- Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained that the “the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become.” The final effect of our choices can be seen both in what we want and also in what we know.
The importance of works is well-stated in the Bible. In fact, if one were to delete all the parts of the Bible that deal with works, the holy book would be very small, indeed. The Ten Commandments are the foundation of Judeo-Christian ethics and belief and are works-oriented. Mormon doctrine follows the admonition of James, that faith without works is dead. However, Mormon doctrine also holds that we are saved by grace, and that no amount of good works can save us.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 10:24).
Reconciling ourselves to the will of God absolutely demands repentance, since all are sinners. Repentance is our most important work, along with the exercise of charity, defined as the pure love of Christ. Works also include keeping Christ's commandments. If we ignore Christ's commandments, it doesn't matter how strong our belief in Him is.
- And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws (Genesis 26:5).
- If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).
The Lord has told us that He will judge us by our works. Also, our works are the manifestation of our faith. This also is Mormon doctrine.
- What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (James 2:14-18).
- Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:21).
- They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:16)
- Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is (1 Corinthians 3:13).
- And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works (Revelation 2:23).
- And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works....
- And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works (Revelation 20:12, 13).
- And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear (1 Peter 1:17)....
Modern revelation supports these ideas:
- For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared (Doctrine and Covenants 76:111).
- And those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life (D&C 20:14).
- And by their desires and their works you shall know them (D&C 18:38).
- Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved (D&C 132:32).
- Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength (D&C 11:20).
- For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works (D&C 97:24).
- For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts (D&C 137:9).
- For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord (D&C 124:48).
- For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts (D&C 1:31-33).
- And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.... Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure— Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man. (D&C 1:13; 9, 10).