confessedly by good works. Therefore, Mormons may claim that they believe salvation is by grace; however, by this, they mean only that every person will be resurrected from the dead. The actual destiny of that person is determined by personal righteousness.*
Therefore, a person’s good works and personal merit determine which “kingdom of glory” he or she inherits after death. The lowest kingdom of glory is called the telestial kingdom. It is the place of the wicked, where most of humanity will reside. Such persons will be excluded from the presence of God and Christ. The kingdom above this is called the terrestrial kingdom of glory. This is where lukewarm Mormons, good nonMormons, and those who accept Mormonism after death go.
The highest kingdom of glory is the celestial kingdom and this is gained by “complete obedience” to gospel law.* This kingdom has three parts. But it is only in the highest part of the celestial kingdom that salvation in its fullest sense is found. Salvation in its truest sense is attaining absolute Godhood and eternal sexual increase.*
*For full documentation, please see The Facts on The Mormon Church.